Governor Phil Murphy

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Governor Murphy Announces Selection of Judicial Advisory Panel


Trenton – Governor Phil Murphy today announced his selection of seven individuals to serve on the Judicial Advisory Panel which advises the Governor on judicial nominations. The Judicial Advisory Panel is comprised of former jurists and practicing attorneys who assist the Governor in evaluating candidates for judgeships.

“I am honored to select a panel of respected and experienced former judges and attorneys that will ensure that the Judiciary is comprised of the highest caliber and most qualified attorneys,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “I look forward to working with the members of the advisory panel and I am confident we will lead New Jersey towards enhancing the fairness and effectiveness of our justice system.”

The Judiciary Advisory Panel will be chaired by Chief Justice James R. Zazzali (Ret.), who will be joined on the panel by:

  • Chief Justice Deborah T. Poritz (Ret.)
  • Justice Stewart Pollock (Ret.)
  • Justice Virginia Long (Ret.)
  • Justice John E. Wallace, Jr. (Ret.)
  • the Honorable Peter E. Doyne, J.S.C. (Ret.)
  • John E. Keefe, Jr., Esq.

The Judicial Advisory Panel was created by an Executive Order signed by Governor Corzine, and was continued by Governor Christie. Prior to announcing the membership of the Judicial Advisory Panel, Governor Murphy signed Executive Order No. 16 formally reaffirming the importance of the Judicial Advisory Panel and continuing its role in the Governor’s process of nominating judges to New Jersey’s state courts.

Judiciary Advisory Panel Nominees

Chief Justice James R. Zazzali is Of Counsel at Gibbons P.C.. He previously served as New Jersey’s Attorney General from 1981-1982, under Governor Brendan Byrne. Zazzali was nominated and appointed to the New Jersey State Supreme Court as an Associate Justice in 2000, and continued to serve in that role until 2006, when he was appointed Chief Justice. He has served as General Counsel for the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority; Chairman of the New Jersey State Commission of Investigation (SCI); Chief of the Appeals Division of the Office of the Essex County Prosecutor; and Vice Chair of both the State's Disciplinary Review Board (attorney ethics) and the Judicial Review Board.

Chief Justice Deborah T. Poritz serves as Of Counsel to DrinkerBiddle in their Princeton, New Jersey office. After law school, the former Chief Justice joined the office of the New Jersey Attorney General as a Deputy Attorney General in the Division of Law, Environmental Protection Section. She later was named Deputy Attorney General in charge of appeals and chief of the Banking, Insurance and Public Securities Section. From 1986 to 1989, as Assistant Attorney General and Director of the Division of Law and was then appointed Chief Counsel to Governor Thomas H. Kean. In 1994, Governor Christine T. Whitman appointed Chief Justice Poritz as New Jersey's first female Attorney General.

Justice Stewart Pollock served for two decades as an Associate Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court. Mr. Pollock served from 1958 to 1960 as an Assistant United States Attorney. Leaving federal service, he joined a law firm, rising to partner. In 1974, he became a Commissioner of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. He also later served as a member of the New Jersey State Commission of Investigation. After returning to private practice, Mr. Pollock served from 1978 through 1979 as Chief Counsel to Governor Brendan T. Byrne. In 1979, Governor Byrne nominated Mr. Pollock to the Supreme Court for an initial seven-year term. He gained tenure on the high court following reappointment by Governor Thomas H. Kean. Mr. Pollock left the New Jersey State Supreme Court in 1999.

Justice Virginia Long is a retired New Jersey Supreme Court Justice. She joined Fox Rothschild as Counsel in March 2012 after 15 years on the Appellate Division and 12 years as a pivotal player on the New Jersey State Supreme Court. Long began her career as a Deputy Attorney General and later served as Director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs and as Commissioner of the former New Jersey Department of Banking. In 1978, Gov. Brendan T. Byrne appointed her to the New Jersey Superior Court. Long was appointed to the New Jersey Supreme Court in 1999 and was reconfirmed by the Senate and granted tenure.

Justice John E. Wallace, Jr. is Counsel to the firm Brown & Connery. Appointed to the Superior Court of New Jersey in 1984, he was elevated to the Appellate Division in 1992 and nominated and confirmed to the Supreme Court in 2003. While in the Superior Court, Justice Wallace served in the Criminal and Civil Divisions, as well as the Family Part in Gloucester County. He has served on the New Jersey Supreme Court Task Force for Minority Concerns, the New Jersey Ethics Commission, the Judiciary Advisory Committee on Americans with Disabilities Act, the Supreme Court Special Committee on Matrimonial Litigation, the Appellate Division Rules Committee and he was the Chair of the Supreme Court Ad Hoc Committee on Admissions, Chair of the Advisory Board for the Assistance Fund for New Jersey Court Families (Fund Advisory Board), and Vice Chair of the Supreme Court Ad Hoc Committee on the Uniform Bar Examination.

Judge Peter E. Doyne chairs the alternative dispute resolution and corporate investigations practices of Ferro, Labella & Zucker, LLC. He was formerly the Assignment Judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Bergen County. Doyne was a distinguished Member of the Judiciary for twenty-two years. While serving in the Judiciary, Judge Doyne received appointments to a number of Supreme Court committees, including the Supreme Court Working Group on Business Litigation, for which he served as the Chair, and the Supreme Court Ad Hoc Committee on the Code of Judicial Conduct.

John E. Keefe, Jr., Esq. is the managing member of Keefe Law Firm. He founded Keefe Law Firm in 1996, and currently leads the firm’s personal injury, mass tort litigation and complex litigation department. John was lead counsel on behalf of plaintiffs in one of the largest pollution cases in New Jersey, Janes v. Ciba Geigy Corporation and filed the first New Jersey complaint seeking reimbursement under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act and the New Jersey Civil RICO Laws for the alleged wrongful conduct of Schering Plough to market these drugs for non-FDA approved use. Mr. Keefe is the incoming President of the New Jersey State Bar Association.

Text of Executive Order 16 is online.