WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) today called for the swift confirmation of attorney Christine P. O’Hearn as he formally introduced her during the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing to consider her nomination to the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.  If confirmed, O’Hearn would become the third Biden nominee seated on New Jersey’s federal bench, which is facing a declared “judicial emergency” due to six longstanding district court vacancies.

 

“It is clear to me that Ms. O’Hearn has the astute judgment and even temperament necessary to excel as a federal judge.  I am confident that she will serve the people of New Jersey well through her administration of fair and impartial justice.   I am very proud to have recommended her for appointment to the U.S. District of New Jersey,” Sen. Menendez said.  “I strongly urge the Committee’s unanimous support and hope that we can have a speedy confirmation process on this qualified nominee.”

 

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Christine P. O’Hearn is currently a partner at Brown & Connery, LLP in Westmont, N.J. where she practices in labor, employment and complex civil litigation.  She has over 28 years’ experience as a trial attorney successfully arguing cases in New Jersey and Pennsylvania Federal and State Courts in defense and on behalf of individual employees as plaintiffs in claims against their employers.  O’Hearn was twice named one of the “Top 40 Attorneys Under 40” in New Jersey by the New Jersey Law Journal (2002, 2004) and was featured in the New Jersey Law Journal’s “Woman and Minorities in the Profession” (2003).  She was appointed in 2020 to the U.S. Magistrate Judge Selection Committee and served on various distinguished boards, including the New Jersey State Committee of the American College of Trial Lawyers, and the New Jersey Supreme Court District IV Ethics Committee.  O’Hearn previously served as an adjunct professor at Rutgers University School of Law in Camden, has published numerous articles and legal writings with a focus on employment discrimination, and has been admitted into the New Jersey and Pennsylvania bar, United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, United States Supreme Court, United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit Court, and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.  She graduated cum laude from Temple University School of Law and earned a B.A. in criminal justice from the University of Delaware. 

 

President Biden nominated O’Hearn on April 29.  Earlier this month, the Senate confirmed the appointments of U.S. Magistrate Judge Zahid Quraishi and Julien X. Neals to the U.S. District Court of New Jersey after they were nominated together on March 30; their confirmation hearing was held in April.  On May 12, President Biden nominated U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen M. Williams to serve on New Jersey’s district court.

 

Prior to his comments today on the O’Hearn nomination, Sen. Menendez, as the highest-ranking Latino in Congress, praised the nomination of Judge Gustavo Gelpi, who also came before the Judiciary Committee, to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.  If confirmed, Judge Gelpi would be only the second federal judge of Hispanic origin and the second judge from Puerto Rico to ever sit on the First Circuit.

 

Below are Sen. Menendez’s remarks as prepared for delivery:

 

“Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee…
 
“I would like to first acknowledge a historic nominee to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, Judge Gustavo Gelpí.  Judge Gelpí would be only the second judge of Hispanic origin and the second judge from Puerto Rico ever to sit on the First Circuit.  He is deeply respected among his colleagues in the judiciary and a beloved member of the Puerto Rican legal community.  I believe he will make an outstanding addition to our First Circuit court.
 
“It is also my great privilege to introduce our exceptional nominee to the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, Ms. Christine O’Hearn.
 
“Born and raised in New Jersey, Ms. O’Hearn is an expert in labor and employment law and is highly regarded among her colleagues for her sharp intellect.  Ms. O’Hearn was twice named one of the ‘Top 40 Attorneys under 40’ in New Jersey and was featured in New Jersey Law Journal’s ‘Women and Minorities in the Profession.’
 
“Ms. O’Hearn is currently a partner at Brown & Connery, LLP in Westmont, New Jersey, where she practices in labor, employment, and complex civil litigation.  In 2020, Ms. O’Hearn was appointed to the U.S. Magistrate Judge Selection Committee and has served on various distinguished boards, including the New Jersey State Committee of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the New Jersey Court District IV Ethics Committee.  Ms. O’Hearn also previously served as an adjunct professor at Rutgers University School of Law in Camden.
 
“It is clear to me that Ms. O’Hearn has the astute judgment and even temperament necessary to excel as a federal judge.  I am confident that she will serve the people of New Jersey well through her administration of fair and impartial justice.  I am very proud to have recommended her for appointment to the U.S. District of New Jersey.
 
“Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee, as I have mentioned before, New Jersey’s District Court currently faces multiple vacancies, which have been declared ‘judicial emergencies’ by the Judicial Conference of the United States.
 
“I strongly urge the Committee’s unanimous support and hope that we can have a speedy confirmation process on this qualified nominee.
 
“Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.”

 

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