A Long History Of Serving This Community

Headshot of Attorney Damon G. Tyner

Damon G. Tyner

  • Attorney

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Practice Areas

  • Business & Commercial
  • Commercial & Residential Real Estate
  • Education Law

Biography

With over 24 years of legal experience, including six years as a Judge and over four years as the County Prosecutor, Hon. Damon G. Tyner, brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to clients in both the public and private sector. During his 14 years in private practice, Tyner served as a City Solicitor, a School Board Solicitor, and Labor Counsel to various public entities throughout the State of New Jersey. Tyner also represented private clients in land use projects involving residential and commercial real estate, with a special focus on the outdoor advertising industry. He secured land use approvals and permits from local and state agencies (Pinelands, CAFRA, DOT) alike.

In 2012, he was appointed by the Governor of New Jersey to serve as an Administrative Law Judge, where he presided over numerous cases involving New Jersey's state agencies, such as Civil Service, Pensions, the Department of Education, the Department of Human Services, and the Department of Environmental Protection, among others. Tyner's broad based experience as an attorney enabled him to grasp the issues and assist litigants with resolving many of the matters pre-trial.

In 2014, he was appointed by the Governor of New Jersey with the advice and consent of the State Senate to serve as a Superior Court Judge. He was assigned to the Family Division for 2 years, where he presided over cases involving Children in Court, Juveniles, and Domestic Violence. As a Judge in Children in Court, he specialized in repairing broken families where the Division of Child Protection and Permanency had intervened.

Tyner was later assigned to the Criminal Division, where he presided over indictable offenses that ran the gamut from drug possession to homicide. Tyner gained widespread experience with New Jersey's Constitutional Amendment that created Bail Reform, which became effective in January 2017. Additionally, he was a proponent of Recovery Court (formerly known as Drug Court), an effective diversionary program which enabled recovering addicts, and those who committed crimes as a result to their abuse of substances, an opportunity to rehabilitate and have their criminal records expunged. In his capacity as a judge, Tyner was described as fair and compassionate, with an ability to cut through complex issues and reach just results.

Most recently, Tyner served as the 29th County Prosecutor of Atlantic County. In this role, Tyner's leadership breathed new life into the office and gave residents new confidence that the office was pro-active in preventing crime and effective at solving violent crime when it occurred. Under Tyner, many cases that had previously been inactive, were re-investigated and resolved with criminal charges and convictions being the result. While a case such as the murder of prominent local radio host, April Kaufman, was featured on ABC's 20/20 in June of 2019, many other dormant cases were solved and brought the same level of closure to other families.

Tyner led the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office during a very tumultuous period of time in our nation's history during the global COVID-19 Pandemic and the social justice movement ignited by the murder of George Floyd. While serving as the prosecutor, Tyner had experience with several officer involved shootings. His strong ties to the greater Atlantic City, NJ community allowed him to engage the residents and prevent violence typically associated with the incidents.

Additionally, Tyner worked closely with federal, state, and local partners during the explosion of gun violence throughout the country, in an effort to devise common sense approaches to decreasing the spread of the violence, particularly among urban youth. He successfully lobbied and received the inclusion of Atlantic County into the Liberty Mid-Atlantic High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (LMHIDTA). In working with federal and multi-jurisdiction law enforcement partners, the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office had the seizure of the largest quantity of drugs in a single operation in July 2021. As a result of his efforts, he and his office have been recognized by organizations such as the Atlantic City Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) (2018), Atlantic County Crime Stoppers (2019), NOBLE, Region I (2019) and, the New Jersey Narcotics Enforcement Officers Association (2021).

Under Tyner's leadership, the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office doggedly pursued the trail of drug dealers whose products were linked to overdose deaths. During Tyner's administration, drug dealers were indicted and prosecuted for strict liability homicide pursuant to New Jersey's Drug Induced Death Statute when those investigations determined they were responsible for selling tainted drugs to those who died as a result of an overdose. Due to this strategy, opioid deaths within Atlantic County held stable or declined during his tenure.

Tyner served when the State of New Jersey approved the legalization of recreational marijuana. As it became apparent that marijuana would become legalized, Tyner's office was at the forefront of developing policies which focused on the decriminalization of marijuana and other practical social justice initiatives, such as expungement, the creation of the Veterans Diversionary Program, and AC LEAD, which is a drug addiction diversionary program. Moreover, he was an ardent supporter of Recovery Court and the Jobs Program developed to assist graduates with obtaining employment. Successful graduates of Recovery Court received assistance with restoring their license to work in the region's dominant industry, casino gaming.

Recognizing the need to bond with all members of the community and serve the residents with special needs, Tyner developed and implemented the Atlantic County Special Needs Registry, only the second such registry in the State of New Jersey. The Special Needs Registry allows residents to register their family members who have special needs such as autism, mental illness, Alzheimer's/Dementia, and any other ailment that might affect a person's ability to communicate with law enforcement and emergency personnel. When registered in the CAD, the person's information and particular needs are highlighted so that if law enforcement or other emergency personnel are called to the registered premises, they understand how to interact with the affected person.

As he concluded his tenure as the Prosecutor, Tyner was in the process of overseeing the development of the Atlantic County Child Advocacy Center, which is slated to open in Fall 2021. The Child Advocacy Center will serve generations of victims with special circumstances, notably child victims and witnesses, in addition to victims of sexual assault.

Bar Admissions

  • New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court District of New Jersey
  • United States Supreme Court

Honors & Awards

  • Prosecutor of the Year - 2021
  • New Jersey State Democratic Committee - Feb. 2008
  • Atlantic City Weekly, Top 40 Under 40 - March 2005
  • New Jersey Law Journal - Top 40 Under 40 - Oct. 2004
  • Hon. Benjamin A. Rimm Award - Nov. 2003
  • Judge Herbert Jacobs Award - Oct. 2002

Education

  • Widener University School of Law, Wilmington, Delaware
    • J.D. - 1997
    • Honors: Widener Scholar: recipient of a full tuition scholarship in each academic year
    • Honors: Member, Moot Court Honor Society
    • Honors: Haneman-Perskie Scholarship: recipient of a scholarship from the Atlantic County Bar Association
    • Honors: Law Journal: Widener Law Symposium Journal, Vol. II, Associate Editor
  • Howard University, Washington, District of Columbia
    • B.S. - 1993
    • Major: Microbiology

Experience

  • Atlantic County Prosecutor, Chief Law Enforcement Officer of Atlantic County, 2017 to 2021
  • Superior Court of New Jersey, Superior Court Judge, 2014 to 2017
  • State of New Jersey, Administrative Law Judge, 2012 to 2014

Fraternities

  • Beta Kappa Chi

Professional Associations

  • New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Minority Concerns (2004 - 2006 term)
  • Boys and Girls Club of Atlantic City, NJ, Board of Trustees
  • Jewish Family Services of Atlantic and Cape May Counties, Community Advisory Board
  • American Bar Association
  • New Jersey State Bar Association
  • Atlantic County Bar Association
  • National District Attorneys Association
  • National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE)
  • National Black Prosecutors Association