Dennis Calo is a Partner in HDRB&B’s Criminal Defense and Litigation Departments. With a distinguished career that spans more than four decades, Dennis concentrates his practice on criminal defense and civil litigation where he has successfully tried many civil and criminal jury, bench, and arbitration cases. 

As a defense attorney with over 27 years in private practice, Dennis represents individual, corporate, and government clients in matters involving both white-collar and violent crimes, and civil matters including employment litigation. His expertise as a trial lawyer has resulted in numerous acquittals, non-prosecutions, and substantial monetary recoveries for his clients.

Throughout his career, Dennis has pivoted between the public and private sector. He served two separate stints in the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office. The first from 1977 to 1990, when he 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. Two of these major high-profile cases that Dennis investigated and tried, involved the notorious serial “Torso Killer”, Richard Cottingham, which resulted in two first degree murder convictions. During this time, Dennis became widely recognized throughout New Jersey for successfully applying forensic scientific techniques in investigations and in the courtroom and built a reputation for his meticulous work in courtroom presentations.

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. 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’ 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 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.

Professional Affiliations

  • Bergen County Bar Association
  • New Jersey State Bar Association

Prior Experience

  • First Assistant Prosector, Bergen County Prosector’s Office, 2017 – 2023
  • Partner, Hartmann, Doherty, Rosa, Berman, & Bulbulia, 2010 – 2017
  • Managing Partner, Calo & Agostino, 1992 – 2009
  • Partner, Cohn Lifland, 1990 – 1992
  • Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, 1977 – 1992
    • First Assistant Prosecutor, 1983 – 1990
    • Homicide Chief, 1979 – 1990
    • Grand Jury Chief, 1978
    • Trial Assistant, 1977

Education

  • New York University School of Law, J.D., 1970
  • Columbia College Columbia University, B.A., 1975

Admissions

  • New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
  • U.S. Supreme Court