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For Immediate Release: April 14, 2004
For further information: Winnie Comfort, 609-292-9580

Judge Richard J. Williams to retire in September
Judge Philip S. Carchman named new Acting Administrative Director

Chief Justice Deborah T. Poritz today announced that Appellate Division Judge Philip S. Carchman will be the next acting administrative director of the courts. Judge Richard J. Williams, who has been acting administrative director of the courts since August 1999, will retire effective September 2004.

Judge Carchman, 62, of Princeton, began his legal career in private practice and went on to a long and distinguished career in public service.

“Judge Williams is a friend and trusted colleague who has led the Judiciary through an exciting period of significant change. With his leadership, we have laid the groundwork for a unified Judiciary, dedicated to continuous improvement and the provision of equal justice for all New Jersey citizens,” said the Chief Justice.

“Judge Williams was an architect of the unification plan for the courts. He came to the AOC just as we were beginning to implement the 1998 Strategic Plan and the redesign of our management and budget systems. He has led us through “best practice” initiatives, advances in technology, including an award-winning Web site designed to earn the respect and confidence of an informed public, and an unprecedented 50 percent reduction in backlogged cases in our trials courts. His gift to us is a vision of a Judiciary that values above all else independence, integrity, fairness and quality service.

“New Jersey’s citizens have been well-served by his intellect, his management skills and his dedication to public service. He has truly made a difference that will benefit the administration of justice for years to come. We all will miss him,” said the Chief Justice.

“Judge Carchman’s experience -- from serving in the municipal courts to his appointment as Mercer County prosecutor, from his various assignments in the trial courts, including that of assignment judge of Mercer County, to his significant contribution to the law while sitting in the Appellate Division and while on temporary assignment to the Supreme Court-- will enable him to lead with the insight of first-hand knowledge,” Chief Justice Poritz said.

“He is a strong manager, a man of great integrity and one of our Judiciary’s finest legal scholars. I am deeply grateful to him for accepting this assignment and look forward to working with him,” she added.

Judge Williams added to the praise of Judge Carchman as the next administrative director. “I have know him for more than 25 years He is a knowledgeable jurist and a skilled administrator. He will fulfill the duties of administrative director with distinction,” said Judge Williams.

“I am honored,” said Judge Carchman, “that the Chief Justice has chosen me for this assignment. It will be a pleasure to serve with her. She leads the Judiciary with distinction. She brings not only a keen intellectual mind and integrity to her position but an unswerving sense of fairness that pervades all of her actions and decisions.”

Judge Carchman spoke of his friend and predecessor, “Judge Williams’ tenure in office has been marked by progress on all fronts and his service to the Judiciary and the public has been extraordinary. The New Jersey Judiciary retains its preeminent position in the nation as a result of his leadership.”

“Among Judge Williams’ most significant achievements has been his assembling and maintaining of a superb staff. The professionalism and dedication of all associated with the Administrative Office ensures the continued excellence of this agency. I eagerly look forward to working with these remarkable and talented people,” Judge Carchman added.

Judge Carchman graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Finance and Commerce in 1963 and obtained his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1966.

Following his clerkship in the Superior Court, Judge Carchman served as a deputy attorney general from 1967 to 1970. He was a member of the firm of Carchman, Annich, Sochor & Shuster from 1967 to 1981. During that time, from 1973 to 1981, he also served in the part-time position of Municipal Court judge in both Princeton Township and Princeton Borough. In 1981, he was named Mercer County prosecutor, where he served until he was appointed in 1986 to the Superior Court in the Criminal Division in Essex County. From there, he was assigned to the Civil Division in Mercer County in 1988 and was named presiding judge of the division in 1990. He also served as the Family Division presiding judge from 1990 to 1993, and then was named presiding judge of General Equity. In 1995, Judge Carchman was named assignment judge of the Mercer vicinage. Chief Justice Poritz assigned him to the Appellate Division in 1997. He has sat in every judicial assignment, including a temporary assignment to the Supreme Court.

Judge Carchman and his wife Jo Ann have two daughters, Rebecca, a physician in Chapel Hill, NC and Jennifer, a television documentary producer in New York. They have one granddaughter, Mia.

Judge Williams graduated from Princeton University in 1963 and the University of Virginia Law School in 1966. He began his legal career as a law secretary to Supreme Court Associate Justice Vincent S. Haneman. He was in private practice in Atlantic City when he was named prosecutor of Atlantic County in 1972. He was named to the bench in 1981 and served as a Superior Court judge in the Atlantic-Cape May vicinage. In 1985, Chief Justice Wilentz named him assignment judge. In 1999, Chief Justice Poritz assigned Judge Williams to the Appellate Division and named him acting administrative director of the courts.

Judge Williams, 63, and his wife Tanna live in Linwood, Atlantic County. His family includes daughter Kristen, son Daniel, daughter-in-law Amy and a grandson, Luke.

Under the New Jersey Constitution (Article VI, Section VII, Chap. 1), the Chief Justice is the "administrative head of all the courts in the State." Under the same constitutional provision, the Chief Justice has the power to appoint an acting administrative director of the courts.

The Chief Justice delegates general responsibility for overseeing the operation and management of the state’s court system to the administrative director. The Judiciary has more than 8,500 employees and a budget in excess of $500 million. Approximately 1 million cases are filed in the Superior Court each year. The Administrative Office of Courts also has administrative oversight of the state’s municipal courts, in which another 6 million cases are filed annually.


READ STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATIVE DIRECTOR RICHARD J. WILLIAMS (PDF)

READ STATEMENT OF PHILIP S. CARCHMAN, J.A.D. (PDF)

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