Practice Areas: Complex Business Litigation, Employment Litigation, Real Estate Disputes, Environmental and Property Damage Insurance Coverage Litigation, Probate Litigation, General Equity Litigation and Prerogative Writ Litigation, Representation in relation to Complex Business Transactions
Education: Syracuse University College of Law, J.D., cum laude, 1976, The College of the Holy Cross, A.B., cum laude, 1971; University of Chicago, M.A., 1972
Admitted: 1976, New Jersey and U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey; 1977, New York and U.S. District Court, Southern and Eastern Districts of New York; 1984, District of Columbia; U.S. Supreme Court; U.S. Court of Appeals, Second and Third Circuits; U.S. Court of International Trade; U.S. Court of Federal Claims.
Memberships: The Association of the Bar of the City of New York; Ocean County, Monmouth County and New Jersey State Bar Associations; District of Columbia Bar.
Biography: William J. Wolf has practiced law with the firm of Bathgate, Wegener & Wolf, P.C. since 1977 and has been a partner with the firm since 1982.
Bill approaches the representation of clients from the unique perspective of a litigator, business consultant, project developer, appellate attorney and mediator. Bill has been rated AV Preeminent®* for more than 25 years, a Super Lawyer* for many years, a fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America and an invitee to the Best Attorneys of America.
Bill practices primarily in the areas of complex business litigation, employment litigation, real estate disputes, environmental and property damage insurance coverage litigation, estate litigation, environmental remediation, general equity litigation and prerogative writ litigation as well as providing representation in relation to complex business transactions, real estate development and redevelopment. Bill has also served as general counsel and special counsel for numerous businesses and governmental entities. Bill served as counsel for the five public entities that installed the E-ZPass electronic toll collection system and fiber optic system. As a mediator Bill has mediated hundreds of matters.
Mr. Wolf is celebrating his 25th anniversary of being designated by Martindale-Hubbell® as an AV Preeminent® attorney. For 25 years Mr. Wolf’s peers in the legal community have recognized him as possessing the highest standards in both his ethical behavior and the quality of his legal work. The AV Preeminent® rating that Mr. Wolf has received for 25 years constitutes the highest possible professional rating given by Martindale-Hubbell®. According to Martindale-Hubbell® “The AV Preeminent® rating is the pinnacle of excellence earned through a strenuous Peer Review Rating™ process that is managed and monitored by the world’s most trusted legal resource – Martindale-Hubbell®.” Based on a survey of his peers and his AV Preeminent® rating Mr. Wolf has been named one of New Jersey’s Top Rated Lawyers.
Mr. Wolf has successfully represented both plaintiffs and defendants before state and federal trial and appellate courts in New Jersey and New York. Mr. Wolf has also appeared in Bankruptcy Court and in the United States Court for International Trade. He has handled multi-million dollar litigation matters for both corporate and individual clients, has obtained favorable verdicts in numerous jury and non-jury trials, and has successfully negotiated and obtained hundreds of settlements. In addition to regularly appearing in state and federal courts, Mr. Wolf has represented many clients in arbitration and mediation. Mr. Wolf has provided legal representation in numerous matters before the Office of Administrative Law and before state, regional and local boards and agencies.
Mr. Wolf has completed the training required by the Administrative Office of the Courts in order to be designated as a mediator on the civil, general equity and probate dockets of the Superior Court. Mr. Wolf is a member of the Supreme Court Committee on Complementary Dispute Resolution. Since 2001, hundreds of cases have been assigned to Mr. Wolf for mediation, arbitration or management as a discovery master. Of those cases it is estimated that approximately 70% have settled. Mr. Wolf is open to accepting engagements by private parties to serve as a mediator, arbitrator or case manager.
As a discovery master Mr. Wolf has managed several very complex cases including litigation dealing with fraud, partnership dissolution and allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse including a case involving more than twenty plaintiffs who alleged that they had been sexually assaulted by a member of the clergy.
Mr. Wolf had been designated as a Super Lawyer in general litigation and he is a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America (LCA), The Trial Lawyer Honorary Society which is limited to less than one-half of one percent of American lawyers. Mr. Wolf is a member of the Complex Commercial Law Institute of the LCA. Mr. Wolf is also a member of the Diversity Law Institute and a member of The Trial Law Institute. Mr. Wolf has been certified, by the American Institute of Appellate Practice, as an appellate specialist.
Mr. Wolf received his bachelor’s degree, with honors, from the College of the Holy Cross. At Holy Cross, Mr. Wolf was inducted into Alpha Sigma Nu which is the honor society for Jesuit colleges and universities. Mr. Wolf received a masters degree from the University of Chicago. Mr. Wolf is an honors graduate of the Syracuse University College of Law. At Syracuse, Mr. Wolf was inducted into the Order of the Coif and the Justinian Law Society. While at Syracuse, Mr. Wolf was employed as a graduate assistant in the Maxwell School.
Mr. Wolf has represented the following entities:
- 7-Eleven, Inc.
- Adamo Homes
- American President Lines
- Asbury Park Press
- Coates International
- Continental Properties
- Dresser Industries (now Haliburton)
- Federal National Mortgage Association
- Fluid Packaging
- Garden State Park (Horse Racing Track)
- General Board of Proprietors
- H&M International Transportation
- International Thoroughbred Breeders
- Langveld Bulb
- Liberty Helicopter
- Liberty Property Trust (formerly Rouse & Associates)
- Matzel Construction and Development
- Matzel & Mumford Organization
- McKesson Corporation
- Moshe Movers
- National Protection Service
- National Retail Systems
- Paco Pharmaceutical
- Philadelphia Park (Horse Racing Track)
- Republic Cargo Systems
- Sansone Auto Group
- SS White Burrs
- Unex Manufacturing
- New Jersey Turnpike Authority
- The Township of Wall
- Ship Bottom Planning Board
- Spring Lake Board of Adjustment
- Upper Freehold Township
- Borough of Seaside Park
- Borough of Carteret
- Lakewood Township
- Manalapan Township
- Tp. of Manalapan v. Gentile 242 N.J.295 (2020)
- Smith v. Jersey Central Power & Light Company 421 N.J. Super. 374 (App. Div. 2011)
- Shakoor Supermarket v. Old Bridge 420 N.J. Super. 193 (App. Div. 2011)
- Bar on the Pier, Inc. v. Bassinder 358 N.J. Super. 473, 818 A.2d 424 (App. Div. 2003)
- S.E.C. v. Coates International, Ltd. 137 F. Sup. 2d 413 (S.D.N.Y. 2001)*
- Trinity Cemetery Ass’n v. Wall Tp. 170 N.J. 39, 784 A.2d 52 (2001)
- Trinity Cemetery Ass’n v. Wall Tp. 325 N.J. Super. 292, 739 A.2d 409 (App. Div. 1999)
- Nachtigall v. N.J. Turnpike Authority 302 N.J. Super. 123, 694 A.2d 1057 (App. Div. 1997)
- Mtg. Bankers v. N.J. Real Estate 283 N.J. Super. 233, 661 A. 2d 832 (App. Div. 1995)
- Jersey Cent. Power v. Kingsley Arms 273 N.J. Super. 607, 642 A. 2d 1069 (App. Div. 1993)
- Jersey Cent. v. Kingsley Arms 271 N.J. Super. 68, 637 A. 2d 1303 (Law Div. 1993)*
- State, DEP v. Interstate Recycling 267 N.J. Super. 574, 632 A. 2d 526 (App. Div. 1993)
- AQN Associates v. Florence Tp. 248 N.J. Super. 597, 591 A. 2d 995 (App. Div. 1991)
- Kuhn v. Spatial Design, Inc. 245 N.J. Super. 378, 585 A. 2d 967 (App. Div. 1991)
- Cogen Technologies v. Boyce Eng. 241 N.J. Super. 268, 574 A. 2d 1018 (App. Div. 1990)
- Walsh Trucking v. Const. Bd. of App. 240 N.J. Super. 525, 573 A. 2d 951 (App. Div. 1990)
- Appeal of Adoption of N.J.A.C. 7:7A-1.4 118 N.J. 552, 573 A. 2d 143 (1990)
- Ciba-Geigy Corp. v. Dover Tp. 230 N.J. Super. 317, 553 A. 2d 398 (Law Div. 1988)*
- Matter of State Com’n of Investigation 108 N.J. 35, 527 A. 2d 851 (1987)
- In re Walsh Trucking Occ. & Sprinkler Sys. 215 N.J. Super. 222, 521 A. 2d 883 (App. Div. 1987)
- Mortg. Bankers Ass’n v. N.J. Real Estate Com’n 102 N.J. 176, 506 A. 2d 733 (1986)
- Shadow Lawn Savings and Loan Ass’n v. Truhan 192 N.J. Super. 96, 469 A. 2d 94 (App. Div. 1983)
- Bacardi v. Holzman 182 N.J. Super. 422, 442 A. 2d 617 (App. Div. 1981)
- Tp. of Freehold v. Tp. Comm. of Tp. of Jackson 166 N.J. Super. 375, 399 A. 2d 1043 (Law Div. 1979)*
- Auster v. Kinoian 153 N.J. Super. 52, 378 A. 2d 1171 (App. Div. 1977)
* Trial Court Opinion
In addition to these reported decisions, Mr. Wolf has argued many more appeals and appellate motions that, as is usual, did not result in a reported opinion.
Litigation: Mr. Wolf has successfully represented clients in a broad array of litigation in federal and state trial and appellate courts and in the United States Court for International Trade. Mr. Wolf has also represented clients in numerous administrative proceedings involving both state and federal agencies. Over the course of his career, Mr. Wolf has tried many cases to conclusion including cases that were tried over several months, the longest one being four months. Mr. Wolf has argued thousands of motions and more than 50 appeals, many of which resulted in reported opinions. On behalf of his clients, Mr. Wolf has obtained millions of dollars in judgments and settlements. The largest recovery Mr. Wolf has obtained was almost $17 million in a case involving breach of contract and fraud.
Mr. Wolf successfully tried, over the course of three (3) months, to a plaintiff’s verdict, what appears to have been the only case in America involving the adverse effect of electric magnetic fields on human health and property value. More recently, Mr. Wolf tried, over the course of several weeks, a case involving stray current; that trial also resulted in a jury verdict for the plaintiffs. Because of his experience in trying cases involving electric phenomena Mr. Wolf is frequently asked to consult with other attorneys who are considering undertaking similar cases.
Governmental Regulations and Approvals: Mr. Wolf has represented many well-known real estate developers and corporations in relation to the federal, state and municipal administrative process associated with land development and infrastructure. In that capacity, Mr. Wolf has obtained permits and approvals for, or litigated issues relating to, the following:
- Thousands of residential units;
- Millions of square feet of commercial and office space;
- Hundreds of miles of roadways and related bridges and tunnels;
- Thousands of miles of fiber optic cable;
- Two race track complexes totaling hundreds of acres;
- Cell tower;
- Three cemeteries;
- Freight and container yards and terminals;
- Several electric generating plants the most recent one having an estimated cost to complete of $1.5 billion; and
- Hundreds of applications for land use approvals and related permits from various state and federal agencies, departments and boards.
In addition to representing applicants in their dealings with public entities, Mr. Wolf has also represented many clients who were denied permits or who were sued by adverse parties who objected to permits being issued. Many of the reported opinions that pertain to Mr. Wolf’s appellate practice relate to litigation involving public entities.
Mr. Wolf has also litigated in the civil courts and in Office of Administrative Law (“AOL”) many issues related to governmental regulations. Those cases involved solid waste disposal, wetlands, banking regulations, environmental contamination, redevelopment and condemnation (eminent domain).
Redevelopment, Condemnation (Eminent Domain) and Environmental Remediation: Mr. Wolf has represented private and public entities in relation to redevelopment, environmental remediation and condemnation (eminent domain). Regarding redevelopment, Mr. Wolf has provided legal services in the following municipalities:
- Old Bridge;
- South Amboy; and
- Wall Township.
Mr. Wolf’s extensive experience in land use and real estate law makes him a particularly adept advocate in condemnation (eminent domain) actions.
Intellectual Property: Mr. Wolf, as a member of the BWW intellectual property group, has provided representation to clients in many areas of the law governing intellectual property including:
- patent claims;
- trademark/name infringement;
- trade dress;
- appropriation of personal likeness;
- fair use;
- copyright clearance; and
Land Preservation/Conservation: Mr. Wolf has represented clients in various transactions involving the preservation of land for open space, farming, and recreation. Those mattes include property in:
- Ocean Township; and
- Upper Freehold.
Those projects included the State of New Jersey, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Monmouth County, The New York/New Jersey Baykeeper, Monmouth Conservation Foundation and Trust for Public Land.
Mr. Wolf has had involvement with groups that want to merge land preservation and farming with group homes for autistic residents. This unique concept melds the desire to preserve farmland with the dignity associated with independent living.
Transactional Matters: Mr. Wolf has represented clients in a very diverse array of transactional matters involving hundreds of millions of dollars. Those matters are typically complex. For instance, for 6 ½ years as outside counsel Mr. Wolf represented the New Jersey Turnpike Authority as the lead agency of the five public entities that implemented the E-ZPass toll system between New York City and Maryland. That project had an initial estimated cost exceeding $650 million.
Mediation: Since 2001, hundreds of cases have been referred to Mr. Wolf for mediation, arbitration or management as a discovery master. Of those cases, Mr. Wolf estimates that he has settled approximately 70%. Based on statistics generated by the Administrative Office of the Courts regarding settlements in civil cases, it can be assumed that almost all of the balance eventually settled after they had been mediated. Some of the attorneys who represented parties in those mediations have advised Mr. Wolf that they and their clients were very satisfied with the manner in which the mediation was conducted and concluded. In cases that were not settled prior to the termination of the mediation sessions, Mr. Wolf has been advised by some of the participating attorneys that they appreciated his efforts which, in a significant number of cases, initiated a dialogue that eventually resulted in a settlement.
Although not every case can be settled, every time Mr. Wolf tries a case he reflects on the more productive uses that could have been made of the money spent on litigation. As a result of the thousands of hours that Mr. Wolf has spent over the years in preparation and in trial, he has become increasing convinced that mediation is a much better alternative then protracted litigation.
Mr. Wolf has been designated as a mediator for New Jersey civil (both Law Division and Chancery Division) cases pursuant to Rule 1:40-1 et seq.
Mr. Wolf is listed on the ADR roster of the following:
- London Court of International Arbitration Secretariat of the London Court of International Arbitration;
- International Chamber of Commerce Secretariat of the ICC International Court of Arbitration;
- American Health Lawyers Association; and
- American Arbitration Association for Sandy claims.
Mr. Wolf is a member of the New Jersey Supreme Court Complementary Dispute Resolution Committee. Mr. Wolf was appointed to that committee by the New Jersey Supreme Court. The CDR Committee reviews proposals to revise the New Jersey Court Rules that govern mediators, mediator qualifications and training, and the mediation process. After that review, the CDR Committee makes recommendations to the Supreme Court for revisions to those rules.