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Raymond L. Hamlin, ESQ.


Raymond L. Hamlin, ESQ., is a founding Partner at Hunt, Hamlin & Ridley Law Firm, established in 1995.  His main areas of practice include employment discrimination, other civil rights, including excessive force cases, wrongful death cases, criminal defense, representing Boards of Education, Housing Authorities, and other governmental entities. Mr. Hamlin is best described as a Trial Lawyer.

Mr. Hamlin has dedicated his career to serving those who are most in need. His ability to handle many different types of cases in many different fields has enabled him to attract cases that are both high-profile and those who are involved in not-so-high-profile matters. Mr. Hamlin believes every case is as essential to the client as any other, regardless of the person’s status or the nature of the case.  With that in mind, Mr. Hamlin has established a reputation for taking on cases that support the idea that everyone should have the right to high-quality representation in court, regardless of their status. He is known for “keeping people out of jail, taking on cases that others ignore, and helping people in the community who cannot afford expert representation.

Mr. Hamlin has amassed significant accomplishments during his legal career, from his representation of media mogul Wendy Williams (formerly host of the Wendy Williams Show on Fox network), in her Federal Lawsuit against HOT 97 radio station to representing Naturi Naughton (star of the hit series Power), when she was a member of the group 3LW, his representation of former New Jersey Secretary of State Regena Thomas during an alleged ethics investigation. Ms. Thomas was exonerated of any wrongdoing based on Mr. Hamlin’s handling of her case. He also represented Terrance Everett, a young man who was wrongfully accused of killing Orange Police Officer Joyce Carnegie that Mr. Hamlin that he along with his partners, were able to gain Mr. Everett’s freedom from incarceration and his complete exoneration after he had been formally charged with her murder and had bail set at $1,000,000.00.  After that Mr. Hamlin and his partners filed a civil rights case against the New Jersey State Police and others, which was settled for $800,000.00. Also, Mr. Hamlin handled and represented Janet Evans in a federal race discrimination case against the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. After weeks of trial, a jury awarded Ms. Evans 1.48 million dollars in damages, not including attorney’s fees. Mr. Hamlin successfully tried two (2) employment discrimination cases (one involving race and the other race and age) against New Jersey Transit with combined verdicts and attorney’s fees awarded more than $2,500,000.00. Mr. Hamlin also settled a race discrimination case against Rutgers University for $600,000.00 as well as a settlement in a sexual harassment case for $780,000.00, despite defense counsel initially referring to a $220,000 settlement demand as a “non-starter” and “frankly ridiculous.”

In 2019, Mr. Hamlin was among the top 50 largest verdicts in the State of New Jersey and among the top 100 verdicts in the United States.

Mr. Hamlin successfully tried an excessive force case in federal court against members of the New Jersey State Police Officer, where a jury awarded damages which, including attorney’s fees, exceeded $400,000.00. He helped settle a $600,000.00 lawsuit involving a young man shot by a Roselle Police Officer and in 2023, settled a $450,000.00 excessive force and wrongful death case against the City of Newark.

Mr. Hamlin has also had six (6) figure settlements, including a $600,000.00 settlement against Rutgers University for allegations of race discrimination, a wrongful death case against a private school in Connecticut for $3,500,000.00, a $55,000.00 settlement for a teenager who worked for a Newark Burger King and was terminated after one (1) day of working at a summer job after they learned that he was deaf.

Mr. Hamlin has also represented numerous individuals in criminal cases, resulting in dismissals and not-guilty verdicts.

One of the highlights of Mr. Hamlin’s legal career occurred in June of 2023, when the New Jersey Supreme Court reversed decisions by the New Jersey Appellate Division and Judge Benjamin Bucca, in Middlesex County, in the case of State v. Cornelius Cohen ruling that a warrantless search of Mr. Cohen’s automobile was illegal.

Mr. Hamlin also serves as Counsel to XLegacy, LLC, which is the entity controlled by the daughters of Malcolm X. His advice and Counsel to the Shabazz family included the successful handling of an arbitration involving a former manager for the family, negotiating a deal with Audible.com for the audiobook of the Autobiography of Malcolm X, which Laurence Fishburne narrated. He is also Co-Counsel with Civil Rights Attorney Benjamin Crump, Esq., in the wrongful death lawsuit against the City of New York, the New York Police Department and the FBI, for their alleged role in the assassination of Malcolm X.

Over the years, Ray has been recognized by several organizations for his dedication to his craft as an attorney “for the People” and his expertise in the legal field.  He helped draft social equity legislation to ensure that opportunities would be available for people in poor and disadvantaged communities to own and participate in the marijuana industry after its legalization in New Jersey.

He has been a proud member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., since 1983.  He has been a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys and a former New Jersey Supreme Court Ethics Committee member.  Mr. Hamlin was the 1999 recipient of the Outstanding Young Alumni Award from East Stroudsburg University, based upon his achievements in the field of law, and later became a member of the University’s Foundation Association.  Mr. Hamlin was also inducted into the Long Branch High School Hall of Fame due to his accomplishments as a star point guard during his high school career. Ray has been honored with countless awards from community organizations as a result of his achievements in the area of law, including more recently, the NAACP Elizabeth Branch Presidential Award (to be honored February 2024).

Raymond L. Hamlin was born and raised in Long Branch, NJ. He was recruited and later played basketball for East Stroudsburg University, PA. He earned his law degree from Rutgers Law School in 1990, the same year he married his wife Zoraya E. Lee-Hamlin, President/CEO for RayZo, Inc., a grants management and marketing firm serving large nonprofits. Mr. Hamlin credits a great deal of his legal success to the law firm of Ashley & Charles, and specifically Thomas R. Ashley, Esq., who in 1990, gave him an opportunity to practice law after graduating from law school.  Mr. Hamlin is an avid golfer and has played in almost half of the United States in pursuit playing all 50 as well as many countries across the world. He is also a talented songwriter who often creates music in his own home studio and enjoys spending time with his adult children, Raymond, Jr. and Asia, his family, the Brothers of Omega Psi Phi, Inc., and smoking fine cigars from time to time.


Recent News Appearance

“Advocates push for social justice in marijuana legalization bill”

BY Michael Hill, Correspondent |