PLEASE NOTE: To protect your safety in response to the threats of COVID-19, we are offering our clients the ability to meet with us in person, via telephone or through video conferencing. Please call our office to discuss your options.

We have and will continue to keep in place the mechanisms to expeditiously respond to all of our clients’ needs, while maintaining the good health and safety of our employees and clients. It is our goal to continue to provide exemplary legal services and to meet our clients’ needs.

Commitment To Excellence

  1. Home
  2.  » 
  3. Person
  4.  » Harper, John J. J.S.C. (Ret.)
John J. Harper
  • Of Counsel
Morristown, NJ

Competence to Manage and Resolve Disputes in Creative Ways

John J. Harper, a Certified Mediator and Arbitrator by the U.S. District Court of New Jersey, has established a dispute resolution practice concentrating in mediation, arbitration and case management services in Civil and Family Court cases.  For over 21 years, he served as a Superior Court Judge and heard cases in the Family, Civil and Criminal Divisions.

Mr. Harper will draw upon his over 20 years of experience as a Judge and over 20 years experience as a litigator and dispute resolver to assist the parties to reach practical and reasonable settlements of their disputes.  Before coming to the Bench, Mr. Harper represented labor organizations and later employers in grievance procedures and in disciplinary actions taken under labor agreements and served as an advocate in mediation, fact finding and arbitration matters.  Besides his experience an advocate in labor relations, Mr. Harper represented clients in administrative hearings and trials before numerous State and Federal agencies.

At one time, Mr. Harper served as a Deputy Executive Director of the New Jersey Public Employment Relations Commission where among other duties he supervised mediators and conducted administrative hearings.  Prior to that, he was House Counsel to the New Jersey State Nurse’s Association and Director of its Economic Security Program (a collective bargaining program for Registered Professional Nurses) where he engaged in organizational efforts and represented professional employees in collective bargaining in both the private and public sectors.

In addition to his experience in labor relations and trial advocacy in employment matters, Mr. Harper has represented public and private clients in litigation involving a wide variety of disputes including commercial transactions, real estate matters, personal injury cases, construction disputes, land use issues and disputes involving a variety of property rights.  Mr. Harper has appeared at various times in the Chancery Division of the Superior Court on Orders to Show Cause and Injunctions.
Mr. Harper graduated Cum Laude from Rutgers University Newark where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa Honorary society and was named a Ford Foundation Scholar in the Federal College Internship Program.  Following graduation, he attended Rutgers University School of Law and received his JD in 1966.  In 1971, Mr. Harper earned a Masters in Law from New York University School of Law with a concentration in labor matters.  While serving as a Judge of the Superior Court, Mr. Harper attended the National Judicial College at Reno, Nevada and was awarded various certificates in Civil, Criminal and Family Law and Alternate Dispute Resolution.  Mr. Harper also earned a Diploma of Judicial Skills from the American Academy of Judicial Education in 1993.

Mr. Harper has completed various courses in dispute resolution and has taught the subject of mediation and other forms of dispute resolution to Attorneys and Judges.  He has been approved by the New Jersey Supreme Court for mediation and arbitration services under R. 1:40 and has been certified as a Mediator under the Federal Mediation Program of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.  Mr. Harper has been approved to conduct Mediation in the Commercial Division of the Supreme Court of New York for New York County.  Mr. Harper accepts cases by direct referral from attorneys as well as cases assigned by the New Jersey Superior Court, the Supreme Court of New York for New York County, and the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. Mr. Harper has been admitted to the Commercial Employment and Construction Arbitration Panels of the American Arbitration Association.

Mr. Harper will provide dispute resolution services in a variety of matters including: family law issues, personal injury, medical and legal malpractice cases, employment and labor disputes, LAD and CEPA claims, commercial, real estate and construction cases, land use litigation, environmental cases, estate matters, disputes involving a variety of property rights and other types of complex litigation.

Mr. Harper is admitted to practice law in New Jersey, Washington D.C., and before the District Court of the District of New Jersey and the Supreme Court of the United States.

Areas of Practice

  • Dispute Resolution

Certified Legal Specialties

  • Certified Mediator and Arbitrator, U.S. District Court of New Jersey

Bar Admissions

  • New Jersey
  • Washington
  • U.S. District Court District of New Jersey
  • U.S. Supreme Court


  • New York University School of Law, New York, New York
    • L.L.M. - 1971
    • Major: Concentration in Labor Law
  • Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey School of Law - Newark, Newark, New Jersey
    • J.D. - 1966
  • Rutgers University, Newark, New York
    • B.A. - 1963
    • Honors: cum laude
    • Honors: Ford Foundation Scholar, Federal College Internship Program
  • National Judicial College, Reno, Nevada
    • Honors: Certificates in Civil, Criminal and Family Law and Alternate Dispute Resolution


  • Labor Management Relations, Rutgers University Institute of Management and Labor Relations
  • Teaching Divorce Mediation at the Women’s Center of the County College of Morris
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution Courses, New Jersey Judicial College, New York Judicial College
  • Teaching various courses in Dispute Resolution and E-Discovery New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education (ICLE) Program

Honors and Awards

  • New Jersey State Bar Association Award for ADR Practitioner of the Year

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Association for Conflict Resolution
  • Labor and Employment Relations Association (LERA)
  • American Bar Association
  • New Jersey State Bar Association
  • American Arbitration Association Panels for the Arbitrators doing Employment, Commercial and Construction cases
  • NJSBA Employment and Labor Law Section
  • NJSBA Dispute Resolution Section
  • NJSBA Family Law Section
  • Morris County Bar Association
  • New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators
  • Marie L. Garibaldi ADR American Inn of Court
  • Worrall R. Mountain American Inn of Court, 1993-2001, Past President
  • Sidney Reitman Labor and Employment Law American Inn of Court, Member and Counselor
  • Executive Board of the Marie L. Garibaldi ADR American Inn of Court of the American Inns of Court Program, Founding Member and President, 1999
  • Board of Trustees of the New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators, Honorary Member
  • New Jersey Conference of Drug Court Judges, Chair, 2003 to 2005
  • Civil/Special Programs Subcommittee of the New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Complementary Dispute Resolution, Chair and Member, 1992 to 2001
  • Worrall F. Mountain Inn of Court of the American Inns of Court Program, President, 1993 to 2001
  • Supreme Court Bail Forfeiture Committee, Member, 2001 to 2005
  • Parent Education Programs, Chair, AOC Committee, 1995 to 1996
  • Conference of Presiding Family Court Judges, Member, 1994 to 1996
  • Children in Court Committee of the Presiding Family Court Judges Conference, Member, 1994 to 1996
  • New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Civil Jury Charges, Member, 1990 to 1994
  • Craftsman Farms Foundation, Member, Board of Trustees, 1988 to 2000
  • Board of Trustees of the North Jersey Civil War Round Table, Vice President and Member, 2005 to 2007
  • Joint Legislative Ethical Standards Committee of the New Jersey Legislature, Member and Vice Chair
  • New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Women in the Courts, Member
  • New Jersey Aids Services (NJAS), Board Member and Vice President
  • Morris Plains Rotary Club, Board Member and Vice President
  • New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Complementary Dispute Resolution, Member, 2010
  • New Jersey Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Mediator Standards,

Past Employment Positions

  • Superior Court Judge
  • New Jersey Public Employment Relations Commission, Deputy Executive Director
  • New Jersey State Nurse’s Association, House Counsel, Economic Security Program, Director


  • Phi Beta Kappa