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At CMO, our team is committed to one goal — serving New Jersey schools. We do this by providing exceptional service, a team oriented approach, and a supportive environment. Building on our clients’ success, our uniquely talented group relies on our broad experience and quality service to foster long-standing relationships.


Our History:

CMO’s origins date back more than thirty years:

  • 1982: After serving as a high school guidance counselor and science teacher for eleven years, founding partner Anthony P. Sciarrillo (Tony) began practicing education law. Tony first served as Assistant Counsel to the New Jersey School Boards Association before moving to private practice representing boards of education.

  • 1986: Tony joined the New Jersey Department of Education to serve as the Assistant Director of the Office of Compliance.

  • 1987: Tony returned to private practice at Fusella, Murphy & Sciarrillo, once again representing boards of education.

  • 1997: Jeffrey R. Merlino joined Tony’s practice. Tony and Jeff then joined a mid-sized general practice law firm in central New Jersey, where, along with Athina Lekas Cornell, they founded the firm’s Education Law Group. The Education Law Group continued to grow with the addition of Dennis McKeever and Jennifer A. Osborne as partners.

  • 2015: Sciarrillo Cornell opened its doors for business

  • 2022: Tony retired, and a new chapter begins; Sciarrillo Cornell evolves into Cornell, Merlino, McKeever & Osborne (CMO).

  • 2024 Cornell, Merlino and Osbourne is reborn with the partners bringing over 75 years of collective experience serving school boards throughout New Jersey.


CMO moves forward with a continued devotion to timely, diligently, and effectively providing legal counsel in all areas of education law to our clients.


Beth A. Bolger attorney at Cornell, Merlino, McKeever & Osborne
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Paul E. Riggs Of Counsel at Cornell, Merlino, McKeever & Osborne
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