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Tammy Kendig, AOC (609) 292-9580
For release: July 10, 2003

Judges Elevated to Appellate Division


Judge Rudy B. Coleman, Union County Superior Court, Judge Clarkson S. Fisher Jr., Monmouth County Superior Court, Judge Frank M. Lario Jr., Camden County Superior Court, Elevated to Appellate Division

Chief Justice Deborah T. Poritz has signed an order elevating Superior Court Judge Rudy B. Coleman, Superior Court Judge Clarkson S. Fisher Jr. and Superior Court Judge Frank M. Lario Jr. to the Appellate Division, effective August 1, 2003.

"Judges Coleman, Fisher and Lario exemplify the highest quality of judges serving the people of New Jersey," said Justice Poritz. "Their expertise and dedication have earned them these appointments, and I am confident that their excellent work will continue in the Appellate Division."

Temporarily assigned to the Appellate Division in 2002, Judge Coleman served most recently in the Criminal Division of Superior Court in the Union Vicinage. He was appointed to the bench in July 1995, by then-Governor Christine Todd Whitman, and also has worked in the Civil and Family Divisions of Superior Court.

Judge Coleman currently serves on several Supreme Court committees, including the Commission on the Rules of Professional Conduct, the Commission on Professionalism in the Law, and the Vicinage Advisory Committee on Minority Concerns. Before his judgeship began, Judge Coleman was a partner at Carpenter, Bennett & Morrissey, where he specialized in civil litigation. A West Virginia native, he graduated from Marshall University and taught high school before attending Rutgers University School of Law.

Judge Coleman and his wife, Marguerite, have one son, Matthew. They reside in Plainfield.

Judge Fisher has been the Presiding Judge of the General Equity Division in Monmouth County since 1997. After earning a bachelor's degree from Villanova University and a J.D. from Seton Hall University, he clerked for Superior Court Judge James T. Owens before entering private practice. He was a partner in the firm of Ober, Kaler, Grimes and Shriver at the time of his judicial appointment, in 1993, by then-Governor James M. Florio. On the bench, he served first in the Civil Division before moving on to the Family Division in Monmouth County. He was assigned temporarily to the Appellate Division in September and October 2001.

Judge Fisher has authored more than 40 published trial court opinions on various general equity, probate, family, and civil cases. He also has served on the Supreme Court Committee on Model Civil Jury Charges and the Supreme Court Committee on Family Law. He currently serves on the Supreme Court Committee on Civil Practice.

Judge Fisher and his wife, Carolyn, have three children, Clarkson III, Caylan and Cilloran. They reside in Oceanport.

Judge Lario is a graduate of Georgetown University and Rutgers University School of Law. After law school he clerked for New Jersey Supreme Court Justice Vincent S. Haneman. He then worked as a lawyer in private practice, specializing in family and civil law, and as a municipal court judge. At the time of his appointment to Superior Court in 1993, by then-governor James M. Florio, he was a partner at the law firm of Lario, Gleaner and Lario. He served first in the Civil and Family Divisions of Superior Court in Camden County before joining the Criminal Division in 1997.

Before his judgeship began, Judge Lario was an active member of the Camden County Bar Association and served for several years on the Supreme Court Committee on Character for District IV. Since his appointment to the bench, he has been a facilitator at the National Judicial College, held annually in Reno, Nevada. He recently received the Rutgers Camden School of Law Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award.

Judge Lario resides in Haddonfield with his wife, Kathleen. They have three children, Michael, Kathleen and Frank III.

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