The Supreme Court announced today that Samuel G. DeSimone, assignment judge for a three-county court district that encompasses Gloucester, Cumberland and Salem counties, will retire effective April 1, 2000.
A native of Paulsboro, Judge DeSimone was appointed to the bench by Governor Brendan Byrne and took his oath of office on February 28, 1975. When the number of vicinages, or court districts, was expanded from 12 to 15 in 1982, Judge DeSimone became the assignment judge for the newly created vicinage that he still leads today. As assignment judge, he is the chief administrative officer for the vicinage as well as a practicing jurist.
On September 13, 1982, Judge DeSimone took the reins of the new Gloucester vicinage and guided it through a most challenging period for the Judiciary, said Chief Justice Deborah T. Poritz, speaking for the Supreme Court.
He did so with intelligence, compassion, and a commitment to the fundamentals of justice.
We will definitely miss the leadership he has shown in his 25 years of service. But we will also miss his warmth, his wisdom, and his way of making you feel welcome whenever he meets you. The Gloucester vicinage could not have had anybody better at the helm for its first quarter century.
In addition to his work in the South Jersey vicinage, Judge DeSimone served on numerous statewide administrative committees throughout his tenure with the judiciary. He is currently co-chair of its Committee on Complementary Dispute Resolution.
A Korean war veteran, Judge DeSimone, 69, graduated from Gettysburg College in 1952, receiving his law degree from Georgetown University in 1958. Admitted to the New Jersey bar in 1960, he began his career with the law firm of Bleakly, Stockwell and Zink in Camden. He also served as Assistant Prosecutor for Gloucester County prior to being appointed to the bench.
Since 1955, he has been married to the former Elizabeth Heilman. The couple have four daughters, three sons and 21 grandchildren.
Judge DeSimone's replacement has not been named.