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The Value of Retired Judges in Legal Consultation and Alternative Dispute Resolution in New Jersey

July 10, 2024 John J. Scura III


In the dynamic and complicated landscape of legal practice, the inclusion of retired judges within a law firm can significantly enhance the strategic capabilities and client outcomes. At Scura Wigfield Heyer Stevens & Cammarota, LLP, we have embraced the invaluable expertise of retired judges who collaborate closely with our attorneys and clients, offering unparalleled insights and enhancing our approach to litigation and dispute resolution.  Our firm presently has the former Presiding Judge of Chancery, Randall C. Chiocca, P.J. Ch. (ret.), and the former Presiding Judge of Civil, Thomas F. Brogan, P.J. Civ. (ret.). They both recently retired from the bench.  I mention this because they are young-retired judges.

While Judge Brogan and Judge Chiocca cannot appear in the New Jersey courts on arguments or trials, they are permitted to consult and advise on strategy.  For the most part, legal issues result from problems that need to be solved.  Having these dynamic problem solvers with us is invaluable to our clients and our firm.

Expert Legal Insight and Acumen

Retired judges bring decades of judicial experience and a deep understanding of the law to our firm. Their insights are instrumental in:

• Case Assessment and Strategy Development: Drawing from their extensive            experience presiding over various cases, retired judges provide nuanced perspectives that help our attorneys assess case strengths and weaknesses more comprehensively. Their input allows us to tailor strategies that align with judicial tendencies and anticipate potential outcomes.

• Predicting Case Outcomes: With a seasoned judge’s perspective, we can better forecast potential judicial decisions and adapt our legal strategies accordingly. This proactive approach mitigates risks and enhances our ability to achieve favorable outcomes for our clients.

• Enhanced Legal Advocacy: By collaborating with retired judges, our attorneys gain access to insider knowledge on judicial preferences, procedural nuances, and effective argumentation strategies. This partnership elevates our advocacy efforts in courtrooms and strengthens our representation of client interests.

• Collaboration and Advising Our Attorneys.  We frequently have round table sessions with Judges Chiocca and Brogan on the strengths, weaknesses and best strategies in cases.  Our younger associates continually sit with them and pick their brains on how to best handle difficult issues. 

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Expertise

Beyond traditional litigation, Judge Brogan and Judge Chiocca at our firm play a pivotal role in providing alternative dispute resolution services, including mediation and arbitration. These services offer distinct advantages:

• Mediation Services: As neutral mediators, retired judges facilitate constructive dialogue between conflicting parties, aiming to achieve mutually acceptable resolutions outside of court. Their impartiality, legal expertise, and understanding of judicial standards foster an environment conducive to productive negotiations and settlement agreements.  They bring realistic assessments to each sides case and help take some of the emotion that fuels unnecessary litigation and expense.  They are experts at bringing reasonable closure in hotly contested cases.

• Arbitration Expertise: In arbitration proceedings, retired judges act as arbitrators, adjudicating disputes based on evidence and legal principles. Their authority and experience instill confidence in parties seeking efficient and impartial resolution through arbitration, ensuring fair adjudication and enforceable decisions.

Client-Centered Benefits

The presence of retired judges at our firm offers significant benefits to our clients:

• Strategic Advantage: Clients benefit from strategic guidance informed by judicial perspectives, empowering them to make informed decisions and navigate legal complexities with clarity and confidence.  We have had Judge Chiocca and Judge Brogan sit in on cases from the very beginning providing strategy and guidance in the way the case is litigated.  They meet and advise clients of probable outcomes based on extensive judicial experience in judging cases and watching how juries act and deliberate with different cases. 

• Cost Efficiency: ADR services provided by retired judges often offer cost-effective alternatives to prolonged litigation, minimizing expenses associated with lengthy court proceedings while expediting resolution timelines.

• Outcome Optimization: Whether through litigation strategy formulation or ADR facilitation, our collaboration with retired judges is centered on optimizing outcomes that align with client objectives, safeguarding their interests with integrity and expertise.


In sum, the integration of retired judges into our legal practice embodies our commitment to excellence and client-focused advocacy. Their invaluable contributions in legal consultation, case strategy, and alternative dispute resolution underscore our dedication to delivering superior legal services and achieving favorable outcomes for our clients.  Judge Brogan and Judge Chiocca are not your average judges, but rather were the presiding Judges in their respective areas.  In fact, the New Jersey courts still turn to them to serve as special masters and to preside over mediation programs. 

For expert guidance rooted in judicial wisdom and a steadfast commitment to client success, trust our esteemed team of retired judges. Contact us today to discover how we can help you navigate your legal problems with strategic insight and effective advocacy.


John J. Scura III

John fights hard for his clients and tries to educate them so they understand what is going on with their particular legal problem. John has been Certified by The Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Civil Trial Attorney. Whether it is a personal injury case, bankruptcy case, litigation case or other type of matter, John wants his clients to participate in the decision making process toward solving their problem in the best way possible.

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