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Statement of NJSBA President Timothy F. McGoughran on the death of Assignment Judge Lisa Thornton

The entire NJSBA family grieves the sudden and unexpected loss of Superior Court Assignment Judge Lisa Thornton and sends our deepest condolences to her family in this difficult time.
   
She was a trailblazer in the legal community, leading at all times with integrity, passion and heart. Indeed, as Assignment Judge since 2014, she was the heart and soul of the Monmouth County bench. Her relationship with the bar was second to none. She was collaborative and truly had an open-door policy.
   
I have known Judge Thornton since she was a Municipal Court Judge in Neptune. Since then and throughout the years during my service as a municipal court judge, Monmouth Bar Association president and in recent years, she has been a go-to person in my life, and in the lives of all who knew her, to provide insightful guidance and gentle help or direction. Judge Thornton led by example with a tremendous work ethic. She was strong and serious when necessary but she also had an infectious laugh, warm sense of humor and ever-present smile.
   
Her career of service extended to every corner of the state, having served as an associate general counsel for Gov. Jon Corzine and as chief of staff for two New Jersey Attorney Generals, Anne Milgram, now the U.S. DEA Administrator, and Stuart Rabner, now Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court.
   
Judge Thornton was a frequent lecturer for the New Jersey State Bar Association and its New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education, helping to educate attorneys around the state. We were honored to celebrate her legacy at the 2018 Annual Reception Honoring Diverse Judges.  She attended the 2023 NJSBA Annual Convention just one week ago. She was a tremendous supporter of the NJSBA, the Monmouth Bar Association and the Legal Aid Society of Monmouth County, to name just a few of the long list of causes she promoted.
   
To say she was beloved is an understatement. She was a devoted public servant, a shining light of justice and has had a lasting positive impact on society. Today is a very sad day.
   
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 31, 2023
Contact: Thomas Nobile
Director of Communications
Tel: 732-937-7527
ENDPRBLOCK

Contact: NJSBA Communications Department
Tel: 732-937-7527
Email: [email protected]

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