Home>Highlight>Rabner names new assignment judge in Atlantic, elevates four temporary appellate judges

Superior Court Judge Michael Blee. (Photo: New Jersey Administrative Office of the Courts).

Rabner names new assignment judge in Atlantic, elevates four temporary appellate judges

By David Wildstein, February 09 2022 6:21 pm

Chief Justice Stuart Rabner has temporarily assigned four Superior Court judges to fill vacancies in the Appellate Division and has elevated Michael J. Blee to serve as assignment judge in Atlantic and Cape May counties.

Blee will replace Judge Julio Mendez next month when he retires after nearly 20 years on the bench.

The move reduces the number of assignment judges of color from four of fifteen to just three.

But Rabner’s elevation, at least on a temporary basis, of Judges Avis Bishop-Thompson and Maritza Berdote Byrne , increases the number of judges of color on the appellate from six to eight and from 20% to 25%.

Another Atlantic County Superior Court Judge, Joseph Marczyk, will serve on the appellate court from March 14 through May 23.  Before going to law school, Marczyk was an aide to Blee’s brother, former Assemblyman Francis Blee (R-Absecon).

Judge Stephen L. Petrillo of Essex, a judge since 2016, was also elevated on a temporary basis.

They replace now-retired appellate judges Scott Moynihan, Mitchel Ostrer, Karen Suter, and Joseph Yannotti.

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