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U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Michael Chagares. (Photo: Seton Hall Law School).

New Jerseyan named chief judge of federal appeals court

Michael Chagares will lead Third Circuit of U.S. Court of Appeals

By David Wildstein, November 22 2021 9:27 am

Judge Michael Chagares has been named chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, becoming the first New Jerseyan to hold the post since John J. Gibbons retired 31 years ago.

President George W. Bush nominated Chagares to the post in 2006.   He replaced Michael Chertoff, who had been named U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security by Bush.

“Mike Chagares brings to his new post a deep reservoir of good will.  He is well-liked by all — both by his colleagues and court staff,” said the current chief judge, D. Brooks Smith.  “On a court with a collegial tradition like ours, that affection and respect is a priceless personal asset.”

The 59-year-old Seton Hall Law graduate began his legal career as a law clerk to Judge Morton Greenberg,  a South Jersey native who spent nearly 50 years as judge at various levels.  He served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney four fourteen years – including five years as civil division chief – before going to private law practice at Cole, Schotz.

While serving as a federal prosecutor, Charges also served as president of the library board in his hometown and as vice president of the local youth soccer league.

His nomination to the Court of Appeals was approved by the U.S. Senate by a 98-0 vote.   He had the back of U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Frank Lautenberg as part of a larger package of federal judicial nominees proposed by Bush in accordance with an agreement by the state’s two senators.

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