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For immediate release: October 1, 2008
For further information contact: Winnie Comfort or Tammy Kendig

Superior Court Judges Named to Leadership Positions

Chief Justice Stuart Rabner has designated Superior Court Judge Ellen L. Koblitz as presiding judge of the general equity part and Judge Bonnie J. Mizdol as presiding judge of the family division for the Bergen Vicinage. The appointments, which are effective immediately, were announced today by Bergen Vicinage Assignment Judge Peter E. Doyne.

Presiding judges are responsible for the day-to-day management of their divisions, in conjunction with the division manager and under the direction of the assignment judge. This includes assigning calendars, prioritizing cases, and making recommendations to the assignment judge regarding the allocation of judicial resources. In addition, presiding judges serve on statewide conferences in their respective practice areas to consider and recommend policies and procedures to the administrative director of the courts.

"Judges Koblitz and Mizdol are highly qualified individuals and I am pleased that they have agreed to serve in these positions. I look forward to working with them," said Judge Doyne.

A graduate of the University of Chicago and the Yale Law School, Judge Koblitz began her legal career in the Office of the Public Defender, where she rose to become deputy public defender in charge of the Bergen County Regional Office.

Judge Koblitz was appointed to the bench by Gov. Jim Florio and took the oath of office on March 8, 1993. She was first assigned to the civil division and moved to the family division later that year. From September 1997 to September 1998 she was assigned to the criminal division. She has been presiding judge of the family division since 1998, and she also served in a temporary assignment to the appellate division in the spring of 2008.

While on the bench, Judge Koblitz has served as a member and past chair of the Conference of Family Division Presiding Judges; chair of the Children in Court Improvement Committee; and vice-chair of the Supreme Court Family Practice Committee. The general equity part resolves disputes such as business dissolution issues, trade secrets, restrictive covenants, labor injunctions and mortgage and tax foreclosure actions. General equity cases are heard without a jury. During the last full court year, the general equity part of the Bergen Vicinage resolved 600 cases.

Judge Mizdol holds a bachelor's degree from Montclair State College and a law degree from Seton Hall Law School. She began her legal career as a matrimonial attorney, and she served as a municipal judge in Wallington, Englewood Cliffs, Fair Lawn and the Bergen County Central Municipal Court.

She was an active member of the Bergen County Bar Association, where she served on the municipal court and family law committees, and the Bergen County Municipal Judges' Association, where she served as vice-president, then president. In addition, Judge Mizdol was a trustee and past president of the Bergen County Bar Foundation. She served as a member and past chair of the District II-A Ethics Committee. She was also a member and co-chair of the Bergen County Committee on the Status of Women.

Judge Mizdol was appointed by Gov. Donald T. DiFrancesco and took the oath of office on Feb. 22, 2006. She has served in the family division since her appointment.

The family division resolves a wide variety of disputes, including dissolution (divorce), domestic violence, juvenile delinquency, child support, foster-care placements, adoption, custody and visitation, kinship guardianship, and termination of parental rights. The family division in the Bergen Vicinage resolved 18,900 cases during the last court year.

Judge Mizdol and her husband, Ron, have a son, Ryan, who recently graduated Fordham University and now works in marketing.

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