Joseph E. Hopkins


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Practice Areas

  • Commercial Litigation/Arbitration
  • Bodily Injury Defense
  • Insurance Recovery

Joe is a partner in our New York office. He has extensive litigation experience in both individual and class actions, including matters involving the defense of personal injury claims, consumer fraud claims, alleged mass torts such as toxic tort product liability actions, and fighting for policyholders for insurance coverage. He brings his extensive attention to detail, dogged dedication, and passion to every matter he handles. Joe also has prosecuted and defended numerous commercial disputes in both arbitrations and litigation matters in federal and state courts. He has prepared complex scientific, medical, liability, and damages defenses throughout his career relating to such issues as dust and chemical exposures, pharmaceutical product claims, cancer pathology, contract disputes, and governmental and private entity immunities. He has defended companies in many industries, including pharmaceuticals, chemicals, telecommunications, construction, a large municipality, and numerous manufacturers.

For over eight years in state and federal courts, Joe led a team of over 20 lawyers defending a sizeable metropolitan municipality and more than 150 contractors and subcontractors regarding personal injury allegations in hundreds of individual lawsuits related to rescue, recovery, debris removal, and cleanup operations following a terrorist attack. Those actions ultimately were resolved in a comprehensive and complex settlement valued at more than $620 million.

Joe also has overseen the defense of a medical services provider against a purported class action in federal court (and in related federal multi-district litigation) seeking damages for claimed corporate negligence regarding injuries and deaths allegedly resulting from the use of a prescription medical device. After extensive briefing and a multi-day hearing (involving Joe’s direct and cross-examination of medical expert witnesses), he and his team defeated the class certification motion.

Also, Joe managed a team defending a major chemical manufacturer in a New Jersey state court action brought by a worker injured while unloading a chemical from a railway car who alleged failure-to-warn claims under product stewardship and other theories. The case settled for a nominal amount during a jury trial.

Working with a team of other Pellis Law Group attorneys, Joe defended an international chemical processor in a Texas state court action brought by a railroad employee injured on the processor’s premises. Joe also successfully defended a cell phone services provider in a wrongful death action alleging brain cancer related to use of cellular phones, a significant tax services provider in several federal actions brought by individuals seeking class certification based on claimed violations of Telephone Consumer Protection Act provisions, and individual physicians in a multi-million dollar arbitration with a regional medical center regarding numerous alleged breaches of contract.

Continuing his oversight and management of large and complex defenses, he handled the defense of three separate consumer fraud class actions brought against several major telecommunications companies in state and federal courts. A national settlement resolved all actions before trial. Joe also had principal responsibility for the defense of a major pharmaceutical manufacturer regarding pharmaceutical product liability actions in state and federal courts in New York and Ohio involving hundreds of plaintiffs and hundreds of codefendant pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors. Bringing an injunction action in New Jersey state court, Joe (with other PLG attorneys) obtained injunctive relief enjoining a raw materials processing corporation’s former executive from engaging in improper competition in violation of a written agreement.

Working for several years as a legal assistant in Washington, D.C., before entering law school, Joe declined an invitation to become a Foreign Service Officer with the United States Department of State to pursue a legal career. Joe’s commitment to the “rule of law” and his deep conviction that words and facts matter have been mainstays of his zealous work on behalf of every client. He is an avid mentor to younger lawyers and relishes every opportunity to be “on his feet” arguing cases before judges and juries. He has worked as an associate in a large regional firm and as an associate, counsel, and partner in large international firms.

Columbus School of Law, The Catholic University of America, J.D.
Georgetown University, B.S.F.S.

District of Columbia
New Jersey
New York
U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

Professional Membership

American Bar Association
New York State Bar Association
New Jersey State Bar Association

Community Organizations and Involvement

Board of Trustees, New City Free Library (2003-2008)
Member, Board of Advisors, New Jersey Office of the Child Advocate (2005-2007)
Former Barrister, William J. Brennan, Jr. Chapter of the Essex Inns of Court