Hon. Joseph A. Falcone Named Assignment Judge in Essex Vicinage Effective August 13, 1999
For Release: May 25, 1999
Contact: Patricia Shukis Fraser
Chief Justice Deborah T. Poritz today announced the appointment of Superior Court Judge Joseph A. Falcone, currently the Assignment Judge of the Passaic Vicinage, as the new Assignment Judge for the Essex Vicinage, effective August 13, 1999. Judge Falcone will return to Essex where he has spent a majority of his legal career and replace Judge Alvin Weiss who must retire on that date upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 70.
The Chief Justice said, Over the past thirteen years, Judge Falcone has demonstrated his leadership skills in a number of difficult assignments and has proven to be a dedicated and talented trial judge. His long service as the Presiding Judge of the Essex Criminal Division led to improved case management and dispositions in the county. He has been a respected Assignment Judge in Passaic and will bring all those talents to his new responsibilities.
Judge Falcone, 56, of Wayne, has been a Superior Court judge since March, 1986. From his initial appointment by Governor Thomas Kean, until April of 1990, he was assigned to the Criminal Division in Essex County. He was named the Essex Criminal Division Presiding Judge on April 2, 1990 and served there until he was named the Presiding Judge of the Passaic Criminal Division on May 9, 1996. On October 3, 1996 he was named by Chief Justice Poritz as the Assignment Judge for the Passaic Vicinage, replacing the late Nicholas Mandak who had passed away the previous August.He has also served as Chair of the statewide Conference of Criminal Division Presiding Judges.
Before becoming a Superior Court judge, Judge Falcone was in the private practice of law until becoming an Assistant Prosecutor in Essex County where he worked in the Appellate Section, the Trial Section, the City-County Organized Crime Strike Force, and the Attorney in Charge of the Special Grand Jury Squad. In September of 1975 he was named First Assistant Prosecutor of Passaic County and held that position until he was named Passaic County Prosecutor by Governor Brendan T. Byrne in August of 1980.
Judge Falcone is a 1965 graduate of Rutgers University and a 1968 graduate of the Rutgers School of Law. He and his wife Beverly have one daughter, Larissa.
Judge Weiss, a Livingston resident, will retire after a distinguished judicial career which began in 1987. After assignments in the Family Division, Criminal Division, Presiding Judge of the Civil Division and Presiding Judge of the Equity Division, Judge Weiss was named Essex Vicinage Assignment Judge on September 1, 1994.
Judge Weiss and his wife, Hannah, have one daughter, Betsy Weiss Bresnick, who is a lawyer. His brother, Lawrence, is a Superior Court Judge sitting in Union County. He is a 1951 graduate of Rutgers University and a 1953 graduate of the Rutgers University School of Law.
Chief Justice Poritz said Judge Weiss has managed the Essex Vicinage with competence and dedication. He has overseen the implementation of court unification, ensured prompt resolution of the thousands of cases that are filed in Essex annually and was a respected member of the Courts Judicial Council. The Judiciary will miss Judge Weiss.