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Judge Lawson Retiring!


Monmouth County courts will get a new assignment judge in September after Judge Lawrence Lawson steps down three years ahead of the mandatory retirement age.

State Supreme Court Justice Stuart Rabner announced on Monday he has directed Superior Court Judge Lisa Thornton to be the new head of the courts in Monmouth County when Assignment Judge Lawrence Lawson retires effective Sept. 1.

Lawson, 67, was first appointed to the bench in 1987 and elevated to assignment judge in 1993. Since that time, Lawson has presided over some cases involving complex issues, such as eminent domain efforts to redevelop a portion of the oceanfront in Long Branch. He has also has been involved in the dispute between Belmar officials and residents who claim the borough is spending too much money to rebuild the boardwalk after Hurricane Sandy.

Thornton, 50, of Neptune Township is the presiding judge of the court’s family division. Her appointment would make her the first African-American woman to hold the post in New Jersey.

“I am humbled and delighted to be named by Chief Justice Rabner to lead this outstanding body of judges and staff in Monmouth County,”
Thornton said. “It is a great honor to succeed Judge Lawson into the chambers of the assignment judge, and I will strive to maintain and advance the successes of his tenure.”

Thornton was appointed to the bench in 2008 by then-Gov. Jon Corzine, for whom she served as senior associate counsel……………………..

Uh Oh!


  1. Sen Charles Sumner wrote:

    Well ,you win some and you loose most.
    I have come to really admire Judge Lawson. “we the people” have lost a devoted defender.

    Wednesday, July 9, 2014 at 6:28 pm | Permalink
  2. Anonymous wrote:

    Senator Charles Sumner, Maybe, maybe not. Maybe an even better man will replace him.

    Thursday, July 10, 2014 at 8:40 am | Permalink
  3. Sen Charles Sumner wrote:

    Judge LISA Thornton may take offense. Are you saying that when Ms. Thornton is replaced by a better man than Lawson?
    Maybe your Harry Reid comments about the five white justices that included Clarence Thomas. Sorry, but I get confused.

    Thursday, July 10, 2014 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

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