Rebecca D. Winkelstein
Location: Atlantic City
Rebecca D. Winkelstein is Of Counsel to the firm and a member of the education law practice. Rebecca is admitted to practice in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Rebecca works with the education department’s clients on matters involving: tenure and personnel issues; public bidding; public contracts; student records and public records claims; the first amendment; special education; harassment, intimidation, and bullying; and other issues of school law and related counseling, policymaking, and litigation. Rebecca began working for the firm in 2010, but relocated to New York in 2014. During her relocation, Rebecca worked at a boutique litigation firm in North Jersey handling a range of matters for private and public sector employers, from counseling and policy development to litigating claims of discrimination and allegations of constitutional violations in State and Federal court. Rebecca returned to the firm in 2022.
Rebecca has focused much of her practice on litigation and appellate work. She has significant experience in State and Federal appellate and motion practice, securing favorable trial court rulings as well as decisions in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals and Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey. She has appeared in bench and jury trials, and has tried cases before arbitrators and in various administrative agencies, including the National Labor Relations Board and Office of Administrative Law. She has also worked alongside Federal and State agencies to ensure compliance with investigations and audits.
Prior to her initial employment at Cooper Levenson, Rebecca was child advocate attorney at the Defender Association of Philadelphia, where she was counsel and guardian ad litem to abused and neglected children in Philadelphia Dependency Court. Upon graduation from law school, Rebecca served as a judicial clerk to New Jersey Supreme Court Associate Justice John E. Wallace, Jr. (ret.).
Among Rebecca’s notable cases, she successfully defended a non-party subpoena in state-wide Federal litigation challenging New Jersey’s special education laws to ensure the students attending her clients’ schools maintained their confidentiality. Rebecca was part of the litigation and trial team that secured a favorable jury verdict for her client in a retrial of claims brought under New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination, and successfully defended the ensuing appeal. She also obtained a favorable ruling from the Third Circuit that an arbitrator’s inclusion of a second generation interest arbitration provision in a collective bargaining agreement violated the Federal Arbitration Act and National Labor Relations Act; was granted summary judgment in federal court on behalf a police department defending various claims brought under Section 1983 claim and Monell v. N.Y. Dep’t of Soc. Servs., 436 U.S. 658 (1978); and successfully appealed a trial court’s denial of qualified immunity to two local officers. Rebecca has also negotiated fair settlements on behalf of her clients, including a settlement in a federal court collection action under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Rebecca earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2003, where she was a member of the College Park Scholars Program. Rebecca graduated from Rutgers University School of Law, Camden in 2007. While in law school, Rebecca was an Executive Editor of the Rutgers Law Journal, a Teaching Assistant for Legal Research and Writing/Moot Court, and received the 2007 Reed Smith Pro Bono Award for Clinical Excellence. Rebecca also interned for United States District Court Magistrate Judge Ann Marie Donio and externed in the Office of Counsel to the Governor of New Jersey.
On Sunlight and Disinfectant: How a Recent Decision on the Sunshine Law will Affect School Boards, School Leader Magazine (November/December 2011)
A Statute Prohibiting “Public Sex Shows” Violates the Free Expression Clause to the Oregon Constitution, 37 Rutgers L.J. 1545 (2006)
Rebecca is a member of the Essex County Bar Association, New Jersey Women Lawyers Association, If/When/How Reproductive Justice Lawyers Network, and Center for Reproductive Rights’ Lawyers Network. She is co-chair of the SOMA Action Reproductive Justice Committee.