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Retired Chief Justice James R. Zazzali

Justice James R. Zazzali

Chief Justice Zazzali was nominated by Gov. Jonathan S. Corzine on Sept. 21, 2006. His nomination was confirmed by the Senate on Oct. 23 and he was sworn into office on Oct. 26. He is the seventh Chief Justice to lead the New Jersey Supreme Court since the 1947 Constitution.

Chief Justice Zazzali was first named to the Supreme Court by Gov. Christine Todd Whitman on May 18, 2000. He was confirmed on May 25 and sworn in on June 14.

Chief Justice Zazzali was born in Newark on June 17, 1937. He attended Seton Hall Preparatory School and was graduated from Georgetown College in 1958 and Georgetown Law Center in 1962. He served his clerkship with the Honorable Lawrence A. Whipple. He is admitted to the New Jersey, New York and District of Columbia bars.

Chief Justice Zazzali served as Chief of the Appeals Division of the Office of the Essex County Prosecutor; General Counsel to the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority; Receiver for Bloomfield College; Chairman of the New Jersey State Commission of Investigation; Vice-Chairman of the Disciplinary Review Board, and as New Jersey Attorney General.

He was appointed by the United States District Court as Special Master for the county jails in Essex, Monmouth and Bergen Counties. He also served, at the request of the United States State Department, on delegations to the United Nations conferences. He was engaged in the practice of law in Newark and Trenton in the firm founded by his late father and his brother – Zazzali, Fagella & Nowak.

He is a former Adjunct Professor at Seton Hall Law School, former Associate Editor of the New Jersey Law Journal, and a contributor to various magazines, newspapers and law journals.

Chief Justice Zazzali is married to the former Eileen Fitzsimmons of New York. Their children are Mara, James Jr., Robert, Courtney and Kevin.

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