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Governor nominates Hoffman for New Jersey Supreme Court

Law

Law

Governor Phil Murphy today announced his intent to nominate John Jay Hoffman to the New Jersey Supreme Court to fill the seat of Associate Justice Lee A. Solomon, who reaches the mandatory retirement age of 70 on August 17. The nomination will first be submitted to the New Jersey State Bar Association's Committee on Judicial and Prosecutor Appointments for approval. The Governor will then make a formal nomination, subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.

“It is an honor to announce the nomination of John Hoffman to the New Jersey Supreme Court,” the Governor said. “John is a pillar of the New Jersey legal community with a distinguished career of public service. John has held a number of high-level positions at the federal and state levels, including nearly three years as Acting Attorney General of New Jersey. He has earned universal respect on both sides of the aisle for his honesty, integrity and intelligence. I know he will make a great contribution to the New Jersey Supreme Court’s well-deserved reputation as a national role model, and I look forward to working with Senate President Scutari, Senate Minority Leader Bucco, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Stack and their colleagues during the confirmation process.”

“Our Supreme Court plays a critical role in upholding justice and protecting the rights and freedoms of our citizens,” said Lieutenant Governor Way. “John's extensive experience in the courtroom and in public service makes him an ideal candidate for the New Jersey Supreme Court.”

“I could not be more honored and humbled by the opportunity afforded me by Governor Murphy to be considered for a seat on the strongest Supreme Court in the country, filled with an amazing group of current justices, and to fill the seat of my former boss and dear friend Judge Solomon,” Hoffman said. “Serving our state in this capacity is a lawyer's dream come true. I look forward to working closely with Senate President Scutari, Senate Minority Leader Bucco, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Stack, and the entire Senate as this process progresses.”

Hoffman has devoted most of his professional career to public service at the state and federal levels. After two years as an associate at Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, LLP in Washington, D.C., Hoffman joined the Civil Division of the Department of Justice in 1996 as a trial attorney. Over the next eight years, Hoffman focused on infringement litigation in the savings and loan industry and argued five appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the United States Circuit. In 2004, Hoffman became an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey, concentrating on violent and white-collar crimes.

In 2010, Hoffman joined the New Jersey State Comptroller's Office as chief of investigations, where he led a division that investigated and reported on cases of fraud, abuse, waste and corruption in local and state government. Two years later, he moved to the Department of Law and Public Safety, where he joined Attorney General Jeff Chiesa's senior staff and assumed the role of deputy attorney general. In 2013, Governor Christie selected Hoffman to succeed Attorney General Chiesa as the state's top law enforcement officer.

As acting attorney general, Hoffman led efforts to equip police with body-worn cameras and enact a new policy on officer-involved shootings. He also enhanced the Prescription Monitoring Program to discourage prescription drug abuse and introduced the Narcan opiate antidote program to law enforcement agencies across the state, resulting in nearly 3,000 overdose reversals. He served in that role for nearly three years, making him the longest-serving attorney general in the Christie administration.

In 2016, Hoffman left the Christie administration and was named general counsel of Rutgers University. In that role, he serves as chief legal officer for the state's premier university, which has a budget of $5 billion and includes more than 90,000 students, faculty and staff. Hoffman advises boards of directors and university leadership on a wide range of legal, policy and business issues, including litigation, internal investigations and transactions.

Hoffman graduated from Colgate University and received his law degree from Duke University School of Law. After graduation, he served as a law clerk for Judge Al Engel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

A native of New Jersey, Hoffman grew up in Middlesex County, where he was exposed to the practice of law at a young age through his father, a renowned attorney and longtime senior partner at Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer, PA.

Hoffman currently lives in Marlton with his wife Mary Jude and their two children Johnny and Maggie.

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