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Richard Connors, Judge in Hudson County, 73 Richard Connors, a Hudson County judge for 27 years, died on Feb. 14 at the age of 73. Connors was appointed to the Hudson County Court in 1973 and was made a Superior Court judge in 1978 when the court systems merged. He retired in 2000. A 1951 graduate of St. Peter’s College in Jersey City, Connors served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. He earned his law degree from Seton Hall University School of Law in 1956 and then joined Samuel Lieberman’s East Orange firm. Connors remained at the firm, later known as Gorrin, Connors & Ironson, until taking the bench. He had an insurance defense litigation practice. First sitting in the criminal and family courts, Connors spent the latter half of his judicial career hearing civil cases, and he became renowned for his ability to bring parties together. “He made a lot of money for the lawyers, because he was very good at settling cases,” says Joseph Ryan, a retired Hudson County judge who grew up with Connors in Jersey City. “His experience as a trial lawyer gave him a lot of insight as to where the cases belonged.” Ryan is now of counsel to Netchert, Dineen & Hillmann in Jersey City. After retiring, Connors was of counsel to the Jersey City firm of Bogart, Keane, Ryan & Hamill, where he worked in litigation, trusts and estates and mediation. A. Warren Herrigel, Judge in Hunterdon County, 77 Former Hunterdon County Judge A. Warren Herrigel died at the age of 77 on Feb. 7. Herrigel was appointed to the Hunterdon County Court in 1972, became a Superior Court judge in 1978 when the court systems merged and retired in 1980. Sitting in what was then a sparsely populated county – there was only one other judge in the court when he was appointed – Herrigel learned to be versatile. He heard both criminal and matrimonial cases, and for several months after the other judge left, Herrigel was hearing all the cases in the county, says former clerk David Weaver, who is now the Sussex County prosecutor. Perhaps his best-known case was the 1979 murder trial of Jean Zelinsky, who placed her mother’s severed head in a paper bag and deposited it on the Statehouse steps in Trenton. She was found not guilty by reason of insanity. In State v. Serrone, a case that had shocked the community, Herrigel ordered a juvenile to be tried as an adult for the murders of a nine-year-old girl and her father. Sharon Ransavage, Herrigel’s law clerk at the time, says the judge found the case “emotionally draining,” spent time with his family to keep perspective and urged her to do the same. “His family was very important to him. I think they were a great source of solace,” says Ransavage, a former Hunterdon County prosecutor. Herrigel retired early due to high blood pressure and a hearing impairment that made it difficult for him to follow court proceedings, Ransavage says. Herrigel served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, and in 1945 he was part of an honor guard at the funeral of President Franklin Roosevelt. He graduated from Rutgers Law School-Newark in 1949, and spent the first year of his law career in the law office of Erwin Fulop in Union. From 1950-59 he worked with Anthony Hauck in Clinton, under the name of Hauck and Herrigel. In 1972 he and his brother, Bruce Herrigel, formed Herrigel & Herrigel in Clinton. Herrigel also was a judge in North Hunterdon Municipal Court from 1962-72. In private practice, he was a municipal solicitor and planning board and zoning board attorney for several Hunterdon County municipalities and he also practiced matrimonial and family law. Arthur Salvatore, Judge in Mercer County, 96 Arthur Salvatore, a Mercer County judge for 11 years, died on Jan. 26 at age 96. He was appointed to the Mercer County Court in 1966 and sat there and in Superior Court until he retired in 1977. A Trenton native, Salvatore graduated from St. Joseph’s College in Philadelphia and received his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in 1931. He started a solo Trenton practice and later formed a partnership with Frank Katzenbach III. He was counsel to the Trenton Board of Education and served as an assistant attorney general and a special assistant to the U.S. attorney general. Savatore was known for stricter sentencing in criminal cases than many of his fellow judges, says Bruce Schragger, who was Mercer County Prosecutor during part of Salvatore’s tenure on the bench. “I think he felt that, particularly if it was a crime of violence, [the defendant] shouldn’t have too many bites at the apple,” says Schragger, of West Trenton’s Schragger, Levine & Nagy. But in Salvatore’s most famous trial, that of a Princeton man accused of killing his wife and dumping her body in New York’s East River in 1972, the defendant, Colin Carpi, was acquitted. Salvatore was also known for occasionally blunt assessments of lawyers in court. “He was always willing to take the time after trial to explain to you what he thought a young lawyer like myself did right or wrong in a trial,” says Mercer County Chancery Division Judge Neil Shuster, who cut his teeth as an assistant Mercer County prosecutor in Salvatore’s court. “I learned an awful lot from his assessments of my abilities.” Adds Schragger, “I would say he was very friendly to lawyers who comported themselves the way he thought they ought to be. You didn’t want to get on his wrong side.”

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