New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has announced that former Attorney General Christopher Porrino, partner and Chair of Lowenstein Sandler’s Litigation department, will chair the New Jersey Criminal Sentencing and Disposition Commission. Porrino was appointed by Governor Murphy to the Criminal Sentencing and Disposition Commission and was jointly designated as the Chair by Senate President Scutari and Speaker Coughlin. He will succeed former Chief Justice Deborah Poritz, who chaired the Commission from 2018 to 2023.
The Criminal Sentencing and Disposition Commission was created by statute in 2009 to examine racial and ethnic disparities in the state’s criminal justice system. It is a 13-member Commission comprised of designees of prosecutors and law enforcement, the Attorney General’s Office, the Public Defender’s Office, and the Judiciary, as well as public members appointed by the Governor and the Legislature.
In a statement, Governor Murphy said: “Chris is widely respected throughout the legal world and across the political spectrum. During his time as Attorney General and Chief Counsel to the Governor, he played a crucial role in Governor Christie’s efforts to reform our criminal justice system in partnership with the Legislature and Judiciary. I know he is exactly the right person to build consensus for reforms that will make our sentencing laws fairer and more equitable, and I want to thank Senate President Scutari and Speaker Coughlin for agreeing to designate Chris as the Chair.”
“For many years, New Jersey has been a national leader in achieving groundbreaking criminal justice reform,” said Porrino. “I am extraordinarily grateful to Governor Murphy, Senate President Scutari, and Speaker Coughlin for this chance to assist in the reform effort in New Jersey, and I look forward to collaborating, once again, with our executive, legislative and judicial branches of government to continue this vitally important work.”
At Lowenstein, Porrino advises and represents businesses and individuals in civil, criminal, and regulatory matters involving securities, consumer fraud, banking, alcoholic beverage control, gaming, cannabis, energy, insurance, tax, antitrust, real estate, and the environment, among others. He also conducts internal investigations for clients faced with allegations of wrongdoing or suspected wrongdoing by insiders. He is a skilled and media-savvy crisis manager who works with private and public companies, governments, not-for-profits, and individuals regardless of political affiliation.
While leading one of the most powerful Attorney General Offices in the nation from 2016-2018, Porrino oversaw the implementation of bail reform, the most significant reform of New Jersey’s criminal justice system in its history that was called by The New York Times a “historic day for civil rights,” and which established a model that is now being replicated nationally. He also took forceful action against anti-Semitism and other forms of discrimination, and pioneered the country’s strictest opioid prescribing rules, paving the way for an almost immediate and very steep reduction in the number of opioid painkillers prescribed by physicians in New Jersey.
About Lowenstein Sandler LLP
Lowenstein Sandler is a national law firm with over 350 lawyers based in New York, Palo Alto, New Jersey, Utah, and Washington, D.C. The firm represents leaders in virtually every sector of the global economy, with particular emphasis on investment funds, life sciences, and technology. Recognized for its entrepreneurial spirit and high standard of client service, the firm is committed to the interests of its clients, colleagues, and communities.