Chair of Ulmer & Berne’s Life Sciences Group, Joe is one of the nation’s leading advocates in class-action, multi-district, and mass-tort litigation involving drugs and medical devices. He has served as national defense counsel in numerous high-impact mass tort litigations, including those involving fen/phen, ephedra, ADHD medications, hormone replacement therapy, fentanyl patches, propoxyphene, isotretinoin, metoclopramide, antidepressants, oral contraceptives, and the New England Compounding Pharmacy, among others.
In the 1990s, he conceived the legal argument for holding makers of generic pharmaceuticals immune from failure-to-warn suits on a preemption theory ultimately recognized by the Supreme Court in the landmark PLIVA Inc. v. Mensing litigation, in which Joe represented PLIVA. His tireless advocacy on that issue “transformed the landscape of litigation against the pharmaceutical industry,” The American Lawyer said in the course of naming Joe its Appellate Litigator of the Week, and is characteristic of his pioneering work for pharmaceutical interests.
Joe’s unique background – as a licensed pharmacist, a member of the patent bar, an author of peer-reviewed scientific literature, and clinical researcher – gives him a deep understanding of the science behind his clients’ work. Together with his litigation skills, it has won him consistent recognition from clients and peers, including being named annually to The Best Lawyers in America, as a “State Litigation Star” in Ohio by Benchmark Litigation, and previous designations such as MEDMARC’s Defense Attorney of the Year and Best Lawyers® Product Liability Litigation – Defendants “Lawyer of the Year” in Cincinnati.
(B. Pharm., 1980)
(Pharm. D., 1982)
(J.D., cum laude, 1988)
OTHER PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE