Christie pick finally makes way on N.J. SC

Jessica M. Karmasek Jun. 29, 2011, 1:00pm


TRENTON, N.J. (Legal Newsline) - The New Jersey Senate on Monday confirmed attorney Anne Murray Patterson's nomination to the state Supreme Court.

According to the Daily Record in Parsippany, Patterson's confirmation was unanimous.

Sen. Gerald Cardinale, the senior Republican member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he was pleased the Senate finally confirmed Patterson.

"Anne Patterson has unshakable credentials as a legal scholar with high ethical standards and a demonstrable judicial deportment," he said in a statement.

"It is unfortunate that the Senate Democrats failed to consider her nomination last year. The actions of the majority party denied the court and the people of New Jersey the services of a highly qualified jurist."

Patterson was nominated by Gov. Chris Christie on May 2 to replace the retiring Justice Roberto Rivera-Soto.

She had been picked by Christie a year ago to take the place of then-Justice John Wallace. In New Jersey, the governor decides if a justice receives tenure after his or her initial seven-year term.

Christie's decision to let go of Wallace was a controversial one, and Patterson was never confirmed. The state Legislature, controlled by Democrats, would not proceed with confirmation steps until Wallace's lifetime term would have ended in 2012, when he would have reached the mandatory retirement age of 70.

The result was an open spot on the court temporarily filled by Judge Edward Stern, who was appointed by Chief Justice Stuart Rabner.

Patterson is a partner with the law firm Riker, Danzig, Scherer, Hyland & Perretti of Morristown. According to a release issued last year, Patterson practiced primarily in the areas of product liability and commercial litigation, class actions involving product liability and pharmaceutical pricing, intellectual property litigation, restrictive covenant litigation, closely held corporation litigation and appeals.

She is also a former deputy attorney general.

According to the Daily Record, Patterson is not scheduled to be sworn in until September, when Rivera-Soto's term expires.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by e-mail at

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