Joe is the Founder of WeissLaw LLP and oversees virtually all of the firm’s litigation, taking an active role in case analysis, the drafting of pleadings and briefs, oral arguments, mediations and settlement negotiations. He has been recognized by courts throughout the nation as one of the leading practitioners representing investors in securities class and derivative litigation. Moreover, he has earned the respect of his peers and adversaries as possessing the highest professional standards and outstanding legal acumen. In fact, he has been recognized in the Class Action category of New York Super Lawyers. The firm has consistently ranked as amongst the leading plaintiffs law firms in the United States.
Mr. Weiss is a 1972 graduate of Columbia University Law School, where he was an editor of the Law Review. He is also a 1972 graduate of Columbia University Graduate School of Business from which he obtained a Masters in Business Administration. Mr. Weiss is a member of the Bar of the State of New York and is admitted to practice in the Southern District of New York, the Eastern District of New York, the Courts of Appeal for the First, Second, Third, Fifth, Ninth and Federal Circuits, and has been admitted to practice in numerous other federal and state courts.
Among the more prominent of Mr. Weiss’ cases is Jordan v. California Department of Motor Vehicles, No. 95 AS 03903 (Sacramento, Cal.), where the firm recovered $665 million – payment in full plus interest – on behalf of motorists who paid a “smog impact fee.” Mr. Weiss also recovered $42 million in cash for Apria investors after more than four years of vigorous litigation regarding a sophisticated accounting fraud (In re Apria Healthcare Group Securities Litigation, No. 797060) in California Superior Court.
Mr. Weiss has been involved in the litigation of numerous other cases of national stature such as In re Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 02 cv 6273 (JES) and In re Global Crossing, Ltd. Securities and “ERISA” Litigation, No. 02 cv 910 (GEL), both in the Southern District of New York. He has also spearheaded derivative litigations on behalf of his clients aimed at reforming corporate malfeasance, breaches of fiduciary duties and other wrongdoing by the boards of some of the largest corporations in the world, including Hewlett Packard Company (In re Hewlett-Packard Company Derivative Litigation, C.A. No. 2428 (VCN), Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware), BP p.l.c. (In re BP p.l.c. Derivative Litigation, No. 06 cv 6168 (HB), Southern District of New York), Royal Dutch Shell (Soojian et al. v. Jacobs et al. f/b/o Royal Dutch Petroleum Company, No. 04 cv 03603, District of New Jersey), The Bank of New York (Zucker v. Bacon et al. f/b/o The Bank of New York Company Inc., No. 00/106275, New York County Supreme Court) and Freddie Mac (Sadowsky Testamentary Trust v. Brendsel et al. f/b/o Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, No. 05 cv 2596, Southern District of New York).
The firm led by Joseph Weiss has also taken a lead in prosecuting market timing and secret revenue sharing cases. A prime example is the class action against Edward Jones and certain other defendants, alleging violations of federal securities laws and state laws by secret receipt of revenue sharing payments in exchange for selling Preferred Funds to their clients, while misleading them about the payments. (Spahn v. Edward D. Jones & Co., et al., No. 04 cv 00086, District of Missouri). As a result of the litigation, a recovery valued at $127.5 million was obtained for the class, more than 40% of the maximum recoverable damages.
Mr. Weiss is active in community, educational and philanthropic causes and is a member of the International Board of Governors of the Mesorah Heritage Foundation.