William A. Dreier, a Member of the Bridgewater law firm of Norris McLaughlin, P.A., will be the first recipient of the William A. Dreier Award from the Products Liability and Toxic Tort Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association (“NJSBA”). The Award, named after him, will be an annual award given to attorneys and jurists for excellence in and advancement of product liability and toxic tort law in New Jersey. He will be presented with the award at the Annual Products Liability and Toxic Tort Section Seminar on Thursday, April 2, 2009, at 5:30 pm at the Hyatt Regency in New Brunswick.
“William A. Dreier’s work as an attorney, jurist, author, lecturer and mediator has shown a sustained commitment to increasing an understanding of product liability and toxic tort law. In doing so, he has been generous of his time and his talent to the legal profession in general and the Products Liability and Toxic Tort Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association in particular. When they say ‘he wrote the book on it,’ they were obviously referring to Judge Dreier,” stated John B. Kearney, Chair of the NJSBA Products Liability and Toxic Tort Section.
The Products Liability and Toxic Tort Section reviews all civil liabilities arising from product liability statutes and general product liability law from both a personal injury perspective and a property damage perspective and all toxic and hazardous substance liabilities arising from different statutes. The New Jersey State Bar Association serves, protects, fosters and promotes the personal and professional interests of its members, serving as the voice of New Jersey attorneys. It fosters professionalism and pride in the profession and the NJSBA and provides educational opportunities to New Jersey attorneys to enhance the quality of legal services and the practice of law.
A resident of Warren, Judge Dreier heads the Norris McLaughlin, P.A. worldwide products liability practice, in addition to supervising commercial litigation and mediation & arbitration. He frequently lectures, mediates and arbitrates substantial Chancery and other disputes. In 2008, Judge Dreier was awarded the prestigious 2008 Medal of Honor, the highest award for an attorney, by the New Jersey State Bar Foundation (“NJSBF”) for his professional excellence, as demonstrated by his accomplishments in the law and service to the profession and community throughout his career.
As an arbitrator and mediator, Judge Dreier has been chosen as a member of the New Jersey Panel of Distinguished Neutrals, International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution, and the American Arbitration Association’s National Panel of Commercial Arbitrators, its class action and complex case panels and its International Centre for Dispute Resolution. He is also a member of the Marie L. Garibaldi ADR Inn of Court, the New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators and a founding member of The Resolution Group (TRG). He regularly lectures on Alternative Dispute Resolution.
In addition, Judge Dreier is an Emeritus member of the Columbia Law School Board of Visitors, the editorial board of the New Jersey Law Journal, and the American Law Institute for which he is an advisor or consultative group member for the various areas of the Restatement (Third) of Torts, and is the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education. He is an authority on commercial litigation, having authored the state’s principal text on Chancery Practice as well as earlier texts on Secured Financing.
Judge Dreier has published numerous articles on ADR, products liability and other subjects, in addition to 380 published judicial opinions. His ADR articles include: “Finding the Most Efficient Forum for Resolving Disputes in Today’s Corporate World,” The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel; “Mediate, Arbitrate – Don’t Litigate,” The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel; “Resolve Your Disputes Out of Court,” The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel; and “The Growing Popularity of ADR,” The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel.
Judge Dreier frequently lectures throughout New Jersey and nationally on the subject of products liability, on which his book, New Jersey Products Liability and Toxic Tort Law (Gann Law Books), is based. He has been the Planning Chair and Faculty Member of the annual Advanced National Products Liability Course for the ALI-ABA, a lecturer for ICLE’s annual products liability update and Chancery Practice courses, and has been a lecturer in symposia at five national law schools.
Judge Dreier received his J.D. from Columbia Law School in 1961 and his B.S. from The Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1958. Before joining Norris McLaughlin, he 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.