Diane E. Sammons

Diane E. Sammons
Areas of Practice
  • International Human Rights
  • Class Actions
  • Canon Law
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Personal Injury
  • Employment Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Municipal Law
  • Seton Hall University School of Law, Newark, New Jersey
    • J.D.
  • College of William & Mary
    • B.A.
Bar Admissions
  • New York, 1981
  • New Jersey, 1981
  • U.S. District Court District of New Jersey, 1981
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of New York, 1981
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York, 1981
Honors and Awards
  • Super Lawyers, 2010
Professional Associations and Memberships
  • Hogan-Morgenthau Associates, Member
  • American Bar Association, Member
  • Episcopal Chancellors’ Network, Member
  • Ecclesiastical Law Society, Member
  • Standing Commission of the Constitution, Member
  • Canons of the National Episcopal Church, Member
  • National Episcopal Church, Member, Title IV Revision Subcommittee
  • Presiding Bishop’s Chancellor’s Council of Advice, Member
  • Episcopal Lawyers’ Volunteer Network – Diocese of Newark, Member
  • Diocese of Newark, Member, Committee on Constitution and Canons
  • Essex County, District V-B, Member, N.J. State District Ethics Committee, 1998 – 2002

Diane Elizabeth Sammons is a partner at Nagel Rice and has more than 25 years’ experience as a litigator. Diane started her career as a criminal prosecutor in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. After establishing an array of trial victories there, she began work at one of the largest commercial firms in the state, focusing on mass complex tort cases (including the DES’ litigation, tobacco litigation and fetal-alcohol syndrome), commercial litigation, insurance and white-collar criminal defense work. She joined Nagel Rice in 1990.

In 2001, she became part of a team representing national and international victims in an Austrian ski train disaster against European companies. Diane’s efforts have contributed to several significant jurisdictional victories over multi-national corporations.

Diane also secured a successful result for several Austrian anti-nuclear organizations who sought to close a nuclear power station on the southern border of the Czech Republic. Her work in securing documentation through the Freedom of Information Act was a resource to her clients who had been struggling for years to secure basic safety documents from the Czech Republic.

In 2003, she was appointed co-lead counsel of a 19-member team of attorneys in a multi-district litigation in a claim against corporations who profited from the transatlantic slave trade. She has served as a lead attorney in the international suit seeking damages for the victims of apartheid in South Africa.

In 2004, Diane was installed as Chancellor of the Episcopal Church of Newark, where she serves as special legal advisor to the Bishop and oversees all legal matters for the 113-church Diocese, including employment, real estate, transactional work, clergy discipline, ecclesiastical law and litigation.

Diane has been a frequent guest on radio and talk shows speaking about some of her cases. Such appearances include, CNN (March 30, 2002); CN8 “Real Life” (June 5, 2002); CN8 10:00 News (May 1, 2002); Channel 9 10:00 News (May 1, 2002); Rundshau, German television show (January 8, 2003); Africa Today, South African morning show (June 2002); National Public Radio (2002); BBC (2002): Voice of America (2002); National Public Radio, “Tavis Smiley Show” (2003); National Public Radio, “Morning Edition” (2004); Bloomberg News “Simply Put” (April 2004), WOR (2002); WNET (2002); WCTZ (April 2004).

  • “Corporate Reparations for Descendents of Enslaved African Americans – Practical Obstacles” Max DuPlessis, Stephen Pete, Repairing the Past?, International Perspectives on Reparations for Gross Human Rights Abuses, 2007
  • Presenter and Lecturer, "Report of Title IV Task Fare," Province II Synod, 2009
  • Presenter and Lecturer, Western Chancellor’s Conference, 2009
  • Presenter and Lecturer, Standing Committee on Ministry Development, 2008
  • Presenter and Lecturer, "Breakthrough on Statute of Limitations Issue", North Carolina Conference of the NAACP CLE Seminar, 2008
  • Presenter and Lecturer, "Reconciliation at the Roundtable", The Desmond Tutu Center: General Theological Seminary, 2007
  • Presenter and Lecturer, "Misuse of Church Computers: What you May Want to Know More About", National Chancellors’ Conference, 2007
  • Presenter and Lecturer, "National Canons: History and Application of Title IV", Drew University Theological School, 2007
  • Presenter and Lecturer, "Authority in the Anglican Communion and the Windsor Report", Episcopal Lawyers’ Volunteer Network, 2007
  • Presenter and Lecturer, "The Legal Case for Reparations", Brooklyn Law School, 2007
  • Presenter and Lecturer, "The Moral and Legal Basis for Reparations for Historical Wrongs", Plainfield Unitarian Society, 2007
  • Presenter and Lecturer, "Excellence, Justice, Honor Through an Unflinching Look at the Harms of the Transatlantic Slave Trade", Horace Mann High School Honor Society, 2006
  • Presenter and Lecturer, "The Case for Reparations and Comments on Film: Slavery Reparations: The Final Passage", Brooklyn Film Festival, 2006
  • Presenter and Lecturer, "Human Rights Through Reparations Litigation", United Universalist Association Diversity Conference, New York, 2006
  • Presenter and Lecturer, Bishop and Clergy Development Search Processes/Letter of Agreement, Western Chancellors’ Conference, 2005
  • Presenter and Lecturer, "Human Rights as Tool for Social Change", UNESCO, Institute of Comparative Human Rights Conference, 2005
  • Presenter and Lecturer, "Human Rights as Tool for Social Change", UNESCO, Institute of Comparative Human Rights Conference, 2006
  • Presenter and Lecturer, "Human Rights as Tool for Social Change", UNESCO, Institute of Comparative Human Rights Conference, 2007
  • Presenter and Lecturer, "Human Rights as Tool for Social Change”, UNESCO, Institute of Comparative Human Rights Conference
  • Presenter and Lecturer, "Update on Reparations Litigation", Congressional Black Caucus Convention, 2005
  • Presenter and Lecturer, "Update in African-American Slave Descendants’ Litigation and Apartheid Litigation", Stanford Law School, 2004
  • Presenter and Lecturer, "Reparations, a Legal Model", University of Connecticut School of Law, 2002
  • Presenter and Lecturer, "A Review on African-American Slave Descendants’ Litigation", Union Theological Seminary, 2002
  • Presenter and Lecturer, "Class Action as a Mechanism for Enforcement of Human Rights Violations", Kean University, 2002
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