Cassidy Named Assignment Judge in Union Vicinage
By Mike Mathis
Karen M. Cassidy, presiding judge of the family division in Union Vicinage, will succeed Assignment Judge Walter R. Barisonek upon his retirement.
Cassidy, who entered the legal profession in 1984 when she became law clerk to Judge Edward W. Beglin Jr. when he was assignment judge in Union Vicinage, begins her new assignment on Feb. 1.
“Judge Cassidy has proven herself to be a dedicated jurist and leader in the Judiciary,” Chief Justice Stuart Rabner said. “She has presided over the family division in Union County with distinction and overseen a demanding caseload with skill and grace. She will no doubt serve the entire Union County justice system well as assignment judge.
Cassidy was appointed to the bench in April 2000 by then-Gov. Christie Whitman. She has served in Union Vicinage since her appointment, first in the family division, then in the civil division from September 2002 until September 2005. She returned to the family division in 2005 to serve as presiding judge.
“I am grateful to Chief Justice Rabner for his confidence in me,” Cassidy said. I am honored to be named assignment judge following Judge Barisonek, who has led our courthouse with strength and wisdom, and I am also proud to follow in the footsteps of Judge Beglin, whose mentoring provided me with the legal skills that placed me on solid ground as I began my career.”
The chief justice praised Barisonek for his long and distinguished career on the bench. “Since he was first appointed in 1984, Judge Barisonek has set a standard for fairness, wisdom and excellence in serving the residents of Union County,” he said. “We will greatly miss his leadership and counsel and wish him a healthy and happy retirement.”
Cassidy holds a bachelor’s degree from American University and a law degree from George Washington University. She is admitted to the bar of the U.S. Supreme Court, the District Court of New Jersey and the state of New Jersey.
She has been a certified civil trial attorney, an arbitrator, a master at the Richard J. Hughes Inn of Court and a lecturer for the New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education.
Prior to her appointment to the bench, Cassidy was a partner at the Roseland law firm of Connell, Foley. She had joined the firm in 1985 as an associate and was named partner in 1992.
Cassidy lives with her husband Mark in Cranford, where he presides over the municipal court. They have two children, Patrick and Sarah. She enjoys participating in activities at her church, with her daughter’s Girl Scout troop and watching her favorite team, the New York Mets.