Passion, Experience, & Compassion

Our Team


Our Team

Emerson Profile Pic.jpg

Principle Lawyer

G. Emerson Dickman III, Esq.

Emerson specializes in special education advocacy, special needs estate planning, and learning disabilities. He's been in practice for over 40 years and has represented families in over 1000 cases. He is past president of the International Dyslexia Association and has won many awards for his work including the Margaret Byrd Rawson Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. 

Current Activities & Affiliations

  • IMSLEC, Ethics Committee

  • The Center for Development and Learning, Advisory Board

  • National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities (NJCLD)

  • IDA Standards and Practices Council Task Force

  • International Dyslexia Association, New Jersey Branch Advisory Board

  • Past-President International Dyslexia Association 2006-2008

Past Activities & Affiliations

  • U.S. Army 1966-1969

  • Dyslexia Definition Consensus Committee Chair 1994 and 2002, Project Leader

  • National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD), Professional Advisory Board

  • Rehabilitation Specialists, Inc. Board

  • International Dyslexia Association, NJ Branch, Board

  • Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) Special Education Steering Committee

  • National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities

  • Children's Dyslexia Centers Professional Advisory Council

  • Sage Day Transition Advisory Board


C.W. Post College
B.S., Engineering, 1965

Rutgers Law School
J.D., 1972

New Jersey Bar, 1972

U.S. District Court for New Jersey, 1972

New York Bar, 1985

U.S. Court of Appeals 3rd Circuit, 1986

Awards & Honors

  • The Margaret Byrd Rawson Lifetime Achievement Award, International Dyslexia Assn., 2012

  • Outstanding Achievement Award, International Dyslexia Assn., NJ Branch, 2010

  • New Grange School Service Award, 2009

  • International Dyslexia Assn., Hall of Honor, 2009

  • Bergen County Bar Foundation, Community Service Award, 2000

  • The Orton Dyslexia Society, NJ Branch, Community Service Award, 1996

  • Community Resource Council, Lawyers Committee Award, 1993

  • NJ Council for Exceptional Children Division of Early Childhood, Professional Recognition Award, 1993

  • NJ Council for Exceptional Children Division of Early Childhood, Parent Recognition Award, 1993




Melanie Ritter

Specializing in probate,estate planning, and guardianships.


SETON HALL LAW SCHOOL, Juris Doctor, 2003

UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND, Bachelor of Arts in Criminology & Criminal Justice 2000

Melanie takes great pleasure in being able to assist families with their legal needs especially in the areas of special needs planning involving special needs trusts, protective arrangements, guardianships, probate and estate administration.

Melanie is an associate with the Law Offices of G. Emerson Dickman for the past ten years and is a former judicial law clerk to the Honorable Judge Marguerite Simon and Judge Peter Doyne in the Chancery and Probate Divisions of the Bergen County Superior Court. 

Melanie graduated University of Maryland-College Park, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice.  Melanie received her law degree from Seton Hall Law School where she was a president of the Student Honor Council.

Melanie is a member of Congregation Beth Israel in Scotch Plains and is a member of the JCC of Central New Jersey for eight years.

Melanie can be reached by email at or via telephone at 201-909-0404.

Bar Admissions

• New Jersey, New York



Licensed clinical Social Worker

Kim Ventresco

Focusing on Special Education Advocacy; Supporting Adults with Disabilities;  “Next Friend” Home Monitoring; Applying for eligibility for NJ Division of Developmental Disabilities, Medicaid, and SSI.

Activities & Affiliations

  • Certified Social Worker, NY and NJ

  • Licensed School Social Worker, NY 

  • Member, Academy of Certified Social Workers

  • Member, NASW of NJ  



Credits toward Graduate Certificate Program in School Administration and Supervision, 1993-Present


M.S.W, 1981


B.A., 1979, Psychology and Education

Kim has been working at the Law Offices of Emerson Dickman for over 20 years as a non-attorney advocate for individuals with disabilities and their families. 

Formerly she worked in public and private schools as an administrator, child study team member, case manager, and clinician. These experiences have helped her identify and respond to the educational needs of children with learning, social-emotional, physical, and/or developmental differences. 

She participates in Special Education Consultations with Emerson and as a team, they draw on their legal and clinical backgrounds and knowledge of informed educational practices to address the needs of children and/or empower their parents to become more effective advocates for their children. 

Kim also helps clients connect with other specialists, behavioral, NJ State and social service agencies (DVR, DDD, Support Coordinators, Medicaid, SSI, SSD, Performcare, Bergen’s Promise) for services and benefits to build a network of support which will enable the individual with a disability to live as safely and independently as possibly. 

Through “Next Friend” services, families may engage Kim to provide case work services often consisting of home visits to provide companionship to their loved ones with a disability, monitor their well being, and report back any concerns. 


Office Manager

Justine Garcia

Justine has managed the law offices of G. Emerson Dickman III, Esq. for over 20 years.

Get in touch

We at the office of G. Emerson Dickman III, Esq. know how important the decisions are regarding your child's welfare. Protecting child's rights and supporting families to find has been our priority for over 40 years. Reach out and let us help you.

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