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Hon. Dennis M. Cavanaugh

Hon. Dennis M. Cavanaugh

United States District Court, District of New Jersey
United States District Judge
Newark, NJ, USA


After graduating from Seton Hall University School of Law in 1972, Dennis M. Cavanaugh spent one year as a judicial law clerk for the Hon. Francis W. Hayden of the New Jersey Superior Court sitting in Essex County. Upon completion of his clerkship, he concluded active duty in the Army, eventually attaining the rank of Captain. He was sworn in as an Assistant Deputy Public Defender for the State of New Jersey working out of the Essex County Region. He remained there from 1974 until 1977 at which time he joined the firm of Lum, Biunno & Tompkins becoming a partner in 1981. The firm dissolved and he became a founding partner in one of the spin-off firms of Tompkins McGuire & Wachenfeld in 1984. He continued in private practice until he was appointed United States Magistrate Judge for the District of New Jersey in January, 1993.

During his public service career, Judge Cavanaugh handled numerous criminal and civil matters. While at the Public Defenders Office he tried strictly criminal cases ranging from simple assault to first degree murder.

Upon entering private practice, his area of concentration was the defense of products liability, personal injury, medical and legal malpractice and general commercial litigation. He was certified as a trial attorney in 1981 and re-certified as a Civil Trial Attorney in 1989. Prior to his appointment as United States Magistrate Judge, his entire legal career consisted of the management and eventual trial, if necessary, of civil and criminal litigation.

Judge Cavanaugh is also an Adjunct Professor at Seton Hall University School of Law in Newark, New Jersey for the past fifteen years. 

Appointed by President William J. Clinton in September of 2000, Judge Cavanaugh has served as a United States District Court Judge for the District of New Jersey till present.


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