Freda Wolfson, who retired this week as chief judge for the District of New Jersey, is joining Roseland’s Lowenstein Sandler as a partner, the firm said Feb. 1.
Wolfson will also chair Lowenstein’s Alternative Dispute Resolution practice. The firm said the former chief judge will focus on complex commercial litigation, special master appointments in multidistrict litigation, monitorships, internal investigations, and presiding over mock trials and oral arguments.
Wolfson is the latest high-profile addition to Lowenstein, following former New Jersey Supreme Court Justice Barry Albin, who joined as chair of the firm’s Appellate practice group last July. And in 2020, Matt Platkin, who was Gov. Phil Murphy’s chief counsel at the time, moved to Lowenstein. Platkin left the firm last year to become state attorney general.
“I am immensely proud of my public service,” Wolfson said in a statement. “I am also very excited to start this new stage of my career, working with the talented lawyers at Lowenstein. The firm shares my dedication to advancing the public good, and I look forward to collaborating with my new colleagues in ways that benefit our local, regional, and global communities.”
After graduating from law school in 1979, Wolfson worked at what was then called Lowenstein, Sandler, Kohl, Fisher & Boylan and also at Clapp & Eisenberg. She was nominated to the District Court in 2002, and became chief judge in 2019. Previously, Wolfson served as a U.S. magistrate judge, handling pre-trial matters and facilitating settlements, for more than 16 years. As a district judge, in 2014, she was appointed by U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts to represent the Third Circuit on the Judicial Conference Committee on the Administration of the Magistrate Judge System. In 2020, Wolfson was appointed to the Judicial Conference of the United States.
“Judge Wolfson was my boss, a mentor and now—30years after serving as her law clerk—it is my honor to call Judge Wolfson my partner,” said Christopher Porrino, who chairs Lowenstein’s Litigation Department. “Judge Wolfson has been a trailblazer throughout her entire career. She started as one of the youngest members of the District Court as well as one of its few women and mothers. She went on to lead the District as chief during very challenging times, through the COVID-19 pandemic, unprecedented judicial vacancies, and security threats. Our lawyers and clients all will benefit from her innovative problem-solving skills and her wide range of knowledge across many of our core practice areas.” Porrino is also a former state attorney general.
During her 36 years as a district judge and magistrate, Wolfson handled cases ranging from patent infringement, fee disputes in the context of securities and mutual funds, employment discrimination and civil rights violations to white collar crime. The Multidistrict Litigation Panel appointed her to handle six national multidistrict cases, including In re Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Products Marketing, Sales Practices & Products Liability Litigation (the second largest MDL in the country); In re Fosamax (Alendronate Sodium) Products Liability Litigation; In re Plavix Marketing, Sales Practice & Products Liability Litigation; In re Vonage Marketing & Sales Practices Litigation; and In re Verizon Wireless Data Charges Litigation.
“We are delighted that Judge Wolfson has returned to Lowenstein Sandler, where she first practiced law after her graduation from Rutgers Law School. It has been well worth the wait,” said Managing Partner Gary Wingens. “Since her time with us, Judge Wolfson has gone on to national acclaim for her astute judicial opinions and keen leadership on the bench. Her many accomplishments, accolades, and experience make her an invaluable resource to our firm.”=