Over the last two decades Vincent DeLuca has built perhaps the most active and successful divorce-law practice in New Jersey's shore region of Monmouth and Ocean counties, where he's spent his entire career. Outgoing, a quick study of people and a natural leader - he was quarterback of his high school and college teams - DeLuca early on earned the confidence of clients and other lawyers. Today, beyond his traditional litigation practice, DeLuca is regarded as one of the go-to divorce mediators in Central New Jersey, and his substantial caseload reflects it: Of nearly 300 cases he's involved in - an eye-popping number for an independent lawyer - more than half are mediations supervised by DeLuca. Now in his mid 40s, DeLuca is likely to have a key presence in the profession - especially in the Shore region - for years to come. For years he's been a leader in bar activities at the state and regional level. He grew up in a tight-knit and supportive Italian family that encouraged self-reliance and achievement. At Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania, DeLuca majored in political science and contemplated law school believing that his unique skill set could lead him to success in the profession. In law school he struck up a friendship with classmate Carmine Villani; less than three years out of law school, in 1996, the two launched their own practice, choosing Point Pleasant Beach as their base. Remarkably, they've been practicing together ever since. They have a complementary partnership: Villani has built a strong criminal defense and DUI-defense practice, and their practice has thrived for years. Villani & DeLuca, too, got an early leg up, one often underappreciated by the throngs of lawyers who spend careers signing and paying office leases: The young partners purchased a grand historical building on Richmond Avenue, Southbound Route 35, the town's main thoroughfare. The partners did the renovations themselves. The firm's offices are now something of a landmark in Point Pleasant Beach, whose population explodes in the summer months. Aided by a professional stability rare in the law nowadays, Villani & DeLuca now has eight lawyers, four dedicated to matrimonial law. DeLuca is well known in the courthouses of Monmouth, Ocean and surrounding counties, and his mediation practice has taken off in recent years, thanks in part to a personal nature that is positive, constructive and results-oriented. Says he: "I've always been able to recognize the underlying issues - especially those personal and emotional issues - that can get in the way of an agreement. A lot of it is simply acknowledging those issues." DeLuca and his wife of 15 years have three children, ages 8 to 13. Naturally then on weekends he's a full-time coach of his kids' sports teams. He lives in Monmouth County, a half-hour drive from his office.