- 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 is recognized by The Legal 500 as a leading attorney in the Product liability and mass tort defense: toxic tort and aerospace/aviation categories, U.S. News/Best Lawyers in the field of Product Liability Litigation—Defendants, Benchmark Litigation as a New York local litigation star and Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings in its highest category, AV Preeminent. Additionally, Joe is recognized by New York Metro Super Lawyers, LMG Life Sciences as a “Life Sciences Star” and Who’s Who Legal in Life Sciences. In the New York Metro Super Lawyers’ 2014 edition, Joe was amongst the top 100 lawyers.
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 Co-Leader of Nixon Peabody’s Commercial Litigation Practice, 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?
With over thirty-five years of litigation and business experience, I help my clients, from Fortune 500 to start-ups, resolve their matters early, on their terms.
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.
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.
In addition to my wide-ranging litigation experience, I have extensive experience representing U.S. and international insurance and re-insurance clients. I have developed a deep understanding of the insurance industry through the multitude of diverse matters I have handled and serve as coverage counsel for several of the world’s largest insurers.
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
- “As Ethical as a Lawyer,” ABA Life Sciences Legal Summit, South San Francisco, CA, March 4, 2015
- “Inside the Courtroom - Consumer v. Food Company, What to Expect During an ‘All Natural’ Case,” The Food & Beverage Marketing & Advertising Law Summit, Chicago, IL, September 15, 2014
- “The Good, the Bad, the Ugly: What’s Trending in Social Media,” AIG, December 2013. (Co-presenter)
- “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
- Court Says Former Enzo Executives Breached Agreement, Awards Nominal Damages
Bloomberg BNA | March 16, 2015
This coverage notes a federal district court decision in Enzo Life Scis., Inc., v. Adipogen Corp. The court found that a former executive hired from a company acquired by Enzo Life Sciences had breached the stock purchase agreement by competing with ELS but said ELS hadn't proved that it had suffered any damage from the breach and only awarded ELS $10 in damages. New York City commercial litigation partners Joe Ortego and Barbara Lukeman were counsel for the defendants.
- The Montreal Convention: Assessing Flight Crew Response to Medical Emergencies
Westlaw Journal Aviation | January 22, 2015
Partner and co-leader of the Commercial Litigation practice Joe Ortego and Long Island Commercial Litigation associate Tom Mealiffe co-authored this column discussing courts’ recent application of the Montreal Convention to cases involving in-flight medical emergencies.
- Unlawful termination suit shipped to New York
Antitrust Law Daily | December 11, 2014
This coverage notes an Arkansas federal district court ruling transferring Applied Energy of AR-LA-MS, Inc. v. Pall Corp. to the federal district court in New York pursuant to the parties’ agreement. Co-leader of the firm’s Commercial Litigation practice group Joe Ortego and Long Island Commercial Litigation associate Juan Luis Garcia represented Pall Corp.