With a practice that has spanned more than four decades, Philip Jacobowitz has long been one of New Jersey's most successful independent matrimonial lawyers. He's regarded as perhaps the leading family-law attorney in Monmouth and Ocean counties, handling some of the most contested and highest-stakes cases in that area. Rivals say he remains a formidable litigator and he continues to land the top cases, certainly in the town of Oakhurst, NJ, and adjoining communities. Today he practices with veteran litigator Joseph Defino; their firm has been a fixture on Monmouth Road in Oakhurst for more than 25 years. A native of the Bronx, Jacobowitz went to law school inspired, he says, by his father and a college professor. He went on to work for the Federal Communications Commission, handling complex litigation at a relatively young age. After three years as a litigator with a Newark firm, and still very early in his career, he launched his own practice, in Monmouth County. In many respects Jacobowitz and his practice grew with the region; he and his associates are well known in the courthouses of Monmouth and Ocean counties. In the process Jacobowitz built a reputation as a dogged defender of his clients' interests while effectively seeing cases through - in a constructive and forward-looking manner. A veteran of thousands of divorce cases, Jacobowitz now is relatively selective in the cases he commits to, and refers cases to other lawyers, thus remaining influential in the region's divorce bar. Jacobowitz and his wife Jeannie live in Monmouth County and they have six grown children. They travel widely and maintain a house on Puget Sound in Washington State.