Thomas A. Abbate, a member of the trombone section, is a musician by night and a lawyer by day who practices as a litigation partner in the 70-lawyer firm of DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole & Giblin, LLP, located in Teaneck. Tom’s practice focuses on complex civil, regulatory and commercial litigation on behalf of business and government entities in the trial and appellate courts.
Tom has represented business entities in many different litigation matters through his 16-year career practicing law. Of local interest, he was lead counsel in a series of lawsuits in the state and federal courts, all the way up to the New Jersey Supreme Court, which culminated in the successful re-launch and re-opening of the former Pascack Valley Hospital in Westwood, in June 2013. Tom also defends government entities against a variety of matters including employment discrimination, civil and constitutional rights, public bidding, environmental contamination, and public records access. He has also lectured and written on subjects including public procurement and bidding, public records access, and police liability.
Prior to attending law school at Fordham University School of Law, where he graduated in 2002 with a Juris Doctor degree, in 1999 Tom obtained his Bachelor’s degree in music from the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida, where he studied trombone with Professor Timothy Conner. Prior to that, Tom was a trombone student of James A. Biddlecome, of the New York City Opera Orchestra. The New Jersey Wind Symphony’s Music Director, Dr. Chris Wilhjelm, was Tom’s high school school band director at Pascack Hills High School from 1991-1995. In order to maintain his sanity after being around lawyers all day, Tom keeps an active schedule performing with various groups in the area, including as principal trombone with the Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra, and with the New Jersey Wind Symphony, which he first joined in 1994 at the age of 17.