Best Lawyers® designates a select group of individuals as “Lawyers of the Year” in high-profile specialties in large legal communities. Only a single lawyer in each specialty in each Metropolitan Area is honored as the “Lawyer of the Year.” Best Lawyers compiles its lists of outstanding attorneys by conducting exhaustive peer-review surveys in which thousands of leading lawyers confidentially evaluate their professional peers. Those honored as “Lawyers of the Year” have received particularly high ratings in the surveys by earning high levels of respect among their peers for their abilities, professionalism, and integrity.
The firm’s 2020 Best Lawyers “Lawyers of the Year” include Martha N. Donovan for Litigation – Environmental, Morris S. Bauer for Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law, and William A. Dreier for Arbitration.
Donovan, a Member of the firm and Co-Chair of its Environmental Law Practice Group, devotes her practice to environmental law and complex litigation with an emphasis on the defense of environmental property damage claims. She also has considerable experience working on related insurance coverage matters. She has authored articles and has made presentations to various trade groups and associations on issues ranging from lender liability under Superfund to the availability of insurance coverage for various aspects of business-related accidents. Donovan is a member of the New Jersey State and American Bar Associations and the Society of Women Environmental Professionals. She has been selected for inclusion on the list of Super Lawyers® and Best Lawyers® for many years, named in Who’s Who Legal, and ranked as Band 1 in Chambers. A resident of West Windsor, Donovan earned her J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law and her B.A. in Chemistry from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, now Randolph College.
Bauer, a Member of the firm, is a member of its Bankruptcy & Creditors’ Rights Group. He represents debtors, creditors’ committees, financial institutions, landlords, and trade creditors in Chapter 11 proceedings of publicly and closely-held corporations, limited liability companies, and partnerships. Bauer is a member of the New Jersey State Bar Association (Debtor/Creditor Section), the American Bar Association, the Pennsylvania Bar Association, the American Bankruptcy Institute, and the Turnaround Management Association. A resident of Long Valley, he earned his J.D. from Hofstra University School of Law and his B.S. from Dickinson College.
Judge Dreier, Of Counsel to the firm, focuses his practice in the areas of mediation and arbitration. He frequently lectures, mediates, and arbitrates substantial Chancery and other disputes. In 2009, he was selected as the namesake and the first recipient of the William A. Dreier Award, now given annually by the Products Liability and Toxic Tort Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) to attorneys and jurists for excellence in and advancement of product liability and toxic tort law in New Jersey. That same year, he was designated ADR Practitioner of the Year by the NJSBA Dispute Resolution Section. In 2008, Judge Dreier was awarded the prestigious Medal of Honor, the highest award for an attorney, by the New Jersey State Bar Foundation for his professional excellence, as demonstrated by his accomplishments in the law and service to the profession and community throughout his career. In 2015, he was given the New Jersey Law Journal’s Lifetime Achievement Award for his service to the profession. Judge Dreier has published numerous articles on ADR, products liability, and other subjects, in addition to 380 published judicial opinions. He frequently lectures throughout New Jersey and nationally on products liability and ADR. Before joining Norris McLaughlin, Judge Dreier was a trial judge in the New Jersey Superior Court from 1973 to 1983, served in the Appellate Division from 1983 to 1994, and was a Presiding Judge from 1994 to 1998. A resident of Warren, he received his J.D. from Columbia Law School and his B.S. from The Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Best Lawyers has published their list for over three decades, earning the respect of the profession, the media, and the public as the most reliable, unbiased source of legal referrals. Its first international list was published in 2006 and since then has grown to provide lists in over 75 countries.