Judge since: 1988
Prior to being elected to the bench, Flanagan worked in private practice. She began her career on the bench working in the domestic relations division as a trial judge, and a preliminary motion judge. She has been supervising judge of the motion section of the Law Division since August 2011.
Bar Association ratings
This year: The CBA rated her qualified, and the ISBA recommended her for retention. The CCL once again rated her as “not qualified,” saying that some well-respected practitioners find her “unduly harsh, overbearing, and sometimes disrespectfully aggressive with litigants, with deadlines too often set without any input from litigants.” In response to the CCL’s rating, Flanagan pointed out that other bar associations have always found her qualified. She said she is strict with lawyers who do not get things done on time because it is “bad for the system,” but said she rarely raises her voice and is exceptionally cordial with the litigants who do not have lawyers. She noted that in her 30-year career, she has not had any complaints about her “fairness," "sensitivity to diversity and bias,” “integrity," “experience” or “knowledge of the law.”
Past: Throughout Flanagan’s career, bar groups have praised her legal ability and ability to efficiently run one of the most difficult court calls. However, since 1994, bar groups have pointed out significant unchanging issues with her judicial temperament over, as many lawyers reported that she was “rude,” “inflexible,” “discourteous,” “hostile,” or “imperious,” according to the CCL. The CCL has rated her negatively since 2006 due to negative reports on her temperament. In 2012 the ISBA and CBA found her qualified.