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For immediate release: March 24, 2009
For more information contact:
Winnie Comfort or Tammy Kendig

Deborah T. Poritz to Moderate Panel on the Changing Role of Women and the Law

Retired Chief Justice Deborah T. Poritz will moderate a panel of distinguished attorneys who will discuss the impact of the changing role of women on the law on Thursday, March 26 from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Baker Trial Courtroom of Rutgers University School of Law-Newark. The Supreme Court Committee on Women in the Courts is presenting the panel in conjunction with Rutgers Law School as part of its ongoing efforts to educate law students and the legal community about the role of women in the courts.

Entitled "Changing Time, Changing Minds," the panel discussion will cover a broad range of social changes that have led to new developments in civil, criminal and family case law. The panel will conclude with a question-and-answer session.

"As New Jersey's first female Chief Justice, Deborah Poritz is a trailblazer in the profession. She led the courts during a period of enormous transition and helped build the Supreme Court's reputation as a national leader in both jurisprudence and court management. We are grateful to her for her leadership on this panel," said Appellate Division Judge Francine I. Axelrad, who chairs the Committee on Women in the Courts.

Panelists include Essex County Prosecutor Paula Dow, Rutgers Law Professor Mark S. Weiner, discrimination law specialist Cynthia M. Jacob and family law specialist Edward J. O'Donnell. A question-and-answer period will follow the discussion.

Associate Dean Frances Bouchoux, who is vice-chair of the committee, said, "This is a unique opportunity for our students, for attorneys and for the public to hear some of New Jersey's most prominent lawyers define and synthesize developments in the law that have come about as a result of enormous social changes: changes in the family, in the workplace and in the public realm."

The event is free and open to the public. To register, e-mail womeninthecourts@kinoy.rutgers.edu.

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Reporters and photographers should call Janet Donohue at Rutgers University to make photo arrangements: 973-353-5553.

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