Justice Walter F. Timpone
“I am proud to be the first Seton Hall Law graduate appointed to the New Jersey Supreme Court.”
Marking the appointment of the first Seton Hall Law graduate to serve on the New Jersey Supreme Court, Seton Hall hosted the swearing-in of the newest Associate Justice, Walter F. Timpone ’79, on June 2nd. Attending were 400 people, including leaders of the bench, bar and New Jersey state government.
Dean Kathleen M. Boozang opened the ceremony by welcoming the guests to celebrate a “historic moment” and hailing Justice Timpone as “the first of what we hope will be many superb, talented Seton Hall lawyers appointed to the bench.”
Governor Christie paid tribute to Justice Timpone, noting the strengths the Justice brings to the State’s highest court: his intellect, common sense, compassion and his sense of humor. Governor Christie reminisced about his days as U.S. Attorney, when Justice Timpone, then a defense attorney with the law firm, McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter, LLP, would advocate for clients, always bringing a new perspective to critical decisions. “What Justice Timpone understood, as an advocate throughout his life, was that there are real-life consequences to the actions, and decisions, those that who possess power and authority make.”
New Jersey Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart Rabner administered the oath of office. Bringing a personal touch, “The Chief” recalled how welcome Justice Timpone made him and other young attorneys feel when he first started working at the U.S. Attorney’s office. Speaking of Justice Timpone’s joining the Supreme Court, Justice Rabner said, “I hope we have been just as welcoming to you as a colleague and as a friend.”
Justice Timpone graduated from St. Francis College and taught children with special needs in Brooklyn before he chose to pursue a law degree at Seton Hall. After graduation he clerked for the late Honorable Vincent P. Biunno of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. Ultimately, he joined the office of United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey in Newark for 10 years, from 1984 to 1994, also serving as Chief of Special Prosecutions. He was appointed the first Federal Election Monitor in Passaic County, where he helped to secure the voting rights of the county’s Hispanic citizens, and is a Commissioner on the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission. Timpone served as a Partner at McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter, LLP in the firm’s criminal defense practice until he was nominated to the New Jersey Supreme Court by Governor Chris Christie, and confirmed by the New Jersey Senate three weeks later, in April 2016.
"Wally both embodies and epitomizes the excellence that defines a Seton Hall lawyer,” Dean Boozang said in a statement following Justice Timpone’s nomination. “I have known him for two decades, and can personally attest that he is a superb candidate for the State Supreme Court and will serve our state with integrity, compassion and a great intellect.”