2012 New Year’s Resolutions: A Call For More Judges

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John P. Paone, Jr., Esq

John P. Paone, Jr., Esq

By John P. Paone, Jr., Esq.

It’s that time of the year for making resolutions (or in my case what some would call a wish list). As President of the Middlesex County Bar Association, the following are my resolutions.

1. The appointment of more judges
2. The appointment of more judges
3. The appointment of more judges
4. The appointment of more judges
5. The appointment of more judges
6. The appointment of more judges
7. The appointment of more judges
8. The appointment of more judges
9. The appointment of more judges
10. The appointment of more judges . . . please

This is not a misprint…we desperately need the appointment of judges to fill the vacancies which have accumulated in Middlesex County and throughout the State. This crisis is the result of the Governor and the Legislature holding the judiciary hostage over political disputes unrelated to the administration of justice. As a result, Essex County has now announced that it is suspending certain civil and family law trials. Soon, other vicinages may be forced to take similar action.

During my tenure as bar President, not one new judge has been added to the bench in Middlesex County. Meanwhile, retirements continue to accumulate (the most recent of which is the Hon. Roger W. Daley—a good man and a good judge who will be retiring on February 1st). To date, our bench has worked tirelessly to pick up the slack, with recall judges assisting in this endeavor. However, we are now at the breaking point and the failure to appoint new judges will inevitably bring the crisis to the doorstep of every Superior Court throughout the State.

Call your state Senator and write to the Governor. Let them know that this political impasse is jeopardizing the operation of our State’s judicial system and the ability of New Jersey residents to resolve their disputes civilly. For 2012, we need more than a New Year’s Resolution, we need action!

John P. Paone, Jr. is the 2011-12 President of the Middlesex County Bar Association. He was the 1995-96 Chair of the New Jersey State Bar Association Family Law Section. He is the 2011-12 President-Elect of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers New Jersey Chapter. He practices family law with the Law Offices of Paone, Zaleski & Brown in Woodbridge and Red Bank.


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