Class: 1954Inducted: 2003
Thomas F. Shebell, Jr. is a part of the rich history of Asbury Park. His father, Thomas F. Shebell, Sr., was a prominent attorney in the City, Magistrate, Mayor and a champion of the rights of the underprivileged. At Asbury Park High School, Tom played on the 1953 state champion football team. He graduated from Rutgers University and went on to its law school where he was president of the student bar association and the legal fraternity. He then joined his father and his cousin, Peter Shebell, in their Bangs Avenue office. He quickly gained a reputation as a skilled and effective trial advocate.
He was appointed as a judge in 1978 and was made the Assignment Judge (Chief Judge) in Monmouth County in 1980. His boundless energy, management skills and intellect resulted in his elevation to the Appellate Division of the Superior Court in 1983. There he remained until his retirement in 1998. As an Appellate Division Judge, he was responsible for writing over 400 published opinions, many of which are landmark decisions. While serving as a judge, he made time to obtain a Masters of Law Degree in Judicial Administration from the University of Virginia. Judge Shebell's opinions were noteworthy for their clarity of writing mixing respect for precedent with creative reasoning. As both attorney and judge, Judge Shebell served with distinction on many Supreme Court committees and task forces. He retired from the bench in 1998, joining his son, Thomas F. Shebell, III and his brother, Raymond Shebell, as counsel to their firm. He also founded "The Mediation Expert, LLC", a company specializing in mediation and arbitration. When questioned about what his rewarding accomplishments were, Judge Shebell responded "raising and educating found wonderful children and serving the people of New Jersey as a honest and fair judge."
Judge Shebell is married to the former Pat Flanagan and has four children and 13 grandchildren.