Retired Associate Supreme Court Justice lands at law firm of former prosecutors
NJ.com, September 15, 202
Retirement did not last long for Associate Justice Walter Timpone.
After stepping down from the New Jersey Supreme Court last month, Timpone, 69, is heading back to work as a lawyer at the Newark- and New York City-based firm of Calcagni & Kanefsky, where he will serve as senior counsel.
While he actually does not reach the court’s mandatory retirement age of 70 in November, Timpone decided to leave early because he did not want to start a new term with the court and begin hearing oral arguments, only to step down in November before it began issuing opinions on those cases.
“It was the right thing to do,” he said.
He was replaced by Fabiana Pierre-Louis, who was sworn in earlier this month as the newest member of the New Jersey Supreme Court, officially becoming the first Black female justice in the state’s 224-year history.
Before he was nominated to the court by Gov. Chris Christie in 2016, Timpone was a partner in the Morristown office of the law firm of McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter.
Timpone — who spent more than a decade as an assistant U.S. attorney — said he will be reuniting at his new firm with a number of former federal and state prosecutors he has known for years.
“Working with friends is really important to me,” he said. “These are people I’ve worked for ages and ages and I’m going to work with them again.”
Thomas Calcagni, a co-founding senior partner at the firm and a former assistant U.S. attorney, said Timpone had been a longtime friend and mentor.
“The opportunity to work again with him again seemed to be a circle completed,” he said.
The firm’s work includes white collar defense cases, compliance and government investigations, employment litigation and healthcare law.
A graduate of Seton Hall Law School, Timpone worked at the U.S. Attorney’s office in Newark from 1984 to 1994, ultimately serving as chief of special prosecutions in its public corruption unit where he oversaw investigations that resulted in the convictions of former Essex County Executive Thomas D’Alessio, former Parsippany Mayor Frank Priore and former Jersey City Mayor Gerald McCann. From 2010 until his appointment to the Supreme Court, Timpone served on the State’s Election Law Enforcement Commission.
While on the state’s high court, Timpone wrote 30 majority opinions, including the City of Hoboken and Shipyard Associates, where the court found that the city did not have a right to change zoning ordinances after a development project was approved, and the upholding of a guilty verdict against a Bloomfield police officer who was caught on video beating a black man during a police stop.
Often speaking about his nomination to the Supreme Court as a “magical day,” Timpone also said it was somewhat of a monastic experience, where he would spend days preparing for oral arguments.
“You had to be ready. You had to be prepared,” he said. “I really didn’t see a weekend in four and a half years.”
Returning to the practice of law, he said “I can leave the monastery and go back to what I’m used to doing. I always drew a lot of energy from sitting around and talking with others about what’s best for our client.”
— Ted Sherman