PARTNERS

Profile

John Keefe Jr.
John Keefe Jr.Managing Partner

Highlights

  • Seton Hall University School of Law, Newark, New Jersey J.D.
  • Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania B.A. Major: English
  • Asbestos
  • Aviation Accidents — Plaintiff
  • Chemicals & Cosmetics
  • Class Actions
  • Complex Litigation
  • Federal Trial Practice
  • Medical Products & Devices
  • Motor Vehicle Accidents — Plaintiff
  • Pharmaceutical Products
  • Premises Liability — Plaintiff
  • Property Damage — Plaintiff
  • Slip and Fall — Plaintiff
  • State Appellate Practice
  • State Trial Practice
  • Water & Riparian Rights
  • Wrongful Death — Plaintiff
  • New Jersey State Bar Association, 1990 – Present: Vice President, Secretary 2013 • Trustee • Member
  • Trial Attorneys of New Jersey, 1999 – 2010 Past President 2007
  • New Jersey State Bar Association, 1990 – Present
  • Civil Trial Section Exec. Comm. 1998-Present
  • Civil Trial section Chair, 2010-2012
  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum: Member
  • Monmouth County Bar Association: Member
  • Middlesex County Bar Association: Member
  • American Association for Justice: Member
  • Fellows of the American Bar Foundation New Jersey Chapter
  • NJSBA Annual Meeting May 2014: Everything You Need to Know About Successfully Managing Track I & Track II Cases Under the New Mandatory Expedited Handling Program – Civil Trial Bench Bar Conference
  • Speaker: Civil Litigation A La Italiana: Rome, Italy November 2013 “So You Think You Want To Be A Lawyer” Presentation, CBA High School Future Business Leaders of America, October, 2013
  • Panelist: Class Action Update, NJAJ Boardwalk Seminar 2013, April 18, 2013
  • Moderator: NJSBA Best Practices Civil Trial Bench-Bar Conference, May 18, 2012
  • Panelist: Class Action Update, NJAJ Boardwalk Seminar 2012, April 25, 2012
  • “So You Think You Want To Be A Lawyer” Presentation, New Egypt High School Business Law Class, May 23, 2011
  • Panelist: “Solo Firm Marketing Panel” Seminar: Water Club at the Borgata Hotel Atlantic City, NJ, Solo Firm Marketing Panel, May 18, 2011 – Present
  • “Successfully Working with a Special Master for Maximum Results” Webinar: May 3, 2011, May 3, 2011
  • Experts by Experts/Class Action Symposium/Hot Topic Seminars, CLE/NJSB, 1998 – 2005
  • Environmental Meetings, (Chicago, Illinois), 2005, Panelist
  • Natural Resource Damage Cases (Houston, Texas), Panelist
  • Hot Tips for Trial Lawyers, New Jersey State Bar Association Boardwalk Seminar, 2001 – 2008

John E. Keefe, Jr., a Certified Civil Trial Attorney, has devoted much of his time to civil trial practice throughout the State and Federal Courts of New Jersey specializing in negligence and product liability as well as complex mass tort litigation. John was admitted to the bar in 1990.

Having founded Keefe Bartels in 1996, John, the firm’s co-managing partner, leads our plaintiffs’ personal injury, mass tort litigation and complex litigation department. He has tried numerous matters to verdict and prosecuted hundreds of cases on behalf of victims of catastrophic loss. He has been appointed by the Superior Court as plaintiffs liaison counsel in an historic consumer fraud national class action, Talalai v. Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. (Docket No.: MID-L-8830-00-MT ) the settlement of which is valued at between one billion ($1,000,000,000) and three billion ($3,000,000,000) dollars to consumers.

Profile

Patrick Bartels
Patrick BartelsManaging Partner

Highlights

University of Dayton School of Law, Dayton, Ohio J.D.

University of Dayton, Dayton, Ohio B.A. major: Psychology

Professional Associations and Memberships:
Million Dollar Advocates Forum Member
SuperLawyers
The American Trial Lawyers Association – ATLA Top 100 Lawyers – New Jersey
Past Employment Positions:
Garruto Cantor, Partner, 1992-1997
Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, Assistant Prosecutor, 1989 – 1992
US Air Force, Assistant Judge Advocate, 1982 – 1987
  • National Business Institute: February 20, 2013
  • Law Practice Management: Hot Topics and Current Practices
  • Asbestos Litigation Update: Special Master Session, Hyatt New Brunswick, NJ New Jersey, March 26 2012
  • Harris Martin New Jersey Asbestos Litigation Conference

Patrick J. Bartels is a co-managing member of Keefe Bartels, L.L.C. with offices throughout New Jersey including Red Bank, Newark, and New Brunswick. Mr. Bartels practices extensively in the areas of complex toxic tort matters involving asbestos and benzene exposures, class action and employment law. He specializes in the representation of individuals suffering from occupational diseases such as asbestosis and mesothelioma.

AV Rated, Mr. Bartels is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and is admitted to practice in the State and Federal Courts in New Jersey, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and the U.S. Court of Military Appeals. Mr. Bartels is also a member of the Middlesex County Bar Association and Trial Lawyers of New Jersey.

Mr. Bartels served as Co-Counsel in a national consumer fraud class settlement in Chicago, Illinois on behalf of thousands of consumers nationwide. Recently, he served as Co-Counsel in a consumer fraud action seeking class certificate, Cooper et al. v. Cendant Corporation et al. Mr. Bartels has managed and prosecuted numerous complex matters involving defective products such as Rezulin, Baycol and breast implants.

Mr. Bartels graduated from the University of Dayton and the University of Dayton School of Law. He served as a Captain in the United States Air Force Judge Advocate General (JAG) Department from 1982 to 1987. While serving as a Judge Advocate Mr. Bartels litigated over 50 criminal trials and numerous administrative hearings. Mr. Bartels was honorably discharged from the Air Force in 1987.

Following a brief tenure at a small Plaintiff’s firm in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Mr. Bartels accepted a position as an Assistant Prosecutor in the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s office in New Brunswick, New Jersey from 1989 to 1992 during which time he tried numerous felony matters before the Superior Court. Additionally, Mr. Bartels successfully argued several matters before the New Jersey Appellate Division involving important search and seizure issues affecting schools and emergency situations. Mr. Bartels served as the County’s first legal advisor to the then newly formed Middlesex County Environmental Crime Task Force.

In 1992, Mr. Bartels joined Garruto Galex & Cantor in East Brunswick, New Jersey where he worked in their asbestos litigation department. Since that time, Mr. Bartels has successfully represented hundreds of victims of asbestos-related diseases. Mr. Bartels’ notable accomplishments include mesothelioma jury verdicts of $3.5 million and $2.1 million and numerous multi-million dollar settlements.

Profile

John Gregory
John GregoryPartner

Highlights

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey School of Law – Newark, Newark, New Jersey, 2000 J.D.
Honors: Commencement Speaker
Law Journal: Rutgers Computer & Technology Law Journal, Managing Articles Editor, 1998 – 2000
Rutgers University – Cook College, New Brunswick, New Jersey B.S.
Honors: Dean’s List
Major: International Environmental Studies and Political Science
  • Trial Attorneys of New Jersey, 2011 Trustee
  • NJ Superlawyer, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
  • Rising Star 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
  • “40 under 40″ National Trial Lawyers
  • Middlesex County Trial Lawyers Association, Member
  • New Jersey Supreme Court’s Treatment of the Wireless Communication Industry, 26 Rutgers Computer & Tech. L. J., 26, 1999
  • Non-Exclusive Benefits of Lateral Summer Associate Hiring, NJLJ Index 2Q 2003, page 746
  • Aromando, Light & Gregory, LLC, Member, 2004 – 2005
  • Porzio, Bromberg & Newman, PC, Associate, 2001 – 2004
  • The Honorable Robert A. Fall, NJ Superior Court, Appellate Division, Law Clerk, 2000 – 2001
  • The Honorable Robert B. Kugler, U.S., Judicial Extern, 1998

John Gregory, a Certified Civil Trial Attorney, focuses his practice on seeking justice for those in need. He represents people and organizations in complex litigation and personal injury matters. John has represented hundreds of clients since being admitted to practice law in the states of New Jersey and New York. He has taken many of these cases to trial throughout New Jersey securing jury verdicts for his clients in the face of opposition from irresponsible parties. John serves as lead counsel on numerous catastrophic injury cases on behalf of injured people. He has successfully spearheaded the prosecution of wrongful death actions on behalf of families who have lost loved ones. He has secured compensation for workers and laborers injured on the job. Additionally, John has worked as a lead attorney in a class action suit brought against a New Jersey pharmaceutical company in an effort to recover ill-gotten gains for defrauded union health and welfare funds and individuals. Every day, John aims to do his best to bring about just and fair results for his clients.

Profile

Stephen Sullivan
Stephen SullivanPartner

Highlights

Villanova University School of Law, Villanova, Pennsylvania, May, 1997
Juris Doctorate Honors: Cum Laude
Honors: Villanova Law Review
Honors: Villanova Moot Court Board
Trenton State College, Ewing Township, New Jersey, May, 1994 B.A.
Political Science Honors: Magna Cum Laude
Honors: Pi Kappa Phi Honor Society
Honors: Blue Key Honor Society Minor: Criminal Justice
  • Carton v. Choice Point, Inc., No. 05-5489 (D. N.J.);
  • Eisele v. Sunrise at Jefferson, MRS-L-2045-06;
  • Ervins v. United Teletech Federal Financial Credit Union, MID-L-5477-12;
  • Frank K. Cooper Real Estate #1, Inc. v. Cendant Corp., MRS-L-377-02;
  • In re Royal Dutch/Shell Transport Securities Litig., 04-374 (D. N.J.);
  • In re Sears, Roebuck & Co.Securities Litigation 02-C-07527 (N.D. Ill.);
  • In re Vonage Initial Public Offering (IPO) Sec. Litig., 07-177 (D. N.J.);
  • Janes v. Ciba-Geigy Corp., MID-L-1669-01 MT;
  • ocal 68 v. AstraZeneca, MON-L-3136-05;
  • Miller v. Chrysler Group, L.L.C., 12-760 (D. N.J.);
  • Talalai v. Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., MID-L-8830-00-MT;
  • Wrobel v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 2-CH-23058 (Ch. Div. Ill)
  • Auto Accidents
  • Workplace Injuries
  • Workers’ Compensation
  • Asbestos Claims
  • Defective Drugs
  • ADR: Arbitration and Complex Dispute Mediation

Stephen graduated magna cum laude from Trenton State College with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science and cum laude from Villanova University School of Law. At Villanova, he was a member of the Moot Court Board and the Villanova Law Review.
Stephen was admitted to the New Jersey and the District Court of New Jersey Bars in 1997. He was admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar in 2000 and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in 2011. He is a member of the Middlesex County and New Jersey State Bar Associations.He serves on the Class Action Committee for the New Jersey State Bar Association.

ASSOCIATES

Profile

Jennifer Harwood Ruhl
Jennifer Harwood RuhlAssociate
Jennifer concentrates her practice in the areas of complex mass tort, personal injury, wrongful death litigation, products liability, civil rights, nursing home litigation, medical malpractice, and class actions. She has consistently been named a “New Jersey Super Lawyers Rising Star” for the past eight years by New Jersey Monthly Magazine, an honor that only 2.5% of all lawyers in New Jersey receive annually.

Highlights

Seton Hall University School of Law, Newark, New Jersey, 2001 – J.D.
Honors: Presidential Scholarship
Law Journal: Seton Hall Constitutional Law Journal, Member, 1999 – 2001
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey – New Brunswick, 1997
B.A., Political Science
B.S., Administration of Justice
Honors: Criminal Justice Honor Society
Honors: Dean’s List
  • “New Leaders of the Bar,” New Jersey Law Journal, 2013
  • “40 under 40,” National Trial Lawyers, 2012, 2013, 2014
  • New Jersey Super Lawyers Rising Star, 2007-2014
  • Cohen, Placitella & Roth, P.C., Associate, 2007 – 2009
  • Martin, Kane & Kuper, Associate, 2002 – 2007
  • The Honorable Edmond M. Kirby, J.S.C., Superior Court of New Jersey,
  • Law Division, Essex County, Law Clerk 2001 – 2002
  • The Honorable Barnett E. Hoffman, J.S.C., Superior Court of New Jersey, Criminal Division, Middlesex County, Intern 1996-1997
  • “Plaintiff’s Personal Injury From Start to Finish,” National Business Institute, November 2013
  • “Successfully Litigating New Jersey Wrongful Death Cases,” Lawline/ FurtherEd, June 2013
  • “Using the Internet to Improve Your Practice,” New Jersey State Bar Association Mid-Year Meeting in Ireland, November 2011
  • Somerset County Bar Association, Marathon CLE Day, February 2012
  • New Jersey State Bar Association, Member
  • Women in the Profession Section, Trustee
  • Product Liability & Toxic Tort Section, Member
  • New Jersey Association for Justice
  • Women Trial Lawyers Caucus
  • New Jersey Women Lawyers Association
  • American Association for Justice
  • “40 under 40” National Trial Lawyers
  • New Jersey Super Lawyers, Rising Star 2007-2014
  • Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, Mesothelioma Ambassador

Profile

Javier Diaz
Javier DiazAssociate
Javier J. Diaz is an Associate at Keefe Bartels law firm. Javier is a first-generation American with a passion to help others. His work focuses on persuasive advocacy and developing creative strategies to ensure the best outcome for his clients. He joins the firm with a unique set of valuable experiences and qualities that set him apart from other advocates.

Highlights

  • Seton Hall University School of Law – Newark, New Jersey: J.D.
  • Seton Hall Circuit Review
  • Southern District of New York Settlement Practicum Immigrants’ Rights and International Human Rights
  • Marywood University – Scranton, Pennsylvania: M.S.
  • Lambuth University (University of Memphis) – Jackson, Tennessee: B.S.
  • Hispanic National Bar Association
  • New Jersey Hispanic Bar Association
  • New Jersey State Bar Association
  • Middlesex County Bar Association
Javier J. Diaz, Illusory Rights Under the Arbitrary and Capricious Standard: Adding Remedial Safeguards to the Judicial Standard of Review Beyond ERISA Denial of Benefits Claims, 11 Seton Hall Cir. Rev. 392 (2015).
  • General Litigation
  • 
Personal Injury

  • Class Action

  • Immigration Law

Profile

Liana Nobile
Liana NobileAssociate
Liana is an associate with Keefe Bartels. She is admitted to practice law in the states of New Jersey. She graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Monmouth University in 2009. At Monmouth University, she was a founding member of the Debate Hawks Policy Debate Team. She completed her Juris Doctorate degree in 2013 at Seton Hall University School of Law. During law school, she gained invaluable experience while working for the Jersey City Corporation Counsel. Upon graduating from law school, she clerked for the Honorable Dennis R. O’Brien, J.S.C. in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Monmouth County.

Highlights

  • Seton Hall University School of Law 2013
  • Monmouth University, 2009 Summa Cum Laude
  • Personal Injury
  • Wrongful Death
  • Products Liability
  • Class Actions
Liana M. Nobile, The Kids Are Not Alright: An Open Call for Reforming the Protections Afforded to Reality Television’s Child Participants, 17 U.C. Davis J. Juv. L. & Pol’y 41, 76 (2013)
In her spare time, Liana enjoys playing softball, taking kickboxing classes, and watching her little sister perform with Boheme Opera.

OF COUNSEL

Profile

John Keefe Sr.
John Keefe Sr.Of Counsel
John E. Keefe Sr. retired from his position as a Presiding Judge of the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court where he served for thirteen years. Appointed to the bench in 1977, Judge Keefe’s judicial career spanned nearly twenty-five years.

Highlights

  • Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey School of Law – Newark, Newark, New Jersey L.L.B.
  • Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey B.S. Honors: Dean’s List Major: Political Science
Prior to his appointment to the bench, Judge Keefe was a civil trial attorney. His trial practice involved various areas of law, including medical malpractice, product liability, and insurance. Shortly after becoming a judge, Judge Keefe was designated to supervise and administer a pilot project involving statewide asbestos litigation. As a result of that designation, he was responsible for the appointment of the first full-time Special Master in New Jersey, and developed uniform discovery procedures that were recognized on a national level. In 1984 he was appointed to the position of Presiding Judge of the General Equity Part. He served in that capacity and as Asbestos judge until he was appointed to the Appellate Division in July 1988. During his tenure in the Superior Court, Judge Keefe also served on several committees and chaired the Committee on Model Civil Charges and Complex Case Management.
  • Co-Author, New Jersey Products Liability & Toxic Torts Law, Gann Law Books
  • Presumed Knowledge: A Legal Fiction Gone Awry?, 19 Seton Hall L Rev, 174, 1989
  • Proving Product Defect After the Restatement (Third) of Torts: Product Liability, 30 Seton Hall L. Rev. 1, 1999
  • Seton Hall School of Law, 1986 – 2002
  • New Jersey Judicial College, 1988 – 2002
  • New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education, 1980 – Present
  • Distinguished Service Award, NJ Inst for Continuing Legal Education, 2003
  • James McLaughlin Professionalism Award, Civil Trial Bar Section, N.J. Bar Ass’n., 2003
  • Daniel L. Golden Lifetime Achievement Award – Trial Attorneys of New Jersey, 2005
  • The American Law Institute
  • Fellow of the American Bar Association
  • New Jersey State Bar Association
  • Middlesex County Bar Association
  • Middlesex County Trial Lawyers Association
  • Trial Attorneys of New Jersey – Trustee

Profile

C Judson Hamlin
C Judson HamlinOf Counsel
A resident of Cranbury, NJ and receiving his J.D. degree from New York University in June 1963, Judge Hamlin then clerked for the Honorable David D. Furman of the Superior Court of New Jersey.After his clerkship, Judge Hamlin began an active civil trial practice in tort, contract and land use matters.

Highlights

He was counsel to the East Brunswick Planning Board for four years. As a partner in the New Brunswick law firm of Hicks, Kuhlthau, Nagle and Hamlin (1967-1971), Judge Hamlin appeared in banking matters before the New Jersey Department of Banking and the United States Controller of Currency. In 1967, Judge Hamlin was appointed to lead the first public defender program in Middlesex County. He served as Deputy Public Defender in charge of that office from 1967 to 1971.
Judge Hamlin was appointed First Assistant Prosecutor of the Middlesex County in 1971. He led major investigations and personally tried high profile cases. In 1974, Governor Brendan Byrne appointed Judge Hamlin as Middlesex County Prosecutor, a position he held until 1978. During his term in office, he conducted major public corruption probes and supervised a large staff.

Appointed to the bench in 1978, Judge Hamlin served in the Superior Court of Middlesex County until his 1998 retirement. He sat in the Criminal and Civil Divisions; was Presiding Judge of the Civil Division; Presiding Judge of the Chancery Division; and served as the statewide Mass Tort Judge.

After retiring, Judge Hamlin was appointed Executive Director of the National Phen Fen settlement trust and developed his active and highly regarded ADR practice.

Profile

Paul DiGiorgio
Paul DiGiorgioOf Counsel
Paul DiGiorgio is a seasoned lawyer with extensive civil litigation experience, in addition to having held in-house counsel and other, non-legal, positions in private business.

Highlights

After obtaining his B.S. in Engineering from Cornell University in 1987, Paul worked on Wall Street for a brief time, and then in the telecommunications industry: first as a product manager and then as a sales systems consultant. Paul then attended Seton Hall University School of Law, and received his J.D. in 1993. After serving as judicial law clerk to the Honorable J. Norris Harding, J.S.C. in the Superior Court, Middlesex County, Paul entered the practice of law in the areas of civil defense and commercial litigation.
In 1998, Paul accepted a Corporate Counsel position with an emerging technical support company in South Florida – where he also served as Director of Human Resources to over 5,000 employees and Director of Security. After an acquisition, Paul rose to U.S. Vice President of Human Capital Resources Management for the largest customer relationship management company in the world. These positions provided Paul with a broad range of practical experience in a diverse spectrum of legal areas, including: employment law, compliance, drafting and negotiating contracts and employee compensation plans, and risk management. Paul has also owner-managed a golf course.
Since joining Keefe Bartels in 2011, Paul has been focused on developing and executing strategies for new business development and managing all class action discovery projects for the firm. He has litigated and provided vendor management, data analysis and other support in several large and successful consumer fraud class action lawsuits and settlements.