In selecting Patterson, Governor Christie decided not to re-appoint Associate Justice John E. Wallace, Jr., whose seven-year initial appointment expires on May 20. Under the New Jersey Constitution, the power and authority to appoint and re-appoint justices of the Supreme Court rests solely with the Governor, with the advice and consent of the state Senate, which is responsible for considering nominees on their merits.
“I wish to thank and commend Justice Wallace for his seven years of dedicated service on the Supreme Court,” said Governor Christie. “Before and since becoming Governor, I was unambiguous in my intention to bring balance and change to the Supreme Court. My selection today is not a commentary on Justice Wallace. It is a fulfillment of my promise to turn the Court away from its history of using legal precedent to set social and tax policies in our state – a role which belongs squarely with the Legislative and Executive branches of state government.”
“In Anne Patterson, I believe we have a future associate justice who understands at a principled level what it means to be a member of a co-equal branch of government, with its powers and its limitations. I also see in her the high level of legal intellect, character and compassion that I will require of any nomination I have the privilege to make to our highest court.”
Patterson, 51, is a partner with the law firm Riker, Danzig, Scherer, Hyland & Perretti, LLP, of Morristown. There she practices primarily in the areas of product liability and commercial litigation in state and federal courts, class actions involving product liability and pharmaceutical pricing, intellectual property litigation, restrictive covenant litigation, closely held corporation litigation and appeals.
“This is the highest honor I could ever imagine, and I am more grateful to Governor Christie than I can express,” said Patterson. “I look forward to meeting with members of the Legislature over the coming weeks as they consider my nomination.”
Patterson has been a member of the New Jersey bar for 27 years and has practiced before the state’s Supreme Court, appellate and trial courts. In 1989 and 1990, Patterson served as a Deputy Attorney General and Special Assistant to then-New Jersey Attorney General Peter N. Perretti, Jr.
Patterson, who was born in Trenton and is a lifelong New Jerseyan, graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Dartmouth College in 1980, and received her law degree from Cornell Law School in 1983.
Patterson is married to James E. Patterson, an attorney with the law firm Graham Curtin of Morristown, where he specializes in labor and employment law.