Judge William A. Dreier, a fellow alumnus of Columbia Law School, died on February 2. He was 86 years old.
Judge Dreier was a fixture on the bench for approximately 25 years. He was appointed to the Union County District Court 51 years ago. He then sat in the Superior Court, where he was best known for his work as a Chancery Division judge. For the next fifteen years, Judge Dreier was a member of the Appellate Division, including serving as a Presiding Judge. He retired from the bench in 1998, having written several hundred published opinions and many more that were not designated for publication.
In addition to his judicial work, Judge Dreier somehow found time to be a prolific scholar. He authored books on Chancery practice, products liability, and arbitration that practitioners have regularly relied on. He was a frequent continuing legal education lecturer on those and other subjects, as well as writing scholarly articles in legal publications.
After retiring from the bench, Judge Dreier joined a private firm, where he was active in alternative dispute resolution. One of the most sought after mediators and arbitrators, Judge Dreier was always as busy as he chose to be in those areas.
I used to see Judge Dreier at dinners held by New Jersey’s Columbia Law School Alumni Association. He always had a smile and a good word for everyone he saw there, and he knew everyone, regardless of their age. He was a remarkable presence on the bench and had a great influence on the law. And all that is apart from his activities beyond the law, described more fully here.
A life well lived.