Superior Court Judges Hayden, St. John, Ostrer elevated to Appellate Court

TRENTON – Superior Court Judges Margaret M. Hayden, Jerome M. St. John, and Mitchel Ostrer will be elevated to the Appellate Division effective Aug. 1, Chief Justice Stuart Rabner announced today.

Hayden has served in the family division in the Essex Vicinage since her appointment to the bench by Gov. James E. McGreevey in 2004, the acting administrator of the court reported today in a release. A former member of the statewide Domestic Violence Working Group, Hayden served as the lead judge on domestic violence cases from 2004 to 2006. She served as lead judge for Children in Court (dependency) cases and for the Newark Model Court from 2008 to 2011.
“I am delighted to be able to serve the people of New Jersey in this new role,” Hayden said in a release. “I believe the judges and staff of the New Jersey Judiciary are the best anywhere, and it is an honor to work with them.”

According to the release, Hayden is a graduate of Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and Rutgers University School of Law-Newark, and began her legal career in 1973 at the Newark firm of Ball, Hayden, Livingston & Smith. In 1985, she joined the Environmental Protection Bureau of the New York Office of the Attorney General as assistant attorney general.

In addition, Superior Court Judge Jerome M. St. John will be elevated to the Appellate Division effective Aug. 1.

Appointed to the Superior Court in 2006 by Gov. Jon Corzine, St. John served in the criminal division in the Essex Vicinage until 2009, when he was transferred to the civil division. He returned to the criminal division last year and has remained there until his elevation to the Appellate Division.

A graduate of Villanova University and Seton Hall School of Law, St. John began his legal career in private practice, first at the Newark firm of Kraft & Hughes, and later as a partner at St. John & Wayne in Newark and New York City.

“This appointment is truly an honor and I am grateful to the Chief Justice for his confidence in me,” St. John said in a release. “I look forward to working on the appellate bench and I want to thank Assignment Judge Patricia K. Costello, my fellow judges and all of the wonderful people in Essex who have made my time there so enjoyable.”

Ostrer was appointed to the bench in 2003 by Gov. James E. McGreevey. He began his judicial career in the civil division in the Mercer Vicinage, moving to the family division in 2004 and to the criminal division in 2007. While on the bench, Ostrer has been a participant in the Advanced Science and Technology Adjudication Resource Center and has served on the Evidence Rules Committee. As an attorney, he served on the District V-B Ethics Committee and the Model Civil Jury Charge Committee.

After receiving a bachelor’s degree from Hamilton College, Ostrer earned a master of public affairs degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. He attended Columbia University School of Law, receiving his law degree in 1979. He served as a law clerk to the late New Jersey Supreme Court Justice Sidney M. Schreiber.

“I am honored and grateful to have this opportunity to serve on the Appellate Division. I am thankful to have had the chance to work with so many wonderful and dedicated people on the bench, on our staff, and among the bar in Mercer County. I will miss them,” Ostrer said in a release.

Superior Court Judges Hayden, St. John, Ostrer elevated to Appellate Court