Summit resident is sworn in as NJ attorney general

SUMMIT, NJ — Gov. Chris Christie nominated Union County’s Christopher S. Porrino on June 16, and Porrino will now serve as acting attorney general until confirmed by the state Senate. Porrino was sworn in at a private ceremony held at the Richard J. Hughes Justice Complex in Trenton.

Prior to this, Porrino led the national litigation practice at Lowenstein Sandler, representing business and individual clients in criminal, civil and regulatory matters. From January 2014 to July 2015, he was chief counsel for Christie. In this role, Porrino had responsibilities that included overseeing appointments and legislative matters. Porrino graduated from Lehigh University and earned a law degree at Seton Hall University School of Law.

“I am deeply honored and humbled to be chosen by Christie to serve as acting attorney general,” Porrino said in a recent statement. “I want to thank the governor again for this enormous opportunity and for his confidence and faith in me. I look forward to continuing the many important initiatives our department launched under the outstanding leadership of former acting Attorney General John Hoffman and Robert Lougy.”

As director of the Division of Law, Porrino oversaw a team of 500 lawyers. During that time, the Division of Law had a major impact on New Jersey citizens. Prior to his government service, he was a partner and vice-chair of Lowenstein Sandler’s litigation department, where he focused on criminal and civil trial practice. He represented clients in a variety of matters involving securities, banking, insurance, tax, antitrust, real estate and the environment. He also served as a law clerk to the United States District Judge for the District of New Jersey.

Porrino lives in Summit with his wife and three children. He looks forward to continuing the very many important initiatives the department has launched under the leadership of former acting Attorney General John Hoffman and Robert Lougy, including anti-crime programs, consumer initiatives and efforts to address opiate and heroin abuse, while identifying and meeting the public safety and litigation challenges yet to come.

“Working together with a strong and experienced leadership team, I intend to aggressively pursue all aspects of the Department of Law and Public Safety’s mission to uphold the commitment to excellence that has been its hallmark,” Porrino stated.

Porrino was responsible for providing legal advice for Christie during a challenging time. Shortly after being under scrutiny for involvement in the scandal involving lane closures and resulting traffic jams on the George Washington Bridge last fall, Porrino started his first day as chief counsel for Gov. Christie.

Porrino was in a private practice for almost 20 years prior to heading the State Division of Law. Porrino believes he came to the attention of the governor due to his experience in civil and criminal matters. Porrino found the experience satisfying because he always wanted to do public service law. He’s been a resident of Summit since 1997. He has volunteered at the Summit Speech School in New Providence, and he says he can’t imagine living anywhere else.