HONORABLE MICHAEL R. CASALE, J.S.C. (ret.), was a Superior Court Judge for 20 1/2 years, having been appointed on January 2, 1996, and serving until his retirement on June 1, 2016. Judge Casale served in all three divisions of the Essex Vicinage.
During Judge Casale’s tenure in the Criminal Division, he was appointed an Executive Judge in 1998, and was appointed Acting Presiding Judge in 2005. He earned acclaim as a trial Judge in numerous homicide cases, including State v. Rahien Williams (which led to the overhaul of DYFS) and State v. Omar Tindall.
During his tenure in the Civil Division, Judge Casale presided over negligence cases, malpractice lawsuits, employment discrimination, commercial litigation and product liability matters. The New York Times did a feature article in May, 2009, praising Judge Casale’s expeditious and fair handling of the high volume caseload in the Essex County Special Civil Part docket.
Judge Casale served with distinction in the Family Division during the last five years of his judicial career. He was appointed lead FM (Matrimonial) Judge and presided over matrimonial cases involving alimony, child support, equitable distribution, child custody and relocation and domestic violence. He also served as Acting Presiding Judge in the Family Division during his tenure there.
In the New Jersey Law Journal Judicial surveys of 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2014, New Jersey attorneys consistently rated Judge Casale as one of the top Judges in the Essex Vicinage. He is a member of The Executive Committee of the New Jersey State Bar Association and is a member of The Barry Croland and Brennan/Vanderbilt Inns of Court.
Judge Casale received his B.A. from the University of Connecticut and his J.D. from Seton Hall University School of Law (cum laude). He is a past recipient of Seton Hall Law’s The Peter J. Rodino Society Award. He is also a former councilman for the Township of Bloomfield, having served for six years.