The NJSBA Arthur T. Vanderbilt Award For Excellence in Judicial Administration
The Arthur T. Vanderbilt Award for Excellence in Judicial Administration recognizes outstanding efforts by individuals in the legal community who assist in fulfilling the mission statements of the NJSBA and the Judicial Administration Committee.
The Arthur T. Vanderbilt Award for Excellence in Judicial Administration was created to recognize outstanding efforts by individuals in the legal community who assist in fulfilling the mission statements of the NJSBA and that of the Judicial Administration Committee in the area of judicial administration. The recipient may not be a current sitting member of the Judicial Administration Committee. In addition, it is not necessary that the recipient be an attorney or NJSBA member (so that judges and court staff may qualify to receive the award).
Nominations for the award are solicited from members of the Judicial Administration Committee and members of the NJSBA Board of Trustees during the current and past five years. Once received, the Judicial Administration Committee will review the nominations and make recommendations to NJSBA Executive Committee.
Nominations are accepted until July 1st annually by downloading and using the nomination form and forwarding it to Todd Sidor, Director of Government Affairs, at the NJSBA via mail, fax 732-937-7544, or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Martin L. Haines was a former NJSBA President, serving from 1972-73, as a Superior Court Judge for 12 years, and an assignment judge for eight of those years. From 1996-1998, Judge Haines served as co-chair of the Judicial Administration Committee with Holly Bakke and continued his longstanding advocacy for NJSBA involvement in judicial policymaking. Ms. Bakke and he were the founding chairs to start the bench bar conference known as “The Judicial Administration Forum” which has brought together lawyers, judges and court staff to discuss the pressing issues of the day in a collegial atmosphere.
Theodore J. Fetter retired in 2008 as Deputy Administrative Director of the Courts. He has been an invaluable consultant to the Judicial Administration Committee for over a decade and for the last five years as an ex officio member of the committee. Mr. Fetter resigned as a member of the Committee in mid-March in anticipation of his retirement. Mr. Fetter is not a lawyer by trade. However, his knowledge and counsel to the committee proved a significant help to the NJSBA in being able to secure a deeper understanding of judicial policymaking issues.
Paula T. Dow spent an unprecedented tenure of 12 years on the NJSBA Judicial Administration Committee. During that time she served in various capacities including co-chair for two years and also a facilitator and speaker at several forums. She concluded her time on the committee in 2008. In addition, she helped to expand the committee’s membership and remained active even after becoming Essex County Prosecutor.
Robert D. Pitt has worked primarily with the NJSBA and its Special Civil Part Committee appearing at meetings, and NJSBA programs throughout the years. He assisted in the production of a Judicial College program with the Special Civil Part Committee on best Special Civil Part practices. Mr. Pitt also helped produce the 1999 Symposium on Technology where he shared the New Jersey judiciary's plans to start electronic filing in the Special Civil Part at the NJSBA Annual Meeting.
Edwin J. McCreedy: A former chair of the Judicial Administration Committee. Ed made expanding the involvement of the NJSBA in judicial policymaking a top priority during his elevation through the chairs to become president. His efforts culminated in a renewal of the NJSBA/Judiciary communications protocol, and a commitment from then-Chief Justice Deborah T. Poritz that enabled the NJSBA to appear at Judicial Council meetings to express our issues before the leaders of the NJ courts annually. Mr. McCreedy also participated as a member of the Ad Hoc Committee on Best Civil Practices in their evaluation of “best practices” recommendations for the Conference of Civil Presiding Judges for the Board of Trustees.
Nancy Erika Smith was a member of the committee for a number of years. Prior to her membership, she helped to moderate a program on the committee’s behalf on federal and state appellate advocacy. She has also participated as a facilitator at past forums. Last year, she presented two panels at the Judicial College on our behalf: the first is the Conscientious Employee Protection Act; and the second is a panel on the law against discrimination. This year she was a moderator of the panel of current and part female Supreme Court justice at the Women in the Profession Section’s Women in the Courts Bench Bar Conference which the committee co-sponsored.
David P. Anderson: David Anderson during his tenure as Director of Professional and Governmental Services at the AOC was responsible for driving the court’s legislative and judicial appointments. He also replaced Ted Fetter as the Judiciary’s liaison to the NJSBA for over a decade in response to the adoption of the Supreme Court’s Strategic Planning Report and to the Judicial Administration Committee attending a number of meetings to discuss issues of mutual concern.
Senator Robert Martin: Senator Robert Martin, as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, was an outspoken critic of senatorial courtesy and proponent of the appointment of qualified judicial appointees. Toward this end, he authored and implemented his own form of judicial review on which he elaborated in a Rutgers Law Review article entitled "Reinforcing New Jersey's Bench: Power Tools for Remodeling Senatorial Courtesy and Refining Judicial Selection." This model became the basis for the NJSBA’s recommendations in its Report on Judicial Selection. In the past, he has appeared at several NJSBA events on these subjects. Senator Martin was also a cosponsor of municipal public defender legislation, which was signed into law in 1997 to eliminate mandatory pro bono assignments in New Jersey’s municipal courts, and authored another Rutgers Law Review article entitled "A Matter of Simple Justice: Enactment of New Jersey's Municipal Public Defender Act." Each of these actions have been calculated to improve the administration of justice in New Jersey and assisted the NJSBA in its mission either acting on a parallel or cooperative course.
in its mission either acting on a parallel or cooperative course.