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Please click Award & Selection Criteria & Methodology for information regarding the specific criteria used for selection of each of the above awards.


Intentionally and actively setting fire to a building or structure is arson, a serious crime punishable by prison and fines. If you are facing charges of arson, it is advisable to seek the counsel of attorneys experienced in this area of law. Experienced criminal defense lawyers, Anthony P. Kearns and Victor A. Rotolo, and the legal team at Kearns Rotolo Law, are ready to represent your best interests against arson charges.

Prior to joining the Firm in January 2022 as managing partner, Anthony P. Kearns held the distinction of being the longest serving Prosecutor for Hunterdon County, having been appointed by the Governor of New Jersey to that position for two consecutive terms. As Chief Law Enforcement Officer in the county, he has experience with and insight into the way the State prepares its cases, which he uses to mount powerful defenses for charges filed against his clients.

As Prosecutor, Mr. Kearns led a team of 9 assistant prosecutors and approximately 30 detectives with the goal of investigating, prosecuting and preventing criminal activities within the County. During this time, he worked in partnership with other area leaders to implement community programs aimed at improving the quality of life for all Hunterdon County residents.

Mr. Kearns was also Deputy Attorney General for the State of New Jersey (1999 – 2002), prosecuted for the Board of Medical Examiners of the State of NJ and other professional boards, as well as cases for the Division of Youth & Family Services (now the Division of Child Protection & Permanency (DCPP)). Additionally, he served as a Member and President of the County Prosecutors Association of New Jersey (2013 – 2014) and the NJ State Delegate to the National District Attorneys’ Association (2017 to 2019). A member of the Executive Board of the Hunterdon County Bar Association from 2005 through 2015, Mr. Kearns served as President of that Association from 2009 through 2010.

Super Lawyers BadgeVictor A. Rotolo has been included on the List of New Jersey Super Lawyers in the years 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023, marking his eighteenth year of inclusion on this list. The list of New Jersey Super Lawyers is generated by the Thomson Reuters organization which employs the following methodology and set of standards to compile the list each year. Super Lawyers Selection Methodology [No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court.]

Certified Civil Trial Attorney BadgeVictor A. Rotolo is certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Civil Trial Attorney.

"A certified attorney is more than just an attorney who specializes in a particular area of law. A New Jersey attorney who is certified by the Supreme Court as a civil trial attorney must have:

  • been a member in good standing of the New Jersey bar for over 5 years
  • demonstrated a substantial level of experience in civil trial law
  • been favorably evaluated by other attorneys and judges familiar with his or her work
  • taken and passed a written examination in civil trial law."

Source: Supreme Court of New Jersey, Board on Attorney Certification, Brochure on Certified Civil Trial Attorney. See Rule 1:39: Specialty Certification of Attorneys.

Degrees of Arson

The severity of the penalties for this crime depends on the degree of arson committed. In New Jersey, arson can range from a 1st to a 3rd degree crime:

  • 1st degree arson is charged when a building or structure is set on fire with the knowledge that someone is inside
  • 2nd degree arson is charged when an empty building or structure is set on fire with no one inside
  • 3rd degree arson is charged when property is set on fire when no one else is present
Arson is also classified in two categories: simple arson and aggravated arson. Aggravated arson is when the person setting the fire is fully aware of the presence of someone in the building and has the intention of causing harm to that person(s). Aggravated arson requires the malicious and willful intent to cause harm to another in connection with the fire.

Arson is a serious criminal offense with equally serious consequences. A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney versed in arson and fire-related damages can help protect your rights and represent your best interests in court. Messrs. Kearns, Rotolo and the legal team at Kearns Rotolo Law stand ready to assist you. Call today for a free consultation.

What Our Clients are Saying

I was very proud to be represented by Tony and felt secure at a time I needed a compass to head out of a difficult bind. Confidence in your counsel and a sense of security in understanding how best to proceed are important reasons to consider Anthony Kearns and his team of outstanding lawyers.

- Lynn

Tony was excellent! He was knowledgeable, responsive and on-time. His experience as a County Prosecutor definitely helped our case as he knows how the legal system works and how to navigate. I highly recommend Tony and his office.

- Matt

Thankfully I found Kearns Rotolo Law and I had a wonderful experience working with Charles Rifici on a difficult divorce/child custody issue. I am so grateful for all the work and guidance he provided. He always took his time and diligently went through all my options with me so I could make the decisions that benefitted my family and I. I will be forever thankful for the top notch services he provided.

- Cinthya

In March of 2022 I contacted Kearns Rotolo Law Firm with an urgent problem, Mr. Kearns and Mr. Rotolo contacted me immediately to give me hope as to rectify my problem. The end result was Mr Kearns was able to solve my issue through extreme professionalism, I am very grateful I found Kearns Rotolo Law firm and I would recommend their law firm to anyone that has a less extreme problem or a more complex problem, I am very grateful for their services.

- Bill

The absolute BEST!!! I have a family of attorneys but needed someone local. Victor was recommended to me and words cannot describe how pleased I was with his firm. The outstanding service and attention each member of his staff gave to me surpassed any and all expectations. Victor surrounds himself with a hardworking team that he leads. I felt it was money spent wisely. I will continue to recommend Victor and his associates.

- Stephanie