Joseph V Maceri is emerging as one of North Jersey's leading young divorce lawyers, who has become a key partner of Snyder & Sarno, itself one of the state's leading matrimonial-law boutique firms. Maceri already possesses the trial skills and experience of a more senior lawyer; in just over a decade in practice he's built a strong record in the courthouses of Bergen, Passaic and Essex counties, peers say. He is the firm's lead partner in its Hackensack office and he now handles a broad range of family-law cases.
By all accounts Maceri has earned everything he's achieved, with no special privileges or connections: His mother and father emigrated from Italy only weeks before he was born, settling in the early '70s in Cliffside Park, the tight-knit Bergen County community overlooking the Hudson. "My parents worked extremely hard in blue-collar jobs from the day they came here," he says, "and they've always been my greatest influences, teaching me that hard work and perseverance pay off." He says he aspired to the law in part because his family "recognized quickly that it was difficult to get anything done - buy a house, start a business - without a good lawyer. I set my sights on becoming a lawyer long before college."
Attending William Paterson University in Wayne, Maceri worked his way through school and majored in political science; he immersed himself in public-affairs activities such as a model United Nations team and the Student Government Association. For law school, he moved out to East Lansing, MI, to Michigan State - "I know, not the first place an Italian-American from Jersey thinks of. But it was great. I made and I've kept a lot of friends there." He adds that he especially enjoyed studying Constitutional Law and its roots; "that appreciation and understanding will make anyone a better lawyer, and certainly a better trial and courtroom lawyer."
During the summers Maceri returned home and got early and valuable experience handling cases for Bergen County Legal Services, primarily representing indigent victims of domestic violence. That courtroom time "ended up defining my direction as a lawyer. I loved it. It's certainly what led me to matrimonial law." He spent time too as a clerk to Bergen County Superior Court Judge Sebastian Gaeta, an experience that familiarized Maceri with both the lawyers and judges of the family-law community. Immediately out of law school he joined a family-law practice not far from home, and handled his own cases almost right away. In his early 30s and barely five years as a lawyer, he was named a partner at the seven-attorney firm, a reflection of early ability to attract clients and of his early courtroom successes.
It was in 2013 that Maceri joined Roseland-based Snyder & Sarno, and became the managing partner of the firm's Hackensack office. In less than a year Maceri already has added a second lawyer to that office. His cases take him throughout the region, and they range from highly contested litigation to mediated cases with out-of-court settlements. By all accounts he is regarded as one of the leading young lawyers of North Jersey's Italian-American community, a distinction that brings him a stream of cases. "I've been very fortunate," he says. "I feel that one professional step has led to the next."
He and his wife Josephine - they met in the fourth grade - have two young sons. They live in Little Falls in Passaic County, New Jersey. He enjoys serving as a coach of his children's soccer and baseball teams - as well as on the town council.