Archer is pleased to announce that the Honorable Gerald C. Escala has become Of Counsel to the firm in the Hackensack office. Judge Escala joins the firm’s Alternative Dispute Resolution practice as both an arbitrator and mediator for family and civil matters, commensurate with his extensive experience as a Judge of the New Jersey Superior Court for the past 20 years. Judge Escala is rejoining Archer having first been with the firm in 2011. At that time, Judge Escala was recalled to the Chancery Division, handling the foreclosure calendar and assisting in Family Part trials and plenary hearings. He returns to the firm following his recent retirement from the bench.
Judge Escala served his first 15 years on the bench beginning in 1991 as Judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey in Bergen County in the Family Part. He was designated Presiding Judge of the Family Part in 1997, and in 1998 he was assigned to the Chancery Division in what was the busiest Chancery venue in the state. In 2005, he was designated Presiding Judge of the Chancery Division (General Equity and Probate). He retired for the first time in 2006 resuming his private law practice focusing on mediation and arbitration. During that time, he also served as a Hearing Officer in Election and Disciplinary Matters for Bergen County.
Before his appointment to the State bench in 1991, Judge Escala was in private law practice in Englewood and Tenafly for 26 years. From 1973 to 1991, he served as a municipal court judge in Washington Township, Westwood, Demarest, and Rockleigh. Prior to his law career, he was a news reporter for The Record, covering towns in the Northern Valley.
After graduating Lafayette College, Judge Escala attended Columbia University Graduate Faculties, studying Russian history, and from there attended Seton Hall University School of Law.
In his free time, Judge Escala volunteers as a tour guide at the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center.