Superior Court Judge Julio L. Mendez '78 appointed assignment judge in Atlantic, Cape May countiesOctober 03, 2011
Superior Court Judge Julio L. Mendez '78 made some history last month when he became the first Hispanic assignment judge in the State of New Jersey.
"When I left my native Cuba as a teenager, it would have been impossible to imagine the honor of serving New Jersey as a judge in this role," said Mendez, who was appointed assignment judge of the Atlantic/Cape May Vicinage on Sept. 28.
Mendez was appointed to the bench in 2002 by Gov. James McGreevey. He was reappointed with tenure by Gov Jon Corzine in 2009.
A 1978 political science graduate of GSC/Rowan, Mendez went through the University's EOF program and credits the University for inspiring him to pursue a law career.
"I loved and enjoyed the time I was there," he said. "It's where I was first introduced to the law. I received a great education."
Mendez's first assignment as a judge was in Cumberland County, where he served in the criminal and family divisions. A 1981 graduate of Rutgers School of Law in Camden, Mendez was the presiding judge of the family division for Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem counties.
He has served on various statewide conferences and committees as a policy maker and problem solver. Mendez was chair of the Children in Court Committee of the Conference of Presiding Family Judges and also served for six years on the Supreme Court Committee on Family Practice, two as vice-chair of the committee.
In addition to his leadership on case-related committees, Mendez devotes time as a member of the Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Outside Activities of Judiciary Employees.
Prior to his appointment to the bench, Mendez was in private practice for 20 years. He then served as a staff attorney for the Cumberland County Board of Social Services, as Vineland City solicitor and as a trustee for Cumberland County College. His professional associations have included the New Jersey State Bar Association, the Cumberland County Bar Association and the Hispanic Bar Association.
Mendez and his wife, Rosa, herself an alumna from the Class of 1980, live in Vineland. They are the parents of Julius, a firefighter, and Melissa, a first-grade teacher.