Attorney Profiles

Steven B. Bitterman is a founding member of our Firm, and often the first person with whom our clients have contact.  Prior to forming Bitterman Karpen Law Group, Steven had a career in legal search, with clients that included some of the world’s largest law firms and financial institutions.  In that role, he was often called upon to negotiate major compensation packages for high level attorneys and executives.  He is a skilled negotiator, a trusted advisor, and a strong advocate for our clients.  He is graduate of Emory University and Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law of Yeshiva University.  He has been admitted to practice law in New Jersey since 1997.  Steven lives, with his wife Allyson, and their two daughters, in Short Hills, New Jersey. Contact Steven at

Jeri Bitterman Karpen is a founding member of our Firm.  She is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a B.A in Political Science and Benjamin Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University.   She served as Law Clerk to the Honorable Joseph A. Scancarella, Superior Court of New Jersey, and has for over 3 decades practiced in the areas of Commercial Litigation, Real Estate, Personal Injury Litigation, and Estate Administration for such firms as Cole Geany Yamner & Byrne, Weiner and Katz, PC.,  and Giantomasi & Oliveira, PC.  Prior to forming Bitterman Karpen Law Group, L.L.C., Jeri headed the Real Estate practice of Leonard M. Bitterman & Associates, L.L.C.  Jeri currently sits on the Board of Trustees at the Foundation for Diabetes Research and Temple B’Nai Abraham in Livingston New Jersey.  She is a former member of the Fee Arbitration Panel of the Ethics Committee for the New Jersey State Bar Association, and is a former member of the Township of Livingston Planning Board.   Jeri is married with two sons to whom she happily devotes all of her non-working time. Contact Jeri at

Leonard M. Bitterman is a graduate of Rutgers University and the Seton Hall Law School.  Over the course of a legal career that spanned over four decades, Mr. Bitterman was a devoted and tireless advocate for his clients in such matters as Personal Injury Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Matrimonial and Family Law, and Criminal Defense.  Mr. Bitterman was a true trial lawyer; always willing to fight strenuously for the rights and interests of his clients.  He was equally respected by judges, adversaries, and clients.  We are proud to have him on our team as a trusted advisor and counsellor.

Phillip Fenster is a graduate of Rutgers University School of Law, Newark, New Jersey.  He served judicial clerkships to the Honorable Arthur L. Troast and Gerald E. Monaghan of the Superior Court of New Jersey, is a former Prosecutor of the Municipal Court of the City of Passaic, and a former Judge of the Municipal Courts of the Cities of Passaic (1984-1993) and Paterson (1990 to 2002 and 2005 to 2013).  Phil has devoted the bulk of his legal career to defending individuals in the Municipal Courts of New Jersey against charges of traffic violations, Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), and Disorderly Persons Offenses.

James F. Suell is a graduate of the Seton Hall Law School.  He is the former Managing Attorney of the New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Group, and a former Adjunct Professor at Seton Hall Law School and Legal Education Lecturer for the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education.  Jim has served as a Millburn Township Committee Member, as Trustee of the Millburn Free Public Library, and as Chair of the Essex County Child Placement Review.  He has been rated AV by Martindale-Hubbell and is a recipient of the Antonelli Award from the New Jersey State Bar Association for Professionalism in the Practice of Workers Compensation Law.