Joseph Ortego serves as the vice-chair of Nixon Peabody’s litigation department, chair of NP Trial®, an international team of the firm’s most successful and experienced trial lawyers, and chair of the firm’s Aviation practice. Representing major private and public corporations and their executives, he has 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.
Joseph is also Nixon Peabody’s chief diversity officer, overseeing the firm’s strategy to attract, retain and promote talented people with exceptional ability from a broad range of backgrounds. He is also past Chairman of the ABOTA National Trial Academy.
I focus my practice in the areas of aviation litigation; complex commercial disputes; class actions; toxic tort, health effects, environmental, employment, intellectual property, and product liability matters; and insurance coverage. I serve as National Trial Counsel for a number of clients who desire a consistent approach to lawsuits filed in multiple states.
I represent small, midsize, and publicly traded companies in the following industries: Aviation; Chemical; Food & Beverage; Financial Services; Insurance and Pharmaceutical, Medical Device and Life Sciences.
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. With over thirty-five years of litigation and business experience, I help my clients (from Fortune 500 to startups) resolve their matters early on their terms or prevail at trial.
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.
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.
Joseph served as an Assistant District Attorney (Manhattan) in the Felony Trial and Homicide Bureaus for the New York County District Attorney’s Office. He investigated and tried complex and high profile felony and homicide cases to verdict.
Law360 | May 27, 2021
This article covers a court’s unanimous refusal to revive litigation claiming that client SPX Corp. contaminated Wisconsin properties, with the panel noting a lower court was correct to find the requested injunctive relief improper. Buffalo partner Vivian Quinn, Long Island partner Joe Ortego, and Buffalo counsel Laurie Bloom and Tracey Scarpello, all of the Complex Commercial Disputes group, led the successful defense of SPX.
Law360 | November 02, 2020
This article covers oral arguments from three demolition companies urging the Seventh Circuit to uphold a lower court’s exclusion of experts’ testimony related to toxic dust claims. The article mentions Long Island partner Joe Ortego and Buffalo counsel Laurie Bloom, both of the Complex Commercial Disputes group, for representing SPX Corp., one of the demolition companies.
New York Law Journal | May 20, 2019
New York Complex Commercial Disputes partner Joe Ortego, vice chair of the Litigation Department, co-wrote this contributed article on how companies should attorneys should respond when a client encounters a crisis. Click here to read the article.
Courtroom View Network | January 11, 2019
Nixon Peabody’s trial victory on behalf of client Daher-Socata has been selected as one of the 10 most impressive defense verdicts of 2018 by Courtroom View Network. Long Island Complex Commercial Disputes partner Joe Ortego led the NP team.
Daily Business Review | December 16, 2018
Long Island Complex Commercial Disputes partner Joe Ortego is mentioned in this article as part of the successful defense team for Daher-Socata Aerospace in a $15 million suit regarding the safety of its plane.
American Lawyer | November 20, 2018
This article quotes Long Island Complex Commercial Disputes partner Joe Ortego throughout and provides an in-depth look at the recent three-week jury trial in Broward County, Florida, where Nixon Peabody’s trial team helped secure a defense verdict for client Daher-Socata Aerospace.
Law360 | November 18, 2018
Long Island partner Joe Ortego, San Francisco partner Brian Dalrymple and Buffalo associate Erik Goergen, all of the Complex Commercial Disputes practice group, are mentioned in this story for securing a jury trial victory for Daher-Socata Aerospace in a complex, three-week trial in Florida.
Boston University School of Law, J.D.
Syracuse University, B.A., with honors
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
Joseph was honored as a 2021 Rainmaker by the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA).
Joe was selected, through a peer-review survey, for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2022 in the field of Product Liability Litigation—Defendants. Joseph has been listed in Best Lawyers since 2012.
Joe is also recognized by The Legal 500 United States 2021 editorial (as well as in previous years) in the area of Dispute resolution—Product liability, mass tort and class action: Toxic tort—Defense, and was identified as a Leading Lawyer for Industry focus—Transport: Aviation and air travel—Litigation. He was also recognized by Benchmark Litigation as a New York local litigation star and by 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’ 2015 and 2017 edition, Joe was among the top 100 lawyers.
Joe is also recognized as one of the top lawyers worldwide in Who’s Who Legal: Product Liability Defence 2020.
Joseph Ortego has dedicated substantial time to pro bono matters. He is the recipient of the New York State Bar Association – 2015 Empire State Counsel Honoree for providing legal services to low-income clients. In 2010 and 2012, Mr. Ortego was recognized by Nixon Peabody for contributing more than 100 hours of outstanding pro bono legal service by granting him the William Rodman Peabody Pro Bono Award. In 2004, he was recognized by Touro Law School with the Outstanding Pro Bono Attorney Award for his ongoing work on pro bono cases.