Thomas J. Principe ’73
Partner, Kramer, Dillof, Livingston & Moore
Retired Brigadier General, New York Army Reserves National
President, St. John’s Law Alumni Association Board of Directors
Leadership and a Lifetime of Service…
A self professed “grinder” while attending St. John’s Law in the
early 1970’s, Thomas J. Principe ’73 epitomizes the “atypical St.
John’s Law Graduate” – hard working, dedicated to the Law and
possessing a strong sense of service to a larger community.
Mr. Principe, who has realized success in the criminal courts as a
Deputy Bureau Chief of the Supreme Court Trial Bureau, as a Staff
Judge Advocate during military tribunals and as a litigator in
private practice, attributes much of his success to two traits
instilled upon him at St. John’s Law – discipline and
With a desire to serve his country, and practice law, Mr.
Principe enrolled in St. John’s Law because it possessed a strong
legal reputation and was one of the few Law Schools offering a
Reserve Officers’ Training Corp. Each week, Mr. Principe
would study four days per week under the tutelage of Professors
Wang, Parella and Bellacosa and participate in military training
the balance of the week. Post graduation from Law School, Mr.
Principe remained active with the Judge Advocate General’s Office
in the Army Reserves and retired from military service after thirty
three loyal years serving his country. Upon retirement from
the reserves, Mr. Principe was the recipient of the “Legion of
Merit” from the United States Army and “Conspicuous Service Medal”
from New York State.
All throughout his military legal career, Mr. Principe was
building a sound reputation as an honest, fair, qualified and
competent trial litigator, first in the criminal courts and later
as a medical malpractice litigation expert. A tenacious
competitor, Mr. Principe believes that, “success is a by-product of
an individual’s hard work and preparation.” This fundamental
belief is exemplified by his painstakingly thorough approach to all
aspects of trial preparation and litigation. Mr. Principe
will leave no page unturned when sifting through and examining
medical records and transcriptions to support his client’s
case. “The end result being the satisfaction of knowing that
you as an attorney did the best you could do on behalf of your
client’s well being,” noted Mr. Principe.
Not content to be a spectator, Mr. Principe serves in a
leadership capacity across a myriad of organizations; President of
the St. John’s Law Alumni Board of Directors, Treasurer of the
Catholic Lawyers Guild (Queens County), Board of Directors
Columbian Lawyers Association (Queens) and President of the 7th
Regiment Veteran’s Association (NY, NY). Hence, it is no
surprise that his advice to recent graduates focuses upon
networking. “Attend events - St. John’s Law hosts a
tremendous number of quality events each year - I hope to see you
at many of them. Get out of your comfort zone, approach the
person across the room, be sincere in your interest in the
conversation, find a connection and stay in touch. Serve on a
committee, be helpful and wonderful things will come your way,”
affirms Mr. Principe. When not attending the Theater with his
wife and children, Mr. Principe enjoys the competition and
camaraderie of the region’s wonderful golf courses.