Stephen Skillman, a retired Presiding Judge of the Appellate Division of the Superior Court, joined the firm in an of counsel capacity after serving more than thirty years as a trial and appellate judge.
Mr. Skillman is a 1965 graduate of Harvard Law School. After a one-year internship on the Supreme Court of New Jersey, he was appointed to the position of Deputy Attorney General assigned to the New Jersey Division of Civil Rights. In 1969, he was promoted to the position of Assistant Attorney General in charge of all civil appeals in the New Jersey Attorney General’s office. During the next twelve years he argued more than 125 appeals for the State in federal and state appellate court including six arguments before the Supreme Court of the United States.
In 1973, Mr. Skillman was appointed as Director of the Division of Law, a position in which he supervised the more than one hundred Deputy Attorneys General who provide legal advice and representation in federal and state court to all state agencies and officials. From 1973 to 1974, he also served as First Assistant Attorney General.
In 1981, Mr. Skillman was appointed to the Superior Court. From 1981 to 1984, he was assigned to the Law Division in Middlesex County, where he presided over personal injury, contract, and a variety of other civil trials. In 1984, he was appointed as a Mount Laurel judge responsible for handling all exclusionary zoning cases in northern New Jersey and also as one of the two Chancery Division judges responsible for handling general equity cases in Middlesex County.
In 1986, Mr. Skillman was appointed to the Appellate Division, where he sat for the next twenty-six years, eleven as a Presiding Judge. He continued to serve in that court until his retirement in 2012.
During his more than thirty years on the bench, Mr. Skillman wrote over 3,000 opinions, of which more than 550 are published in the New Jersey Superior Court reports.
Mr. Skillman served on the Supreme Court Civil Practice Committee from 1974 to 2010 and was Vice Chair of the Committee from 1999 to 2010. He is currently the Vice Chair of the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct.
At the firm, Mr. Skillman handles complex civil litigation, including the writing of trial and appellate briefs, and provides counsel to other members of the firm and other attorneys. He also is available to serve as an arbitrator.