In an Order published yesterday afternoon, Chief Justice Rabner announced that Judges Carol Higbee, Thomas Manahan, and Thomas Sumners, Jr., are being temporarily assigned to the Appellate Division. The re-assignments become effective on April 14 and will run through June 20.
Judge Higbee currently sits in the Civil Division, Atlantic County, and is one of three designated Mass Tort judges. Among the mass torts that she has handled are Vioxx, Stryker Trident Hip Implants, and Accutane. A graduate of Temple University Law School, Judge Higbee was appointed to the bench in 1993 and was granted tenure in 2000.
Judge Manahan, a graduate of Seton Hall University Law School, has sat in the Civil, Family, and Criminal Divisions in Morris County. He was named to the bench in 2003 and got tenure in 2010.
Judge Sumners was appointed to the bench in Mercer County in 2008. He first served in the Civil Division and currently sits in the Criminal Division. His elevation is relatively unusual, though by no means unprecedented, in that he has not yet obtained tenure. Judge Sumners is a graduate of Rutgers-Newark Law School.
A hearty welcome to the Appellate Division to Judges Higbee, Manahan, and Sumners!