Angelo Sarno is already one of Northern New Jersey's leading young divorce lawyers, particularly in the courtrooms of Essex and Morris counties, where he's built a reputation as a strong litigator. In some respects, the 44-year-old Sarno's professional style is still evolving: Peers say he's a rare blend of high-energy aggressiveness and shrewd cautiousness, yet still fully at ease with himself and quietly confident. Born and raised in Bloomfield in Essex County, Sarno remains deeply rooted to friends and family there.
He knew the law awaited him "because I'd seen divorces - and near-divorces - first hand, and I knew I had the temperament to be a positive influence," adding, "If I weren't a family lawyer I'm not sure I'd be practicing law." Still, the methodical Sarno said he wanted to "test the waters" of family law as an intern both to an Essex County matrimonial lawyer, and as a law clerk for Superior Court Judge Thomas P. Zampino. ("A great influence and one of the reasons I'm doing what I do today.") Sarno also learned from dozens of trial lawyers in Zampino's court; "I absorbed everything I could, from every one, but I think I've developed my own style." Sarno is regarded as a leading trial attorney in divorce law, an advocate unbowed by threats and high-volume intimidation.
Today he tries upwards of eight or nine cases a year - a huge number in this age of mediation and "collaborative" settlements. Some of his cases are high-stakes international custody matters, which have spurred trials two and three weeks in duration.
In 2014, Mr. Sarno received national recognition for his involvement in representing the parents in the matter of Rachel Canning vs. Sean and Elizabeth Canning, a case which involved a lawsuit between a daughter and her parents. In addition, on September 25, 2014, Mr. Sarno's successful arguments before the State Supreme Court in Maeker v. Ross established legal precedent for the matrimonial law community. The unanimous Supreme Court, agreeing with Mr. Sarno's arguments, ruled that oral palimony agreements entered into prior to the New Jersey Legislature's amendment to the Statute of Frauds remain enforceable. Thus Sarno, at an early age, has become a respected fixture of the courthouses of Newark and Morristown, among others.