Justice Roberto A. Rivera-Soto, the first Hispanic American to serve on the Supreme Court of New Jersey, has joined Ballard Spahr as a litigation partner in the firm’s Cherry Hill office, Mark Stewart, Chair of the firm, announced today. Justice Rivera-Soto served on the high court for seven years.

“Justice Rivera-Soto is a gifted lawyer with an uncommonly rich breadth of experience. We are thrilled to have him as a partner,” Mr. Stewart said. “Our clients will quickly come to appreciate the attributes that have garnered Justice Rivera-Soto respect throughout his legal career: his incisive mind, passionate advocacy, unwavering loyalty, and personal charisma.”

Justice Rivera-Soto’s practice will involve appellate work, construction dispute resolution, gaming, and complex commercial litigation.

Said Justice Rivera-Soto: “Serving on the Supreme Court of New Jersey was an honor. It is an experience for which I am deeply grateful and one that I believe will make me a better lawyer and advocate. As those close to me will attest, I always intended to return to my first professional love, the practice of law. I have enormous respect for my new colleagues at Ballard, many of whom are longtime friends. Coming here was both a natural and exciting choice.”

Justice Rivera-Soto was nominated to the Supreme Court of New Jersey in 2004. During his term, which ended on September 1, he wrote a total of 192 opinions, including 92 majority opinions. One case in which he dissented, J. McIntyre Machinery Ltd. v. Nicastro, was reversed recently by the U.S. Supreme Court, and two cases in which he dissented were reversed by acts of the N.J. Legislature; in each instance, his position was upheld. Also during his time on the court, Justice Rivera-Soto served as the long-term liaison to the court’s Disciplinary Oversight Committee and IOLTA Fund, and was the initial chair of the New Jersey Board on Continuing Legal Education, widely credited with implementing, for the first time, continuing legal education requirements for attorneys in New Jersey.

Before joining the court, Justice Rivera-Soto was an attorney in private practice. He is the former Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary of Caesars World, Inc., in Las Vegas and the Sands Hotel & Casino, in Atlantic City. He also served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Justice Rivera-Soto was a member of the Board of Directors of the New Jersey Development Authority for Small Businesses, Minorities and Women’s Enterprises; a member of the Board of Directors of the Please Touch Museum, Philadelphia’s children’s museum; a member and Chair of the District VII Ethics Committee of the Supreme Court of New Jersey; and an instructor of trial advocacy at Rutgers School of Law-Camden. He is a fellow of the American Bar Foundation.

“Justice Rivera-Soto’s background in civil, criminal, and agency litigation and his accomplishments in both state and federal courts make him uniquely well-positioned to serve our clients,” said Steven W. Suflas, Managing Partner of Ballard Spahr’s Cherry Hill office. “He has a brilliant legal mind and I know of nobody with more exacting standards. I very much look forward to working with him, as a colleague and as a friend.”