Former Chief Justice Deborah T. Poritz has concentrated her practice on mediation, arbitration and appellate matters since stepping down from the high court in October 2006.
After law school, the former Chief Justice joined the office of the New Jersey Attorney General as a Deputy Attorney General in the Division of Law, Environmental Protection Section. She later was named Deputy Attorney General in charge of appeals and chief of the Banking, Insurance and Public Securities Section. From 1986 to 1989, as Assistant Attorney General and Director of the Division of Law, she supervised more than 300 attorneys for the state.
The former Chief Justice was appointed Chief Counsel to Governor Thomas H. Kean in 1989, serving as his principal adviser on legal and legislative matters. When Governor Kean left office in January 1990, the Chief Justice became a partner at the Princeton law firm of Jamieson, Moore, Peskin & Spicer where she represented clients in environmental, transportation and insurance regulatory matters. She remained at Jamieson until her appointment by Governor Christine T. Whitman in January 1994 as New Jersey's first female Attorney General. As Attorney General, she successfully defended Megan's Law, in both the state and federal courts, and chaired the task force that proposed and implemented the reorganization and reformation of the juvenile justice system in New Jersey. On July 10, 1996, she took the oath of office as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New Jersey. During her ten-year tenure on the Court, she offered numerous opinions on significant issues of state and federal law and presided over the statewide unification and integration of the Judiciary that followed legislation transferring the responsibility for court funding from the counties to the state.
Civic Leadership Award, New Jersey Council for the Humanities
Honorary Degrees from Princeton University, Drew University, Monmouth University, Montclair University, Rutgers University School of Law, Seton Hall University School of Law, Thomas Edison State College
Alumna of the Year Award, Brooklyn College (1997)
Alumna Award of Merit, University of Pennsylvania Law School (1996)
Awards Methodology (www.drinkerbiddle.com/content/awards)
- New Jersey
- University of Pennsylvania Law School, J.D., 1977
- Brooklyn College, B.A., 1958, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
- U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
- Conference of Chief Justices (1996–Present)
- Senior Environmental Forum
- National Association of Attorneys General
- Juvenile Justice Task Force (Past Chair)
- Environment and Energy Committee (Past Vice-Chair)
- Environment Legislative Subcommittee (Past Vice-Chair)