- Boston University School of Law, J.D.
- Syracuse University, B.A., with honors
- New York
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
- U.S. District Court, Western District of New York
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
- U.S. Supreme Court
Joe has earned the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory’s AV rating, the directory’s highest accolade, and has been selected for inclusion in New York Super Lawyers, based on peer-review surveys. He is also recognized as a New York local litigation star in the 2013 edition of Benchmark Litigation, the definitive guide to America’s leading litigation firms and attorneys. Joe was listed in The Legal 500 U.S. 2010–2011 as a leading attorney in the Litigation, Product Liability, and Mass Tort: Aerospace/Aviation categories, as well as named in International Who’s Who 2012. Additionally, Joe was selected by his peers to be included in The Best Lawyers in America 2013 for his work in the practice area of Product Liability Litigation—Defendants. Joe was recognized as a “Life Sciences Star” by LMG Life Sciences in 2013.
International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC), 2009–present
American Bar Foundation, Elected a Sustaining Life Fellow, 2005–present
American Law Institute (ALI), The Practical Litigator, Editorial Board Member, 2005–2010
ALI/ABA Litigation Advisory Panel Member, 2006–2010
Arbitration and Mediation Panel, United States District Court, Eastern District of New York, 2004–present
American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), Fellow, 2003–present
ALI-ABA Board for Continuing Education, 2001–2005
American Bar Association (ABA), Member of the Following Committees:
- Past Member of Advisory Committee on The Restatement of Torts
- Member of Members Consultative Group for the Aggregate Litigation Project
- Budget & Diversity Committee
Defense Research Institute (DRI)
- Director of TIPS National Trial Academy 2011, The National Judicial College
- TIPS National Trial Academy, Mentor and Faculty, 2005–2012
- TIPS Vice Chair of the International Committee, 2003–2005
- TIPS Commercial Transportation Programs Steering Committee Member, 2001–2002
- International Committee (Vice-Chair), 2002–2003
- TIPS Women and Minorities Involvement Committee (WAMI), 1999–2000
- Professionals’, Officers’ and Directors’ Liability Committee (Co-Chair), 1999–2002
- Business Torts Committee (Co-Chair), 1997–1999
- TIPS Toxic and Hazardous Substances and Environmental Law
- Self-Insurers and Risk Managers
- Commercial Torts
- TIPS Products, General Liability, and Consumer Law
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Arbitration Panel, 1994–present
Early Neutral Evaluation Panel, United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
Inns of Court, Theodore Roosevelt Chapter
Product Liability Advisory Council, Inc. (PLAC), Sustaining Member
Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA), Past Regional President, Founders Circle, Member, 1991–present
Network of Trial Law Firms, Chairman, 2006–2007
New York Bar Association, 1998–present; Task Force on Electronic Discovery, 2008–2010; Electronic Communications Committee, 2010
Touro Law School, Advisory Board, 2005–present; Pro Bono Attorney Award, 2004
Empire State Counsel, New York State Bar Association, 2010
Nassau County Bar Association
- Commercial Litigation Committee, 2002–2003
- Co-Chair Clinical Ecology Committee, 1994–1998
Nassau County Sports Commission, Past Member Board of Directors
Hispanic Heritage Award, Recipient 2006
The International Who’s Who of Life Sciences Lawyers, International Bar Association, Professional Biography Listing, 2008–2011
New York Super Lawyers, Metro Edition Magazine, Professional Biography Listing, 2010–2011
The Legal 500 U.S. 2010–2011, Listed as a leading attorney: Litigation, Product Liability and Mass Tort: Aerospace/Aviation
Long Island Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (LIHCC), Member Board of Directors/General Counsel, Recipient of the 2008 Chairman’s Award
Adults and Children with Learning and Development Disabilities (ACLD), President of the Board of Trustees, 2011–present; First Vice President, 2005–2010; Member, 1996–present.
First American Title Insurance Company, Advisory Board
Chicago Title Insurance Company, Advisory Board
Garden City Central Property Owners Association (CPOA), Past Director/Nominating Committee
Garden City Leader’s Circle
- Class Action/Mass Torts; Personal Injury Defense: Products; and Business Litigation, 2009
- Class Action/Mass Torts Administrator, 2008
- Products Liability, 2008
Joe has lectured trial advocacy at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York and serves as an instructor for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy (1990– present).
Joseph Ortego has dedicated substantial time to pro bono matters. In 2004, he was recognized by Touro Law School with the Outstanding Pro Bono Attorney Award for his ongoing work on pro bono cases.
JOSEPH J. ORTEGO
Joseph Ortego is the Practice Group Leader of Nixon Peabody’s Products: Class Action, Trade and Industry Representation Group, as well as the chair of NP Trial®, an international team of the firm’s most successful and experienced trial lawyers. He represents major private and publicly traded companies and their executives, having tried over 100 cases to verdict in both federal and state courts throughout the country and has successfully represented clients before arbitration tribunals around the world.
What do you focus on?
I rely on my nearly thirty years of litigation and business experience to help my clients, from Fortune 500 to start-ups, to resolve their matters early, on their terms.
Recently, my team secured a unanimous jury verdict in El Paso, Texas, state court for global aviation manufacturer Eurocopter, S.A.S. and its Texas-based distributor, American Eurocopter Corporation. After a three-week trial, the twelve-member jury rejected the plaintiffs’ product defect theories against our clients and fully exonerated the Eurocopter product. Click here to read the full story.
I regularly represent clients in health effects litigation and recent successes include matters involving toxic tort, food and beverage, environmental, medical device and pharmaceutical litigation.
My clients’ legal needs are as diverse as the industries they operate in. They want a lawyer who is familiar with all legal aspects of their industry. My clients call on me to defend them in complex litigation and class actions involving a broad range of issues, such as securities, shareholders’ and contract disputes, labor and employment and intellectual property, as well as handle regulatory and compliance issues particular to certain industries such as aviation, financial services, life sciences, pharmaceuticals, food and beverage and insurance.
I routinely serve as national trial counsel for a number of clients who desire a consistent approach to class action and aggregate litigation matters in multiple state and federal courts.
What do you see on the horizon?
As technology evolves, companies are facing a new set of legal challenges manifesting themselves in both litigation and regulatory activities. We partner with clients, leveraging our successful trial and litigation experience, to develop innovative strategies to proactively address the issues presented by this new age.
Publications and Presentations
- “Government Surveillance: Privacy is Dead. Get Over It”, The Network of Trial Law Firms, Litigation Management in a New York Minute, New York, NY, August 9, 2013
- “The Thin Lines Between Zealous Advocacy, Incivility, and Punishable Misconduct,” Suffolk Academy of Law CLE Program, Hauppauge, NY, October 11, 2012
- “Early Case Assessment,” The Network of Trial Law Firms, Litigation Management in a New York Minute, New York, NY, August 10, 2012
- “Ethical Considerations for Litigators and Trial Attorneys,” 2012 National Trial Academy, American Bar Association/American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), Reno, NV, April 16, 2012
- “Practical Solutions for Effectively Managing Outside Counsel Fees: The Case for Alternative Fee Arrangements,” Hispanic National Bar Association’s 3rd Annual Corporate Counsel and 17th Annual Uvaldo Herrera Moto Court Competition, Jersey City, NJ, March 30, 2012
- Pre-Conference Group Meet-Up, 16th Annual Drug and Medical Device Litigation Conference, New York, NY, December 5–7, 2011
- “Finding the Right Balance: In-House Lawyer’s Professional Duties vs. Rights as an Employee,” The Network of Trial Law Firms, Laguna Beach, CA, November 4, 2011
- “Emerging Legal Issues: Social Media and Cloud Computing,” Major Insurance Company, October 25, 2011
- “Ethics: An In-House Lawyers Professional Duties vs. Rights as an Employee,” The Network of Trial Law Firms, New York, NY, August 5, 2011
- “Ethical Considerations in the Automotive Product Liability Context,” American Conference Institute, Automotive Product Liability Litigation, Chicago, IL, June 22, 2011
- “Early Evaluation Defense Perspective,” Presentation to Lancer Claims Service, Los Angeles, CA, April 5, 2011
- “Walking a Thin, Grey Line: The Differences Among Incivility, Zealous Advocacy, and Punishable Misconduct,” 2011 Emerging Issues in Motor Vehicle Product Liability Litigation, Phoenix, AZ, March 31, 2011
- “Contracts, Risks & Parasites: Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite,” The Associated Pest Services Association, San Antonio, TX, February 10, 2011
- “Getting the Job— What Do You Want From Me?” CLE Program, Nassau County Bar Association, Mineola, NY, November 22, 2010
- “Procedural Tactics for Managing and Defending Against Mass Torts Product Liability Claims,” American Conference Institute’s Master Class, New York, NY, September 30, 2010
- “Ethical Considerations in the Automotive Product Liability Context,” American Conference Institute’s Automotive Product Liability Conference, Chicago IL, September 23, 2010
- “E-Discovery: Ethical Considerations for In-House Counsel,” CLE Ethics Seminar, Nixon Peabody LLP, September 14, 2010
- “The Evolving Law of E-Discovery,” The Network of Trial Law Firms, New York, NY, August 6, 2010
- “It’s the Economy,” CPS Insurance Company, Ltd., Annual General Meeting and Board of Directors’ Meeting, Southampton, Bermuda, June 15, 2010
- “Incivility: An Insult to the Professional and the Profession,” Orientation Presentation to New Attorneys, Appellate Division, Second Department; Nassau Supreme Court, Mineola, NY, June 11, 2010
- “The Evolving Law of E-Discovery,” The Network of Trial Law Firms, Phoenix, AZ, April 23, 2010
- “The Thin Lines Between Zealous Advocacy, Incivility, and Punishable Misconduct,” Emerging Issues in Motor Vehicle Product Liability Law, Phoenix, AZ, April 9, 2010
- “Defending Goliath: How to Represent a Corporation Before a Jury in a Weakened Economy,” ABA Corporate Counsel CLE Seminar, February 11–14, 2010
- Lawyers' New Practice Invites Second-Guessing
Crain's Chicago Business | November 15, 2013
Products: Class Action, Trade & Industry Representation practice group leader and leader of the firm’s NP Trial® team Joe Ortego discusses the firm’s Second Opinion service.
- Reading the Witness
Long Island Business News | June 7, 2013
Products: Class Action, Trade & Industry Representation practice group leader Joe Ortego discusses the use of expert witnesses.
- The Thin Lines Between Zealous Advocacy, Incivility, and Punishable Misconduct
The Brief | November 1, 2012
Products: Class Action, Trade & Industry Representation practice group and NP Trial leader Joe Ortego authored this article for the Fall issue of this American Bar Association publication.