Joseph I. Fontak - Of Counsel
Joe Fontak has extensive experience in a variety of litigation areas, including toxic tort, product liability, securities, commercial, real estate and insurance. Joe applies his mathematical and actuarial background to complex cases, including federal securities law cases involving pension fund allocations, improper accounting procedures and stock parking practices. He is admitted to practice before the state and federal courts of New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. He is the senior attorney in Leader & Berkon’s Philadelphia office.
Product liability/ toxic tort
Joe currently supervises attorneys and paralegals in the firm’s role as national coordinating counsel for an asbestos defendant with responsibility for the defense in jurisdictions around the country, as well as in the multi-district litigation pending in federal court in Philadelphia. Joe began his career at Leader & Berkon as a key member of the defense team for our client, a chemical manufacturer, in the IBM Semiconductor Litigation involving over 200 cancers and 50 birth defects in New York, California and Minnesota courts.
Joe obtained a favorable settlement for five plaintiffs in a suit against a large banking institution claiming they had been induced to participate in a private stock transaction through false and misleading statements. The bank settled the case at the Courthouse steps after losing motions to dismiss and for summary judgment. Joe’s recital of his planned opening statement in a pre-trial conference with the trial Judge and the bank’s in-house counsel convinced the bank to settle shortly before trial began. Joe has obtained summary judgment in numerous asbestos lawsuits pending in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. Joe has participated in trials in California, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. He was lead trial counsel of a Leader & Berkon trial team that obtained a favorable defense verdict following a one-week trial in a construction site personal injury case.
Joe is an active volunteer in community and alumni activities. He is President of Beth Chaim Men’s Club, in Princeton Junction, where he resides with his family. He is also a member of the executive committee of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law alumni association. He has been on the faculty of the Intensive Trial Advocacy Program at Cardozo for the past eight years.
- J.D., Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, law review, criminal law clinic (1991) (Magna Cum Laude)
- B.S., Binghamton University (1985)
- New York
- New Jersey
- Cardozo Law School Intensive Trial, Faculty
- Defense Research Institute
- New York State Bar Association
- American Bar Association
- New York Super Lawyers (2010-2013)