Richard Baldi, Esq.

His appearance is unique; a character that you would grow to love and admire in the context of any story line.

A young client, barely an adult, became addicted to deadly heroin. A circle of bad decisions, friends of dubious intent and the ill formed fragility of a boy-child mind led him into the pathos ridden and often fatal world of drugs. There he lived with the unpredictable dark shadow of players who populate this nefarious underworld.

The client’s parents were the loving and supportive struggling Mr. and Mrs. Middle Class America, willing to do anything to save their son from the precipice. Four busts in rapid succession, multiple violations of probation; and County Prison became his mailing address.

It would require a unique criminal Attorney to formulate a strategy to save the boy and to bring him back to the world stage. It would require an Attorney of persistence, with detailed knowledge of the Law, and someone respected and beloved by Prosecutors, Judges and “the System”. There are many Attorneys who posses extraordinary qualities, heart being among the most obvious. There was one selected by God or fickle fate for this particular job, Richard J. Baldi, Esquire.

The client’s parents made the ultimate choice and they put their well deserved trust in the gentleman who we have named our CLASSmate of Distinction, Richard J. Baldi, Esquire.

Richard responded in his trade craft way, first by immediately visiting the boy in jail. He then proceeded to digest all of the essential facts, sorting them with his learned, practical and keen mind. He knew the boy did not belong among the repeat population. This time, youth and strong parentage were on the boy’s beleaguered side. Here was someone truly worth saving, a life that had yet to be lived, a life without the specter of the needle.

He packaged the legal problem with his inimitable warm, meticulous and purposeful approach.

Richard pled passionately in a calm, thoughtful and hopeful way, the same consistent style that makes Richard J. Baldi, Esquire an essential fixture on the fourth floor of the Passaic County Court House. He is the brother colleague that we all consult, eagerly absorbing his deadly accurate legal and practical slant on the facts, the law, the client and the prosecutorial players. The man you want at your back in all the risky moments of life.

The boy was able to navigate four Municipal Court matters under Richard’s steady hand. All Complaints were merged or dismissed in the most favorable plea bargains. Richard convinced a compassionate and fair Superior Court Judge that the boy should be, would be, saved by extended inpatient treatment. Richard brought the happy ”Disney” ending to an otherwise horrific series of vignettes and the near miss of a young life wasted by a dance with drugs. The drug free young man began and ended his penitent days in a six month inpatient drug treatment program. The how and the why reside on the old Lawyers Row of Lee Place in Paterson; they are both contained in the incomparable benevolent spirit of Richard J. Baldi, Esquire. This saga would not catch the media’s eye, but Richard would quietly succeed in saving the life of a fellow human being.

We could look at his academic pedigree, wax poetic on the “media cases” and engage all the vocabulary superlatives, but a true life story of another life saved, a second chance garnered, seemed to be the only accolade our beloved colleague, Richard J. Baldi, Esquire., Passaic County Bar Association President to be, required.

“Res Ipsa Loquitor”. We say no more, and thank our brother for letting all Attorneys bask in the footlight’s shadow of Law practiced with a style that does the seemingly impossible; it endears the public to an overwhelming majority of “heart and soul” fellow legal professionals.

With the raging and, admittedly, effusive fire of enthusiasm, we proudly call Richard J. Baldi, Esquire our CLASSmate of Distinction.



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