Hon. Patricia K. Costello

HON. PATRICIA K. COSTELLO is the assignment judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey in Essex County—the state’s largest superior court. She has judicial responsibility for all trial courts within the county, including the municipal courts. The superior court consists of 60 judges and 900 support staff handling more than 100,000 filings per year. The county’s 22 municipal courts conduct their work through 38 judges and have annual filings in excess of 900,000 cases. She served four years in the Civil Division, and as the supervising judge of the division’s Special Civil Part; five years in the Family Division; and six years in the Criminal Division, overseeing eight other judges as presiding judge and where she tried numerous jury trials. She has been active in judicial education for over 15 years, serving as coordinator of education for the New Jersey Family Division judges, and has lectured many times to judges and staff on various topics, including case management and leadership. Judge Costello also serves on the Special Advisory Committee for Trial Court Leadership and Governance at the National Center for State Courts and has served as faculty for numerous judicial and court management seminars sponsored by NCSC throughout the nation. A graduate of Rutgers University School of Law, Judge Costello was appointed to the bench in 1989.