TRENTON, NJ – It’s official. Filipino American Carlia Brady of Woodbridge, NJ is heading to the Superior Court following a vote by the New Jersey Senate on Tuesday, Feb. 26 confirming her appointment. She will serve for a seven-year term and join some 40 judges in the Middlesex County.
Brady is the second Filipino-American judge to serve in the Superior Court next to Patricia Talbert, now retired, who is of Filipino-descent born in the state of Hawaii.
Senator Nicholas P. Scutari, chairperson of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which vetted her qualifications on Feb. 22 and endorsed her appointment, introduced the Philippine-born lawyer to state Senators. After brief remarks and a few questions, the Senators gave a unanimous nod to Brady.
“My family and friends were all thrilled for me when I was appointed,” Brady said.
Brady will be sworn into office in late March or early April, on a date, which is yet to be determined. Judge Travis L. Francis (Assignment Judge of Middlesex County) will officiate the ceremony. She will assume office the following business day.
“APALA-NJ congratulates Ms. Brady on her historic confirmation as a Superior Court judge and is proud to have supported her candidacy,” said Paul K. Yoon, President of APALA-NJ. “We applaud Governor Christie for nominating such a highly qualified jurist and continuing his commitment to a well-qualified and diverse judiciary.”
In a statement, APALA said New Jersey remains among the top five U.S. states with the largest Asian Pacific American (APA) populations, and APAs are also the fastest growing minority group during the past decade nationwide. It also said “while there is still much work to be done to diversify the State Judiciary, Ms. Brady’s confirmation to the Superior Court is a decisive step in the right direction.”
Towards this end, APALA further said it will “continue to work with its sister bar associations on both the State and Federal level, as well as with leaders in the community, to ameliorate the glaring under-representation of APAs in the judiciary.”
“APALA-NJ commends Governor Christie’s commitment to diversity as demonstrated by his selections to the bench,” said Jhanice V. Domingo, APALA-NJ Vice President and Co-Chair of APALA-NJ’s Judicial & Prosecutorial Appointments Committee.
Brady is a product of New Jersey schools and received her Bachelor of Science degree from Rutgers College/Rutgers School of Business and her Juris Doctor degree from Seton Hall University School of Law. She is currently a shareholder at Stark & Stark and a member of the firm’s Accident and Personal Injury Groups.
She has appeared in more than 100 cases as chief counsel and tried numerous jury and non-jury trials. In 2006 2007, and 2010, Super Lawyers honored Brady as one of New Jersey’s Rising Stars.
When asked how she envisions herself in her new role, she said: “litigants who come before me may expect to be treated respectfully and given their fair day in court.”
Her colleagues at Stark & Stark gave their well wishes to her and have been very supportive during the nomination/appointment process. Although Stark & Stark will still employ her until she assumes office as judge, she said she would start winding down her legal practice for now.
“It is inspiring for all Asian Pacific Americans (APA) — in particular, first-generation Filipino Americans — to witness the ascension of yet another qualified APA legal mind to the New Jersey state court bench. It is vital that our country’s state and federal judiciary reflect more accurately the diverse populations they serve,” said Rio Guerrero, another Filipino American who is Chair of the Immigration and Nationality Law Committee of the Asian American Bar Association. He is a member of both the New York and New Jersey State Bars.
“Carlia Magpantay Brady will serve as a role model for attorneys, students and others in our Filipino American community — demonstrating the opportunity for all of us to attain such a coveted position in the judiciary through education, hard work and determination. I join with members of the New Jersey State Bar wishing her the greatest success. I am confident she will serve honorably and with distinction,” added Guerrero.