James R. Zazzali

James R. Zazzali

Of Counsel, Business & Commercial Litigation

This attorney has been selected for the recognitions mentioned herein, which have been conferred by the corresponding publications and/or organizations noted. An overview of the award selection methodologies for these recognitions can be found at https://www.gibbonslaw.com/awards. Links to certain specific methodologies are embedded in individual entries. Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

Mr. Zazzali has served as New Jersey’s Attorney General and as an Associate Justice and Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court. Since returning to private practice, he has been appointed by the state and federal governments, federal and state courts, and litigants as a monitor, receiver, independent counsel, independent investigator, discovery master, and bankruptcy trustee for various institutions and organizations in both the private and public sectors. Mr. Zazzali advises clients on such matters as governance, institutional ethics, internal investigations, and appeals. He also has conducted numerous mediations and arbitrations.

He has served as General Counsel for the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority; Chairman of the New Jersey State Commission of Investigation (SCI); Chief of the Appeals Division of the Office of the Essex County Prosecutor; and Vice Chair of both the State’s Disciplinary Review Board (attorney ethics) and the Judicial Review Board. The State Department has designated him as a member of United States delegations to various United Nations Conferences in Geneva and Paris.

Areas of Focus

Court Appointed Trustee, Receiver, Monitor

The courts, litigants, and state and federal agencies have designated Mr. Zazzali as the trustee for the Borgata Casino; special discovery master in complex litigations; the receiver for Bloomfield College; Independent Counsel for Stevens Institute of Technology; Independent Trustee for the International Academy of Trenton Charter School; ethics officer for various organizations; and the monitor for jails in Bergen, Essex, and Monmouth Counties, as well as in Newark.

Mediation & Arbitration

For 15 years, Mr. Zazzali served as an adjunct professor at Seton Hall University School of Law, where he taught alternative dispute resolution, mediation, and arbitration. While in private practice from 1970 to 2000, he represented participants in hundreds of arbitrations. After leaving the public sector in 2007, he has been a mediator or arbitrator in contractual, probate, commercial, corporate, employment, environmental, construction, and lawyer and medical partnership matters.

In 2015, in a publication entitled “The Best of 2015,” the New Jersey Law Journal ranked Mr. Zazzali as “Best Individual Arbitrator” and as third “Best Individual Mediator” along with two other mediators.



Georgetown University Law Center (J.D.)

Georgetown University (B.S.)

Professional Admissions

State of New Jersey

State of New York

District of Columbia

Professional Activities

Chair of Governor’s Judicial Advisory Panel

Special Ethics Counsel to Gubernatorial Transition Committee

New Jersey Supreme Court Special Committee on Attorney Ethics and Admissions
Chair, 2013-2015

Congressional Superfund Study Group
Chair, 1981-1982

Judicial Labor Relations Task Force
Chair, 1985-1988

Committee of Minority Participation in the Courts
Chair, 1985-1992

Disciplinary Review Board
Member and Vice-Chair, 1984-1999

Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct
Member and Vice-Chair, 1999-2000; 2009-present

Seton Hall University School of Law
Adjunct Professor, Alternative Dispute Resolution & Arbitration, 1984-2000

Charter Member of the New Jersey Academy of Mediators & Arbitrators (NJAMA)

Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Compliance Manual Author

Judicial Clerkship(s)

Law clerk to the Honorable Lawrence A. Whipple, 1964-1965

Legal Employment

Chief Justice, New Jersey Supreme Court, 2006 – 2007

Associate Justice, New Jersey Supreme Court, 2000 – 2006

Attorney General, New Jersey, 1981 – 1982

Commissioner, State Commission of Investigation (SCI), 1984 – 1989; Chair, 1989 – 1993

Assistant Essex County Prosecutor, 1965 – 1968; Trial Prosecutor, 1965 – 1966; Chief of Appeals, 1967 – 1968

General Counsel, New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority, 1974-1982

Receiver, Bloomfield College, 1972-1974

Master, Appointed by United States District Court, 1982-1992, to conduct investigations and recommend reforms of jails in Essex County, Monmouth County, Bergen County and Newark

Investigative Counsel and Monitor, Stevens Institute of Technology, 2009-2011

Appointed Trustee by the Casino Control Commission for Borgata Casino, 2010-2011

Practice of Law, 1962-2000; 2007-present