Hughes Justice Complex Hughes Justice Complex. Photo by Carmen Natale

After nearly a decade, the New Jersey Supreme Court is about to have a new clerk.

Mark Neary, who has been with the court in various capacities for 27 years, is retiring. Judiciary counsel Heather Baker will become the new clerk as of Nov. 28, according to a Wednesday release from the court.

“We are fortunate to have someone of Heather’s caliber to continue the tradition of excellence that the clerk’s office has maintained under Mark Neary’s exemplary leadership,” said Chief Justice Stuart Rabner in a statement. “Like her predecessor, Heather is highly regarded for her professionalism, integrity and thorough command of the critical functions of the Supreme Court.”

The clerk is the court’s chief executive for administration and manages the court’s day-to-day business. The clerk also processes motions and petitions for certification filed with the court.

Baker is a resident of Readington and began her career with the Judiciary in 2010 as a law clerk to Justice Jaynee LaVecchia. Baker then worked at the Princeton office of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, where she focused her practice on labor and employment matters.

Baker returned to the court in 2014 as a supervising staff attorney, and has served as the court’s chief counsel since July 2016.

She is a graduate of Rutgers University and Rutgers Law School-Newark.

Baker will become only the sixth Supreme Court clerk in the history of the modern judiciary. Neary was appointed clerk in 2009. He joined the office as a staff attorney in 1991 and became a court executive in 2001.

In addition to processing petitions for certification, the clerk’s office oversees attorney and judicial disciplinary matters before the court, bar admission matters, and attorney certifications.

The clerk also supervises the functioning of the Board of Bar Examiners, the Committee on Character, and the Board on Attorney Certification, the director of the Office of Attorney Ethics, the chief counsel to the Disciplinary Review Board, and the executive director of the Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection.