Calvin Souder is an attorney whose practice entails commercial/residential real estate, tax, general complex litigation, toxic torts, product liability, fraud and commercial matters, corporate governance and compliance, and insurance.
Mr. Souder represents corporations and government entities on a wide variety of complex corporate transactions and legal matters. In his practice, Mr. Souder helps developers and multi-family property owners navigate municipalities in drafting and negotiating redevelopment agreements, Long Term Tax Exemptions (PILOTS) and tax appeals. He also advises clients on identifying and pursuing potential funding sources. Souder provides clients with invaluable aid in landlord/tenant and municipal courts. He assists clients in developing strategies to defend themselves from claims while effectively managing potential statutory and regulatory pitfalls brought about by litigation and complex transactions. Mr. Souder also aids clients in developing comprehensive strategic plans and consultation regarding the potential impact of policy and regulatory changes. In addition, he provides clients with access to both federal and state legislators who fashion legislation affecting a variety of industries including: real estate, education, health care, energy, the environment and insurance.
Mr. Souder’s community roots run deep. He is the former Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Essex County College, New Jersey’s largest community college servicing approximately 15,000 full time students and an additional 10,000 part-time students. In addition, Mr. Souder formerly served as the Vice-Chairman of Newark Now, founded by Senator Cory Booker. Newark Now has been nationally recognized for its Financial Empowerment and Father’s Now programs. Also, as a former trustee of the Mental Health Association of New Jersey, Mr. Souder has taken on the challenge to bring mental health awareness to bear in minority communities. Once a year, Mr. Souder travels to Abetifi-Kwahu in Ghana as a Board member of Adopt-one-Village to secure life-sustaining provisions such as water, electricity, food and education to the village’s youth. In 2011, Mr. Souder participated in Leadership New Jersey after being identified as one of the State’s future leaders. On multiple occasions Mr. Souder has been called upon by the Governor and various State Legislators to provide leadership to State run institutions such as during the merger of UMDNJ and Rutgers, and the initial investigation into the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission. In 2013, Mr. Souder completed the Masters of Distinguished Leaders program, geared toward identifying and educating the next generation of Civil Rights Leaders, in Washington, DC. In his latest leadership venture, Mr. Souder joined the Corporate Advisory Board of the Boys and Girls Clubs of New Jersey—he serves as its Vice-Chairman. In his spare time, he serves as a member of the Newark Public Library’s Foundation Board.
Mr. Souder was formerly an associate of one of the nation’s largest and most prestigious law firms prior to founding Souder, Shabazz & Woolridge. Before that, he clerked for U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton in the District of New Jersey from 2008-2009 and New Jersey Superior Court Judge John A. O’Shaughnessy of Hudson County Superior Court, Civil Division, from 2007-2008. In his role as a law clerk, he reviewed dispositive motions, social security appeals and discovery disputes; he also drafted written opinions on a variety of civil and criminal law matters.
Mr. Souder graduated with honors from Seton Hall University School of Law in 2007. While in law school he served as Vice-President of the Black Law Student Association, Corporate Relations Director for the Northeast Black Law Student Association and was a member of the moot court team. Mr. Souder also received the ALI-ABA Scholarship and Leadership award for the class of 2007 and was recognized as the Best Oral Advocate in Appellate Advocacy. While at the College of the Holy Cross, Mr. Souder was a member of the school’s varsity football team and Vice-President of the Black Student Union.
Khalifah L. Shabazz is an attorney who is admitted to practice law in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. She is a seasoned litigator with particular expertise in public entity defense, personal/catastrophic injuries, civil rights claims, workers compensation, and criminal defense. She has a proven track record for successfully defending municipalities, school boards, and municipal utilities.
Khalifah received her law degree from the City University of New York School of Law, where her focus was trial advocacy. Upon graduating, she was appointed as an Assistant District Attorney in the Bronx, New York. She was assigned to the Trial Bureau, where she gained a reputation of being a tenacious litigator.
Khalifah began focusing on civil litigation upon leaving the District Attorney’s Office. She focused on plaintiff’s personal injury matters, where she successfully negotiated millions of dollars on behalf of her clients. She is well-known and respected throughout the state of New Jersey for her trial advocacy.
Khalifah has served as Corporation Counsel for the City of Paterson and the CIty of East Orange, where she was charged with managing the Law Department, which consisted of a cadre of Assistant Corporation Counsels specializing in litigation defense, employment practices, real estate and tax, redevelopment contracts, worker’s compensation, and all other areas of law impacting municipal government.
Khalifah also serves as Deputy Counsel to the Board of Chosen Freeholders for the County of Essex, where she assists in the development of ordinances and resolutions on behalf of the members of the Freeholder Board.
Khalifah continues to serve as legal counsel to various municipal entities and school boards throughout the State of New Jersey. She is a well-respected attorney who has a wide range of experience in various areas of the law, which has enabled her to develop and maintain a diverse body of clients
Kyana Woolridge was born and raised in Newark, New Jersey. Kyana attended Mother Seton Regional High School in Clark, New Jersey. Upon graduating high school she attended the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Kyana graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore in 2004 with a Bachelor of Arts in English and a minor in Criminal Justice. At Eastern Shore she was writer and editor of the University’s news paper, The Hawks Messenger, President of Sigma Tau Delta International English Honors Society, and a member of Phi Kappa Phi International Honors Society. While pursuing her undergraduate degree Kyana was accepted into the Federal Bureau of Investigations Honors Internship Program in the Summer of 2003. She divided her time between working in Washington, DC in the Office of General Counsel and in Quantico, Virginia in the Bureau’s College of Analytical Studies Department.
After graduating from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore Kyana attended Howard University School of Law. During her attendance at Howard, Kyana interned with the United States Attorney Office, District of New Jersey. During her internship with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Kyana provided support services for Assistant U.S. Attorneys on a major Newark Liberty Airport Narcotics case and helped draft an Immigration brief for the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. During law school Kyana worked as a Research Assistant for the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) in the Rule of Law Department. While at USIP she aided in the development of training courses to establish the rule of law in conflict countries where a traditional justice system no longer existed or scarcely prevailed.
After the completion of her Juris Doctorate degree from Howard University School of Law. Kyana was a Law Clerk for the Honorable Claude M. Coleman in Essex County Superior Court Law Division. She was then an Associate for the law firm of Hunt, Hamlin & Ridley a general litigation law firm. Kyana also served as First Assistant of the Legal Department to the Township of Irvington where she focused on departmental hearing, redevelopment and contract review and formation for the Township. Kyana focus areas are Workers Compensation defense for municipalities and Land Use matters for private clients. Kyana is an active member of the New Jersey State Bar.