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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.  His ability to  guide parties and their counsel towards achieving a reasonable resolution of their issues can help them save both time and money.  Judge Kessler is also available to provide discovery master services and consultation on case management, development of discovery, trial strategy and review of briefs.

In 2019, Judge Kessler retired from the New Jersey Judiciary following ten years in the New Jersey Superior Court, Essex County Vicinage.  During this time, he conducted numerous trials and heard a wide variety of matters in both the Chancery and Family Divisions.  In addition, he was frequently asked to lecture before bar and judicial groups on a wide variety of topics related to his areas of expertise, and was also called upon to address new judges and the New Jersey Judicial College on issues related to promoting fairness in the courtroom.  

Prior to his time on the bench, Judge Kessler spent 35 years in private practice, concentrating on complex litigation and business counseling.  He represented clients in matters involving breach and enforcement of contracts, construction, business dissolution, enforcement of restrictive covenants, securities fraud, antitrust disputes, corporate theft and business fraud cases.  He also represented individuals in complex divorce cases. 

Honors & Awards

  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rated AV® Preeminent (a trademark of Internet Brands, Inc.) (1988  present)
  • Member, Phi Beta Kappa Society
  • Root-Tilden Scholar, NYU School of Law

A description of the standard or methodology on which the accolades are based can be found HERE. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

Uniquely NJ

  • Member, New Jersey State Bar Association: Family Law Section; Dispute Resolution Section; Business and Commercial Litigation Committee; Equity Jurisprudence Committee
  • Vice Chair, New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Complementary Dispute Resolution
  • Member, New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Women in the Courts; co-Chair, subcommittee on judicial education 
  • Member, Essex County Bar Association
  • Former member, New Jersey Supreme Court Family Practice Committee; former co-Chair, subcommittee on domestic violence and non-dissolution matters
  • Former Chairman and member, New Jersey Board of Bar Examiners
  • Former member, Board of Trustees, Boys and Girls Clubs of Newark
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More Activities & Experience

  • Member, 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



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


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

Donald A. Kessler Fellow of the American Bar Foundation
Donald A. Kessler Martindale-Hubbel Peer Review Rated AV Preeminent

A description of the standard or methodology on which the accolades are based can be found HERE. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.