Fil-Am’s Bid To NJ Superior Court Clears Committee

by Ricky Rillera


NEW JERSEY –  Filipino American judges are marching in.  First, it was Lorna Schofield on the federal level in New York, followed recently by Jersey City acting Chief Judge Carlo Abad on a municipal level.  Now comes Carlia M. Brady,  a 41-year-old Philippine-born lawyer from Middlesex County in New Jersey who may become the first Filipino American to sit as a judge in the Superior Court.

Brady, who was nominated by Governor Chris Cristie, has been  unanimously approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee Feb. 21.   Her nomination now moves to the full Senate for a final vote, which may happen as early as Feb. 26.

According to some sources, a full Senate vote is routinely consistent with the Judiciary Committee’s action.

Following her full Senate vote, Brady would then be sworn in and assume the role of Judge on the Superior Court.  She will serve for a seven-year term.

“The vetting process from the start has been a positive experience.  I am encouraged to say that everyone involved handled themselves professionally and ethically,” Brady said. 

“No matter what happens with my nomination, I will leave this process believing that New Jersey’s Executive and Legislative branches of government attempt to further the best interest of the people of the State of New Jersey,” added Brady. 

Brady said the nomination process started with New Jersey Senator Kevin O’Toole who submitted her name to Gov. Christie.  Senators Barbara Buono and Nicholas Scutari endorsed her for the nomination.

Thereafter, all of her Middlesex senators approved her nomination to proceed.  Her candidacy was also endorsed by the Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association of New Jersey; Philippine Community of Southern New Jersey; San Carlos City Negros Occidental Association – USA Chapter; and New Jersey Asian American Law Enforcement Officers Association. 

She appeared for a hearing to vet her qualifications before the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Judiciary Committee and was also vetted by the State Police.  Further, after being vetted by former Supreme Court Justice Peter Verniero (Chairman of Governor Christie’s Judiciary Committee), she was nominated by Governor Christie .

Brady, who was born in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental, is the daughter of Oscar and Ophelia Magpantay,  She is a litigation partner at Stark & Stark,  a law firm that offers a full range of legal services for businesses and individuals.  She specializes in plaintiff’s personal injury cases.

Before joining Stark & Stark,  she was a civil defense litigator and a construction management attorney.  She also had clerked to the Hon. Travis Francis, Hon. Martin Kravarik and Hon. Harriet Derman in Middlesex County immediately after graduating from Seton Hall University School of Law.

The Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association of New Jersey  APALA-NJ issued a statement saying it was “pleased that the NJ Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved Carlia Brady’s nomination to the New Jersey Superior Court.” 

APALA also said: “We proudly support her candidacy and hope that she will be confirmed by the full Senate. If confirmed, Ms. Brady would be the only Filipino-American in today’s NJ Superior Court bench.”  

“Carlia’s story is one that the Fil-Am community should be proud of and emulate. Becoming a Superior Court judge is a complicated process requiring political avvy professional and personal integrity sharp acumen and the respect of peers,”  Michael Angulo said.

“She is a proud Filipina and has never lost sight of her roots.  She is close to her family and her culture, and prefers Filipino cuisine over all others.  Carlia actively volunteered her time to assist Fil-Am community in central and southern New Jersey,” Anglo added.

Angulo is another young and successful lawyer who was Assistant Counsel to the New Jersey Governor in 2002 and then as Executive Director/EO of the NJ Higher Education Student Assistance Authority from 2004-2011. He currently practices higher education law in Cherry Hill, NJ.

Angulo also said that Brady is a “trailblazer whose path to success should be followed by all of us in our respective professions or in our Fil-Am and broader communities.”

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