Gregory P Joseph Law Offices has worked as a small but effective entity since 2001, and is now a stable and well-respected legal practice
Gregory P Joseph Law Offices practices exclusively in the field of commercial litigation. The head of the firm, Greg Joseph, is President of the US Supreme Court Historical Society, a past President of the American College of Trial Lawyers and former Chair of the 60,000-member Section of Litigation of the American Bar Association. Partner Pamela Jarvis was formerly a General Counsel in the healthcare industry and a partner in a major New York law firm, and she is currently a member of the disciplinary committee overseeing legal ethics in New York. Counsel Paul Bschorr was Head of Litigation at White and Case, is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and is also a former Chair of the Section of Litigation of the American Bar Association.
High stakes commercial and financial cases are the firm’s bread and butter. Since its inception, it was designed to remain small and stable in number (it currently stands at 14 lawyers), and devoted exclusively to the practice of complex commercial litigation and arbitration, including a series of sub-concentrations, all of which the firm has had success in:
- Complex financial/commercial transactions
- RICO (the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organisations Act)
- Federal procedure
- Professional responsibility
- Legal malpractice
- Legal ethics
The substantive concentration of lawyers allows for selectivity in case selection, continued refreshment of expertise, and the ability to master any new matter quickly. Stability of personnel is reflected in the fact that more than half the firm’s lawyers have been with it since its earliest days in 2001.
The range of cases on which the firm focuses in part traces to the subject matter of Greg Joseph’s treatises and articles, which address areas that tend to give rise to bet-the-company litigation. Those books and articles have themselves become recognised authorities, having been cited by the courts in more than 200 published judicial opinions and cited by academics and practitioners in more than 300 law journal articles. In the past few years the firm has increasingly been sought out by major law firms to represent them in connection with serious litigation directed against them or serious internal or regulatory issues. Without cultivating this practice area by means of any marketing, the firm finds itself representing law firms around the US, based in New York, Boston, San Francisco and New Orleans. The firm is gratified by the fact that the most discerning consumers of legal services – lawyers themselves – request its assistance when a great deal is at stake for them.
In addition to litigation and arbitration services, focusing on trial and appeals, Gregory P Joseph also offers expert subject matter advice to other law firms embroiled in litigation in areas in which the firm has specific expertise and the other firms do not, commonly including RICO, sanctions and litigation-provoking ethical issues. This advice includes helping to structure claims and defences at the trial level and taking charge of matters, in whole or in part, at trial or on appeal.
The firm, through Greg Joseph, also provides expert witness services in very select cases which, over the past four years, have included testimony concerning: the RICO statute and case law in a multibillion litigation at a Russian court in Moscow; the standard of care in a legal malpractice case concerning the ownership of Facebook; federal jurisdiction in a complex patent arbitration; and federal sanctions in a legal malpractice case seeking in excess of $100m in damages.
Small-scale and proud
The firm grew out of the insight that the growth of major law firms, coupled with the growth of their commercial clients (through mergers, takeover and otherwise), created an environment in which a smaller law firm – one which rigorously maintained its focus and avoided conflicts – could potentially thrive. Companies like Gregory P Joseph had an opportunity to offer a safe haven to which conflicted major law firms could refer cases they could not handle due to conflicts, and also for clients to turn to for quality representation when their primary outside counsels were conflicted. The firm’s competitive edge lies in its reputation and practice focus, which it maintains through careful case selection. It will not accept a case unless it is convinced it can make significant contribution. It will not learn at a client’s expense. It will not accept a case with millions of documents, unless it brings in a large firm or multiple smaller firms to manage those documents. It prefers high stakes cases with finite documentation (a few hundred thousand documents or fewer), and prides itself on the ability to master complex fact situations, including highly complex instruments, promptly and with the knowledge of governing law. The firm’s clients range from major financial institutions to Fortune 500 corporations to renowned cultural institutions. It has been selected by several international law firms to represent them directly in litigated and non-litigated matters.
Greg Joseph is widely recognised as one of the leading commercial litigators in the US. His treatise entitled Sanctions: The Federal Law of Litigation Abuse (5th ed. 2013) has been described in one US Court of Appeals as “a leading treatise on litigation sanctions,” and it is cited in the official commentary to the US Federal Rules. He is the author of Civil RICO: A Definitive Guide (3d ed. 2010), about which the Harvard Law Review says “meticulously analyses the decisions” and Fortune calls “the leading treatise on RICO.” He also wrote Modern Visual Evidence, which has been described by Communication Arts magazine as “the authoritative text” on that subject. He has also written more than 100 articles in professional journals.
From the opinion of the Court in Gregory v. Oliver, 2002 at *5 n.1, 2002 WL 31972165 at *2 n.1 (N.D. Ill. Dec. 27, 2002):
“One of the true experts on federal practice, Gregory Joseph… is one of this country’s leading litigators (a few years ago he served as chairman of the Section on Litigation of the American Bar Association) and is an extraordinarily prolific author in addition to maintaining an active law practice. Each year he updates his excellent works on Sanctions: The Federal Law of Litigation Abuse… and on Modern Visual Evidence… and he is a regular contributor to the National Law Journal (with his periodic columns on Federal Practice). This court and Greg were fellow members of the Judicial Conference’s Advisory Committee on Rules of Evidence from the time of its reconstitution by Chief Justice Rehnquist during the early 1990s through the bulk of this court’s service as chairman of that committee.”