William D. Sanders
William D. Sanders draws upon his 40 years of experience working with, and against, the leading attorneys in this state, to find creative solutions to our clients’ problems. Mr. Sanders takes a holistic approach to the conduct of litigation. Reflexive, boilerplate pleadings and discovery objections are not in his vocabulary. He understands that communicating real positions to judges and adversaries projects strength and that rote responses project weakness. Mr. Sanders looks for the ‘touchpoints’ in the relationships between not only the parties, but parties and their counsel and insurers that often drive the conduct of litigation and resistance to case resolution. Mr. Sanders then pursues strategies to expose/put pressure on those relationships in order to focus the parties on how their interests are best served/protected by resolutions that provide the best, most cost-effective case resolution for our clients.
Mr. Sanders concentrates his practice in complex commercial mass tort, products liability, professional liability, insurance coverage and personal injury defense. He has substantial experience in asbestos litigation, having represented both Fortune 100 companies and mining companies as defendants. He also has experience representing clients in professional liability, personal injury, insurance coverage, consumer protection and securities arbitration matters.
His published opinions include Grubbs v. Knoll, 376 N.J. Super 420 (App. Div. 2005) where he successfully obtained triple damages and over $575,000 in attorneys’ fees and expenses. Mr. Sanders also participated in Strasenburgh v. Straubmuller, 146 N.J. 527 (1996), which established important corporate law principles, and the Philippines v. Westinghouse litigation, which yielded over a half-dozen published opinions concerning significant substantive and federal procedural principles.
Mr. Sanders also served on the insurers' team prosecuting the declaratory judgment action concerning the $60 million property insurance claim of the owners of the Essex House Hotel following its renovation in the early 1990s. Mr. Sanders has participated in several major defense committees in insurance litigation, including the $900 million claim of the New Jersey Attorney General against the members of the former Joint Underwriting Association.
Mr. Sanders served as Legal Assistant to Director Robert D. Lipscher, the Director of New Jersey's Administrative Office of the Courts, and was a law clerk to Hon. Herbert S. Alterman, J.S.C. in Passaic County. Mr. Sanders was a member of the New Jersey Supreme Court's District V-B Ethics Committee from 1997 to 2001, where he successfully prosecuted Matter of Sidney S. Kanter, 162 N.J. 118 (1999). Mr. Sanders serves as Vice-Chair of the District X-B Ethics Committee. He was also a founding member of the Justice Wm. J. Brennan, Jr. Inn of Court, and a Master of the Inn from 1995 to 2003.
Mr. Sanders has been a frequent lecturer for the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education (NJICLE), and has created, moderated and participated in seminars such as "Taking the Pledge: How to Conduct a Civil Practice," "Civil Motion Practice," "Post-Trial Issues," "Personal Injury Law: Tips for a Better Practice," and "Confidentiality and Its Limitations." He has also lectured for Lorman Educational Services concerning "Litigation Ethics" and "Purchasing Law: UCC Sec. 2-207."
Mr. Sanders's article, "Essential Tools for Successful Mediation They Don't Teach You at Your Average ADR CLE," was recently published in The New Jersey Law Journal.
Professional Memberships and Civic Recognition:
- New Jersey Super Lawyers - Selected for 2018-21 for "Insurance Coverage."
- New Jersey Supreme Court, District X-B Ethics Committee Vice-Chair, 2021 to 2023, Member, 2017 to 2021.
- New Jersey Supreme Court, District V-B Ethics Committee 1997 to 2001, Argued before New Jersey Supreme Court Disciplinary Review Board. Matter of Sidnev S. Ranter, 162 N.J. 118 (1999) (affirming one year suspension).
- Chairmanship of the District XB Ethics Committee for September 2023 to 2025.
- Harris-Martin New Jersey Asbestos Conference - Chair of Panel on "Ethics in Mass Tort Litigation" February 2015 and 2016.
- National Business Institute Seminar Panehst - "Effective Pre-trial Civil Motions" National Teleconference, June 14,2012; "How to Deal With the Rambo Litigator" Seminar Panelist, September 27,2012; "Challenges in Modern Legal Ethics: Avoiding the Most Common Problems." Presentation topic: "Avoiding Legal Malpractice" December 15,2011.
- New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education Seminars - Panel Moderator for "Taking the Pledge: How to Conduct a Civil Practice" 2005; Panelist for "Civil Motion Practice," Spring 2000 and Panel Moderator Spring 2002 and 2004; Panel Moderator for "Post-Trial Issues," Spring 2003; Panelist for "Personal Injury Law—Tips for a Better Practice" May 2000; "Confidentiality and Its Limitations", annually 2000-2004.
- Lorman Educational Services Seminar Panelist—"Purchasing Law—UCC §2-207," September 2002; "Litigation Ethics," Spring 2003.