Governor Murphy Announces Intention to Nominate John Jay Hoffman to Serve on the New Jersey Supreme Court

The New Jersey Statehouse and Capitol Building In Trenton

Governor Murphy Announces Intention to Nominate John Jay Hoffman to Serve on the New Jersey Supreme Court

TRENTON – Governor Phil Murphy today announced his intention 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, 2024. The nomination will first be sent to the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Judicial and Prosecutorial Appointments Committee for approval. The Governor will then proceed with a formal nomination, subject to advice and consent in the Senate.

“I am honored to announce the nomination of John Hoffman to serve on the New Jersey Supreme Court,” said Governor Murphy. “John is a pillar of New Jersey’s legal community with a remarkable career in public service. Having held a number of high-ranking positions at the federal and state levels, including serving as the Acting Attorney General of New Jersey for nearly three years, John has earned universal respect on both sides of the aisle for his honesty, integrity, and intellect. I know he will contribute greatly to the New Jersey Supreme Court’s well-earned reputation as a national model, and I look forward to working with Senate President Scutari, Senate Minority Leader Bucco, Senate Judiciary Chair Stack, and their colleagues during the confirmation process.”

“Our Supreme Court plays a critical role in upholding justice and safeguarding the rights and liberties of our residents,” said Lieutenant Governor Way. “John’s wealth of experience in the courtroom and public service make him an ideal candidate for the New Jersey Supreme Court.”

“I have known John Hoffman for close to two decades. He’s an outstanding lawyer with a family tradition of representing the people of the state of New Jersey in public and private service,” said Senate President Nick Scutari. “He’s a man known for his intellect, integrity, and professionalism. I am confident he has all the attributes to be an excellent Associate Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court.”

“The New Jersey Supreme Court is one of the most respected high courts in the nation, and that is in large part due to the longstanding tradition of political balance among its membership.  Justice Solomon’s steady presence on the Court has been integral to preserving that balance and I have little doubt that, if confirmed, John Hoffman would fulfill the same crucial role,” said Senate Minority Leader Anthony Bucco. “John’s distinguished career, in both public service and private practice, leaves him with a wealth of experience.  He is well-known as a top-tier legal mind and he has a proven track record of serving the people of New Jersey with integrity and impartiality. As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I look forward to meeting with John as his nomination moves through the rigorous vetting that is part of the Senate’s advice and consent process. As we begin our review, I have every expectation that he will affirm his fitness for the position to myself and my colleagues from both sides of the aisle.”

“I could not be more honored and humbled by the opportunity provided by Governor Murphy to be considered for a seat on the strongest state Supreme Court in the country, with an amazing group of current Justices, and to assume the seat of my former boss and dear friend Justice Solomon,” said John Hoffman. “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 Chairman Stack, and the entire Senate as this process unfolds.”

Hoffman has dedicated the vast majority of his professional career to public service at both the state and federal levels. After spending two years as an associate at Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, L.L.P. in Washington D.C., Hoffman joined the Department of Justice in 1996 as a trial attorney in the Civil Division. Over the next eight years, Hoffman focused on breach of contract litigation involving the savings and loan industry, and argued five appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. In 2004, Hoffman became an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey, focusing on both violent and white-collar crime.

In 2010, Hoffman joined the New Jersey State Comptroller’s Office to serve as Director of Investigations, where he led a division that investigated and reported on issues of local and state government fraud, abuse, waste, and corruption. Two years later, he joined the Department of Law and Public Safety, joining Attorney General Jeff Chiesa’s senior staff and assuming the role of Executive Assistant Attorney General. In 2013, Governor Christie selected Hoffman to succeed Attorney General Chiesa to serve as the state’s chief law enforcement officer.

As Acting Attorney General, Hoffman led efforts to equip police with body-worn cameras as well as establish a new policy directive on officer-involved shootings. He also enhanced the Prescription Monitoring Program to suppress the misuse of prescription medications and launched the opiate antidote Narcan program to law enforcement agencies statewide resulting in nearly 3,000 overdose reversals. He served in this role for nearly three years, making him the longest-serving Attorney General of the Christie Administration.

In 2016, Hoffman left the Christie Administration and was appointed General Counsel of Rutgers University. In this role, he serves as the Chief Legal Officer for the state’s flagship university, which has a budget of $5 billion and is comprised of over 90,000 students, faculty, and staff. Hoffman advises the governing boards and university leadership on a variety of legal, policy, and business issues, including litigation, internal investigations, and transactions.

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

A New Jersey native, Hoffman was raised in Middlesex County where his exposure to the practice of law began at an early age from his father, a renowned attorney and longtime senior partner at Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer, P.A.

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

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