We present below the results of the New Jersey Law Journal‘s fifth cyclical survey of New Jersey lawyers about the quality of judging on the state’s trial bench. It is designed to assess the comparative strengths and weaknesses of judges, their demeanor and their potential biases, all of which are highly relevant to users of the courts.

As in the past, the survey is a private enterprise, conducted without the cooperation or endorsement of the judiciary.

The survey is meant to provide a forum in which to pool the practicing bar’s collective knowledge about judges’ performance. Lawyers share such knowledge informally all the time, but not in any quantifiable way that can be readily referenced and distributed. This survey supplies that medium.

Most of the survey is good news. Statewide, lawyers gave 350 judges an average overall score of 8 on a 1-to-10 scale, which is exceptionally good, and the crests and troughs from the average were generally small.

But ratings necessarily bring comparisons, which unavoidably produce bests and worsts in the rankings of judges within their vicinages. Still, it is not the point of the survey to heap accolades on some judges and derogate others. For judges, it’s useful feedback from the lawyers who appear before them. For lawyers, it’s useful recognizance when facing a judge for the first time.

We hope that the survey will be read and used in that spirit.

— Ronald J. Fleury, Editor in Chief


Overview: Judges Judged by the Gleam in Their Eyes and the Sweat on Their Brows

How the Survey Was Done

Vicinage-by-Vicinage Results and Judges’ Biographies:

  1. Atlantic-Cape May — Data Chart — Biographies
  2. Bergen — Data Chart — Biographies
  3. Burlington — Data Chart — Biographies
  4. Camden — Data Chart — Biographies
  5. Essex — Data Chart — Biographies
  6. Hudson — Data Chart — Biographies
  7. Mercer — Data Chart — Biographies
  8. Middlesex — Data Chart — Biographies
  9. Monmouth — Data Chart — Biographies
  10. Morris-Sussex — Data Chart — Biographies
  11. Passaic — Data Chart — Biographies
  12. Union — Data Chart — Biographies
  13. Somerset-Hunterdon-Warren — Data Chart — Biographies
  14. Ocean — Data Chart — Biographies
  15. Cumberland-Gloucester-Salem — Data Chart — Biographies