Nathaniel H. Roth

Nathaniel H. Roth

AGE: 92 • Jackson

Judge Nathaniel H. Roth, 92, of Jackson, died Monday, Oct. 14, 2013, in Kimball Medical Center, Lakewood. Born in Brooklyn, NY, Judge Roth was a World War II veteran who earned his undergraduate degree from The City College of New York and his law degree from Brooklyn Law School. He moved to Lakewood in the mid-1950s where he founded his law firm which later became Roth & Roth, P.A., in partnership with his son, Jeffrey S. Roth.

Nathaniel was a candidate for the New Jersey Senate in 1956 narrowly losing to long-time Republican incumbent, W. Steelman Mathis. He was a participant with others in pursuing and successfully bringing voting booths to Ocean County to replace the paper ballot boxes.

Judge Roth served continuously as a municipal court judge for over 28 years, first appointed as judge in Lakewood in 1957 and in Jackson in 1961. He also later was appointed as the judge in South Toms River. He retired from the bench in 1985 and continued working at his law firm until the last few years of his life.

During his professional career as an attorney, Judge Roth was instrumental in the development of a body of law involving bad faith actions by insurance companies in the landmark case known to all attorneys simply as "Rova Farm". He was an original member of the Ocean County Bar Association; a member of the New Jersey State and American Bar Associations; a member of the Kiwanis Club of Lakewood, where he served as president in 1965; a member of Lakewood BPOE Elks Lodge and the Rotary Club of Jackson, where he served as president in 1987; a member of the Masonic Lodge of Lakewood and Toms River Shriners. He was a past president of the American Judges Association after serving many years on its Board of Governors and was Chief Justice of the Association's Court of Appeals. He also created and hosted a radio program on WJLK about legal issues, and authored a column in The Jackson News on safety issues which arose from his observations as a long-time jurist. Judge Roth also served on the Board of Directors of the National Conference of Christians and Jews; as Chairman of the Ocean County Mental Health Society; a member of the Juvenile Conference Committee, and served on the Lakewood Redevelopment Agency, where he also was a Chairman.

Judge Roth was a founding member of Congregation Ahavat Shalom, a Lakewood synagogue that was later merged into Congregation Ahavat Olam, Howell.

Nathaniel H. Roth was the recipient of numerous awards and honors from various organizations, both civic and religious, for his work as an attorney and judge.

Predeceased in 2002 by his beloved wife of 57 years, Harriette, Judge Roth is survived by his son, Gary and his wife, Vivianne of Manalapan; his son, Jeffrey and his wife, Patti of Jackson; three grandchildren, Pamela Goldman (Geoffrey) of Jersey City, Elliott of New York and Melissa of Jackson; and an older brother, Irving and his wife, Shirley of New York.

Donations in memory of Judge Roth can be made to the , Congregation Ahavat Olam, or a .

Published in Asbury Park Press on Oct. 30, 2013