We are thrilled to announce the return of Dennis Calo as a Partner in the firm’s Criminal Defense and Litigation Departments. Dennis rejoins HDRB&B following a distinguished period of public service as Acting Prosecutor and First Assistant Prosecutor with the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office.
Dennis served two separate stints in the Prosecutor’s Office. The first from 1977 to 1990, when Dennis became Chief of the Homicide Squad and then First Assistant Prosecutor, responsible for running the day-to-day operations of the office, and overseeing major investigations. During that time, Dennis conducted hundreds of homicide and suspicious death investigations and tried capital and other major homicide cases, including the high-profile prosecution of Richard Cottingham, known as the “Torso Killer,” resulting in two first-degree murder convictions. Dennis is widely known for his groundbreaking use of forensic scientific techniques, both in investigations and the courtroom.
After his first term in the Prosecutor’s Office, Dennis spent 27 years in private practice, joining HDRB&B for the first time in 2010. He specialized in the trial of complex criminal and civil cases, including homicide, white collar criminal cases, employment, and other complex civil cases. Dennis’ skills as a trial lawyer resulted in numerous acquittals, non-prosecutions and substantial monetary recoveries for his clients.
In 2017, recognizing Dennis’ skills as an administrator and trial attorney, then Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir Grewal, who later became New Jersey Attorney General, asked Dennis to return to the Prosecutor’s Office as his First Assistant to train a new generation of Assistant Prosecutors. Dennis accepted this second call to public service and again served with distinction at the Prosecutor’s Office.
“Dennis is a longtime friend and trusted colleague whose return feels very much like a homecoming,” expressed Managing Partner Paul S. Doherty III. “His impact is felt not just in the respect he commands in the courtroom; it’s in the trust he builds with clients and colleagues who benefit from his vast experience.”
Dennis’ approach is characterized by a deep understanding of both prosecution and defense perspectives. His experience provides him with a unique vantage point to anticipate prosecutorial tactics, enhancing his ability to secure favorable outcomes for his clients. Known for his honesty and sensitivity to clients’ circumstances, he skillfully balances assertive courtroom tactics with respectful, relentless advocacy.
Dennis has lectured widely on criminal and civil law topics and has conducted trial advocacy programs at The National Institute for Trial Advocacy, The New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education, and numerous other professional organizations. He earned his J.D. from New York University School of Law and his B.A. from Columbia College of Columbia University and is a member of the New Jersey and Bergen County Bar Associations.