In a courtroom packed with judges and dignitaries, former Morristown municipal attorney Indian American Vij Pawar made a pledge on June 30, 2022. “I may not always be the smartest person in the room. But I will always be the most prepared,” said Pawar, who was sworn in, for the second time, as a state Superior Court judge.
The first time, a year ago, was a private ceremony because of the pandemic.
Assignment Judge Stuart Minkowitz re-administered Pawar’s judicial oath before a crowd that included New Jersey Supreme Court Associate Justice Anne Patterson, U.S. Attorney Philip Sellinger, Morris County, and Morristown officials, state Assemblyman Raj Mukherji (D-31st Dist.), and Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop.
Judges must be “responsible, dedicated and humble…I know you embrace these concepts to serve the public…You will be an outstanding judge,” Minkowitz told Pawar, the first Indian American jurist in the Morris-Sussex Vicinage.
While Pawar’s heritage is something to celebrate, it’s not the reason for his appointment, asserted state Sen. Anthony M. Bucco (R-25th Dist.).
“Today we are here because of your character, your leadership, your demeanor, and your intellect. And it is those traits, along with your heritage, that will continue to serve you, and those that appear before you, well as a judge,” he said.
Pawar was elected to the Morris School District board of education and had a private law practice in town. He is a graduate of Virginia Wesleyan College and the Rutgers-Camden Law School.
For the past year, he has served in the Family Division of Superior Court, in the Morris County Courthouse in Morristown. On Thursday he heard a proclamation from the governor and received a gavel from the Morris County Bar Association.