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For immediate release:Jan. 2, 2007
For further information contact: Winnie Comfort or Tammy Kendig

Camden Superior Court Judges Colalillo and Fernandez-Vina Named Presiding Judges

Chief Justice James R. Zazzali has designated two Camden Superior Court judges as presiding judges for the vicinage, today announced Camden Assignment Judge Francis J. Orlando Jr.

Judge Mary Eva Colalillo will serve as presiding judge of the General Equity Division and Judge Faustino J. Fernandez-Vina will serve as presiding judge of the Civil Division. The order of the chief justice is effective Feb. 1, 2007.

"Both of these judges have distinguished themselves as solid jurists as well as leaders in the courthouse. I am pleased to announce their designation by Chief Justice Zazzali and look forward to working closely with them in their new roles," said Assignment Judge Orlando.

Judge Colalillo, 55, was appointed to the bench in 1993 and has served in Camden County in the Criminal and Family Divisions. She has been in the Civil Division since 2001 and was named presiding judge in that division in June 2005. In her new assignment, she will hear cases in the General Equity Division in addition to her administrative responsibilities as presiding judge. Cases filed in the General Equity Division involve non-monetary issues where, for example, one party may be seeking to compel another to do-or stop doing-something.

"I am honored that Chief Justice Zazzali has selected me for this responsibility and thank Judge Orlando for his guidance and support," said Judge Colalillo. "I look forward to the challenges and rewards of this new phase of my career," she added.

Before her appointment by Gov. James J. Florio, Judge Colalillo served in the offices of the Camden city attorney, the Camden county prosecutor and the Camden County counsel. She also gained nearly 10 years experience as a litigator in private practice. She holds a B.A. from Georgian Court College and a J.D. from Vermont Law School. She resides in her hometown of Haddonfield.

Judge Fernandez-Vina, a native of Santiago, Cuba, has been a long-time resident of Barrington. He was appointed to the bench in 2004 by Gov. James E. McGreevy and served first in the Camden Civil Division and then the Family Division. As presiding judge of the Civil Division, Judge Fernandez-Vina not only will hear civil cases, but also will oversee the administrative work of the division and report directly to the assignment judge.

"The judges in the Civil Division in Camden are outstanding and I am proud and honored that Chief Justice Zazzali, in consultation with Judge Orlando, has designated me as presiding judge, said Judge Fernandez-Vina. "The Civil Division judges are my colleagues and friends and we will continue our hard work in the division," he added.

Judge Fernandez-Vina, 54, received his B.A. from Widener University and his J.D. from Rutgers University School of Law. Prior to becoming a judge, he practiced law for nearly 25 years, primarily in health, personal injury and liability litigation. While he was in private practice, he became a certified civil trial attorney in 1993 and in 2002-2003 was chair of the Civil Trial Bar Section of the New Jersey Bar Association.

In addition to their new administrative responsibilities in the Camden vicinage, the judges will join the statewide conference of 15 presiding judges in their divisions. As members of their conferences of presiding judges, both Judge Colalillo and Judge Fernandez-Vina will play critical roles in monitoring statewide trends and practices and in making recommendations about policies and procedures.

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