Coney Island

Legal community celebrates Judge Vincent Del Giudice’s retirement

July 5, 2024 Robert Abruzzese, Courthouse Editor
Judge Vincent Del Giudice receives a commemorative plaque from Hon. John Ingram (left) and Bill Neri (right) at his retirement celebration held at Gargiulo's Restaurant in Coney Island. Eagle photo by Mario Belluomo
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Members of the legal community gathered at Gargiulo’s Restaurant in Coney Island on Thursday, June 27, to celebrate the retirement of Judge Vincent Del Giudice, who has long served in the Kings County Supreme Court, Criminal Term, and presided over numerous high-profile murder cases.

The event drew over 300 attendees, including judges, lawyers, friends and family members, reflecting Judge Del Giudice’s broad influence and deep connections within the legal community. Notable figures from both the District Attorney’s Office and the defense bar were in attendance, showing the respect he commanded across the legal spectrum.

Justice John Ingram served as the master of ceremonies for the evening, which was marked by a series of humorous and heartfelt roasts from approximately a dozen of Judge Del Giudice’s friends and colleagues. Speakers fondly teased him about his stern sentencing, his habit of vaping, and his impending retirement. Despite the light-hearted tone, the underlying theme was a deep respect for his fairness and dedication to justice.

One of the first speakers, Hon. Matthew D’Emic, recounted anecdotes from his shared youth with Del Giudice in Bay Ridge and his time at Xaverian High School. Hon. Dineen Riviezzo and Hon. Jill Konviser reminisced about their early days with Del Giudice at 120 Schermerhorn St. 

Judge Konviser humorously noted, “My instincts told me that he was a good soul, and I was right.” She added, “Vinny, you are going to miss the same thing that I do, and it is one thing, and one thing only — having the authority, ability and power to hold Arthur Aidala in contempt.”

Dom Napoletano, president of the New York State Bar Association and a friend since grammar school, lauded Del Giudice as a good Catholic and a good human being, praising his achievements and promising to stay in touch. Former Councilmember and State Sen. Martin Golden commended Del Giudice’s judicial rigor, stating, “He did what he was supposed to do; he put people where they belong — in jail.”

Mario Romano, who worked with Del Giudice on Avenue U before he became a judge, shared stories of their time as defense attorneys, capturing Del Giudice’s enthusiasm and dedication. Romano quoted a line from the movie “The Flamingo Kid,” explaining Del Giudice’s passion for his work: “In life, there are the things you love to do and the things you are good at, and if God is smiling down on you, it is the same thing.”

Arthur Aidala, a prominent defense attorney, reflected on Del Giudice’s career, noting the respect he earned from both prosecutors and defense attorneys. Aidala also offered Del Giudice a job returning to his roots as a defense attorney, showing the high regard in which he is held. Janet Gleeson from the Kings County District Attorney’s office highlighted the judge’s empathy, recounting the praise he often received from victims’ families.

Additional speakers included retired Judges Mike Brennan and Frank Milano, who traveled from Syracuse to attend the event. Each speaker underscored Del Giudice’s impact on the legal community and his unwavering commitment to justice.

Bill Neri, Del Giudice’s court attorney and the event’s organizer, was the final speaker before the judge himself addressed the gathering. Judge Del Giudice shared personal stories, expressed gratitude to his friends, family and colleagues, and humorously acknowledged his experiences with the Appellate Division. He expressed particular appreciation for his court of claims colleagues and predicted a judicial future for Neri, saying, “If there is any justice in this world, that man is going to be a judge.”

Judge Del Giudice’s retirement marks the end of a distinguished career that began as an assistant district attorney in Bronx County and included significant tenures as a Justice of the Court of Claims and an Acting Justice of the Supreme Court in Kings County. His career, while not without controversy, was celebrated for its dedication to the rule of law and fairness in the courtroom.

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