WEST CALDWELL, NJ — Steven Backfisch, an attorney and longtime volunteer on the West Caldwell Planning Board, was officially appointed to the position of Municipal Court Judge for the Township of West Caldwell during the township council meeting on Tuesday.
Stating that Backfisch is a “very dear friend” and someone who has served the West Caldwell community for many years, Mayor Joseph Tempesta authorized Backfisch and was seconded by councilman Stanley Hladik, who said it was an honor for him to move the resolution having known Backfisch on a volunteer level for more than 12 years.
“[Backfisch], in his own right, has had a tremendous legal career,” said Tempesta. “He’s a very seasoned veteran in many different areas. He has had a number of association memberships and has also authored a number of publications. I’m happy to offer and appoint him tonight.”
Backfisch’s best friend and fellow Seton Hall Law School alumnus Hon. Thomas Moore, a Superior Court Judge for the Essex County visage and a local volunteer basketball coach, issued the Oath of Office as Backfisch’s wife, Sally, and daughter, Kate, held the Bible.
Moore, who has known Backfisch for nearly 40 years, said Backfisch served on the West Caldwell Planning Board with great skill and expertise for 13 years and proved his abilities there. As an attorney, according to Moore, Backfisch has always handled “exceptionally complex and difficult cases” with hard work, which Moore said he knows Backfisch will continue to do in his new position.
“Steve is blessed with a brilliant mind and is truly one of the smartest lawyers that I know,” said Moore. “In addition to his legal mind and great work ethic, Judge Backfisch brings to this assignment an abundance of common sense, patience and a good sense of humor. All those qualities taken together support a finding of great judicial temperament and a great judge, which I promise you Steve will be.”
Moore left Backfisch with two legal pieces of advice that he found useful as a Superior Court judge: “Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger,” quoted from the Bible, and “A great judge does the following in this order, ‘listen, think and speak,’” a quote from Abraham Lincoln.
The Backfisch Family was joined by many municipal court staff members who attended the meeting in support of his appointment.