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Chief Justice Poritz Bio

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					                                   DEBORAH T. PORITZ


       Chief Justice Deborah T. Poritz was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. She
received her Bachelor of Arts degree magna cum laude from Brooklyn College in 1958, having
been elected to Phi Beta Kappa in 1957. Subsequently, the Chief Justice studied English and
American Literature at Columbia University on a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship and then
continued graduate studies at Brandeis University. She taught composition and literature at
Ursinus College in Pennsylvania before leaving to enter law school.

       In 1977, Chief Justice Poritz, received her law degree from the University of
Pennsylvania Law School. On graduation, she 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, the Chief Justice served as
Assistant Attorney General and Director of the Division of Law, supervising more than 300
attorneys for the State.

        Chief Justice Poritz was appointed Chief Counsel to Governor Thomas H. Kean in 1989,
serving as his principal advisor 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 woman 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. She led the Judiciary during a period of statewide
unification that followed legislation transferring the responsibility for court funding from the
counties to the State. On October 26, 2006, she stepped down from the high court and, in
December 2006, joined the law firm of Drinker Biddle & Reath as Of Counsel in the firm’s
Princeton office.

        Among her professional affiliations, when she was the State Attorney General, Chief
Justice Poritz served on the Senior Environmental Forum, a national discussion group of federal,
state and tribal representatives that coordinated environmental enforcement and compliance. She
also held leadership positions with the National Association of Attorneys General, where she was
Chair of the Juvenile Justice Task Force, Vice-Chair of the Environment and Energy Committee,
and Vice-Chair of the Environment Legislative Subcommittee. She was a member of the
Conference of Chief Justices from 1996 to 2006.

        Chief Justice Poritz received the Alumna Award of Merit from the University of
Pennsylvania Law School and the Alumna of Year Award from Brooklyn College. In 2000, she
was awarded the first Brooklyn College Presidential Medal and, in 2004, she was further
honored by the University of Pennsylvania Law School when her portrait was unveiled and hung
at the Law School. She has received honorary degrees from Montclair University, Seton Hall


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University School of Law, Rutgers-Newark University School of Law, Monmouth University,
and Thomas Edison State College, and she has been presented with the National Association of
Women Judges’ Lifetime Achievement Award, the New Jersey Council for the Humanities Civil
Leadership Award, the Richard J. Hughes Public Service Award, and the Amy and Alan
Lowenstein Social Justice Award, among others.

        The Chief Justice served on the University of Pennsylvania Law School Board of
Overseers from 2001 to 2007 and is, at present, a member of the Board of Directors of Legal
Services of New Jersey and the Fund for New Jersey. She sits on the Advisory Panel established
by Governor Corzine to consider candidates for state judicial office and chairs both the Supreme
Court Ad Hoc Committee on Code of Judicial Conduct and the Sentencing/Corrections Task
Force, a group charged with reviewing state sentencing/corrections policy for the Governor..

       The Chief Justice and her husband, Alan, have two sons, Mark and Jonathan, and four
grandchildren, Gabriele, Raffaello, Carmina Lu, and Isaiah Zhou Yue.



April 3, 2008




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