Bill Hughes Jr. and Neil Gorsuch

Bill Hughes Jr. with Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Neil Gorsuch at the April 8 swearing in ceremony at the White House.

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NORTHFIELD – For most of us, catching up with a high school friend happens over dinner or maybe on Facebook but for Northfield attorney Bill Hughes Jr. catching up with his high school buddy landed him in the Rose Garden at the White House. Hughes attended high school at Georgetown Prep in Washington DC and was good friends with newly appointed Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Neil Gorsuch and was invited to attend the swearing in April 8.

“Neil and I were friends in high school and we kept in touch over the years and remained friendly,” said Hughes Monday. Hughes said he participated in a small way during his friends nomination process by reaching out to Georgetown Prep alums to write letters in support of Gorsuch.

Hughes referred to Gorsuch who was sworn in to replace Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court as “not only a good and decent man but a fair, independent and brilliant legal scholar who is eminently qualified to serve as an associate justice on the Supreme Court.”

The experience of being invited to the White House for the swearing in, Hughes said was surreal. “It was an absolute incredible honor to be present at this event. Here I am, just a guy from South Jersey sitting in the Rose Garden and I looked up and could see into the window of the Oval Office. It is humbling to be at the White House and be surrounded by the people who are at the apex of our government,” said Hughes, “It truly was an awesome experience to be invited and I will take that experience with me for the rest of my time.”

Hughes said he was talking about South Jersey to someone and Kelly Ann Conway’s head popped up. A native of Hammonton, Conway walked over to talk about home, how much they enjoy the area and how incredible it was to be a part of the swearing in ceremony that day. Hughes said there were more than 100 people at Justice Gorsuch swearing in.

Hughes, an attorney with Cooper Levinson in Atlantic City for 15 years said he recently switched firms and is now a principle with Porzio, Bromberg and Newman with offices across the state. Hughes said with his main office in Morristown he will be able to better serve clients in the pharmaceutical industry among others. He and his wife Stephanie and their four children are staying put in Northfield and he will have a South Jersey presence for his clients and his new firm.

Contact Suzanne Marino at marino@catamaranmedia.com