Greta Gooden Brown, a sitting Appellate Division Judge, was first appointed to serve a seven-year term as a Superior Court Judge by then Governor Jon Corzine on July 1, 2009. After serving in the Law Division for five years, in 2014, she was named the Presiding Judge of the Family Part, Chancery Division, in the Passaic County Vicinage. She was elevated to the Appellate Division after being re-appointed by then Governor Chris Christie and granted tenure by the full Senate in 2016.
Gooden Brown's professional experience leading up to her judicial appointment is extensive. In 2001, she was appointed by then Acting Governor Donald DiFrancesco to serve as the second New Jersey Insurance Fraud Prosecutor, where she headed one of the largest law enforcement agencies in the State, administered an annual budget of approximately $30 million, and oversaw a staff of approximately 300. Under her leadership, the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor in the Criminal Justice Division of the Attorney General's Office was recognized as a national and international leader in fighting insurance fraud.
Prior to her appointment as the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor, Gooden Brown was a veteran prosecutor, having served in the Attorney General's Criminal Justice Division in a variety of positions. She joined the Division in 1983 as a Deputy Attorney General in the Appellate Bureau. From 1985 to 1994, she served in various supervisory capacities in the Appellate Bureau, the Institutional Abuse Unit and the Medicaid Fraud Section.
From 1994 to 2001, Gooden Brown headed the Prosecutors and Police Bureau where, on behalf of the Attorney General, she was responsible for overseeing and coordinating the work of all twenty-one County Prosecutors, their respective municipal prosecutors, and local police departments. In 1999, she was promoted to an Assistant Attorney General, the first African American Assistant Attorney General in the history of the Division of Criminal Justice.
A 1977 honors graduate of Essex County College, Gooden Brown earned a B.A. in Economics from Rutgers University's Douglass College in 1979, and a law degree from Rutgers Law School in 1982. From 1982 to 1983, she served as a law clerk to the Honorable Stephen Skillman, Judge of the Appellate Division, Ret., and the Honorable Judson Hamlin, Judge of the Superior Court, Ret.
Gooden Brown is the recipient of several prestigious awards. In 1999, she was inducted into the Douglass Society, a coveted honor for Douglass College Alumnae. In 2005, she was selected as a "High Achieving Woman and Minority Lawyer" by the New Jersey Law Journal. In 2007, she was the recipient of the renowned Thurgood Marshall Award for Excellence in the Profession. Gooden Brown was also awarded the 2007 Corporate and Government Leadership Award by the Caribbean Bar Association of New Jersey. In addition, Gooden Brown was a recipient of the 2007 Professional Lawyer of the Year Award presented by the New Jersey Commission on Professionalism in the Law.
In 2007, Gooden Brown was elected to a three-year term as a Trustee of the New Jersey State Bar Association's Criminal Law Section, and, in 2008, she was elected the 26th President of the Garden State Bar Association, one of the largest specialty bars in the State. Gooden Brown received the Association of Black Women Lawyers’ Excellence in Public Service Award in 2008, as well as a Joint Legislative Resolution from the New Jersey Senate and General Assembly in recognition of this honor. She also received the Honorable Glenn Cunningham Public Safety/Law Enforcement Award from the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), and a Citation from the late United States Senator Frank Lautenberg for exemplary public service and leadership.
A dedicated public servant, Gooden Brown is a founding member of the Honorable Anne E. Thompson Inn of Court, and served as the Chair of the Passaic Vicinage Advisory Committee on Minority Concerns, and the Vice Chair of the Supreme Court Committee on Model Criminal Jury Charges. Over the years, she served on other Supreme Court Committees that have recommended sweeping changes to our justice system, including the Joint Committee on Criminal Justice, which was instrumental in the 2014 enactment of the Criminal Justice Reform Act and constitutional amendment largely abandoning the resource-based system of monetary bail to eliminate racial and income-based inequities in our criminal justice system.