Judge John E. Keefe, Sr.

Judge and former personal injury attorney John Keefe Sr. can use his experience to help you.
John Keefe Sr.
Of Counsel

Of Counsel


+1 732 224-9400, ext. 218


Judge John E. Keefe, Sr. is of counsel to Keefe Law Firm. Judge Keefe was appointed to the bench in 1977. Prior to his appointment, Judge Keefe was a civil trial attorney. His trial practice involved various areas of law, including medical malpractice, product liability, and insurance coverage.

Shortly after becoming a judge, Judge Keefe was designated to supervise and administer a pilot project involving statewide asbestos litigation. As a result of that designation, he was responsible for the appointment of the first full-time Special Master in New Jersey. He also developed standardized discovery procedures that were applicable throughout the State.

In 1984, he was appointed to the position of Presiding Judge of the General Equity Part. He then served in that capacity and as the supervising judge for Asbestos litigation until he was appointed to the Appellate Division in July 1988. He served in the Appellate Division for 13 years, and then retired as a Presiding Judge.

Judge Keefe served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Seton Hall University School of Law for 15 years where he taught Products Liability. He is a member of the American Law Institute and participated in its Consultive Group during the formation of the Restatement (Third) of Torts: Product Liability. Along with Hon. William A. Drier and Eric D. Katz, Judge Keefe is an author of New Jersey Products Liability & Toxic Tort Law published by Gann Law Books. He is currently participating in the Consultive Group for the formulation of the Restatement of the Law of Liability Insurance.

Judge Keefe has been a frequent lecturer at the Institute for Continuing Legal Education. He received the Institute for Continuing Legal Education’s Distinguished Service Award. Additionally, he was a recipient of the James McLaughlin Professionalism Award from the Civil Trial Bar Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association. In 2005, he received the David L. Golden Lifetime Achievement Award from the Trial Attorneys of New Jersey.

In addition to his of counsel duties for the Keefe Law Firm, Judge Keefe focuses his practice on mediation, arbitration, special master services, and consultation in appellate matters.

Honors and Awards:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award, New Jersey Law Journal, 2019
  • Distinguished Service Award, NJ Inst for Continuing Legal Education, 2003
  • James McLaughlin Professionalism Award, Civil Trial Bar Section, N.J. Bar Ass’n., 2003
  • Daniel L. Golden Lifetime Achievement Award – Trial Attorneys of New Jersey, 2005

Professional Associations and Memberships:

  • 25-Year Life Member, The American Law Institute
  • Fellow of the American Bar Association
  • New Jersey State Bar Association
  • Middlesex County Bar Association
  • Middlesex County Trial Lawyers Association
  • Trial Attorneys of New Jersey – Trustee

Published Works:

  • Co-Author, New Jersey Products Liability & Toxic Torts Law, Gann Law Books
  • Presumed Knowledge: A Legal Fiction Gone Awry?, 19 Seton Hall L Rev, 174, 1989
  • Proving Product Defect After the Restatement (Third) of Torts: Product Liability, 30 Seton Hall L. Rev. 1, 1999

Areas of Practice:

  • 70% Mediation
  • 20% Arbitration
  • 10% Of Counsel Consultation and Discovery Master Services


  • Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey School of Law – Newark, Newark, New Jersey L.L.B.
  • Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey B.S. Honors: Dean’s List Major: Political Science

Classes/Seminars Taught:

  • Seton Hall School of Law, 1986 – 2002
  • New Jersey Judicial College, 1988 – 2002
  • New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education, 1980 – Present

 Bar Admissions:

  • New Jersey, 1965 U.S. District Court District of New Jersey, 1965

Past Employment Positions:

  • Superior Court of New Jersey, Judge, 1977 – 2001