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Joseph Makhandal Champagne is the Mayor of the Borough of South Toms River, New Jersey. He was elected on November 2, 2010. In 2008, Mayor Champagne won the Councilman seat. Mr. Champagne holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Columbia University. After graduation, he attended Law Center’s Charles Hamilton Houston Pre-law Institute program at Georgetown University, where he won the Best Respondent Advocate award (Class of 1999). Mayor Champagne earned his Juris Doctor degree from Vermont Law School (VLS). While at VLS, he founded The Vermont Law Student Leadership Collective for Human Rights. As an exchange student, Mayor Champagne also studied European Union Law at the University of Trento, School of Law, in Trento, Italy. Mayor Champagne served as a Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Wendell E. Daniels, J.S.C. of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Ocean County.
Mayor Champagne practices in New Jersey and focuses primarily on immigration, criminal and civil law. Mr. Champagne is a member of the Ocean County Bar Association. He is admitted to practice in the New Jersey Supreme Court, the United States District Court, the Third and Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals of the United States of America. In addition to State and Municipal courts throughout New Jersey, he appears regularly in Federal courts.
He serves on several advisory committees including Alternative Dispute Resolution, Law Day, and Minority Concerns. He is a board member of Ocean Community Economic Action Now, (O.C.E.A.N., Inc.), the Global Syndicate, the Haitian-American Leadership Council, and the National Haitian-American Elected Officials Network (NHAEON). Also, he served as an assistant to the Public Policy Counsel and Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law in Washington, D.C.
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