The New Jersey Senate on Thursday confirmed 27 new Superior Court judges, three new administrative law judges, and a new Tax Court judge, and granted tenure to three sitting Superior Court judges and a workers’ compensation judge.
The Senate also confirmed new prosecutors for Cape May and Gloucester counties: Jeffrey Sutherland and Charles Fiore, respectively.
The confirmations came after the Senate Judiciary Committee pushed the nominees through earlier in the day Thursday. No opposition to the nominations was voiced.
The new judges are:
- Anne Bramnick of Westfield. She is with Bramnick, Rodriguez, Grabas, Arnold & Mangan in Scotch Plains, and focuses her practice on criminal defense, family law and immigration law. She has been with the firm since 2015. From 2008 to 2015, she was an assistant Union County prosecutor. She is a graduate of Seton Hall University School of Law and Rutgers University.
- Ellen O’Connor of Middletown. She is with Woodbridge’s Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer, where she focuses her practice on civil rights law, criminal law, workers’ compensation matters and health care law. She has been with the firm since 2002. From 1996 to 2002, O’Connor was with the law office of Richard O’Connor in Freehold, and from 1993 to 1996 was an assistant Ocean County prosecutor. She practiced at Wilentz Goldman from 1991 to 1993. She is a graduate of Penn State University’s Dickinson School of Law and Rutgers University.
- Lisa Puglisi of Burlington has been Gov. Chris Christie’s deputy chief counsel since March. From 2012 to 2017, she was a deputy attorney general. From 2011 to 2012, Puglisi was the director of the Governor’s Task Force for Recidivism Reduction. From 2010 to 2011, she was an assistant counsel in Christie’s appointments department. Puglisi was an attorney for the state Parole Board from 2008 to 2010, and spent a decade as a deputy attorney general before that. Puglisi is a graduate of Widener University School of Law and Rutgers University.
- Michael Rogers of Bloomsbury. Rogers, a general practitioner, has been with McDonald & Rogers in Somerville since 1980. He is a graduate of Seton Hall Law and Xavier University.
- Thomas Buck of Milltown has been a solo in Milltown since 1999, and is a general practitioner. From 1998 to 1999, he was with Robert Schecter & Associates, and from 1989 to 1998, he was an assistant Middlesex County prosecutor. He is a graduate of Tulane University Law School and State University of New York Maritime College.
- Thomas Isenhour of Middletown currently is the first assistant prosecutor in Union County, and has been with the office since 1986. He is a graduate of the National Law Center at George Washington University and the University of Denver.
- Kurt Kramer of Cherry Hill is with Mount Laurel’s Capehart & Scatchard, where he focuses his practice on business, construction and employment law. Kramer is a graduate of Villanova University School of Law and LaSalle University.
- Lara DiFabrizio of Scotch Plains has been with the state judiciary’s Central Judicial Processing unit since 2010. She also has been a municipal court judge in Hillside since 2009. From 1997 to 2003, DiFabrizio was an assistant Hudson County prosecutor. She is a graduate of Seton Hall Law and New York University.
- George Gangloff Jr. of West Deptford. Since 2010, he has been a workers’ compensation judge. From 2008 to 2009, he was with the law office of Milton Brown in Woodbury. Gangloff was a solo in 2007 and 2008, and was an assistant Gloucester County prosecutor from 1995 to 2007. He practiced briefly with the law office of Thomas Miller in West Collingswood, and was an assistant Camden County prosecutor from 1990 to 1992. Gangloff is a graduate of Widener Law and the University of Delaware.
- Joseph Chiarello of Millville has been with Jacob & Chiarello in Millville since 1996 and is a general practitioner. He is a graduate of Widener Law and the College of New Jersey.
- Michael Joyce of Pennsauken. Since 2008, he has been with the law office of Timothy Higgins in Cherry Hill. From 2004 to 2010, he was deputy general counsel to the Delaware River Port Authority. Joyce was with the Attorney General’s Office from 2003 to 2004, and from 1997 to 2003 was with Kelley, Wardell & Craig in Haddonfield. From 1991 to 1997, Joyce was with the law office of Jerrold Colton in Voorhees, and from 1994 to 1996, he was with Toll, Sullivan & Luthman in Cherry Hill. Joyce is a graduate of Widener Law and the University of Southern Maine. In Thursday’s committee hearing, Joyce faced some questions from Sen. Gerald Cardinale about his resignation from the Port Authority. Joyce resigned after news reports revealed he had given a fellow manager’s E-Z Pass transponder to one of his children. “Why did you do that?” Cardinale asked. “It was a mistake,” Joyce said. “I was responsible for that.” Cardinale abstained from voting on Joyce’s nomination.
- Sarah Johnson of Margate City. Since 2006, she has been with the Atlantic City office of Fox Rothschild, where she focuses on labor and employment law. She is a graduate of Pepperdine University School of Law and Brown University.
- Marc Brown of Cranford. Since 2005 he has been with Wolkstein, Von Ellen & Brown in Springfield, where he focuses on family law, personal injury matters, and commercial and probate disputes. From 1986 to 2004, he was with what eventually became Krevsky, Silber, Brown & Bergen in Cranford. He is a graduate of New York Law School and Rutgers University.
- James Ferrelli of Mount Laurel. Since 1998 he has been practicing at the Cherry Hill office of Duane Morris, where he focuses on business, commercial and pharmaceutical law. Before that he was with Pepper, Hamilton & Scheetz in Cherry Hill. Ferrelli is a graduate of New York University School of Law and Boston College.
- Thomas McCloskey of Flemington is a general practitioner with the Princeton office of FisherBroyles. He previously practiced at Fox Rothschild and Greenbaum, Rowe, Smith & Davis. He is a graduate of Seton Hall and its law school.
- Gary Wolinetz of Plainsboro is with Greenbaum Rowe, where he focuses on commercial litigation, real estate law and employment litigation. He is a graduate of Rutgers Law School and Rutgers University.
- Sheree Pitchford of Dunellen. Since 2003 she has been an assistant prosecutor in Middlesex County, and from 1998 to 2003, she was an assistant Hudson County prosecutor. Pitchford is a graduate of Seton Hall Law and St. Peter’s University.
- Patrick Bradshaw of New Brunswick. Since 2002 he has been with Kelso & Bradshaw in New Brunswick, where he is a general practitioner. From 1998 to 1999, he was with what is now Florio Perrucci Steinhardt & Cappelli in Piscataway. From 1995 to 1998, he was with the Livingston office of Marshall, Dennehey, Warner, Coleman & Goggin. Before that Bradshaw was with Palmisano & Goodman in Woodbridge. He is a graduate of the New England School of Law and Fordham University.
- Lorraine Agostini of Sparta, an assistant public defender, has been with the Office of the Public Defender since 1991. From 1989 to 1991, she was with New York Legal Aid Society. Augostini is a graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center and Trinity College.
- Carol Catuogno of Franklin Lakes is an assistant Bergen County prosecutor, and has been with the office since 1998. She currently is a trial section chief. From 1991 to 1998, she was an assistant district attorney with the Richmond County District Attorney’s Office in Staten Island, New York.
- Avis Bishop-Thompson of Teaneck has been with what is now DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole & Giblin since 2001, representing public and private employees in labor and compliance matters, and in negotiations. She is a graduate of Santa Clara University School of Law and Spelman College.
- Mitchell Steinhart of Fair Lawn has been a staff attorney for the Bergen County Board of Social Services since 1987. From 1986 to 1987, he was with Powers & November in Hackensack, and from 1985 to 1986, he was with Draesel, Sunshine, Atkins & November in Oradell. Steinhart is a graduate of the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law and Rutgers University.
- Richard Hertzberg of Warren has been with Greenbaum Rowe since 1991, and currently is a partner handling complex litigation, partnership litigation, foreclosure litigation, contract litigation, trust and estate litigation, and chancery law. From 1988 to 1991, he was with McCarter & English in Newark. Hertzberg is a graduate of the Columbia University School of Law and Lafayette College.
- Patricia Carney of Basking Ridge has been a solo in Morristown since 2015, with a focus on family law. From 2003 to 2015, she was with Klaiman & Carney in Morristown, and from 1998 to 2003, she was with Smits & Solotoff, also in Morristown. She is a graduate of Rutgers Law and also obtained her undergraduate degree from Rutgers.
- Daniel Weiss of Asbury Park is with Weiss, Hartington & King English in Freehold, where he focuses his practice on immigration law. He is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and American University.
- Lourdes Lucas of Fair Haven is a litigator with the Law Offices of Peter Lucas in Oakhurst, where she does transactional work, employment law, commercial law, workers’ compensation law and criminal defense. She is a former assistant district attorney for New York County. Lucas is a graduate of Syracuse University College of Law and Florida International University.
- William Ziegler of Mullica Hill is with Holston, MacDonald, Uzdavinis, Ziegler & Myles in Woodbury. Ziegler, who has been with various incarnations of the firm since 1996, focuses his practice on land use law, real estate, civil litigation, municipal law, construction law, general equity and appellate law. He also is the solicitor for various towns in Gloucester and Salem counties. Ziegler is a graduate of Rutgers Law and Clemson University.
The judges confirmed for tenure are George Leone of Haddonfield, Angela Borkowski of Annandale and Linda Grasso Jones of Tinton Falls.
Leone has been an Appellate Division judge since 2013, after serving two years as a Superior Court judge in Camden County. In the Law Journal’s most recent Appellate Division Survey, in 2014, Leone ranked 22nd of 26 Appellate Division judges ranked, with an overall score of 7.3 out of 10. His highest score, 8.43, was for being unbiased as to race, gender or party identity. His lowest, 6.75, was for persuasiveness of writing.
Borkowski currently is assigned to the Criminal Part in Hunterdon County. In the Law Journal’s most recent Superior Court Judicial Survey, in 2015, Borkowski ranked seventh out of the 15 judges ranked in the Somerset/Hunterdon/Warren vicinage with an overall score of 8.14 out of a possible 10. Her highest score, 8.94, was for being unbiased as to race, gender or party identity. Her lowest score, 7.50, was for being able to foster settlements skillfully.
Jones, now assigned to the Civil Part in Monmouth, ranked 21st out of the 26 judges surveyed in the Monmouth vicinage with an overall score of 6.8. Her best score, 7.86, was for being unbiased. Her lowest score, 6.16, was for being able to handle complex cases.
The new administrative law judges are Andrew Baron of Scotch Plains, David Fritch of Jackson and Susan Olgiati of Moorestown.
Baron, since 2006, has been with Rahway’s Kochanski, Baron & Galfy, where he focuses on real estate law and financial services. He ran his own firm from 1986 to 2006. Baron is a graduate of Seton Hall Law and Drew University. He has a master’s degree from New York University.
Fritch has been an assistant Monmouth County prosecutor since 2013. From 2012 to 2013, he was with Reed Smith in Princeton, and from 2008 to 2012, he was a deputy attorney general. From 2006 to 2008, Fritch was with what is now Dechert in Philadelphia. He is a graduate of Villanova University School of Law and Boston University. He has master’s degrees from the University of Colorado at Boulder and Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Olgiati is an assistant attorney general and chief of staff to the Division of Law. She has been with the office since 2001. From 1997 to 2001, she was with Princeton’s Smith Stratton Wise & Heher and served as a deputy attorney general from 1993 to 1997. She is a graduate of Seton Hall Law and the College of New Jersey.
The new Tax Court judge is Joan Murray of Denville. Since 2014, she has been an administrative law judge. She has held various public posts since 1983. She is a graduate of Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University and Muhlenberg College.
The workers’ compensation judge granted tenure is Maria Del Valle Koch of Perth Amboy.
Jeffrey Sutherland of Ocean City is the new Cape May County Prosecutor. Since 2006, Sutherland has run his own firm in Seaville and Linwood. Before that he was with Schweller & Sutherland in Linwood for six years. He was a solo from 1995 to 2000, and was with the Valore Law Firm in Linwood from 1990 to 1995. He is a general practitioner. He is a graduate of the Widener University School of Law and Bloomsburg University.
The new Gloucester County Prosecutor is Charles Fiore of Williamstown. Fiore, who has been the acting prosecutor since last month, had been a solo since 1991 focusing on civil and criminal litigation, construction law, municipal law, labor law and family law. From 1990 to 1991, he was with DeMarco & Fiore, and from 1987 to 1990, he was with DeMarco & DeStefano. He also is the Monroe Township solicitor. Fiore is a graduate of the George Mason University School of Law and Rutgers University.