A Publication of the New Jersey Courts
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Fernandez-Vina Seated on N.J. Supreme Court
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Through Technology, A Family
Separated Marks A Milestone
Chief Justice Stuart Rabner administers the oath to Supreme Court
Associate Justice Faustino Fernandez -Vina during a ceremony at
Rutgers-Camden on Jan. 17. Fernandez-Vina is a graduate of the
Rutgers University School of Law-Camden. Fernandez -Vina’s father is
holding the Bible.
By Jeanne Seymour.
Administrative Specialist 4
Atlantic/Cape May Vicinage
Atlantic/Cape May Vicinage Assignment Judge Julio L.
Mendez presided over a special court session at the Atlantic
County Criminal Courts Complex in Mays Landing on Dec.
Judges, family, friends and staff gathered to celebrate the
candidates who passed the New Jersey Bar Examination.
Some came from as far as Philadelphia.
The parents of Joshua Galvan, law clerk to Appellate Judge
Susan F. Maven, took a less traditional route to the ceremony,
attending via Skype from the Netherlands.
Galvan’s parents appeared on a television screen at the
front of the room. They watched as their son and fellow
new attorneys or
as they are known in the
Netherlands, took their oath.
According to the New Jersey Bar Association, “No
one is admitted to the New Jersey Bar without signing
the attorneys’ roll and taking the oath to support the
By Mike Mathis
Judiciary Times Editor
Fidel Castro played a small but critical role in Faustino
Fernandez-Vina’s family’s journey to the New Jersey Supreme
Although the family supported Castro against the Batista
dictatorship, Castro soon turned to communism after he rose
to power in 1959, which resulted in the nationalization of
the family’s businesses and confiscation of their home.
The family emigrated to the United States from Cuba to
start new lives. Fernandez-Vina and his mother arrived first,
followed months later by his father and brother.
“It’s an incredible odyssey,” said retired Judge Francis J.
Orlando Jr., a childhood friend of Fernandez-Vina’s who
preceded him as Camden Vicinage assignment judge. “This is
a wonderful story, a great story that makes you feel good. It’s
an only in America kind of story.”
Chief Justice Rabner administered the oath to Fernandez-
Vina during a swearing in ceremony Jan. 17 at the Walter
K. Gordon Theater at Rutgers-Camden. The new associate
justice attended law school there after his graduation from
Widener University in Chester, Pa.
Gov. Chris Christie, state legislators, members of the state
and federal judiciaries, attorneys from across the state and
former NFL players Billy “White Shoes” Johnson and Joe
Fields - who played football at Widener with Fernandez-Vina
- attended the ceremony.
“He was known for his tireless work ethic, for his practical,
direct approach to people and issues and for his good
common sense,” the chief justice said of Fernandez-Vina’s
22-year career as an attorney. “And his 10 years on the bench,
in each position that he has held, have only reinforced that
reputation as a brilliant, no-nonsense jurist and as someone
who both gets along with lawyers and can be decisive at the
same time. He’s also known as someone who cares deeply
about the work of the Judiciary, about the cause of justice.”
Fernandez-Vina thanked many who helped him
throughout his life, including Orlando, the judges and staff
in the Camden Vicinage and his parents.
“They supported me in all my endeavors,” Fernandez-Vina
said of his parents. “I learned honor, respect and hard work
from them. I never heard them complain, ever.”
The state Senate unanimously confirmed Fernandez-Vina’s