Neary Named Supreme Court Clerk
Chief Justice Stuart Rabner has announced that Mark Neary has been named clerk of the Supreme Court.
The appointment becomes effective May 1, upon the retirement of Stephen W. Townsend.
“Mark has served the Supreme Court as an attorney in the Office of the Clerk for 18 years. He brings a wealth of experience on matters of the court’s operations, as well as solid legal and managerial skills to this appointment,” Chief Justice Rabner said. “I am confident that he will do an outstanding job as he leads the staff in the clerk’s office through this transition and for years to come.”
The transition of leadership in the clerk’s office will be the first in 31 years.
During the 60 years since the 1947 New Jersey Constitution that created the modern Judiciary, only four other clerks had served the Supreme Court before Townsend.
Townsend joined the clerk’s office in April 1973 as a staff attorney. Chief Justice Richard J. Hughes appointed him acting clerk of the Supreme Court on Oct. 22, 1977 and then on July 28, 1978 appointed him clerk.
“Stephen has been part of the court’s family for more than 30 years,” the chief justice said. “He carries untold stories of the role of our justice system on the lives of every New Jersey resident today and for perhaps generations to come. We are honored to have worked closely with him and offer him our gratitude and best wishes on his retirement.”
Neary joined the Supreme Court Clerk’s Office in 1991 as a staff attorney and became a court executive in 2001.
Immediately prior to joining the Judiciary, Neary was an attorney at the Casino Control Commission, and before that was in private practice.
He received his bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and his law degree from Rutgers School of Law – Newark. He was admitted to the New Jersey bar in 1985.
“I am honored and humbled by this appointment,” Neary said. “The enormity of the task of succeeding Stephen Townsend and serving this court is a challenge I take on both with a deep respect for the traditions of the court and with a determination to continue the advances in technology and modernization already begun.”
As the court’s chief executive for administration of Supreme Court operations, the clerk oversees the day-to-day business of processing the thousands of motions and petitions for certification presented to the court, as well as attorney and judicial disciplinary matters before the court, bar admissions matters, attorney certifications and other applications and petitions for review presented to the court.
In addition to those duties, the clerk oversees the functioning of the Board of Bar Examiners, the Committee on Character, and the Board on Attorney Certification and supervises the director of the Office of Attorney Ethics, the chief counsel to the Disciplinary Review Board and the executive director of the Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection.
Neary, 55, lives in Pennington. Mercer County with his wife Allison and their children, Fred and Liz.