Joel focuses his practice on securities litigation, including class actions, shareholder derivative cases and corporate control litigation, as well as SEC enforcement proceedings and corporate internal investigations. He also has substantial experience litigating complex commercial cases. He has twice served as co-chair of the firm’s global Securities Litigation, Enforcement, and White Collar Defense Group. Joel regularly represents public companies, their officers, directors and board committees in cases before trial and appellate courts throughout the country, and in mediation to facilitate settlement. He defends clients across a diverse range of industries, including financial services, real estate, life sciences, technology and consumer products, and has extensive experience advising foreign-based companies, particularly in China, Japan, Israel, Canada, and Bermuda, in connection with securities and compliance issues related to their cross-border and U.S. operations. He also is frequently called upon by boards and senior executives to advise on directors’ and officers’ (D&O) insurance issues.
A frequent author and lecturer on topics involving securities litigation as well as arbitration and mediation, Joel is recognized as a thought leader in his field.
In addition, Joel has extensive experience litigating religious rights cases, particularly under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). He served as lead trial counsel for the Westchester Day School in its landmark litigation against the Village of Mamaroneck and its Zoning Board of Appeals under RLUIPA, and he successfully defended the USTA in a religious discrimination lawsuit.
Securities Class Actions/Individual Cases
- Co-led the defense on behalf of 300 issuers and over 1,000 individual defendants in the “IPO Allocation” securities class actions – perhaps the largest collection of securities class actions ever brought.
- Won dismissal of all claims against Etsy, Inc. and its officers and directors in a shareholder class action in federal court in New York. The Second Circuit affirmed the district court’s dismissal.
- Won dismissal of all claims against the former CEO and CFO of Nortel Networks in a shareholder class action in federal court in New York.
- Won dismissal of all claims against Cirrus Logic, Inc. and its officers and directors in a shareholder class action in federal court in New York.
- Represented public companies and their officers and directors in shareholder class actions in federal and state courts throughout the country, including Blackberry, Argus Group, ATC Healthcare, Pharmos Corp., Qiao Xing, and LJ International.
- Represented former Bear Stearns employees in civil securities cases and regulatory matters relating to Bear Stearns’ residential mortgage-backed securities business.
- Won dismissal of all claims against Yahoo! subsidiary Flurry and its CEO in a shareholder case concerning the value of Flurry’s stock (non-public at the time) prior to its acquisition by Yahoo!
- Represented ResCap LLC in successfully settling billions of dollars of residential mortgage backed securities claims (and more than two dozen securities cases) as part of ResCap’s bankruptcy proceedings.
- Represented Hong Kong affiliate of a Big Four auditor in defense of claims arising out of a bond offering by a Canadian public company.
- Won dismissal of all claims against an investment firm and its principals in securities litigation arising from a PIPE transaction involving equity and interest rate swaps.
- Represented Chinese individuals in insider trading case brought by the SEC alleging trading in the securities of Nexen Inc. while in possession of nonpublic information about an impending announcement of Nexen’s acquisition by China-based CNOOC Ltd.
Shareholder Derivative Litigation
- Represented public companies and their officers and directors in shareholder derivative cases in federal and state courts throughout the country, including Yahoo!, Capital One, Cirrus Logic, Hospitality Investors Trust, Vringo, Eclispys, and LJ International.
- Representing Array Photonics in a Delaware Chancery Court case against its former CEO and sole director for breaches of fiduciary duty. Array is owned by an investment vehicle of a Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund.
- Represented MedEquities Realty Trust, Inc. and its board in connection with MedEquities’ $600 million acquisition by Omega Healthcare Investors, Inc.
- Represented Education Realty Trust, Inc. and its board in connection with EdR’s $4.6 billion acquisition by Greystar Real Estate Partners.
- Represented Evercore Group as financial advisor to ExamWorks Group, Inc. in connection with ExamWork's $2.2 billion acquisition by an affiliate of private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners.
- Represented Ducera Securities as financial advisor to Monsanto Company in connection with Monsanto's $66 billion acquisition by Bayer Aktiengesellschaft.
- Represented Astellas Pharma in connection with its $4 billion acquisition of OSI Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
- Represented Yahoo! in connection with its $270 million acquisition of Interclick, Inc.
- Represented NTT DATA in connection with its $200 million acquisition of Intelligroup, Inc.
- Represented SBI Holdings in litigation to compel Acucela, Inc. to hold a special shareholders meeting to vote to replace board members with SBI nominees.
RLUIPA / Religious Rights Cases
- Served as lead trial counsel and secured a landmark victory in the S.D.N.Y. on behalf of pro bono client Westchester Day School against the Village of Mamaroneck and its Zoning Board of Appeals for violation of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) in its denial of the school’s special permit to expand its facilities. Also successfully argued the appeal in the Second Circuit.
- Successfully represented Jewish inmate in Virginia state prison in RLUIPA litigation in the Western District of Virginia, for failing provide the prisoner with kosher food.
- Filed amicus brief in Supreme Court of the United States in Holt v. Hobbs, in support of an Arkansas inmate who was denied the ability to grow a half-inch beard in accordance with his Muslim faith.
- Filed amicus brief in United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Rich v. Secretary, Florida Department of Corrections in support of successful kosher diet litigation against the Florida prison system.
- Successfully defended the United States Tennis Association (USTA) in SDNY litigation relating to the 2014 Eastern Sectional Championships.
- Successfully represented Jewish inmate in Connecticut state prison in RLUIPA litigation in the District of Connecticut for failing to provide the prisoner with kosher food for Passover.
- Representing an international AmLaw 100 law firm in a legal malpractice case.
- Representing Bovis Lendlease in construction litigation arising out of the demolition of the Deutsche Bank Building at 130 Liberty Street that was damaged in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
- Represented Bermuda insurance company in litigation with deferred variable annuity policyholder relating to premium account investment loses.
- Represented Israeli pharmaceutical company in dispute with U.S.-based joint venture partner.
- Represented Australian sunless tanning company in litigation with U.S. competitor.
- Represented investment bank in dispute over fees for M&A services.
- Represented real estate brokerage firm in litigation alleging that it convinced a client to lease more space than it needed based on assurances that it would find subtenants for the excess space.
- Represented broker dealer in disputes with competitors over poaching allegations.
- Represented Unilever, Guittard Chocolate, Sun Products, Iovate Health, and Inko’s Tea in consumer class actions alleging deceptive sales and marketing practices.