Professional services clients rely on Joe’s sound advice in navigating regulatory investigations and high-stakes litigation.
Joe is a Chicago native but has called the Northwest "home" for over 35 years. His practice emphasizes complex civil litigation, including securities, commercial and tort litigation, as well as professional liability defense. Many of Joe's cases are investment related and he often represents professionals such as lawyers, accountants, brokers, officers and directors. He also represents those same professionals in regulatory investigations by the SEC, DOJ, IRS, FBI and their state counterparts. He has successfully represented lawyers and law firms in multi-million dollar professional negligence trials and securities related trials.
Joe has represented brokers and investors in numerous FINRA/NASD arbitrations. He also has represented clients in enforcement actions and investigations by SEC and state securities regulators.
Joe began his career as an enforcement staff attorney in the New York office of the SEC and gained trial experience as a deputy city attorney for the City of Portland trying tort and civil rights cases in both state and federal courts.
- Oregon State Bar
Uniform Securities Act Taskforce (2004-2006)
Federal Practice and Procedure Committee (1999-2002)
Securities Regulation Executive Committee (1998-2000)
Business Litigation Section Executive Committee (Chair-2009)
- American Bar Foundation (Fellow)
- American Bar Association
- Multnomah Bar Association
Professionalism Committee (Mentor)
- Multnomah County Library Advisory Board (2000-2008)
- PABD v. [Oregon lawyer].
Multnomah County (Oregon) Circuit Court No. 14-cv-16482. A legal malpractice action arising from a settlement – reached in mediation – of a breach of contract case. Damages of $2.5 million sought. Trial result: Defense verdict (November 2016).
- CNR Properties v. Equity Options.
Deschutes County (Oregon) Circuit Court No. 09 CV 0525. Defense of LLC counsel for alleged materially aiding securities violations as a result of his formation of LLC in which members were solicited for purchase of “basket of non-performing mortgage-backed notes” from Bear Stearns. Damages of over $2 million alleged. Trial result: Defense verdict (November 2011).
- Bean v. [Regional Law Firm].
Multnomah County (Oregon) Circuit Court No. 1002-01828. A legal malpractice action by a real estate developer over a failed condo conversion project in Las Vegas, Nevada. Trial result: Plaintiff verdict awarding damages of $7.8 million (June 2011).
- Miles v. [National law firm].
Multnomah County (Oregon) Circuit Court No. 0505-05395. A legal malpractice action regarding corporate merger. Lost profits of $8 million alleged. Trial result: Defense verdict (January 2007).
- Lay v. Shoes4work, Inc.
Multnomah County (Oregon) Circuit Court No. 0206-06081. Defense of start-up company and its CEO for alleged securities violations in connection with angel investor's equity and debt investments. Trial result: Defense verdict (April 2005).
- NuGenfx v. Viogenix.
Multnomah County Circuit Court No. 0304-04518. Defense of corporate counsel for alleged securities violations arising from asset sale agreement. Damages of $5 million alleged. Trial result: Defense verdict; company and its former CEO found liable (February 2005).
- Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund v. Simat, Heliesen & Eichner, et al.
191 OrApp 408, 83 P3d 350 (2004). Action for breaches of contracts, piercing the corporate veil and fraud in connection with the state retirement fund's $50 million investment in an airplane maintenance facility in Portland, Oregon. Trial court's $61 million judgment against client reversed on appeal; remanded solely for an award of attorney fees to client. Co-defendant's $34 million judgment affirmed.
- Pufahl v. [Oregon lawyer].
Multnomah County (Oregon) Circuit Court No. 9906-06414. A legal malpractice action involving the proper issuance and cancellation of stock pledged as collateral, and the steps needed to perfect a security interest in certificated stock. Trial result: Defense verdict (August 2000).
- Cargill v. Bunge.
USDC, Oregon, No. 98-303. An action for breach of contract warranties and fraud regarding the sale of an export grain elevator in Portland, Oregon. Damages of $6 million alleged. Trial result: Defense verdict (July 2000).
- Jorgensen v. TRW, Inc. and Experian Information Solutions, Inc.
USDC, Oregon, No. 96-286. Action against two credit-reporting services for violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act in connection with plaintiff's identity theft. Trial result: Defense verdict; co-defendant assessed $600,000 in damages (July 1999).
- In Re: Southern Pacific Funding Corporation Securities Litigation.
USDC, Oregon, 98-1239. Local counsel for international accounting firm in securities class action and in adversary proceedings in bankruptcy court.
- Estate of [ABC] v. [ABC] Forest Products, Inc.
Washington County (Oregon) Circuit Court No. C970631CV. Issues involved valuation of minority interests in closely-held company and claims of alleged breaches of contract and fiduciary duties under a stock purchase agreement. Arbitrated before the American Arbitration Association.
- Louisiana Pacific Securities Class Action Litigation.
USDC, Oregon, No. 95-707. Representation of former corporate officer in consolidated securities class action.
News & Insights
- Portland Business Journal (subscription required), 2.10.17
- GSB Deepens Litigation Team in Portland with Addition of Name Partner and Team from Kennedy Watts ArellanoGSB Newsroom, 1.3.17
- Panel DiscussionPortland, OR, 3.15.17
- The American College of Trial Lawyers Journal, Spring 2017
- New York
U.S. District Court, District of Oregon
U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
U.S. Supreme Court
Northwestern School of Law of Lewis & Clark College, J.D. 1978
DePaul University, B.A., 1975
Honors | Recognitions
- American College of Trial Lawyers (Fellow)
Chair, Oregon State Committee (2014-2016)
Vice Chair, Attorney-Client Relations Committee (2015-present)
- Best Lawyers - 2016 Lawyer of the Year, Securities Litigation, Portland, OR
- Best Lawyers in America (Commercial Litigation, Regulatory Enforcement (SEC) and Securities Litigation)
- Chambers USA Client's Guide to America's Leading Lawyers for Business (Business Litigation)