After careful consideration and deliberation, the Officers and Trustees of the Bergen County Bar Association are thrilled to announce that Bruce E. Chase, Esq., is the distinguished recipient of this year’s prestigious Honorable Peter Ciolino Professional Lawyer of the Year Award.

Bruce’s remarkable career in the legal field has been marked by a consistent display of exceptional professionalism, unwavering dedication, and a profound commitment to the principles of justice and integrity. His contributions to the legal community in Bergen County and beyond have left an indelible mark, and his peers hold him in the highest regard.

Bruce’s journey in the legal profession was deeply influenced by his father, who served as his mentor and a shining example of professionalism, civility, courtesy, and what it means to be a “lawyer’s lawyer.” In 1978, following his father’s guidance, Bruce became a member of the BCBA on the day he was admitted to the bar. Over the years, he followed in his father’s footsteps and became actively involved in the BCBA, eventually rising to the esteemed position of the 99th President of the BCBA. Following his presidency and immediate past presidency, Bruce continued his service as the BCBA’s representative to the New Jersey State Bar Association for a commendable six years. He takes particular pride in his role as the BCBA’s Chair or Co-Chair of its Family Law Committee, where he dedicated more than two decades of his time and expertise.

Beyond his involvement with the BCBA, Bruce has also made significant contributions as a trustee and later as President of Bergen County Legal Services. Further honoring his father’s legacy, he undertook the state and national exams to become a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Attorneys (AAML). In his journey with AAML-NJ, he held various esteemed positions and eventually ascended to the presidency in 2015. Bruce’s dedication to the field is evident through his numerous publications and wide-ranging lectures for the BCBA, NJSBA, and AAML-NJ.

We cordially invite you to join us in celebrating Bruce’s outstanding achievements and recognizing his profound contributions to the legal profession. The award ceremony will occur on Monday, November 6, 2023, at Seasons.

Bruce E. Chase, Esq., exemplifies the highest standards of professionalism and integrity in the legal field, and we look forward to honoring his remarkable career at this special event.

Effective August 1, 2023, the Judicial assignments are as follows:

PRE-JUDGMENT- Dissolution (FM) Motions & Trials

Docket Nos.
01-25     Jane Gallina-Mecca, P.J.F.P.

26-70    Julie Lee Kim, J.S.C.
71-100   Robert E. Landel, J.S.C.

POST-JUDGMENT- Dissolution (FM) Motions & Plenary Hearings

01-05    Jane Gallina-Mecca, P.J.F.P.
06-10   Julie Lee Kim, J.S.C.
11-15.   Robert E. Landel, J.S.C.
16-32.  Magali Francois, J.S.C.
33-49.  Jaclyn Medina, J.S.C.
50-66.  Michael Antoniewicz, J.S.C.
67-83.  Amy E. Lefkowitz, J.S.C.
84-100 William C. Soukas, J.S.C.

In addition, the Judges will hear the following matters:

  • Judge Gallina-Mecca (Room 265) – CIC (Central), Dissolution, FC & Benchmark Hearings, ISC, Backup for all dockets
  • Judge Kim (Room 113)- 2nd Juvenile Back up
  • Judge Landel (Room 317)- DV Wednesday Calendar
  • Judge Francois (Room 152)-Juvenile, CIC (South)*, SIJ
  • Judge Medina (Room 338)- Non-Dissolution, CSE, SU, 2nd Backup Contempts
  • Judge Antoniewicz (Room 108)- Domestic Violence, TPR, Weapons, Backup Contempts
  • Judge Lefkowitz (Room 262)- Domestic Violence, Contempts, Backup Weapons, Juvenile Backup
  • Judge Soukas -(Room 336) Non-Dissolution, Backup CSE

On Recall:

Judge Janeczko (Room 161) FM Default Calendar

HO Appeals will rotate among the judges assigned to the FD Docket

DV Appeals will rotate among the judges assigned to the FV Docket

*Judge Gallina-Mecca will continue with ½ of the Bergen South docket until September 1.

/s/ Jane Gallina-Mecca, P.J.F.P.




It is ORDERED that the initial judicial assignment for new Superior Court Judge William C. Soukas will be to the Superior Court, Family Division, Bergen County (Vicinage 2); this amends the June 27, 2023 order that supplemented the 2022-2023 General Assignment Order dated August 15, 2022.

/s/ Honorable Stuart Rabner

Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court


It is ORDERED that effective August 1, 2023~ Superior Court Judge Darren T. DiBiasi is hereby assigned to the General Equity Division of Superior Court in Bergen County (Vicinage 2). This will amend the 2022-2023 General Assignment Order dated August 15, 2022.

/s/ Honorable Stuart Raber

Chief Justice of New Jersey Supreme Court

Order – Judge Darren T. DiBiasi Reassigned to Bergen General Equity Division

Effective April 1, 2023, the Judicial assignments are as follows:

PRE-JUDGMENT- Dissolution (FM) Motions & Trials
Docket Nos.
01-100   Darren T. DiBiasi, J.S.C.

POST-JUDGMENT – Dissolution (FM) Motions & Plenary Hearings
Docket Nos.
01-05     Jane Gallina-Mecca, J.S.C.
06-10    Darren T. DiBiasi, J.S.C.
11-35     Magali M. Francois, J.S.C.
36-60    Jaclyn Medina, J.S.C.
61-80    Michael Antoniewicz, J.S.C.

81-100.  Amy E. Lefkowitz, J.S.C.

Due to the high number of judicial vacancies, the Bar is encouraged to exhaust all methods of alternate dispute resolution prior to filing an application in the FM docket. The vacancies, coupled with the high volume of filings, have also necessitated the Court to run on a delayed motion schedule. Judges Melchionne and Guida will be handling ISCs and Judge Janeczko will be handling defaults and domestic violence trials until the end of May.

In addition, the following matters will be heard by:
Judge Gallina-Mecca – Non-Dissolution, Children in Court, FC Summary Hearings
Judge Francois – Juvenile, Domestic Violence, Summary Immigrant Juvenile, Children in Court
Judge Medina -Non-Dissolution, Summary Immigrant Juvenile, Child Support Enforcement
Judge Antoniewicz -Domestic Violence, Termination of Parental Rights, Weapons
Judge Lefkowitz – Domestic Violence, Contempts

/s/ Peter J. Melchionne, P.J.F.P.



With the approval of the Chief Justice, Judge Catuogno and I are delighted to announce:

  • Hon. Robert M. Vinci, J.S.C., in addition to his civil assignment, is being temporarily assigned to the Chancery Division. It is anticipated that upon Hon. Lisa Perez-Friscia’s permanent elevation to the Appellate Division as of August 1, 2023, Judge Vinci’s re-assignment to Chancery shall become permanent as well.
  • Hon. Gregg A. Padovano, J.S.C., will, upon Hon. Rachelle Lea Harz’s retirement on June 1, 2023, be named our Multi-County Litigation Judge.
  • Hon. Mary F. Thurber, J.S.C., has been named our Complex Business Judge, effective immediately; and
  • Hon. Jane Gallina-Mecca will, upon Hon. Peter J. Melchionne’s retirement on June 1, 2023, be named the Presiding Judge of the Family Part.

The Bergen County Jail (BCJ) has created a computer lab where inmates can view discovery weekly during scheduled blocks of time. Tablets may be available for inmates to access Lexis/Nexis for research purposes. Laptops may also be utilized as necessary and in the discretion of the BCJ. Viewing time for discovery may be expanded by court order during the inmate’s trial upon consultation with BCJ officials. Read More


As of March 1, 2023, all mandatory Civil Arbitrations in the Bergen County Vicinage will be conducted In-Person at the Bergen County Courthouse. The provisions of Rule 4:21A-4 as to appearance at Arbitration will be in effect.
Please alert colleagues as to this change and requirement.