The state Senate on Monday unanimously confirmed five sitting Superior Court judges for tenure: two from Bergen County and one each from Essex, Middlesex and Union.
The nominees were vetted by the Senate Judiciary Committee without opposition earlier in the day. Rules that normally require at least 24 hours between confirmation hearings and confirmation votes were waived, since the judges’ initial terms are soon to expire.
• Arthur Bergman, 62, was appointed Feb. 9, 2006, and is assigned to the Middlesex Civil Part. A 1975 graduate of the Marshall Wythe School of Law at the College of William & Mary, Bergman was a Virginia Beach assistant city attorney, 1975-79, general counsel to Clinton Bogert Associates (environmental consultants), 1979-92, and a partner with Sokol, Behot & Fiorenzo, 1992-2006. In the Law Journal‘s 2012 New Jersey Superior Court Survey, he ranked sixth out of 28 judges in the Middlesex vicinage with an overall competency score of 8.68 out of a possible 10.
• Sherry Hutchins-Henderson, 53, was appointed Feb. 6, 2006, and is assigned to the Essex Criminal Part. A 1984 graduate of Howard University School of Law, she was a Securities & Exchange Commission staff attorney, 1984-88, a special assistant U.S. attorney in the District of Columbia, 1988, vice president and counsel of Michigan National Corp., 1988-91, and an assistant U.S. attorney in the District of New Jersey, Criminal Division and Government Fraud Unit, 1992-2006. She ranked 36th out of the 39 judges in Essex vicinage in the 2012 survey with an overall score of 6.11.
• Robert Mega, 50, appointed Feb. 10, 2006, is assigned to the Union Criminal Part. A 1988 graduate of Seton Hall University School of Law, he was with Bumgardner, Hardin & Ellis, 1988-91, and was a partner with Kochanski, Mega & Galfy, 1991-2006. He ranked eighth out of the 18 judges in the Union vicinage in the 2012 survey with an overall score of 8.41.
• Bonnie Mizdol, 54, appointed Feb. 22, 2006, is the presiding judge of the Bergen Family Part. A 1982 Seton Hall law graduate, she was a partner at Oury & Mizdol in Hackensack for two decades and then a solo from 2002 through 2005. While practicing, she was a municipal judge for Englewood Cliffs, Fair Lawn, Wallington and Bergen County’s Central Municipal Court. Mizdol was ranked third out of the 34 judges in the Bergen vicinage in the 2012 survey with an overall score of 9.09.
• Kenneth Slomienski, 57, appointed Feb. 15, 2006, is assigned to the Bergen Civil Part. A 1980 Widener University Law School graduate, he was in-house counsel for Safeco Ins. Co. and Aetna Casualty Ins. Co., 1981-86, and a solo practitioner in Wallington, 1986-2005. He was ranked 30th out of the 34 judges in the Bergen vicinage in the 2012 survey with an overall score of 7.46.
The Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hold confirmation hearings on Thursday for 10 of 14 candidates nominated to the Superior Court by Gov. Chris Christie on Jan. 28.
As of Feb. 1, there are 55 vacancies statewide out of 443 judgeships, including the Appellate Division. There are 17 in Essex; 10 in Union; eight in Middlesex; five in Monmouth; three each in Camden, Hudson and Morris; two in Burlington; and one each in Bergen, Mercer, Ocean and Somerset, according to court statistics.