Joel focuses his practice on securities litigation, including class actions, shareholder derivative cases, and corporate control litigation, as well as U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (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 and 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 and he has extensive experience advising foreign-based companies in connection with securities and compliance issues related to their cross-border and U.S. operations.
Joel works closely with the firm’s Business & Finance Department lawyers advising clients on corporate and securities transactions. He is also frequently called upon by boards and senior executives to advise on directors’ and officers’ (D&O) insurance coverage.
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 United States Tennis Association (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.
- 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.
- Won dismissal of all claims against Yahoo! subsidiary Flurry and its CEO in a shareholder case concerning the value of Flurry’s stock prior to its acquisition by Yahoo!.
- Represented former Bear Stearns employees in civil securities cases and regulatory matters relating to Bear Stearns’ residential mortgage-backed securities business.
- Represented ResCap LLC in successfully settling billions of dollars of residential mortgage-backed securities claims in 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 an 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
- 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 the independent directors of Hospitality Investors Trust in the Southern District of New York in shareholder derivative litigation and a related corporate internal investigation.
- 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, Vringo, Eclipsys, and LJ International.
- Representing Education Realty Trust, Inc. (EdR) and its board in connection with EdR’s $4.6 billion acquisition by Greystar Real Estate Partners.
- Represented MedEquities Realty Trust, Inc. and its board in connection with MedEquities’ $600 million acquisition by Omega Healthcare Investors, Inc.
- Represented Evercore Group as financial advisor to ExamWorks Group, Inc. in connection with Exam Work’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 Southern District of New York on behalf of the Westchester Day School, against the Village of Mamaroneck and its Zoning Board of Appeals for violating 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 an inmate in a Connecticut state prison in RLUIPA litigation in the District of Connecticut for failing to provide the prisoner with kosher food for Passover.
- Successfully represented an inmate in a Virginia state prison in RLUIPA litigation in the Western District of Virginia for failing provide the prisoner with kosher food.
- Filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court of the United States in Holt v. Hobbs in support of an Arkansas inmate who was denied the ability to grow a beard in accordance with his Muslim faith.
- Filed an 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 USTA in religious discrimination litigation in the Southern District of New York relating to the 2014 Eastern Sectional Championships.
- Representing an international AmLaw 100 law firm in a legal malpractice case.
- Representing CIBC, Inc. in commercial real estate foreclosure cases.
- Represented an affiliate of The Related Companies in litigating the reasonableness of a UCC foreclosure sale of an equitable interest in a limited liability company that indirectly owns self-storage facilities located across the United States.
- Represented Bovis Lendlease in 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 a Bermuda insurance company in litigation with deferred variable annuity policyholders relating to premium account investment losses.
- Represented an Israeli pharmaceutical company in a dispute with a U.S.-based joint venture partner.
- Represented an investment bank in a dispute over fees for M&A services.
- Represented broker dealers in litigation 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.