Click play for audio version of this story
State Sen. Joseph Lagana (D-Paramus) and two other partners are leaving Chasen Lamparello Mallon & Cappuzzo to join another law firm, Cleary Giacobbe Alfieri Jacobs.
Lagana, a Bergen County senator widely viewed as a rising star in state politics, will make his move official within the next few days, the New Jersey Globe has learned.
Joining Lagana are two other politically influential attorneys, Joseph Garcia and Joseph DeMarco.
Garcia, a former Paramus councilman, is the general counsel to the Northwest Bergen County Utilities authority, the Jersey City Housing Authority, and the Hoboken South Waterfront Operating and Maintenance Corporation. He also serves as assistant general counsel to the North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue Department and as special election counsel to several municipal clerks.
DeMarco was the Bayonne City Business Administrator for four years before leaving to manage Mayor Jimmy Davis’ re-election campaign. A former Bernardsville Councilman, DeMarco also served as Business Administrator and Assistant Town Attorney for West New York.
At Cleary Giacobbe, Lagana will handle insurance arbitration matters. He specialized in insurance defense law during his twelve years at Chasen Lamparello.
Lagana will join Assemblyman Sean Kean (R-Wall), who is a Cleary Giacobbe partner.
Chasen Lamparello is headed by Ralph Lamparello, a powerful Hudson County political insider.
Lagana’s new firm also has strong political connections. Partners represent municipalities and authorities in Bergen, Essex, Morris, Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean counties.
“I’m excited to announce that as of Monday, September 16, 2019, I will join the firm of Cleary, Giacobbe, Alfieri and Jacobs, LLC as a partner concentrating in insurance arbitrations,” Lagana said in a statement on Wednesday afternoon. “This an exciting new opportunity to bring my specific practice to an established Bergen County firm whose clients span the state and enjoy a tremendous reputation in the legal community.”
Lagana expressed his appreciation to Lamparello and his old firm.
“I would like to thank Ralph Lamparello and the partners at Chasan Lamparello Mallon and Cappuzzo for making the past 12 years memorable and for helping me grow as an attorney,” Lagana said. “I am eternally grateful for their endless support in my professional career. I cherish the time spent at the firm and will continue to collaborate with them in the future.”
A former Paramus councilman, the 40-year-old Lagana was elected to the New Jersey State Assembly in 2013 and moved to the Senate last year when Bob Gordon (D-Fair Lawn) resigned to become a Commissioner of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. He won a special election to the Senate with more than 60% of the vote.
This story was updated at 2:32 PM with comment from Lagana.