Naju Lathia knew from a young age that she wanted to be lawyer, and in particular, a trial lawyer. Her interest in the legal system grew as she gained more exposure to litigation through internships, jobs, clinics and other programs in college and law school. After graduating from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, she clerked for the Hon. Joseph A. Paone, J.S.C., in the Superior Court of New Jersey. Following her clerkship, Naju prosecuted financial and computer crimes for the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General's Division of Criminal Justice. There, she tried cases and led investigations into sophisticated financial fraud and technology-based crimes.
"As a prosecutor, I witnessed firsthand the gravity of our adversarial legal system and its ultimate goal to reach the right result," says Naju. "Regardless of the evidence, there was always more to the story and a need to consider the unique circumstances of each case."
At Day Pitney, Naju leverages her trial and investigation experience to assist clients with commercial litigation and sensitive internal and white collar investigations in state and federal courts. Her background as a prosecutor makes her a stronger advocate for her clients, and she believes that a diligent, experienced lawyer can work with any set of facts to help secure the best outcome possible for a client. "No matter the facts, or whether I am bringing suit, defending clients or conducting an investigation, I provide my clients with a tailored approach to ensure they are in the best position possible for, if and when needed, their day in court."
Naju's most memorable cases involve stepping in at times of crisis for clients, often with time-sensitive and high-profile investigations. In one case, the decision to lock in early statements and provide strategic financial advice at the outset to a client facing significant liability and government scrutiny set the stage for strong defenses in the inevitable litigation. In another, careful cooperation with authorities led to a highly favorable and confidential resolution for a client facing potential criminal and regulatory investigations; this outcome would not have been possible if an aggressive, litigation-based tactic was pursued.
Clients appreciate Naju's measured guidance in their most uncertain moments and benefit from being better positioned for the subsequent steps, whether they involve further investigation and prosecution or litigation. "My job is to have clients know they can leave the worrying to me and trust that I will handle their concerns thoughtfully, all while keeping them informed and with their best outcome in mind."
Scott Noah, General Counsel at Fieldpoint Bank & Trust, says, "Naju's responsiveness, practical approach to dealing with issues, strong experience and willingness to adapt as requirements change and issues evolve are major value adds. The support Naju always provided in dealing with a number of complex matters made her an indispensable part of the team at Day Pitney with whom we regularly worked."
When Naju is not assisting clients, she enjoys reading, hiking, traveling with her husband and spending time with her family. She is also involved in the South Asian Bar Association, where she finds opportunities to mentor law students and new lawyers. "I am grateful to my incredible mentors at Day Pitney who have invested their time in me and taught me the importance of quality client service with integrity. I want to do the same for the future generation of lawyers."
WHITE COLLAR AND COMMERCIAL LITIGATION
Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, J.D.
Rutgers University, summa cum laude, B.A.
Admissions: New Jersey, New York