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One-Man Dream Team, NJ Legal Giant Bob Galantucci Dies At 76

Robert  L. "Bob" Galantucci
Robert L. "Bob" Galantucci Photo Credit: Mary K. Miraglia (left, right) / Galantucci and Patuto (center)

He was known in many circles as a "cop's lawyer," but Bob Galantucci represented countless other clients on the other side of the law, as well.

Robert L. Galantucci, 76, a founding partner of the Galantucci and Patuto law firm in Hackensack -- and a former Bergen County assistant prosecutor -- died Friday surrounded by family at his home in Spring Lake.

Dubbed a “dream team of one” by the New Jersey Law Journal, Galantucci believed that the principles of justice "must for all or they work for none," according to his online bio.

He drew national attention representing accused murders and law enforcement officials in high-profile cases -- among them, former Teaneck Police Officer Gary Spath, who was acquitted in the shooting death of a fleeing teenager.

A member of the bar for more than half a century, Galantucci was profiled in books while authoring his own legal publications. He appeared as a commentator on Court TV, as well as on other TV and radio shows.

Yet that barely scratches the surface of the extensive -- and influential -- work that Galantucci did in helping others know and learn about the law, including conducting seminars for the state and county bar associations and lecturing extensively on criminal process and the Fourth Amendment.

Born in Brooklyn, Galantucci grew up in East Orange, where he attended Clifford Scott High School. He was graduated from Louisiana State University in 1967 and, three years later, New York Law School, where he participated in Law Review in 1970.

Galantucci clerked for the Superior Court Judge Robert Ansell in Hackensack before joining the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office in 1971. He was there for two years -- becoming chief of the Homicide Squad -- before hanging his own shingle across from the county courthouse.

Galantucci worked vigorously at the firm he founded with James P. Patuto in 1973 before retiring three years ago. He was among the first defense counselors designated a certified criminal trial attorney by the New Jersey Supreme Court and maintained a coveted “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell. He also served as attorney for the city of Hackensack from 1986 to 1989.

Galantucci remained active into his senior years, skiing and enjoying the beach.

A gifted high school athlete, he became a dedicated New York Mets fan after his beloved Brooklyn Dodgers headed west, rooted hard for the New Jersey Devils and was a constant supporter of his alma mater. Galantucci also devotedly coached Little League baseball when his two sons were young.

Galantucci was pre-deceased by his parents, Louis and Anna (De Bernardis) Galantucci, his sister, Anitajean, and his uncle, Gabriel Nicola.

He leaves a wife of 40 years, Patricia (nee Kavanagh) Galantucci; sons, Robert and his wife, Ellen, and their children, Marshall and Clara of Silver Spring, MD; Daniel and his wife, Ayla, of Manasquan; nephew, Ryan of New York; brother-in-law, Charles Kavanagh and his wife, Mary, of Brielle; sisters-in-law Alice Donadio and husband, James, of Cedar Grove, and Marie Mercun of Point Pleasant, as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins.

A Mass of Christian Burial scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 13 is expected to draw a large number of attendees to St. Margaret's Church at 3rd and Ludlow avenues in Spring Lake. Private entombment will follow.

Visiting hours will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Monday and from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the O'Brien Funeral Home, 505 Burnt Tavern Road at Rt. 70, Brick Township. 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Bob's name to either the St. Jude Children's Hospital Foundation or to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).


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