David A. Nufrio
Having practiced law for more than three and a half decades, David’s current affiliation with the law firm of Kassem and Associates followed his long standing employment as the regional Deputy Public Defender for the Sussex Criminal Trial Region through the State of New Jersey Office of the Public Defender. The longest tenured deputy in the history of that regional office, he maintained an active caseload and motion practice all while supervising staff and pool attorneys, investigators, interns and clerical employees and the office’s operations. Representing indigent adult and juvenile clients charged with indictable offenses, his personal experience included every type of criminal case, including multiple homicide clients who because of his representation avoided the death penalty. Notable matters handled include the “Pizza Killer” cases; State v. Land, involving insurance fraud; State v. Eisley, post judgment hearings extending over 25 years; State v Swarnes, the “Hells Angels kidnapping” case, and the successful completion and trial of numerous mental health defense cases without a single loss.
He was known for effectuating positive change within the criminal justice system for those accused of crimes, including those struggling to overcome personal challenges or addiction issues. With the help of his team, he approached cases in a practical way, developing information about client’s backgrounds, personal situations and needs, to target an optimum result, be it dismissal, diversion, plea bargain or trial, with compassion and a desire to treat clients with both understanding and respect. He developed working relationships with many doctors, expert witnesses and service provider organizations and numerous other attorneys and prosecutors.
His diverse legal experience includes interning with the firm of McDermott, McGee and Ruprecht; prior employment as a video deposition operator; service as a Mediation Hearing Officer with the City of Columbus-Franklin County Prosecutor’s Division Mediation Program in Columbus, Ohio; and with a judicial clerkship with the Honorable Frederic G. Weber, J.S.C. in Sussex County. Thereafter employed as an associate with the law firm of Daggett and Kramer handling civil, criminal, and matrimonial matters, he joined the Public Defender’s Office in 1987 until 2018, and thereafter handling litigation in matters for the Law Firm of Jef Henninger.
He ushered in and provided the defense perspective to numerous programs including Drug Court and Pre-trial Justice initiatives which he also personally handled prior to statewide implementation. He addressed the Chief Justice and judiciary, law enforcement and contemporaries at the Criminal Justice Reform Roll Out, and was featured in the judiciary’s educational video series regarding bail reform measures. He frequently was featured as a guest lecturer at various schools, colleges and other institutions, public gatherings and drug court graduation ceremonies regarding the criminal justice system and his role as a criminal defense attorney.
Among his honors and awards, he was continuously recognized for Exceptional Service by the State of New Jersey Office of the Public Defender, including for efforts made for representation of clients in capital cases leading to New Jersey’s abolishment of the death penalty, continued service to the Sussex County Community College Criminal Justice Program, in addition to the Mock Trial Program through the New Jersey State Bar Association. Over the years, he participated with the Sussex County Bar Association Criminal Practice committee, served many times annually as a moot court judge for the Sussex County High School Mock Trial competition, and as a member and advisor to the Juvenile Justice Committee, the Sussex County Mental Health Advisory Panel and the Sussex County Aids Task Force, or as a CLE instructor for various presentations on criminal justice matters provided through the local bar association.
Mr. Nufrio holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in both Political Science and History from the University of Richmond in Virginia, and a Juris Doctorate from the Capital University Law School in Ohio. He is admitted to practice in New Jersey, the U.S. District Court District of New Jersey, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3 rd Circuit.
Away from legal endeavors, he is recognized as an accomplished award winning professional photographer as taught by his father, capturing events and portrait images of sports, political figures and other celebrities. His dedication to the community and varied charitable activities often involve his passion for hockey, for years providing voluntary guidance and mentoring to countless youth players as an Advanced Level USA Hockey sanctioned coach, and on the college level as the head coach at New Jersey Institute of Technology and East Stroudsburg University, continuing now with the Newton-Lenape Valley High School Ice Hockey Team.