NEWARK, NJ - Walter F. Timpone, who retired last month as an Associate Justice with the New Jersey Supreme Court, has been named Senior Counsel with the Newark law firm of Calcagni & Kanefsky.
Justice Timpone, a veteran trial lawyer who also served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Newark for more than a decade and in private practice for 20 years, brings to the firm not only his judicial experience, but also extensive experience in government investigations, corporate compliance and governance, complex regulatory matters, crisis management, and white collar criminal defense.
“Justice Timpone is the consummate attorney. He is superbly talented, he is dedicated to excellence, and he is a dear friend,” said Thomas R. Calcagni, co-founding senior partner at the firm. “We are thrilled to have him join our team.”
Calcagni first worked with Timpone when Timpone served as the first federal election monitor in Passaic County, charged with ensuring the voting rights of the county’s Hispanic citizens.
“CK is a perfect fit for me,” said Timpone. “With its unique makeup of former Federal and State prosecutors and extraordinary litigators, it has swiftly risen to the top in terms of reputation and results. I am looking forward to my return to private practice, having found great synergy with the other attorneys at CK, many of whom I have known, worked with, and respected for years. I also relish the opportunity to help mentor the firm’s younger lawyers.”
Co-Founding senior partner Eric Kanefsky said the members of the firm will benefit by working with the retired justice.
“We are honored to welcome Justice Timpone to our ranks," Kanefsky said. "We all stand to benefit from his wealth of experience – he is truly one of the finest attorneys I know.”
Timpone was appointed to the high court by Gov. Christopher J. Christie in 2016. He resigned his seat on August 31, two months ahead of his mandatory retirement date, in order to allow his replacement, Justice Fabiana Pierre-Louis, to be seated before the start of the court’s September term.
During his time on the Supreme Court, Timpone wrote 30 majority opinions, several in high profile cases that are often cited in legal briefs. In one case between the City of Hoboken and Shipyard Associates, Timpone, writing for the majority, found that the city did not have a right to change zoning ordinances after a development project was approved.
In another high-profile case involving police brutality, Timpone led the court in upholding a guilty verdict against Orlando Trinidad, a Bloomfield police officer who was caught on video beating a black man during a police stop.
In a dissenting opinion in State v. Michael Ross II, Timpone wrote that a trial judge’s extensive cross examination of witnesses “crossed that fine line that separates advocacy from impartiality.”
Timpone, who graduated from Seton Hall Law School, began his legal career as a law clerk for the late U.S. District Court Judge Vincent P. Biunno in New Jersey.
He served in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark from 1984-94 and was elevated to chief of the Special Prosecutions Division, leading the office’s investigations and prosecutions of public corruption and fraud. Many of CK’s attorneys also worked in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Ralph J. Marra, who served with Timpone and later led the office as acting U.S. Attorney.
During his career, Timpone served in a variety of high-profile roles with state and federal agencies. In the late 1990s, Timpone served, at the appointment of New Jersey Attorney General John Farmer, on the panel charged by Gov. Christine Todd Whitman with investigating the state’s troubled auto inspection program.
In 2005, he served as acting general counsel to University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, negotiating a deferred prosecution agreement for the then-troubled institution and working with the federal monitor to correct the school’s deficiencies in practices and procedures.
He also served as ombudsman to the U.S. Department of Defense, overseeing a contractor who entered a guilty plea concerning failed parts prepared for inclusion in Patriot missiles.
From 2010 until his appointment to the Supreme Court, Timpone served on the State’s Election Law Enforcement Commission, overseeing breaches of campaign finance laws and regulations.
Among his high-profile roles in private practice, Timpone served as associate general executive board attorney for Laborers International Union of North American (LIUNA), rooting out organized crime and investigating, charging, and taking to hearing union members for violations of the union's constitution and ethics procedures.
“Having had the privilege of serving on the Supreme Court was the highlight of my legal career,” Timpone said. “However, it’s not my last chapter.”