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Nicholas D. Caruso, a Union County lawyer for 60 years and the secretary of its ethics committee for a quarter of a century, died on March 13. He was 87. Born and raised in Elizabeth, Caruso graduated from Yale University Law School in 1942 and passed the New Jersey bar exam the same year. During World War II, he served with the Army in the European theater of operations. Upon returning from his military service, he set up a general legal practice in his native Elizabeth, which he later moved to Westfield and then Summit. In 1977, he joined the District XII Ethics Committee, which serves Union County. He soon became the secretary of the Committee, in which capacity he administered thousands of complaints lodged against Union County attorneys by clients, judges and other lawyers. He eventually gave up his law practice altogether so that he could serve as full-time ethics secretary. He later added the position of full-time secretary of the district’s Fee Arbitration Committee. When he retired in March 2003, he was named secretary emeritus of the District XII Ethics Committee, and the Union County Bar Association established the Nicholas D. Caruso Award in his honor, to be given to rare individuals who have distinguished themselves in every aspect of their legal career.

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