Obituary of Gerald L. Dorf
GERALD L. DORF, ESQ ,age 86, passed away on Sunday, June 12, 2022. He was born in Brooklyn, New York and resided in Chicago, Illinois, and El Paso, Texas, prior to moving to Freehold, NJ in 1969.
He met his wife Evelyn at James Madison High School in Brooklyn, NY in 1953. They were married in 1956 while Jerry was attending the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University and Evie was attending Ithaca College more than sixty-five (65) years ago.
In 1957, following graduation from Cornell University, Mr. Dorf attended New York University School of Law and began working as Labor Relations negotiator at the New York Times. He received his ROTC commission as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army Reserve in August 1958. He completed six (6) months of active duty in El Paso, Texas and served for seven and one-half (7 1/2) years in the USAR, attaining the rank of Captain.
Following his active service in El Paso the Dorfs moved back to New York to continue Jerry’s work at the New York Times. In 1959 his eldest son, and future law partner, Mitchell was born. Later that year the Dorfs moved to Chicago where Jerry had accepted the position of Labor Relations Consultant with the American Newspaper Publishers Association.
In 1963 the Dorfs moved to Union, New Jersey where Jerry served as Executive Director of the New Jersey Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association with primary labor relations responsibility. In 1968 Jerry established a private law practice specializing in labor and employment law representing both public and private sector clients. In the late 1980s, his eldest son Mitchell, joined him in the practice after graduating from University of Pennsylvania Law School. Jerry proudly renamed the firm the Law offices of Dorf and Dorf. One of the initial proponents of binding arbitration reform, and as Labor Counsel for the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, Jerry guided the successful effort to enact legislation to level the playing field in binding arbitration disputes.
As a well-respected voice in his field, Jerry lectured on developing issues and the changing legal landscape affecting labor relations. He conducted seminars and lectured extensively before the United States Chamber of Commerce, the National Public Employer Labor Relations Association, the New Jersey State Chamber of Commerce, the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, the Florida Public Employer Relations Association, as well as teaching at Cornell and Rutgers universities. Jerry also guest lectured at the University of Michigan and the University of Puerto Rico. A prolific writer, he authored more than two hundred articles on labor and management matters. In addition, he testified on multiple occasions before legislatures regarding pending labor and employment issues.
Jerry was a member of the New Jersey, Illinois and Florida Bar Associations. He has also appeared as an advocate on various cases before the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey and the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
As a scholarship recipient at Cornell University, Jerry strived to give back to his alma mater. He served as President of the Cornell ILR Alumni Association. He was also a Life Member of the Cornell University Council and established a scholarship foundation in memory of his eldest son Mitchell. Jerry loved the arts and served as Chairman of the New Jersey State Opera for ten years. His leisure interests included golf, bridge and flying his own airplane. Jerry flew a Beech Bonanza and held an instrument rating. He also enjoyed travel, golf and bridge.
Jerry was predeceased by his son Mitchell Lane Dorf in 2001. He is survived by his loving wife Evelyn; his son Brian and daughter-in-law Mary; and two grandchildren Steven and Jennifer. Funeral arrangements are private and under the direction of the Freeman Funeral Home, 47 East Main Street, Freehold, NJ 07728.