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For immediate release: August 11, 2005
For further information: Jon Goodman, Trial Court Administrator
(201) 527-2265

Bergen Welcomes Three Judges to Superior Court

Hackensack, NJ…The Bergen Vicinage of the New Jersey Judiciary welcomes three judges to Superior Court. Judge John J. Langan Jr., Family Division; Judge Menelaos W. Toskos, Civil Division; and Judge Deborah L. Ustas, Family Division, were assigned June 30, 2005.

A Legacy of Service and Volunteerism

A member of the New Jersey bar since 1973, Judge Langan was a partner with DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole & Wisler, LLP, from 1986 until his appointment as judge. He served as assistant county counsel to the Bergen County Board of Freeholders from 1973 to 1979 and as Bergen County adjuster from 1976 to 1978. He was in private practice from 1979 to 1986.

Judge Langan served as an attorney for 40 municipalities and governmental entities from 1980 through 2004. An active volunteer, he served on numerous cultural, civic and health-related boards where he served as president of the Mid-Bergen Mental Health Center for eight years. He received his BA from Fairfield University, Connecticut, and the JD degree from Fordham University School of Law. He resides in Bergen County with his wife, Dr. Anne McDonald Langan and their three children; Mary, John and James.

From City Teacher to Superior Court Jurist

Judge Toskos earned his JD from Fordham University School of Law while working as a New York City public school teacher from 1969 to 1973. Admitted to the New Jersey bar in 1973, he served with several Bergen County firms until 1991. He practiced law with Herten, Burstein, Sheridan, Cevasco, Bottinelli, Litt, Toskos & Harz, LLC, in Hackensack from 1991 until his appointment as judge.

Judge Toskos has lectured on land use law, served on professional panels on topics that include arbitration, mediation and land use, and coordinated the Bergen County high school mock trial program. He was a trustee of the Bergen County Bar Association and was the municipal attorney for both the Borough of Waldwick and the Township of Mahwah. He received a BA from Columbia University prior to his law degree. He resides in Bergen County with his wife, Christine.

Founding Partner and Paramus Municipal Court Judge

Before her appointment, Judge Ustas was a founding partner of Weinberg & Ustas, PC, a five-female attorney law firm specializing in matrimonial and family law matters. An accredited divorce mediator, Judge Ustas served in Paramus municipal court as public defender (2000-2001), prosecutor (2001-2002) and judge (2002 until her appointment in June 2005). She practiced law with firms in Rutherford, Paramus and Hackensack following her admission to the New Jersey and New York bars in 1991 through 1996.

Judge Ustas was formerly employed as vice president of corporate development for the Brotherhood Construction & Development Corporation in Cedar Grove from 1984 to 1991 while she attended law school in the evening. Following her graduation, she was employed as a law clerk for the Hon. Robert E. Hamer (Retired). She served on the Supreme Court's District IIA (North Bergen) Ethics Committee and was an executive committee member/master of the Northern New Jersey Family Inn of Court. She was also a Trustee of the Bergen County Bar Association until recently. She graduated cum laude from Montclair State College and received an MS degree in industrial relations, with distinction, from Pace University. She received her JD cum laude from Seton Hall School of Law. She resides in Bergen County.

“We are pleased to welcome these distinguished jurists to the Bergen Vicinage,” said Assignment Judge Sybil R. Moses. “ Our justice system will be well served by their extensive legal experience, their broad knowledge of the law and their sincere dedication to the principles of professionalism governing lawyers and judges.”

( Note to Editors: Judge Langan, Judge Toskos and Judge Ustas are available for interviews through Aug. 19, 2005.)

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