Francis J. Hartman
Criminal Defense Law - Moorestown, NJ

As an attorney regarded as one of the legends of New Jersey criminal-defense and trial law, and who possesses several careers' worth of accomplishments, one might expect Frank Hartman to be stuffy and hard-to-approach. But quite to the contrary, the 73-year-old Hartman brings a natural warmth, enthusiasm - even a swagger -- to his craft. All those qualities shine undiminished as he approaches his sixth decade of practice. Hartman has a confidence and passion that translates into relentless courtroom advocacy - rivals and colleagues tell memorable tales of Hartman discrediting witnesses on cross-examination, among other skills. It's been a multi-chaptered journey for Hartman, a native of North Philadelphia who attended both St. Joseph's and Penn Law on scholarship - "I don't know how I would have become a lawyer otherwise." The young Hartman was recruited by a Philadelphia firm whose leading partners died within a year - leaving the young attorney to learn quickly about building a practice. Following that, he then took a clerkship in Mount Holly. "I was confident from the beginning, always a good rainmaker, able to attract business." In 1967 a tragedy changed his life: His wife did not survive the birth of their fourth child. A year later, with four young children, Hartman married Barbara McGann, the daughter of a prominent judge; they adopted one another's children and had a daughter together, forming a true eight-is-enough household. (Three daughters are attorneys today; Kate, the eldest, is also a Leader in South Jersey Criminal Defense Law.) For Frank Hartman, his passion, toughness, and occasional stubbornness catapulted his trial-law practices, all with small teams of lawyers. In the 1970s, "we were two Catholics, two Protestants, and two Jews. We were three Republicans and three Democrats - and believe me, that balance was good for business." In the 70s, too, Hartman got in a scrape with the IRS over his personal returns - an experience that only reinforced his strong feelings about defending individuals from government charges. For years Hartman was "The Man to Call" in criminal defense in Burlington County; the county public defender worked out of his office. Hartman has long had a flair for distinctive marketing (Example: His firm's green-lettered stationery stood out on every judicial desk in the region) and he tried his share of big-publicity cases; he acquitted the alleged shooter in the 1980 Robert Marshall Garden State Parkway murder case made famous by the bestseller "Blind Faith". ("(Author) Joe McGinniss changed my name in the book," Hartman points out today.) Hartman has handed over management of Attorneys Hartman, Chartered to his daughters, but he's lost little of the energy and raconteur's spirit that's made him so effective in the courtroom. He'll continue to rise at dawn and cross the state for a 15-minute sentencing hearing. Today Hartman loves to travel and take the occasional cruise; he reads and enjoys theater and spectator sports. He and his wife live in Moorestown.

Francis J. Hartman
"Do I love the law? It's more than that. The law defines me."
Phone: (856) 235-0220
St. Joseph's University, B.S.
University of Pennsylvania Law School, J.D.

2004-07-27 10:54:33