For immediate release: October 26, 2006
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New Chief Justice Assumes Leadership of State High Court Today
Associate Justice Helen Hoens Also Sworn In
Chief Justice James R. Zazzali begins his duties today as New Jersey's chief justice. His former position on the court will be filled by Associate Justice Helen E. Hoens, who also joins the Court today. Both justices were sworn in during private ceremonies. Formal ceremonies will be held at a later date.
Named to the court in 2000 by Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, Chief Justice Zazzali was nominated by Gov. Jon S. Corzine to replace retiring Chief Justice Deborah T. Poritz. A graduate of Georgetown College and Georgetown University Law Center, he has held numerous positions in public service, including attorney general, vice chairman of the Disciplinary Review Board, chairman of the New Jersey State Commission of Investigation, general counsel to the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, and chief of the Appeals Division of the Office of the Essex County Prosecutor.
Justice Hoens, a graduate of the College of William and Mary and of Georgetown University Law Center, worked in private practice before her appointment to the Superior Court by Gov. Whitman in 1994. In 2001 she was reappointed to the bench by Acting Gov. Donald T. DiFrancesco. She was elevated to the Appellate Division by Chief Justice Poritz in August, 2002. Her nomination to the Supreme Court was made by Gov. Corzine on Sept. 21.
According to the New Jersey Constitution, the chief justice oversees the administration of the entire Judicial branch in New Jersey and, in that capacity, is responsible for naming an administrative director of the courts to assist with those responsibilities. As one of his first official duties, Chief Justice Zazzali has signed an order to continue the service of Appellate Division Judge Philip S. Carchman as acting administrative director of the courts. Judge Carchman has served in that capacity since September 1, 2004.