Judge John C. Lifland (Ret.)

2019 A. Sherman Christensen Award

ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA– John C. Lifland has been selected to receive the prestigious 2019 American Inns of Court A. Sherman Christensen Award. Judge Richard Linn of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit will present the award during the American Inns of Court’s annual Celebration of Excellence at the Supreme Court of the United States in Washington, D.C., on October 26, 2019. Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch will host the event.

Upon his retirement a judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey in 2007, Lifland joined Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services, which provides alternative dispute resolution. As a neutral party in disputes, Lifland serves as an arbitrator, mediator, special master, and neutral evaluator in disputes covering a wide range of legal areas.

During his 19 years as a judge, Lifland handled federal criminal cases plus civil cases involving federal law. His specialty was patent litigation, with a particular focus on resolving challenges to the validity and enforceability of patents on brand-name drugs by generic drug manufacturers. In 2005, he received the William J. Brennan Jr. Award from the Association of the Federal Bar of New Jersey, which recognizes outstanding jurists and attorneys.

In 1992, Lifland co-founded the John J. Gibbons American Inn of Court, which was renamed the John C. Lifland American Inn of Court in 2004. This specialty Inn focuses on intellectual property and federal litigation. “Through his leadership, the Lifland Inn was and remains the gold standard of the American Inn of Court….,” says Linn, who nominated Lifland for the Christensen Award. “Month after month, Judge Lifland brings his years of experience to the meetings to share his insights, give his advice, and teach the members of the Inn the skills they need to succeed in court.” Lifland has also been active at the regional and national levels of the American Inns of Court.

Before becoming a judge, Lifland was an associate and then partner at Stryker, Tams & Dill in Newark. He clerked for Judge Thomas F. Meaney of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

Lifland earned an undergraduate degree from Yale in 1954 and a law degree from Harvard Law School in 1957. He was on active duty in the military in 1958 and in the U.S. Army Reserve from 1957 to 1963.