Murphy nominates Rutgers General Counsel John Jay Hoffman to New Jersey Supreme Court

Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday announced former acting Attorney General and current Rutgers University General Counsel John Jay Hoffman as his fifth New Jersey Supreme Court justice nomination.

Hoffman, if approved, would fill the vacancy left by soon-to-be-retiring Associate Justice Lee Solomon.

“John is already a pillar of New Jersey’s legal community. Like Justice Solomon, he has devoted almost the entirety of his career to public service,” Murphy said.

Hoffman has dedicated the vast majority of his professional career to public service at both the state and federal levels.

After spending two years as an associate at Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld LLP in Washington, D.C., Hoffman joined the Department of Justice in 1996 as a trial attorney in the Civil Division. Over the next eight years, Hoffman focused on breach of contract litigation involving the savings and loan industry and argued five appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. In 2004, Hoffman became an assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey, focusing on both violent and white-collar crime.

In 2010, Hoffman joined the New Jersey State Comptroller’s Office to serve as director of investigations, where he led a division that investigated and reported on issues of local and state government fraud, abuse, waste and corruption. Two years later, he joined the Department of Law and Public Safety, joining Attorney General Jeff Chiesa’s senior staff and assuming the role of executive assistant attorney general. In 2013, Gov. Chris Christie selected Hoffman to succeed Chiesa as the state’s chief law enforcement officer.

As acting attorney general, Hoffman led efforts to equip police with body-worn cameras, as well as establish a new policy directive on officer-involved shootings. He also enhanced the Prescription Monitoring Program to suppress the misuse of prescription medications and launched the opiate antidote Narcan program to law enforcement agencies statewide, resulting in nearly 3,000 overdose reversals. He served in this role for nearly three years, making him the longest-serving attorney general of the Christie administration.

In 2016, Hoffman left the Christie administration and was appointed general counsel of Rutgers. Hoffman advises the governing boards and university leadership on a variety of legal, policy and business issues, including litigation, internal investigations and transactions.

Hoffman graduated from Colgate University and obtained his law degree from the Duke University School of Law. After graduating, he served as a law clerk to Judge Al Engel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

A New Jersey native, Hoffman was raised in Middlesex County, where his exposure to the practice of law began at an early age from his father, a renowned attorney and longtime senior partner at Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer P.A.