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My years of experience on the bench and in private practice have demonstrated the importance of fully understanding personalities and how relevant facts and applicable law impacts the ability to help resolve business and family law disputes.

Judge Kessler focuses his practice on resolving commercial and family law disputes through mediation and arbitration as an alternative to traditional litigation. His experience as a judge of the equity court enables him to deal with business disputes encompassing a broad range of matters, including those related to contracts, real property, construction, employment, unfair competition, intellectual property, corporate and LLC issues, and consumer fraud. In the area of family law, Judge Kessler's experience encompasses issues related to alimony, child support, custody, equitable distribution, relocation, domestic violence and reimbursement of counsel fees. 

During his tenure on the bench, Judge Kessler conducted numerous trials, heard a wide variety of matters and settled hundreds of cases in both the Chancery and Family Divisions. In addition, he was frequently asked to lecture before bar and judicial groups on a variety of topics related to his areas of expertise and was also called upon to teach at New Jersey Judicial College and New Judge Orientation.

Prior to his service in the New Jersey Judiciary, Judge Kessler spent 35 years in private practice representing corporate and individual clients on complex litigation and business counseling. He represented clients in such matters as breach and enforcement of contracts, construction, business dissolution, enforcement of restrictive covenants, securities fraud, antitrust disputes, corporate theft, intellectual property, employment and business fraud. He also represented a hospital for 27 years and several physicians, physician practices, lawyers and law firms with respect to a variety of legal matters.

Honors & Awards

  • Inducted as a member of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals New Jersey Chapter (2021)
  • American Bar Foundation Fellow
  • Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rated AV® Preeminent (a trademark of Internet Brands, Inc.) (1988  present)
  • Phi Beta Kappa Society
  • Root-Tilden Scholar, NYU School of Law

Please visit our Award Methodology page for a description of the standard or methodology on which these accolades are based. Attorney Advertising: No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

Uniquely NJ

  • Qualified by the New Jersey Supreme Court as a R.1:40 mediator
  • New Jersey State Bar Association; Dispute Resolution Section; Business and Commercial Litigation Committee; Equity Jurisprudence Committee; Family Law Section
  • New Jersey Supreme Court; Committee on Complementary Dispute Resolution, Vice Chair; Committee on Women in the Courts Subcommittee on Judicial Education, Co-Chair; Family Practice Committee (former Member); Subcommittee on Domestic Violence and Non-Dissolution Matters (past co-Chair)
  • Essex County Bar Association
  • Marie L. Garibaldi American Inn of Court for Alternative Dispute Resolution 
  • New Jersey Board of Bar Examiners (Former Chairman and Member)
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of Newark Board of Trustees (former Member)
View Expanded Bio

More Activities & Experience

  • American Arbitration Association; Commercial, Employment, Healthcare and Consumer Arbitration Panels; Commercial and Employment Mediation Panels
  • American Bar Association, Dispute Resolution Section
  • Served as corporate counsel to Chilton Memorial Hospital in Pompton Plains, NJ for over 25 years

Presentations & Speaking Engagements

View Abbreviated Bio

Departments

Education

New York University School of Law, J.D., 1974

Union College, B.A., 1971

Bar Admissions

  • New Jersey, 1974
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey, 1974
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, 1979

Clerkships

  • Former law secretary to The Honorable Harold Kolovsky, Presiding Judge, Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division 

Donald A. Kessler is Recognized Member of National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals
American Arbitration Panel Member
Donald A. Kessler Fellow of the American Bar Foundation

Donald A. Kessler Martindale-Hubbel Peer Review Rated AV Preeminent

Please visit our Award Methodology page for a description of the standard or methodology on which these accolades are based. Attorney Advertising: No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.