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Catherine Tung. (Photo: Catherine Tung).

Top Coughlin aide joins McCarter & English

Catherine Tung will be part of law firm’s government affairs group

By David Wildstein, January 13 2023 9:40 am

A top New Jersey Assembly Majority Office staffer has moved to the private sector, signing on with the prominent government affairs shop at a major New Jersey law firm, McCarter & English.

Catherine Tung had been serving as the Assembly Majority’s associate executive director and a senior advisor to Speaker Craig Coughlin.

“She is well-known in Trenton and beyond, and her strong reputation and experience at the highest levels of the state Legislature make her an invaluable resource,” said Guillermo Artiles, McCarter & English’s government affairs practice chair.  “Our clients will benefit greatly from her experience and insight into working with legislators and policymakers.”

Prior to joining the Assembly staff, Tung worked for the New Jersey Apartment Association for more than two years, and as an intern for the New Jersey Business & Industry Association.

During her nearly five years on Coughlin’s team, Tung staffed multiple Assembly committees: Commerce and Economic Development; Environment and Solid Waste; Community Development and Affairs; Budget; Housing; Natural Resources and Infrastructure; Telecommunications and Utilities; Science, Technology and Innovation; and Tourism, Gaming and the Arts committees.

“With Catherine, we increase the diversity of our already impressive Government Affairs team,” said Bill Palatucci, a McCarter & English partner and the Republican National Committeeman from New Jersey.  “She has been an incredible asset to the New Jersey Assembly, and we could not be more thrilled to have her bring her experience and strategic acumen to our practice.”

Tung also won the praise of two key lawmakers: Senate Education Committee Chairman and Majority Conference Leader Vin Gopal (D-Long Branch) and Assembly Budget Committee Chairman Eliana Pintor Marin (D-Newark).

“As the only AAPI member of the state Senate, I am pleased by the announcement that Catherine Tung will be joining McCarter & English, as it demonstrates the firm’s commitment to a diverse government affairs team,” stated Gopal.   “Catherine is a well-respected professional with a wealth of knowledge, and her unique perspective will certainly be an asset to the firm.”

Pintor Marin added that, “from advancing key economic development legislation to helping me prepare for state budget hearings, Catherine has been a valued member of the team—not only to myself but to all members of the Assembly Democratic caucus.”

“It has been an absolute pleasure to watch her grow from a young policy analyst to a senior adviser, and I am thrilled for her to be taking this next step,” Pintor Marin said.
Tung has also become involved in New Jersey politics.   The 28-year-old Spring Lake Heights resident serves as secretary of the New Jersey Young Democrats and the vice president of the Monmouth County Young Democrats.

“Catherine is an integral part of the ongoing expansion of our government affairs capabilities,” said Joseph Boccassini,” McCarter & English’s managing partner.  “Her unique understanding of the New Jersey legislative and regulatory landscape will be a great asset to our clients.”

In 2022, McCarter & English added former New Jersey Supreme Court Justice Jaynee LaVecchia as a partner.  She retired after 23 years as an associate justice.   Michael Maitland, a former chief of staff to Rep. Donald Norcross (D-Camden) joined McCarter’s government affairs practice in 2021.

McCarter & English is one of the state’s largest law firms and the two sons of its founder served as attorney general of New Jersey:  Thomas McCarter, a former New Jersey Senate Majority Leader, was nominated as the state’s top law enforcement official in 1902 by Gov. Franklin Murphy.   After he resigned to become president of the Public Service Corporation (now PSE&G) in 1903, his brother, Robert McCarter, succeeded him.

The firm’s government affairs practice has solid footings in both political parties.  Artiles served as an associate counsel to Gov. Phil Murphy and was a leader of President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign in New Jersey.  Palatucci managed Gov. Tom Kean’s 1985 re-election campaign, and President George Bush’s New Jersey campaign in 1988.

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