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Monday, January 3, 2011

NJ High Court To Shrink to Five

The New Jersey Supreme Court may soon shrink to five sitting members. Embattled and ethically-challenged Justice Roberto Rivera-Soto announced today he will not seek reappointment to the Court.

Governor Chris Christie reportedly will not seek to replace Rivera-Soto until the State Legislature holds confirmation hearings on his first nominee, Anne Patterson, to fill the vacancy left by the non-renewed Justice John Wallace.

With these actions, the New Jersey Supreme Court will have gone from seven justices to five (assuming Rivera-Soto is not replaced) in just a matter of months.  Currently, Justice Rivera-Soto has been declining to join in opinions on the claim that the Court was operating in an unconstitutional manner by accepting votes from an interim justice brought in to fill in for the vacancy left by the earlier decision by Christie not to reappoint Wallace. The New Jersey Supreme Court can function as long as it has a quorum of five justices.

Eric Dixon is a New York lawyer, admitted to practice in both New York and New Jersey, and an observer on legal, judicial, economic and political matters.  Mr. Dixon has been a practicing lawyer since his 1994 graduation from Yale Law School and is the principal of Eric Dixon LLC, through which he offers legal advice, strategic analysis and lawsuit stress consulting.  Mr. Dixon may be reached for consultation or comment at 917-696-2442 and via email at

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