John L. Kraft

Contact Info

Phone: (201) 863-4400
Fax: (201) 863-2866
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Education

Georgetown University
(cum Laude) 1958

Yale Law School
1964

John L. Kraft

Of Counsel

John L. Kraft is a life-long resident of New Jersey. He graduated from Xavier High School, New York City in 1954 and Georgetown University (cum laude) in 1958. This was followed by three years in the U.S. Air Force as a Lieutenant. He then attended Yale Law School, where he was an Editor of the Yale Law Journal and was enrolled in the Order of the Coif. He graduated in the top 10% of his class in 1964.

Mr. Kraft was admitted to the Bars of New Jersey, New York, Florida, the United States Supreme Court and the District of Columbia.

Mr. Kraft married Joy Cotter of South Orange in 1959. The Krafts had two daughters while in the Air Force and two more daughters while attending Yale Law School. The final count is five daughters and one son. The Krafts, now married for more than 55 years, reside in Waretown, and love their seven grandchildren. Mr. Kraft’s personal interests include tennis, travel and bocce.


Experience

Mr. Kraft began his legal career at the Newark law firm, Toner, Crowley, Woelper & Vanderbilt in 1964. His work there concentrated in litigation matters. In 1967 he joined Hawkins, Delafield & Wood where, as Bond Counsel, he combined a Wall Street practice with a commitment to New Jersey, working on New Jersey bond issues. In 1969, he moved to Mudge, Rose, Guthrie and Alexander where he continued his Bond Counsel practice.

In 1970 Mr. Kraft was appointed Associate the Cahill Administration; he was responsible for all bonding matters, including those relating to the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority and the New Jersey Mortgage Finance Agency. His duties also included preparation of proposed legislation, review of action by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and liaison between the Governor and members of the Legislature.

In 1971, Mr. Kraft left the Governor’s staff to establish Kraft & Hughes, New Jersey’s first Bond Counsel firm. At that time, Governor Cahill stated, “During the past nineteen months that he has served as Associate Counsel, Jack Kraft has demonstrated not only outstanding legal talents but a continual perseverance to do the best job possible. He has made a valuable contribution to the staff and to government. It is with regret that I accept Jack’s resignation, but I sincerely wish him success in the future.”

Mr. Kraft’s prior training and experience at two New York Bond Counsel firms serving New Jersey issuers enabled him to achieve what many said was impossible. The tradition of the “New York Legal Opinion” was thought to be an insurmountable obstacle to any New Jersey lawyer succeeding as Bond Counsel. However, he was successful and achieved the distinction of becoming New Jersey’s first Bond Counsel.

From 1971 to 2012, Mr. Kraft practiced at the law firms of Kraft & Hughes, Kraft & McManimon, Lowenstein Sandler PC, John L. Kraft, Esq., L.L.C. and Lomurro, Davison, Eastman & Munoz, P.A. In 2012, he re-established John L. Kraft, Esq., L.L.C. and in 2014, the firm was renamed KRAFT & CAPIZZI, LLC. In August 2015, KRAFT & CAPIZZI, LLC and WATERS, McPHERSON, McNEILL, P.C. merged their public finance practices. Mr. Kraft is of counsel at Waters, McPherson, McNeill, P.C. and a member of the firm’s public finance practice.

Mr. Kraft has served as Bond Counsel for 18 of the 21 counties and hundreds of municipalities, school districts and authorities in New Jersey.

He was the first New Jersey attorney to serve as Bond Counsel for the State of New Jersey, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority and the New Jersey Turnpike Authority. He served as Bond Counsel to the State during the Administrations of Governors Cahill, Kean and Florio. The New Jersey Turnpike Authority issue in 1985, for which he served as bond counsel, was for two billion dollars, at that time the largest bond sale ever in the entire nation.

Speaking and Writing

Mr. Kraft always has been a prolific speaker and writer throughout his career as Bond Counsel. He published articles on municipal finance in the “New Jersey Law Journal” in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Mr. Kraft has spoken at conferences of the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada, The Bond Buyer, The Bond Market Association, the New Jersey Government Finance Officers’ Association, the New Jersey Association of Counties, the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, the Association of Environmental Authorities and the New Jersey Conference of Mayors. In addition, he is a regular ICLE instructor for a course on bonding for municipal attorneys. Over the years, Mr. Kraft also has presented many seminars directly to elected and appointed officials throughout the State.

Major speaking programs presented by Mr. Kraft include:

Are Your Bond Credit Ratings Heading South? February 10, 2010.

Municipal Advisors Under the Federal Dodd-Frank Act: A New Regime Emerges. June 24, 2011.

In addition, Mr. Kraft was a speaker at a program on State and Municipal Finance presented by Bloomberg News in New York on November 2, 2011.

Mr. Kraft’s publications include:

New Jersey Municipal Bond News. Published monthly from 1975 to 1999. This was the only monthly news periodical ever devoted to New Jersey municipal finance matters. Mr. Kraft was the publisher and wrote many of the articles that appeared over 25 years of publication.

Bond Briefs. A periodic newsletter prepared by Mr. Kraft and devoted to New Jersey bond matters.

The Bond Buyer. This is the “trade paper” of the municipal bond industry. Mr. Kraft has contributed a number of articles for publication in The Bond Buyer.

New Jersey Municipalities. The magazine of the New Jersey State League of Municipalities. Mr. Kraft is a regular contributor to this magazine.

Seton Hall Law Review. “The Contract Clause as the Guardian Against Legislative Impairment of Municipal Bondholders’ Rights” (1974).

Tulane Law Review. “Accommodating the Rights of Bondholders and State Public Purposes: Beyond United States Trust” (1981).

New Jersey Law Journal. Mr. Kraft has served as an Editor of the New Jersey Law Journal. His published works include “Banks Make Direct Loans to Governmental Units: A Win/Win Result”, November 10, 2014; “The Fight to Preserve Tax Exemption for Interest on State and Municipal Bonds”, November 12, 2012; “Death Knell in D.C. For Tax-Exempt Bonds?”, November 14, 2011; and “Failure to Disclose Material Information When Selling Bonds Is Dangerous and Costly”, November 15, 2010.

The Handbook of Municipal Bonds. “The Role of Bond Counsel in Public Agency Financing”, by John L. Kraft, published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (2008).


Bar Admissions

New Jersey
New York
Florida


Community

Throughout his career, Mr. Kraft has been a leader and an active force in the New Jersey Bar, the National Bond Counsel Bar and the New Jersey community. These activities have enhanced his ability to serve his State, county, municipal, school district and authority clients.

New Jersey Bar Matters. Mr. Kraft is a member of the New Jersey State Bar Association. He has served as a State Bar Trustee and Chair of the Local Government Law Section. He is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. He has served as Editor-in-Chief of the Editorial Board of the New Jersey Lawyer newspaper.

In May 2015, Mr. Kraft was one of 25 attorneys selected by the New Jersey Law Journal to receive its first ever Lifetime Achievement Award.

Bond Counsel Activities

In 1976, Mr. Kraft helped to establish the Bond Attorneys Workshop, precursor to the National Association of Bond Lawyers (“NABL”).

Mr. Kraft has been a NABL member since its creation. In 1980 he served as Chair of the NABL Bond Attorneys’ Workshop and served as a member of the NABL Board of Directors. Over the years, he has attended most of the NABL Workshops.

During the 1980’s, Chuck Carlson, then published of Bond Case Briefs and NABL’s first President, started an informal “Winter Workshop” for a small group of bond lawyers to discuss issues of interest to bond lawyers. After several years, Carlson decided to stop presenting the annual event. With Carlson’s approval, Mr. Kraft began to hold the Winter Workshop and continues to do so now, some 35 years later.

It was this group which founded the American College of Bond Counsel in 1995. Mr. Kraft served as its first President for three years, from 1995 to 1998.

In 2002, the College established the Kraft Lecture Series to recognize Mr. Kraft’s contributions to Public Finance Law.

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