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Hon. Donald J. Volkert Jr. (Ret.)

Roseland, New Jersey
Judge Donald J. Volkert, Jr., was appointed to the Superior Court in 1992 and prior to his retirement was the Assignment Judge for the Passaic Vicinage. He began his judicial career in the Criminal Division in Essex County, and in 1999 was appointed Presiding Judge of the Family Division. He served as chair of the statewide Conference of Family Presiding Judges where he was instrumental in establishing the first Comprehensive Judicial Orientation Program (CJOP) for newly appointed or rotated judges. In September 2003 Judge Volkert returned to the Essex Vicinage Criminal Division as Presiding Judge where he presided over hundreds of jury trials including two death penalty cases.

He also served as Presiding Judge of General Equity and for three years as a New Jersey Delegate to the National Conference of State Trial Judges.

Judge Volkert has served on the New Jersey State Bar Association's Family Law Executive Committee; as a member of the Supreme Court Family and Criminal Practice Committees, and a Master in the Seton Hall Law School Inn of Court.

Prior to his retirement, he served on the Judicial Council, Judiciary Management and Operations Committee, Supreme Court Committee on Judicial Education, the Supreme Court Committee on Access and Fairness in the Courts, and was Chair of the Statewide Working Group to Assess Vicinage Drug Court Programs. Judge Volkert is a frequent lecturer for the Institute of Continuing Legal Education, at Judicial College, New Judge Orientation, and at numerous other seminars and programs.

Judge Volkert's career is expansive. Prior to his appointment, the judge was an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey where he served as Chief of the Civil Division from 1975-1982, an instructor in the U.S. Attorney General's Advocacy Institute in Washington, D.C., and by appointment as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney until 1984. After leaving the U. S. Attorney's Office, he managed the New Jersey office of the international admiralty firm Haight, Gardner, Poor & Havens.

Judge Volkert was a member of the NJSBA International Law and Organization Section, where he was Chair, has served on the Membership and ICLE Curriculum Committees and as an arbitrator for the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.

He is a former Vice President of the Association of the Federal Bar and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.

He is admitted to the Bar in New Jersey, New York and Ohio, the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit and United States Supreme Court.

Judge Volkert earned his bachelor's degree at the University of Charleston and his law degree at Ohio Northern University.

Prior to his appointment to the bench he was a partner at Lum, Hoens, Conant & Danzis, the predecessor to Lum, Drasco & Positan. He focuses his practice on mediation, arbitration, serving as a Discovery Master and providing litigation support in state and federal court.

Areas of Practice

  • Mediation
  • Arbitration

Bar Admissions

  • Ohio
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 3rd Circuit
  • U.S. District Court District of New Jersey
  • U.S. Supreme Court


  • Ohio Northern University Pettit College of Law, Ada, Ohio
    • J.D., Doctor of Jurisprudence - 1969
  • University of Charleston, Charleston, West Virginia
    • B.A., Bachelor of Arts - 1966
    • Major: History

Honors and Awards

  • United States Department of Justice Special Achievement Awards, 1975, 1977
  • Special Commendation, United States Department of Justice, 1979

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • New Jersey State Bar Association, Former Chair, International Law and Organizations Section
  • National Conference of State Trial Judges, Former New Jersey Delegate
  • New Jersey State Bar Association
  • Former Member, Executive Committee, Membership and ICLE Curriculum Committees
  • Supreme Court Family and Criminal Practice Committees
  • Seton Hall Law School Inn of Court, Former Master
  • Association of the Federal Bar, Former Vice President
  • United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, Arbitrator and Certified Mediator
  • American Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • Supreme Court Ad Hoc Committee on the Uniform Bar Examination
  • Supreme Court Board on Continuing Legal Education
  • Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission

Past Employment Positions

  • Judge Superior Court, Assignment Judge Passaic County
  • Lum, Hoens, Conant, Danzis & Kleinberg, Partner
  • Haight, Gardner, Poor & Havons, Of Counsel
  • District of New Jersey, Assistant United States Attorney
  • District of New Jersey, Chief, Civil Division
  • U.S. Attorney General’s Advocacy Institute, Instructor
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