John E. Keefe, Jr.

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John E. Keefe, Jr.
Managing Partner

nj supreme court certified attorney

Managing Partner

+1 732 224-9400, ext.202



Primary Focus & Experience

John E. Keefe, Jr. is a Certified Civil Trial Attorney specializing in personal injury and environmental torts. He is the owner and managing partner of the Keefe Law Firm, a civil litigation firm located in Red Bank, New Jersey and founded in 2004. Admitted to the bar in 1990, John has over 30 years of experience in all aspects of civil trial law, devoting his career primarily to representing victims of catastrophic loss and toxic exposures. 

Throughout his years of practice, John has tried numerous matters to verdict and has prosecuted hundreds of cases on behalf of victims of personal injury, with notable representations including the resolution of a complex wrongful death case on behalf of a young widow and her children against New Jersey Transit for $10,000,000.00. 

In his civil trial practice, John has significant experience in consumer fraud and class action matters. Namely, he was appointed by the Superior Court as Plaintiff’s Liaison Counsel in the historic consumer fraud class action Talalai v. Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. (Docket No. MID-L-8830-00-MT), the settlement of which is valued between $1,000,000,000 and $3,000,000,000 for those affected. John also served as local counsel in the class action In Re Sears, Roebuck & Co. Securities Litigation (Docket No. 02-C-07527), which resulted in a $215,000,000 cash settlement. He has led or co-lead in numerous other eight and nine figure consumer class actions. 

John is a fierce litigator whose passion for the law is rivaled only by his dedication to achieving justice for his clients. As the son of a judge who was instrumental at the inception of statewide asbestos litigation, John has spent his career well-acquainted with the ways in which toxic chemical exposure affects both the lives of individuals, and the environment at large. He served as lead counsel for plaintiffs in one of the largest pollution actions in New Jersey’s history, James v. Ciba Geigy Corporation (Docket No. MID-L- 1669-01-MT), a case which addressed decades of improper disposal of toxic waste that had a disastrous impact on the environment, and specifically upon public water sources. 

Over the last several years, John has kept up this fight. He has been and remains at the forefront of the steadily growing PFAS litigation, and currently represents hundreds of firefighters and municipalities who have been affected by exposure to AFFF (Aqueous Film Forming Foam), a product used for decades by firefighters and military personnel that is known to contain carcinogenic chemicals. Due to the negligence of the chemical manufacturers responsible for the creation and distribution of AFFF, those exposed are being diagnosed with severe illnesses. Jointly, after decades of widespread usage of AFFF, it has contaminated municipal drinking water with carcinogens, subjecting entire communities to an increased risk of cancer. With his decades of experience in environmental torts, John is unrelenting in his mission to force accountability; not only for the individuals whose lives have been unfairly uprooted by serious diagnoses, but also for towns and cities across New Jersey and nationwide who are now responsible for the extremely costly remediation processes necessary to ensure safe drinking water for their citizens.

John is a proud Central Jerseyan, born and raised in Middlesex County and a 30-year resident of Monmouth County. As such, he is a dedicated member of his New Jersey legal community. As a Past President of the New Jersey State Bar Association, he dedicated his term to advocating for increased diversity and inclusion in the legal profession and spearheaded the creation of a mentoring program to assist young lawyers. He is a member of the Trial Attorneys of New Jersey, for which he served as president from 2007-2008, the Middlesex County Bar Association, the Monmouth County Bar Association, Fellows of the American Bar Association, and the American Association for Justice. John currently serves on Governor Phil Murphy’s Judicial Advisory Committee, and in 2020 co-chaired New Jersey Lawyers for Joe Biden.

John graduated from St. Joseph’s High School in Metuchen, New Jersey, and earned his undergraduate degree in English Literature from Gettysburg College. He received his juris doctorate from the Seton Hall University School of Law. When he isn’t taking to task polluters or insurance companies, he enjoys spending time with his wife and three sons. He loves the Jersey Shore, Bruce Springsteen, The New York Yankees, and the New York Football Giants. 

Significant Representations

  • Appointed by the Superior Court as plaintiffs liaison counsel in an historic consumer fraud national class action, Talalai v. Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. (Docket No.: MID-L-8830-00-MT ) the settlement of which is valued at between $1,000,000,000and $3,000,000,000 to consumers.
  • Lead counsel on behalf of plaintiffs in one of the largest pollution cases in New Jersey, Janes v. Ciba Geigy Corporation (Docket No.: MID-L- 1669-01-MT).
  • Served as local counsel in the securities class action litigation, In Re Sears, Roebuck & Co. Securities Litigation (Docket No. 02-C-07527) which resulted in a $215,000,000 cash settlement.
  • Resolved a complex wrongful death case on behalf of a young widow and small children against New Jersey Transit Corporation for Wrongful Death Caused by Electrocution and Severe Burns for $10,000,000.00
  • Served as liaison counsel in In Re Royal Dutch/Shell Transport Securities Litigation – (Civil Action No.: 04-374 (JWB)) before Judge Joel Pisano and the Hormone Replacement Therapy Litigation (Docket No.: ATL-2093-04 MT) before Judge Carol E. Higbee.
  • Served as co-counsel in a national consumer fraud class settlement in Chicago, Illinois on behalf of thousands of consumers nationwide.
  • Co-counsel in $30 million false advertising class action lawsuit Imran Chaudhri v. Osram Sylvania Inc., in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.
  • Additional matters include: motor vehicle wrongful death, product liability, premises liability, burn injuries, worksite OSHA violations, hospital negligence wrongful death and long term care negligence involving burns and wrongful death.


NJSBA, Presidents Perspective

Author: Chapter 11, “Attorney’s Fees in Class Actions” in 2020 New Jersey Mass Torts & Class Actions Treatise

Commitment to Professionalism Critical for All Attorneys

New Jersey Lawyer No. 315/December 2018

Tree of Life Synagogue, Words Matter

New Jersey State Bar Association President’s Message/October 2018

NJSBA Mentor Match Needs You

New Jersey Lawyer No. 314/October 2018

Doing Good Together, for the NJSBA and Profession

New Jersey Lawyer No. 313/August 2018


Leading Lawyers Forward, Together

New Jersey Lawyer No. 312/June 2018


Appointments & Recognition

New Jersey State Bar Association

  • Immediate Past President, May 2019
  • President, May 2018
  • Treasurer, Secretary 2013

Civil Trial Section Exec. Committee, 1998-Present

Civil Trial Section Chair, 2010-2012

New Jersey State Bar Foundation

  • Trustee

Trial Attorneys of New Jersey, 1999 – 2010

  • Past President 2007

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy

  • Transition Team Member
  • Governor’s Advisory Committee Executive Order



Fellows of the American Bar Foundation New Jersey Chapter

New Jersey State Bar Association

Monmouth County Bar Association

Middlesex County Bar Association

American Association for Justice

Million Dollar Advocates Forum



Seton Hall University School of Law, Newark, New Jersey J.D., 1990

Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania B.A., English Literature, 1987



New Jersey, 1990

U.S. District Court District of New Jersey, 1990

District of Columbia, 2005

U.S. District Court Northern District of Florida, 2005


Certification / Specialties

  • Certified Civil Trial Attorney, New Jersey Supreme Court, 2004
  • Certified Civil Trial Recertification 2010



Hon. Kenneth C. MacKenzie J.S.C., Law Clerk, 1990 – 1991


Past Employment

  • Lynch Martin, Co-Managing Partner, 1996-2006
  • Wilentz Goldman & Spitzer, Associate, 1991 – 1996

Speaking Engagements

  • NJSBA Annual Meeting May 2020: “New Knowledge for the New Normal: Civil Litigation in the Pandemic”
  • “A Trial Lawyer’s Perspective – Opioids, tobacco, Vaping, Critical Thinking, Life in the Law” – Gettysburg College, PA, February 2019 and St. Peter’s University, Jersey City, NJ, October 2019
  • Opioid Discussion/Kolodny for October, 2018
  • Mentoring at NJ Judicial College, November 2018
  • Opioid Panel at NJSBA Annual Meeting
  • NJSBA Annual Meeting May 2014: Everything You Need to Know About Successfully Managing Track I & Track II Cases Under the New Mandatory Expedited Handling Program – Civil Trial Bench Bar Conference
  • Speaker: Civil Litigation a La Italiana: Rome, Italy November 2013
  • “So You Think You Want To Be A Lawyer” Presentation, CBA High School Future Business Leaders of America, October, 2013
  • Panelist: Class Action Update, NJAJ Boardwalk Seminar 2013, April 18, 2013
  • Moderator: NJSBA Best Practices Civil Trial Bench-Bar Conference, May 18, 2012
  • Panelist: Class Action Update, NJAJ Boardwalk Seminar 2012, April 25, 2012
  • “So You Think You Want To Be A Lawyer” Presentation, New Egypt High School Business Law Class, May 23, 2011
  • Panelist: “Solo Firm Marketing Panel” Seminar: Water Club at the Borgata Hotel Atlantic City, NJ, Solo Firm Marketing Panel, May 18, 2011 – Present
  • “Successfully Working with a Special Master for Maximum Results” Webinar: May 3, 2011, May 3, 2011
  • Experts by Experts/Class Action Symposium/Hot Topic Seminars, CLE/NJSB, 1998 – 2005
  • Environmental Meetings, (Chicago, Illinois), 2005, Panelist
  • Natural Resource Damage Cases (Houston, Texas), Panelist