Daniel L. Schmutter, Esq.


dschmutter@hartmanwinnicki.com | E-mail Disclaimer | Twitter

University of Virginia School of Law, J.D., 1991
Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania,
B.S. Econ., 1986

Bar Admissions

  • New Jersey, 1991
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey, 1991
  • New York, 1992
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, 1992
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, 1992
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York, 1995
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, 1996
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, 1999
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 2003
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of New York, 2004

Areas of Concentration

Litigation, Appellate, & Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
Civil Rights & Constitutional Law

Mr. Schmutter concentrates his practice in litigation, with a particular focus on commercial matters and a strong emphasis on disputes involving real estate and environmental issues. His practice is also devoted to civil rights and constitutional law issues, including First Amendment, Second Amendment, Fifth Amendment, and Fourteenth Amendment matters.

A significant portion of his practice involves the representation of clients in appellate litigation.  Mr. Schmutter has argued before high courts such as the New York Court of Appeals and the New Hampshire Supreme Court and has briefed before the United States Supreme Court and the New Jersey Supreme Court.

Mr. Schmutter practices in federal and state courts, before administrative tribunals and in other proceedings in New Jersey and New York. He also represents clients in alternative dispute resolution proceedings, including arbitrations and mediations.

Mr. Schmutter is experienced in contract litigation, franchise litigation, shareholder and partner disputes, creditors’ rights and bankruptcy, commercial landlord-tenant disputes, trademark and copyright litigation, land use litigation, and trust and estate cases.  He has represented a broad variety of clients, including real estate developers, manufacturing and industrial companies, international restaurant companies, and other commercial enterprises, including both Fortune 500 companies and small closely held businesses and individuals.

Honors & Awards

  • Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rated AV® Preeminent (a trademark of Internet Brands, Inc.) (2014 – present)
  • Super Lawyers (a Thompson Reuters business) (2019 present)
  • Member, Order of the Coif

A description of the standard or methodology on which the accolades are based can be found HERE. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

Representative Matters

  • Has represented clients in claims of excessive government regulation, and has appeared on national television and been published in major newspapers in connection with these efforts
  • District of Columbia v. Heller/McDonald v. Chicago (Supreme Court of the United States) – Throughout his career, has submitted seven Amicus Curiae briefs to the Supreme Court of the United States, the Supreme Court of New Jersey, and the New York Court of Appeals, including in the landmarks cases District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago, the latter brief having been cited by Justice Samuel Alito.
  • Bach v. New Hampshire Department of Safety (Supreme Court of New Hampshire) – Successfully argued before the New Hampshire Supreme Court in Bach v. New Hampshire Department of Safety, in which the Court struck down an unauthorized regulation requiring non-resident concealed carry permit applicants to produce a home state permit, something largely impossible for many or even most residents of states such as New Jersey, New York, Maryland, California, Hawaii, and Massachusetts, as well as the District of Columbia.
  • Knife Rights v. Vance (U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit) – Successfully argued before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Knife Rights v. Vance, obtaining a reversal of the District Court’s dismissal of the complaint and establishing that the plaintiffs challenging New York City’s practice of arresting ordinary individuals for carrying ordinary pocket knives had standing to challenge that practice on the ground of vagueness under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
  • Des Champs Laboratories, Inc. v. Martin (New Jersey Appellate Division) – Successfully argued Des Champs Laboratories, Inc. v. Martin, in which the Court struck down an unauthorized regulation of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) that threatened to significantly increase clean up obligations under the Industrial Site Recovery Act (ISRA) for businesses using very small amounts of hazardous substances
  • Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District (Supreme Court of the United States) – Represented New York based think tank The Land Use Institute as Amicus Curiae in support of petitioner Koontz in Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District, a significant property rights case in which the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Takings Clause of the United States Constitution protects property owners against “coercive monetary exactions” by government agencies as a condition of obtaining land use development permits and approvals.
  • Osterweil v. Bartlett (New York Court of Appeals) – Successfully represented the appellant in a matter before the New York Court of Appeals, New York’s highest court. The Court was asked to consider, in Osterweil v. Bartlett, whether an applicant who has a part-time residence in New York but makes his permanent domicile elsewhere is eligible for a New York handgun permit in the city or county where his part-time residence is located. The Court’s decision struck down a 20 year old rule that had prohibited such part-time New York residents from obtaining handgun permits for their home.
  • Petro-Lubricant Testing Laboratories, Inc. v. Adelman (New Jersey Supreme Court) – Represented Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press as Amicus Curiae in support of respondent Adelman in Petro-Lubricant Testing Laboratories, Inc. v. Adelman, a significant free speech case in which the New Jersey Supreme Court held that the Fair Report Privilege does not require disclosure of a settlement when reporting a full, fair, and accurate account of a lawsuit and that the Single Publication Rule protects postings on the internet against attempts to circumvent important statute of limitations protections.
  • Won an Appellate Division victory on behalf of a leading real estate developer, seeking to advance a major project to clean up and develop a former industrial factory site in central New Jersey. The project was opposed by a neighboring supermarket chain, which brought a prerogative writ action in Superior Court to block the project in order to prevent a competing retailer from moving in and competing. The client had obtained a rezoning of the land to accommodate the project, and the plaintiff argued at trial that the zoning ordinance was invalid under the Municipal Land Use Law. The client prevailed at trial, and in the first appeal, the Appellate Division reversed the judgment of the Law Division due to a technical defect in the City’s notice, but wrote approvingly, without explicitly affirming, as to the substantive findings made by the trial court. After the City readopted the ordinance, curing its notice defect, the plaintiff challenged the ordinance again, claiming that it was entitled to whole new trial on the merits and to assert new claims, arguing that the prior language of the Appellate Division was mere dicta and non-binding. The Appellate Division affirmed dismissal of the second lawsuit on the grounds of res judicata and collateral estoppel.
  • Balsamides v. Perle (Supreme Court of New Jersey) – Was one of two attorneys to litigate Balsamides v. Perle, the leading case in New Jersey on the valuation of closely held corporations under the New Jersey shareholder oppression statute
  • Scholastic Bus Co., Inc. v. Fairlawn (New Jersey Appellate Division) – Successfully tried and argued Scholastic Bus Co., Inc. v. Fairlawn, a case involving the proper standards to be applied under New Jersey’s Municipal Land Use Law.

More Activities and Experience

  • Prior to practicing law, Mr. Schmutter worked in corporate finance for Republic National Bank of New York
  • Mr. Schmutter has volunteered as a guest lecturer teaching Constitutional Law to high school and middle school students in the United States and Europe.

Speaking Engagements

Publications & Alerts