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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Virginia Dietrich, NJ Judge of Compensation

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Virginia M. Dietrich, 62, a NJ judge of Workers' Compensation, died suddenly and peacefully on Oct. 15, 2014. Born in Trenton, Judge Dietrich was a lifelong resident of Mercer County.

She obtained both her undergraduate and law degrees at The Catholic University of America. Judge Dietrich began her legal career as a law clerk to Mercer County Superior Court judges and then practiced law for 25 years with her father, J. Raymond Dietrich, from their office in Ewing. In her law practice, Judge Dietrich specialized in workers' compensation, matrimonial, and real estate law.

In 2002, Governor Donald DiFrancesco nominated and the New Jersey Senate confirmed her appointment as a judge of Workers' Compensation. She soon was appointed an administrative supervisory judge and at the time of her death she was the chief administrative supervisory judge, reporting to the director of Workers' Compensation. 

Judge Dietrich possessed a generous spirit towards those in need. Early in her legal career, she served many weekends at a homeless shelter in New York City. As an attorney, she represented many individuals of limited economic means on a pro bono or reduced fee basis. As a judge, she was determined to make certain that injured workers received the full compensation to which they were entitled under the law. She extended her generosity of spirit to family members and friends. Judge Dietrich was immensely proud of her seven nieces, whom she loved dearly.

Her experiences as a young lawyer, when there were relatively few female attorneys, informed her advice to them to strive to be exceptional women. They took her advice to heart and returned her love. Judge Dietrich possessed a sharp intellect. She would often read as many as seven books in a week. She was a two-time "Jeopardy!" champion. Family members will miss lively debates with her on political and cultural issues. For 25 years, Judge Dietrich taught law courses as an adjunct professor in the School of Business of The College of New Jersey. For many years, she served as a trustee of the Trenton Public Library.

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