When he was sworn in at age 40, Peter Verniero became the youngest associate justice ever to serve on the New Jersey Supreme Court. Five years later, he is about to become the youngest ever to retire from the court. Although he arrived mired in controversy over his handling of allegations of State Police racial profiling when he was attorney general, he leaves having converted the doubters who once said he was unfit for the job, reports the Newark Star-Ledger.
He has distinguished himself among the legal giants of the court, with both the volume and quality of his work. Verniero authored 124 opinions, including 72 for the majority, about double the norm for an associate justice. Lawyers and judges describe his opinions as well-written, fair and concise. Last fall he announced his plan to resign at the end of this month, saying he wanted to join the private sector to earn more money for his family.