WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez today introduced Julien Xavier Neals and Zahid Quraishi during the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing to consider their nominations to the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey and urged their swift confirmations. New Jersey’s six federal court vacancies is second only to California, and has been declared a “judicial emergency.” 

“These nominees represent the best of New Jersey. Both reflect our state’s proud and uniquely rich diversity and both demonstrate a steadfast commitment to equal justice under law,” said Sen. Menendez. “New Jersey’s District Court currently faces six vacancies, all of 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 these qualified nominees.”

 

 

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Sens. Menendez and Cory Booker, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, applauded the nominations of Neals and Quraishi after President Biden announced them last month.

Julien Neals currently serves as County Counsel for Bergen County, a position he has held since January 2015. Previously, he worked as an attorney practicing general litigation in state and federal courts at Chasan, Leyner & Lamparello, P.C. From 2006 until 2014, Neals worked for the City of Newark, serving in roles including Business Administrator, Corporation Counsel and Chief Judge of the Newark Municipal Court. Neals began his legal career as a law clerk to Judge Seymour Margulies on the New Jersey Superior Court in Hudson County, from 1991 to 1992. He received his J.D. from Emory University School of Law in 1991 and his B.A. from Morehouse College in 1986.

If confirmed, Zahid Quraishi will be the first Muslim American to serve as a federal judge. In 2019, he was appointed as a United States Magistrate Judge for the District of New Jersey in the Trenton Vicinage. Quraishi, who is of Pakistani ancestry, is the first Asian-American to serve on the federal bench in New Jersey. Prior to his appointment, he was Chair of Riker Danzig’s White Collar Criminal Defense and Investigations Group and his firm's first Chief Diversity Officer. Before joining Riker, Quraishi served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey for over five years. He previously represented the United States as an Assistant Chief Counsel and trial attorney with the Department of Homeland Security.  He also served as a military prosecutor and achieved the rank of Captain in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps. In the Army, Quraishi was assigned to the First Infantry Division stationed in Germany and deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004 and 2006 before he was honorably discharged. Earlier in his career, Quraishi worked as a litigation associate at LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae, LLP and clerked for the Honorable Edwin H. Stern, Presiding Judge, Superior Court of New Jersey - Appellate Division (retired). Quraishi received his law degree from Rutgers Law School - Newark, where he was the Managing Business Editor of the Rutgers Computer and Technology Law Journal and a member of the Rutgers Moot Court Board. He received his B.A. from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 1997.