Judge Rotation

The New Jersey court system rotates judicial assignments. Every summer the New Jersey Supreme Court Chief Justice issues an order that transfers some trial judges to new assignments, where they preside over different types of cases than previously. This year, a record 60 judges were told to participate in the judicial game of musical chairs. This fact is important to know if you are involved in any litigation because it means that now a judge who, say, is hearing your case about a complex business transaction, or a convoluted personal injury accident, might have just spent the last eight years in Criminal Court. So the judge may have no experience with your type of case. I have personally witnessed this phenomenon in a number of cases that I have been involved with.

When faced with such a situation, a lawyer must literally educate the trial judge in the type of case at issue. It is thus crucial for any litigant to retain an attorney with the knowledge and experience necessary to meet this type of a challenge, as you never know going into court whether you might be assigned to a rookie judge.

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