Brooklyn Boro

Chief Judge DiFiore was potential target of lawyer who murdered New Jersey judge’s son

Brooklyn lawyer says behind the scenes, court officers are mobilizing to protect DiFiore

July 22, 2020 Rob Abruzzese
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The self-described “anti-feminist” lawyer who murdered the son of New Jersey Federal Court Judge Esther Salas in her home on Sunday also had the name and photo of New York Chief Judge Janet DiFiore in his car, a court spokesperson confirmed.

Roy Den Hollander, an attorney who was known to file lawsuits against colleges with women’s studies programs and against nightclubs and bars for hosting ladies’ nights, showed up at the home of Judge Salas on Sunday and shot her son to death while injuring her husband, according to the FBI. The judge was in the basement of her home at the time and was not injured.

Den Hollander was later found dead near Liberty, N.Y., with a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to officials.

In his car was a photo of Chief Judge DiFiore and the address of the Court of Appeals where she sits in Albany, according to a court spokesperson.

While the court acknowledged that Chief Judge DiFiore was a potential target for the killer lawyer, the spokesperson declined to identify what measures are being taken to protect her.

Anthony Lamberti, the president of the Brooklyn Bar Association and a former court officer, said that while the court system is keeping its security detail hush-hush, they are certainly taking precautions behind the scenes.

U.S. District Judge Esther Salas, right, attended a conference at Rutgers Law School in Newark, N.J. with Appellate Judge Thomas Sumners. Photo: Rutgers Law School via AP

“The men and women in uniform who protect the courts, court officers and Supreme Court officers, in my experience, have always been very vigilant in performing their security duties for everyone who uses the court facilities,” Lamberti said.

Lamberti is not only a former court officer but has worked in many positions within the court system. He has served as a clerk, a court attorney and a principal law clerk.

He described one incident when he was working as a court officer in the mid-1990s, where a Surrogate’s Court judge received a nasty letter from the family member of someone who appeared before them. Even though the letter contained no explicit threats, Lamberti said, court officers took it very seriously and members of the NYPD even looked into the credibility of a potential threat.

Brooklyn Bar Association President Anthony Lamberti said that court officers are indeed responding behind the scenes. Photo: Brooklyn Eagle File

“It wasn’t even something that I found out about until the opposition’s attorney told me about it after the fact,” Lamberti said. “That’s what the court officers are there for, though. They’re the reason why you don’t hear about too many judges being attacked.”

Den Hollander appeared to be obsessed with defending “men’s rights” and wrote a self-published 1,700-word book, according to the FBI, where he described Judge Salas as “a lazy and incompetent Latina judge appointed by Obama.”

According to a report by the New York Times, Den Hollander, who was 72 years old, had a case in front of Judge Salas where he challenged the male-only U.S. military draft, but had to be replaced on the case due to a battle with cancer. One law enforcement official told the Times that he may have decided to kill some of his enemies before he died.

According to FBI agents, Den Hollander had written both online and in self-published works about his hatred of women, including those he called “feminazis.” In an appearance on Fox News in 2008, he referred to women as “the real oppressors.”

Den Hollander had a personal website, which has since been taken down, that featured a 150-page document in which he complained about women and said “The courts support the violation of the rights of men whenever it benefits females. Men just don’t count to the courts.” He also advocated for men to use their “one remaining source of power”: guns.

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