Professionals

John J. Zefutie, Jr.

Partner, Co-Founder, and General Counsel

EMAIL
jzefutie@czlaw.com
TELEPHONE
+1.609.551.9771

John J. Zefutie, Jr. is a business advisor, advocate, litigator, and trial attorney who counsels clients in a wide array of legal matters and helps them navigate the often difficult landscape of commercial disputes. Over his 15-year career, he was privileged to practice law at several of the country’s most prestigious law firms. He has successfully handled general commercial litigation, contract negotiations, mass tort litigation, financial services litigation, consumer fraud class actions, restrictive covenant cases, and unfair competition litigation. In addition to his trial and litigation experience, Mr. Zefutie has obtained and successfully defended against temporary and preliminary injunctive relief. He also has substantial experience in arbitration proceedings.

Mr. Zefutie frequently appears in both federal and state courts in complex civil disputes. In doing so, he works proactively with his clients in formulating litigation strategies that both protect his client’s legal rights and serve their immediate and long-term business objectives.

A seasoned litigator, Mr. Zefutie works tirelessly to achieve favorable results for his clients. He has tried cases to verdict in various venues across the country, including in the Southern District of New York where he secured a favorable jury verdict and a substantial counsel fee award on behalf of a supply corporation and importer located in Manhattan. Mr. Zefutie also regularly defends wrongful death and survival cases in state and federal courts across the country, as well as cases involving traumatic brain injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder, and physical and mental disability. In the toxic tort area, Mr. Zefutie was part of a team of attorneys that defended the City of New York and more than 150 contractors against thousands of personal injury actions venued in the Southern District of New York. Those actions arose from the rescue, recovery, and debris removal effort following the World Trade Center terrorist attacks.

Mr. Zefutie also has defended mortgage lenders and servicers facing individual claims and class action cases seeking relief pursuant to the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, the Truth in Lending Act, and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, as well as other federal statutes and common law causes of action. In addition to financial services litigation, he served as part of a team of independent counsel that, pursuant to a consent order issued by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, engaged in a look-back review and analysis of a mortgage servicer’s foreclosure practices. Mr. Zefutie also provides litigation advice to toy manufacturers and other large companies defending consumer fraud class actions.

Dedicated to public service, Mr. Zefutie currently serves as the Secretary of the Supreme Court of New Jersey District VII Ethics Committee, where he manages the Committee’s work and handles the submission and investigation of ethics grievances filed against attorneys.

Notable Facts

Mr. Zefutie attended college on a theatre scholarship where he focused on the works of Stephen Sondheim, Brian Friel, and Eugene O’Neill. Graduating cum laude with degrees in Political Science and History, he was awarded the Henry J. Trainer Award for Performing Arts. In law school, Mr. Zefutie was an editor for the Seton Hall Law Review and a member of the Interscholastic Moot Court Board. He was the winner of the Eugene Gressman Moot Court Competition, a Regional Finalist in the National Moot Court Competition and a recipient of the Seton Hall Oral Advocacy Award.

  • Selected Publications
  • Co-author, “Don’t Arbitrate Contract Disputes,” New York Law Journal, August 7, 2020
  • Co-author, “Model Mania: A Litigator’s Take on the COVID-19 Models That Have Shut Down the United States,” New York Law Journal, April 15, 2020
  • Quoted, “Second Chance Faces Class Action Over Misleading Guarantees,” Class Action Reporter, November 22, 2017
  • Author, “Privilege Covers Lawyer Notes From GM Ignition Switch Investigation, District Court Finds,” The Law for Lawyers Today, 2015 (blog post)
  • Author, “Sticks and Stones? Censure Recommended for Discourtesy, Prosecution Threats,” The Law for Lawyers Today, 2015 (blog post)
  • Co-author, “Private Rights of Action Under HAMP,” The Review of Banking & Financial Services, 2012
  • Co-author, “U.S. Sellers of Foreign Goods on the Hook: The Retailers Immunity Act May Not Provide Adequate Protection,” 190 New Jersey Law Journal 1016, 2007
  • Author, “From Butts to Big Macs: Can the Tobacco Litigation and State Attorney General Settlement Serve as a Model for Fast Food Litigation?,” 34 Seton Hall Law Review 1383, 2004

Education

  • Seton Hall University School of Law, J.D., cum laude
  • Saint Joseph’s University, B.A., cum laude

Professional Experience

  • Duane Morris LLP
  • Thompson Hine LLP
  • Patton Boggs LLP
  • Reed Smith LLP
  • Law Clerk, Barbara Byrd Wecker, J.A.D., Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division

Bar Admission

  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • U.S. District of New Jersey
  • U.S. Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals
  • U.S. Southern District of New York

Memberships

  • Supreme Court of New Jersey District VII Ethics Committee
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Board of Directors
  • Church of St. Gregory the Great, Parish Council
  • Executive Board Member of Knights of Columbus Council 7677

The Raven Blog

Posts by John J. Zefutie Jr.
  • John Zefutie Sits Down With OF COUNSEL: THE LEGAL PRACTICE MANAGEMENT REPORT To Discuss His Background And How His Firm Serves Its Clients - I recently had the privilege of sitting down with Steven Taylor from the publication Of Counsel to discuss my experience and the path that brought me to Colella Zefutie LLC.  Below is the Q+A article that was published this month.  Steve, thanks for the great conversation.  JZ   Of Counsel Interview . . . ....
  • A Bridge To Nowhere: Kelly, et al. v. United States - For better or worse, people across the country who hear “New Jersey” likely think of two things—(1) the Sopranos (good) and (2) Bridgegate (not so good).  As we all know, “Bridgegate,” as it was dubbed by political pundits and others in the media, was a lane closure scandal.  Two individuals close to former Governor Chris...
  • A Lawyer’s Movie Recommendations During Quarantine - In addition to practicing law, I’m somewhat of an amateur movie critic (just ask my Facebook friends). During this quarantine, I’m sure many of us are spending a bit more time in front of the television. Unfortunately, sub-par Netflix specials like Tiger Kinghave captured national attention. So, I’d like to take a break from the...
  • COVID-19 and Thinking Beyond the Bar Exam - Last week, I wrote about the Supreme Court of New Jersey’s order cancelling the July 2020 bar exam and expanding certain provisions of Rule 1:21-3 to allow 2020 yet-to-be-licensed law school graduates to practice law under certain restrictions. On Easter Sunday, the Editorial Board of the New Jersey Law Journal published a commentary entitled Even...
  • COVID-19’s Impact on 2020 Law School Graduates - The Supreme Court of New Jersey has canceled the bar exam scheduled for July of 2020 and permitted recent 2020 law graduates to practice law subject to certain conditions and restrictions. This is an unprecedented, but necessary, decision in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic. New York already has canceled their local testing day and...
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