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

Phone: 973-403-9000

Fax: 973-403-9021


Summary of Practice

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 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 is a Certified Mediator and 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 Life 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 focusses his practice on mediation, arbitration, serving as a Discovery Master and providing litigation support in state and federal court.

Areas of Practice

Mediation, Arbitration, Litigation Support in State and Federal Court

Professional Associations & Memberships

Supreme Court Board on Continuing Legal Education

Commissioner, Judicial Evaluation Program

New Jersey State Bar Association, Former Chair, International Law and Organizations Section and Executive Committee Member

Essex County Bar Association

Association of the Federal Bar, Former Vice President

National Conference of State Trial Judges, Former New Jersey Delegate

Supreme Court Family and Criminal Practice Committees, Former Member

Seton Hall Law School Inn of Court, Former Master

Membership and ICLE Curriculum Committees, Former Member

American Bar Foundation, Life Fellow

Past Employment Positions

Presiding Judge, Family Division – 4 years

Presiding Judge, Criminal Division – 8 years

Presiding Judge, General Equity – 1 year

Assignment Judge, Superior Court – 6 years

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

Honors & Awards

Special Achievement Award, United States Department of Justice, 1975, 1977

Special Commendation Award, United States Department of Justice, 1979

Bar Admissions


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