Former NJ Supreme Court Justice Virginia Long Joins Fox Rothschild

March 1, 2012 – Press Releases

Fox Rothschild LLP is honored to welcome retired New Jersey Supreme Court Justice Virginia Long, who joins the firm as counsel in the Princeton office effective March 5.

“New Jersey’s state Supreme Court has long been viewed by many as a national model for its handling of legal issues, and Justice Long’s uncommon wisdom and profound humanity have greatly influenced many of the decisions issued by the court on some of today’s most controversial issues,” said Phillip E. Griffin, co-chair of the firm.

“Justice Long has been a pivotal player for more than a decade on our high court. Her intellect, integrity and commitment not only to professional excellence but also to the New Jersey legal community – where she has spent her entire legal career – is a tremendous asset to our team of more than 150 attorneys throughout the state,” added Matthew H. Lubart, managing partner of the firm’s Princeton office.

At Fox Rothschild, Justice Long will devote her efforts to assisting clients with ethics and appellate matters, corporate governance and governmental integrity investigations and to serving as a mediator in alternative dispute resolution matters. She will also spearhead the firm’s pro bono efforts in New Jersey.

Justice Long was nominated to serve on the New Jersey Supreme Court in 1999 by Governor Christine Todd Whitman. She was confirmed by the state Senate for a second term and granted tenure in 2006. Justice Long retired from the court yesterday when she reached the age of mandatory retirement (70).

While Justice Long authored opinions on many important issues during her tenure, she is noted for her view on the death penalty, which she believed was impossible to apply rationally and consistently. She has been credited, with others, with informing the decision of the New Jersey Legislature to abolish the death penalty entirely in 2007, substituting life imprisonment without the possibility of parole as the applicable punishment.

Her judicial opinions impacted the lives of people statewide and addressed such topics as establishing standards for a determination of who constitutes a “psychological parent;” determining that the refusal to renew the employment contract of an employee over the age of 70 violated the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination; finding that alimony determination is not impacted by any marital fault that does not affect the economic status quo; and noting that any physician who performs a physical examination on behalf of a third party, such as part of a pre-employment exam, has a duty to advise the examinee of any negative findings.

A member of the New Jersey bar for more than 40 years, Justice Long has had a varied legal career. In addition to her role as NJ Supreme Court Justice, she previously served as Deputy Attorney General for the state of New Jersey, as Director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs and as Commissioner of the former New Jersey Department of Banking.

In 1978, Governor Brendan T. Byrne appointed her to the New Jersey Superior Court, where she presided over civil, criminal and family law cases. From 1983 to 1984, she was the General Equity judge for Mercer, Somerset and Hunterdon counties. In 1984, then-Chief Justice Robert N. Wilentz elevated her to the Appellate Division, where she penned more than 2,000 opinions during her tenure and became a presiding judge in 1995. She has also chaired and served as a member of numerous Supreme Court committees, including Extra-judicial Activities and Judicial Performance.

Justice Long received her B.A. from Dunbarton College of the Holy Cross in 1963 and her J.D. from Rutgers Law School in 1966.