The New Jersey Senate confirmed Gov. Chris Christie’s nomination of Filipino-American attorney Carlia Magpantay Brady to the Superior Court of Middlesex County, officially making her the first Philippine-born New Jersey Superior Court judge and presently the only Filipino-American on the Superior Court bench in the Garden State.
The historic final vote by a full State Senate on Feb. 25 came shortly after Brady’s appointment was unanimously approved Feb. 21 by the State Senate Committee on Judiciary.
Brady’s colleagues at the Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association (APALA) of New Jersey lauded the good news.
“We applaud Gov. Christie for nominating such a highly qualified jurist and continuing his commitment to a well-qualified and diverse judiciary,” said Paul K. Yoon, president of the APALA-NJ.
Brady’s confirmation “advances diversity in a branch of government that does not today adequately reflect the entire constituency of New Jersey,” Yoon said.
According to the 2010 Census, APAs represent over 8.3% of New Jersey’s population, but there are only three other judges of Asian Pacific American (APA) descent out of approximately 360 Superior Court judges.
Between 2000 and 2010, the APA population more than doubled in 110 New Jersey municipalities, and every county in New Jersey experienced double-digit growth of its APA population.
In fact, at least one in every three residents is APA in nine municipalities, including Middlesex County, and Middlesex County’s Edison Township continued to have one of the largest APA populations in the state.
New Jersey remains among the top five U.S. states with the largest APA populations, and APAs were also the fastest growing minority group during the past decade nationwide.
“While there is still much work to be done to diversify the state judiciary, Ms. Brady’s confirmation to the Superior Court is a decisive step in the right direction,” according to APALA-NJ.
APALA-NJ vice president Jhanice V. Domingo said the group will continue working with its sister bar associations on both the state and federal level, as well as with leaders in the community, “to ameliorate the glaring underrepresentation of APAs in the judiciary.”
“More than 750,000 Asian Pacific Americans call New Jersey home and Filipino-Americans are one of the major APA groups in New Jersey, especially in Middlesex County,” Domingo pointed out.
“As a Filipina myself, I am extremely proud of Ms. Brady’s accomplishments and what her historic confirmation means to the Asian Pacific American community in general and New Jersey’s Filipino community in particular. Ms. Brady is a prestigious addition to the Superior Court.”
Pride of Negros Occidental
Born in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental, Philippines, and immigrating to the U.S. at age 6, she is one of two children of Oscar Magpantay, an accountant in the Philippines and a retired New Jersey factory worker; and Ophelia Salvador Magpantay, a high school educator who is now a retired teacher for the handicapped.
She has a younger brother, Ian Magpantay, who is a scientist.
Brady, 41, of Woodbridge, is a product of New Jersey schools and received her bachelor of science degree from Rutgers College/Rutgers School of Business and her juris doctor degree from Seton Hall University School of Law.
She is currently a shareholder at Stark & Stark and a member of the firm’s Accident and Personal Injury Group.
She has appeared in more than 100 cases as chief counsel, and tried numerous jury and nonjury trials.
In 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010, Super Lawyers honored Brady as one of New Jersey’s Rising Stars.
Before joining Stark & Stark, she served as a law clerk for Judge Travis L. Francis in the criminal division, Judge Martin Kravarik in the civil division, and Judge Harriet Derman in the civil division of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Middlesex County.
She also practiced as a civil defense attorney with Picillo, Caruso, & O’Toole and as a construction management attorney with Peckar & Abramson.
Brady is an active member of the New Jersey Association for Justice, where she presently serves on the board of governors; and as co-chair of the Women’s Caucus and Minority Concerns Committee.
She has also been a member of APALA-NJ for over a decade and previously served on its executive board.
“With her confirmation, Ms. Brady joins the growing number of distinguished Asian Pacific Americans who have been recognized for service on our state courts,” said Theodore K. Cheng, co-chair of APALA-NJ’s Judicial & Prosecutorial Appointments Committee.
“Gov. Christie should be commended for his dedication to increasing diversity on the bench, and we thank Senators Kevin O’Toole, Barbara Buono and Nicholas Scutari for their staunch support of Ms. Brady,” Cheng also said.
Fil-Am attorney Michael Angulo, past president of APALA-NJ, said he never doubted Brady will be confirmed.
“Carlia Brady is an exceptional attorney with a solid trial work experience,” noted Angulo.
“She possesses sharp intellect, level temperament, and an objective viewpoint critical to be a successful judge.”
“Following her full Senate vote, Brady would be sworn in and assume the role of judge on the Superior Court,” Angulo added. –
Founded in 1983, APALA-NJ is the only Pan-Asian bar association serving APA attorneys across the state.
(Story courtesy of the Filipino Reporter and GMA News Online)