BLOOMFIELD, NJ – A West Caldwell resident is being honored by the Bloomfield Educational Foundation (BEF), a 501c-3 charity dedicated to enhancing the educational experiences for all students of the Bloomfield Public Schools, as Alumnus of the Year. Michael Casale, a Bloomfield High School Class of 1974 graduate and current West Caldwell resident, will be recognized at this year’s annual BEF Gala event on May 4.
Casale is a product of the Bloomfield public school system, where he led his high school to a Group 4, Section 2 State Football Championship as an All-Essex County quarterback and safety, as well as a Big Ten baseball championship as an All-Essex outfielder. He attended the University of Connecticut on a partial football scholarship, graduating in 1978, and graduated from Seton Hall University School of Law magna cum laude in 1981.
He began his legal career as a law clerk to the Hon. Nicholas Scalera before working as a litigation attorney at Dwyer, Connell & Lisbona and then as a partner and litigation attorney at Gaccione, Pomaco & Beck. He was elected as a Councilman in the Township of Bloomfield in 1984 and served two terms in that capacity.
While working at the Gaccione firm, Casale also served as Assistant Township Attorney for Bloomfield. In one case, Judge Mayor James Norton presented Casale with a special commendation for his work in saving the township substantial sums of money.
In 1990, he was inducted into the Bloomfield Athletic Hall of Fame, and the Bloomfield Wall of Fame for his efforts in securing internships for Bloomfield High School students seeking a law career.
Gov. Christine Todd Whitman appointed Casale, then 39, to the NJ Superior Court in Essex County on Jan. 2, 1996. He served in all three divisions: criminal, civil and family. His assignments included death penalty and high-profile gang cases, Drug Court and Acting Presiding Judge in the state’s busiest criminal vicinage. Due to his work in the heavy volume Special Civil part, Casale was the subject of a New York Times feature story.
Judge Casale retired from the bench in June 2016 after 20-plus years. He is currently of Counsel, at Roseland’s Greenbaum, Rowe, Smith & Davis, where he specializes in arbitration and mediation of family law and complex civil law cases.
He resides in West Caldwell with his wife of 34 years, Maria. They have three children, Michael, Nicholas and Ginamarie. They are also the proud grandparents of 10-month-old Nico Parisi, the son of Ginamarie and her husband and former Bloomfield resident Pasquale Parisi.