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Judge Michael Winkelstein, Atlantic/Cape May Assignment Judge, Elevated to Appellate Division
Judge Valerie H. Armstrong, Family Division Presiding Judge, Named Assignment Judge

For further information contact:
Winnie Comfort, AOC, (609) 292-9580
For release: May 21, 2001
Charles McCaffery, Atlantic/Cape May Vicinage
(609) 345-2350

Chief Justice Deborah T. Poritz today has appointed Superior Court Judge Michael Winkelstein to the Appellate Division and Judge Valerie H. Armstrong as the assignment judge for the Atlantic/Cape May Vicinage. The new assignments for the judges become effective Aug. 1, 2001.

Judge Winkelstein was nominated to the bench by former Gov. Thomas H. Kean and took the oath of office on May 11, 1989. He has served in the family and civil divisions, and as presiding judge of the civil division. He assumed his responsibilities as the Atlantic/Cape May assignment judge on Aug. 1, 1999.

"The citizens of New Jersey who bring their concerns to the Appellate Courts will benefit by the depth of experience Judge Winkelstein brings from the divisions in which he has served so well for more than a decade," Chief Justice Poritz said.

At the time of his appointment to the bench, Judge Winkelstein was counsel to Atlantic County government. Prior positions included a partnership in the Atlantic City law firm of Jacobsen & Winkelstein, general practice at Martin H. Phillip Law Offices in Palmerton, PA, and attorney advisor to the Board of Veterans' Appeals in Washington, DC. He began his education in local schools and graduated from Atlantic City high School in 1964. He received his bachelor's degree from the American University School of Communications in 1968 and his law degree from Temple University School of Law in 1973. Judge Winkelstein joined the United States Coast Guard in 1968 and was honorably discharged in 1970, after serving an 11-month tour of duty in Vietnam. He received the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal with one bronze star and the Vietnam Campaign Medal.

Judge Winkelstein, 54, and his wife Nadine, who is a second grade teacher in the Margate City Public School system, live in Margate. They have three children; Jessica, who is a speech therapist, Elissa, who graduated from Rutgers University this spring, and Rebecca, who is a college student. The judge is an avid reader and enjoys lifting weights.

Judge Armstrong, 54, is the first female assignment judge in the vicinage. She was nominated to the bench by former Gov. Jim Florio and took the oath of office on Oct. 24, 1991. She has served in the family division since her appointment and became presiding judge in the division in 1995. She chaired the Conference of Presiding Family Judges from 1997 to 2000. Before assuming her role on the bench, Judge Armstrong served as an administrative law judge and sat on the Casino Control Commission, where she also served as vice-chair. She was in the private practice of law for eight years and taught music for three years. She had been active in the Atlantic County community serving on numerous public-service boards and in the Atlantic County Bar Association in various capacities.

"Judge Armstrong is a proven leader, as demonstrated by her work in the vicinage and statewide. She will bring the leadership skills she honed in the family division and in the presiding judge conference to her new position and to her responsibilities as a member of the Judicial Council," said the Chief Justice.

A 1964 graduate of Atlantic City High School, she earned her bachelor's degree from Beaver College in 1968 and her law degree from Temple University School of Law in 1976. She is an accomplished violinist and studied at the graduate level at the University of Virginia and took music education courses at Temple University School of Music.

Judge Armstrong and her husband John, who is an attorney, live in Absecon with their son Rob, a high school student. The judge continues her love of music and plays the violin and the Celtic fiddle for friends and family.

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