In a video interview with NJBIZ, Christopher Porrino, Chair of Lowenstein’s Litigation department and former Attorney General of New Jersey, discusses the log jam of judicial appointments in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. He calls it “a priority that needs to be resolved,” not just for overworked judges, criminal defendants, and their families awaiting trials, but for the business community: “[O]ne thing I know about litigation is the cases that take longer don’t get cheaper. And so businesses end up paying more for those outcomes because they’re dragging out over a longer period.”
Porrino describes the volume and complexity of cases in the state as “unmatched anywhere else in the country … [E]ven at full strength, 17 full time district court judges is not enough.” But he expresses confidence that “the message is being heard, and our leadership will respond” by filling the vacancies and possibly adding more judgeships.
He also addresses the transition to litigating in a pandemic. “I was astounded how quickly and easily we were able to move into a remote environment as lawyers,” Porrino says, adding that Lowenstein stayed focused on maintaining its strong pro bono practice and providing critical information to the business community.