As Of Counsel at Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer, P.A., retired New Jersey Superior Court Judge Marlene Lynch Ford is available for internal investigations, special master assignments and provides mediation services to parties in civil and family matters.
A former Assignment Judge for the Superior Court of New Jersey in Ocean County, Judge Ford draws on 24 years of experience on the bench. She served in the Civil Division for ten years and the Family Division for seven years, including as Presiding Judge. In 2007, she was appointed Ocean County Prosecutor by Governor Jon S. Corzine - a position she held until March 2013 when Governor Chris Christie reappointed her to the Superior Court. Chief Justice Rabner appointed her Assignment Judge in July 2015, the chief judicial officer of the Ocean Vicinage, a position she held until her retirement in February 2023.
During Judge Ford’s tenure on the bench, she served on multiple Supreme Court Committees, including as Chair of the Model Civil Jury Charge Committee, Chair of the Committee on Outside Activities of Judicial Employees, and the Chair of the Statewide Domestic Violence Working Group.
Prior to Judge Ford’s service on the bench, constituents elected her to serve two terms as Assemblywoman representing New Jersey’s 10th Legislative District. During her tenure, between 1984 to 1986 and 1990 to 1992, she was the primary sponsor of more than 75 bills enacted into law. Among the enacted bills are the Domestic Violence Act of 1991; the Victims’ Rights Amendment to the NJ Constitution; and most notably, the “Ford Act,” a bill that permitted property taxes to be deducted from income for state income tax – the most significant tax reduction in state history at the time. Additionally, she co-sponsored a landmark bill to expand civil rights and outlaw discrimination in employment and housing based on sexual orientation; it was signed into law by Governor James J. Florio.
While in the Assembly, Judge Ford served as a member of the Joint Appropriations Committee, as Chairperson of the Assembly Judiciary Committee, and chaired special legislative committees investigating missing, abused, and neglected children. She also spearheaded a special investigation into the environmental contamination of federal military installations.
Judge Ford started her career as an attorney in a general practice law firm and later opened her practice in Point Pleasant Beach. She was General Counsel to H. Hovnanian Industries, (1986-1988 and 1990-1992). In 1988 Judge Ford returned to public service as Counsel to the Democratic Delegation for the New Jersey General Assembly, serving in this capacity until 1990.