NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On July 1, Alberto Rivas took over one of the judiciary's most powerful positions, after the New Jersey Supreme Court made him Middlesex County's Assignment Judge.
Rivas replaces Travis Francis, who retired from the bench after 10 years as Assignment Judge and more than 25 years in the Middlesex Vicinage.
“I am humbled and honored at the confidence the Chief has expressed in me,” Judge Rivas said. “I look forward to working with our talented group of jurists and staff.”
Assignment judges have the power to change the assignments of the county's other judges, and transfer cases between them. They also often handle cases brought under the Open Public Records Act.
It marks the second promotion for Rivas in just over two years. In 2015, he began serving as the county's Presiding Criminal Judge after the retirement of Bradley Ferencz.
Rivas, a resident of the Sixth Ward of Perth Amboy, has been a judge since January 2010, having been appointed appointed by outgoing Governor Jon Corzine.
Prior to his appointment to the bench, Rivas was a partner at Lite Depalma Greenberg and Rivas, LLC, now Lite Depalma Greenberg, LLC, a Newark-based law firm, which specializes in complex class action litigation involving securities fraud, antitrust, and consumer fraud.
Rivas has also previously worked as an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey and as the Law Director for the City of Perth Amboy. He attended Princeton University and the Rutgers University School of Law.
Judge Michael Toto replaced Rivas as the Criminal Presiding Judge.