Mr. Horan focuses his practice on providing labor and employment advice to municipalities in New Jersey, as well as defending municipalities in personal injury cases that arise under the New Jersey Tort Claims Act (Title 59). Mr. Horan is very knowledgeable of law enforcement practices in New Jersey, and he provides legal guidance to municipal internal affairs units and also defends police officers in Section 1983 cases where the officers are accused of violating a person’s constitutional rights. Mr. Horan also represents clients in appellate matters.
Prior to joining Vaughan Baio & Partners, Mr. Horan practiced labor and employment law and had served as a staff attorney for the State of New Jersey for nearly twenty-five years. This experience included serving six years as a staff attorney in the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO). There, he supervised the investigation of discrimination and harassment complaints, and conducting investigations into allegations against high-level State employees. He trained employees and supervisors on their obligations under the State anti-discrimination policy. In this capacity, Mr. Horan worked very closely with the New Jersey Division of State Police. Mr. Horan served five years at the New Jersey State Parole Board as the manager of employee relations and as the second in command of the Human Resources office. In this capacity, Mr. Horan prosecuted disciplinary charges against both civilian and sworn employees at the Parole Board, including contested matters appealed to the New Jersey Office of Administrative Law (OAL). Mr. Horan managed the employee grievance process under the labor contracts applicable to the Parole Board. He also managed the reasonable accommodation process under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), was the Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA) Officer for whistleblower allegations, as well as the ethics liaison for the Parole Board with the New Jersey State Ethics Commission. At the Parole Board, Mr. Horan was the Alternate EEO Officer, and he was regularly sought by the Governor’s Office and the New Jersey Civil Service Commission to conduct investigations of discrimination and harassment claims against director-level employees in other State entities. Mr. Horan assisted in the process to have the Parole Board accredited in 2013 by the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police as following law enforcement ‘best practices.’ This feat required Mr. Horan to create many new employment policies at the Parole Board affecting both civilian and sworn personnel, and to ensure they were implemented in accordance with State labor law requirements, such as the Parole Board’s Disciplinary Process Policy. Mr. Horan was the Director of Employee Relations for the Department of Children and Families, which has over 9,000 employees and over forty-nine offices throughout the State of New Jersey, prior to transitioning to the private practice of law.
Mr. Horan served as a Deputy Attorney General in the Division of Law’s Tort Litigation Section where he defended the State of New Jersey and its employees in a wide-variety of personal injury matters, including wrongful death cases under the New Jersey Tort Claims Act (Title 59) in state court. Mr. Horan represented the New Jersey Transit Bus Operations, Inc., in Title 59 personal injury cases resulting from bus accidents, as well as the New Jersey Transit Rail Operations, Inc. in Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) cases filed in federal or state court. Mr. Horan defended the New Jersey Department of Transportation in cases against personal injury claims due to improper highway construction, such as improper traffic signage, improper traffic light sequencing, lack of adequate roadway lighting and improper roadway maintenance claims. These cases typically presented collateral issues of defense and indemnification owed to the State, as well as insurance coverage issues owed to the State by private highway construction vendors. Mr. Horan served in the Attorney General’s Financial Section where he represented the New Jersey Division of Taxation in tax cases, including tax appeals filed in the Tax Court of New Jersey and appealed to the Appellate Division, as well as the New Jersey Division of Pension and Benefits in contested pension cases.
Early in his career, Mr. Horan was law clerk to the Hon. Joseph C. Visalli, J.S.C., in the Law Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey in Cape May County and as law clerk to the Hon. Peter W. Thomas, J.A.D., in the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey in Atlantic County. Mr. Horan graduated with highest honors (summa cum laude) from Rutgers College and earned his J.D. from the Rutgers School of Law, Newark, New Jersey. Following the precedent set by his grandfather and father, Mr. Horan served in the United States Marine Corps. Mr. Horan was selected for a base honor guard platoon that performed an honors ceremony for President Ronald Reagan, and his honor guard platoon received a commendation for same. Mr. Horan received a good conduct medal while in the Marine Corps for his service to our country.
Recognition & Involvement
- Mr. Horan received a good conduct medal while he was in the Marine Corps.
Bar and Court Admissions
- U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
- New Jersey
- Rutgers Law School, JD (1992)
- Rutgers College, philosophy (1989)