John Winslow Bissell

Title: District Court
Appointed by: Ronald Reagan
Judicial Tenure: 1982 - 2005
Served as Chief Judge: 2001-2005

Born: 1940
Birth Place: Exeter, NH

Born in Exeter, New Hampshire, Bissell graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in 1958 and received his bachelor's degree in History from Princeton University in 1962. He then went on to earn an LL.B. from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1965. Following graduation from law school, Bissell served as law clerk to Judge Arthur Stephen Lane of the District of New Jersey from 1965 to 1966.

After his clerkship, Bissell entered private practice in Morristown, New Jersey from 1966 to 1969 before serving as an Assistant United States Attorney at the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey from 1969-1971. He then returned to private practice from 1972 to 1978 before serving as Judge in the Essex County, New Jersey District Court from 1978 to 1981, and of the Superior Court of New Jersey from 1981 to 1982.

On November 23, 1982, President Ronald Reagan nominated Bissell to serve on the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, to a seat vacated by Vincent P. Biunno. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on December 10, 1982 and received his commission the same day. He served as a Judge on that Court from until 2005, including a term as Chief Judge from 2001 to 2005. He retired on September 1, 2005, and returned to private practice, joining Connell Foley.

Professional Career

  • Law clerk, Hon. A. S. Lane, U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey, 1965-1966
  • Private practice, Morristown, New Jersey, 1966-1969, 1972-1978
  • Assistant U.S. attorney, District of New Jersey, 1969-1971
  • chief, Civil Division, 1971
  • Judge, Essex County [New Jersey] District Court, 1978-1981
  • Judge, Superior Court of New Jersey, 1981-1982


  • Princeton University, A.B., 1962
  • University of Virginia School of Law, LL.B., 1965