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J.D., cum laude, University of Houston Law Center, 1991

B.A., Northwestern University, 1988

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Texas

United States Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit

United States District Court Southern, Western, Northern and Eastern Districts of Texas

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Joe Cohen is a partner in the litigation practice group of Porter Hedges. His practice focuses on handling catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases arising from allegations of products liability (including pharmaceutical products), chemical and substance exposure, general negligence, and commercial litigation.  He also advises U. S. and foreign companies on privacy issues and regulations, blocking statutes, and jurisdictional challenges involved in trans-border litigation.  Joe also provides individual representation to employees (current and former) of pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers in both civil and criminal contexts.

In the commercial litigation area, Joe litigates various types of disputes including fraud, deceptive trade practices, securities fraud, breach of contract, copyright and trademark infringement (including the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA)), contract and lease disputes for property owners and fee-based management companies that lease residential and commercial properties, and non-compete litigation.  Joe has also handled suits related to medical malpractice, employment discrimination, and sexual harassment.

Joe has tried cases to verdict as both first and second chair counsel and has engaged in an extensive motion practice that has included complex summary judgment issues and intricate challenges to experts in a variety of disciplines. He has handled matters in over 35 states and in multiple counties throughout the state of Texas.

Joe is active in both DRI – The Voice of the Defense Bar and the International Association of Defense Counsel (“IADC”).  He is on the DRI Board of Directors, the steering committee for the Product Liability Committee, the steering committee and seminar planning committee for the Drug and Medical Device Committee, and the Law in Transition Committee.  Joe is also the Vice-Chair of the IADC Membership Committee, the Vice Chair of Internal CLE – Annual Meeting for the Drug, Device and Biotechnology Committee, and was the First Timers Chair for the 2017 Mid-Year Meeting.

In 2018, Joe was listed in Who's Who Legal: Product Liability Defence among the leading practitioners in his field.

Representative Experience

Pharmaceuticals/Products Liability

  • Represent major pharmaceutical manufacturers in lawsuits arising from the use of both prescription and over-the-counter medications alleged to have caused Stevens-Johnson Syndrome and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis, and resulting catastrophic injuries and death.
  • Represent fitting and valve manufacturers in products liability cases involving allegations of catastrophic injury.
  • Obtained summary judgment for pharmaceutical manufacturer in a suit alleging Stevens-Johnson Syndrome.
  • Represent and protect the interests of employees and former employees of large pharmaceutical companies in litigation.
  • Represented a major pharmaceutical manufacturer in multiple lawsuits arising from the use of two prescription drugs including participation in the management and supervision of the entire case docket.
  • Responsible for handling of matters before Rule 11 Pre-Trial Judge (for region of state covering more than 30 counties) on behalf of major pharmaceutical manufacturer involved in mass-tort litigation.
  • Represent multiple product manufacturers, employers and premises owners in cases arising out of chemical exposure and asbestos, including being a trial team member in multiple asbestos jury trials.

Additional Experience

  • Represented a peer-to-peer software developer against allegations of copyright infringement made by the major record labels.
  • Represented tire manufacturer in multiple wrongful death and personal injury suits filed throughout state relating to rollover accidents and product recall.
  • Represented plaintiffs in wrongful death suit arising out of 18-wheeler accident.
  • Represented numerous physicians, dentists and health care facilities in cases involving allegations of malpractice including successful jury trial of dental malpractice case.
  • Represent and counsel landowners and property managers in premises liability and lease dispute lawsuits including successful jury and bench trials.
  • Represented and counseled various trucking companies in wrongful death and catastrophic injury lawsuits and claims.
  • Represented major oil company in numerous contractual disputes with distributors and retail outlets throughout country.
  • Represented employer in handling of Age Discrimination in Employment Act suit including participation in trial that resulted in directed verdict on behalf of employer.
  • Represented employer in multiple sexual harassment suits and obtained dismissal with prejudice of one suit after proving that plaintiff had forged documents that she claimed supported her claim.
  • Represented insurer and claims administrator for a voluntary benefits plan subject to ERISA and obtained settlement for 1/10th of original demand given pending ruling on Motion for Summary Judgment.

Professional / Civic Affiliations

  • DRI—The Voice of the Defense Bar
    • Board of Directors (National Director)
    • former Data Management and Security Committee Chair
    • Product Liability Committee Steering Committee Member and former Seminar Chair, E-Discovery SLG Chair, and Newsletter Editor
    • Drug and Medical Device Steering Committee member, Seminar Planning Committee member, and Defense of Generics SLG Chair
    • Law in Transition Committee Member
    • former Technology Committee Vice-Chair
  • International Association of Defense Counsel
    • Membership Committee Vice-Chair
    • Drug, Device and Biotech Vice-Chair of Internal CLE - Annual Meeting
    • General Convention Committee—First-Timers Chair
  • Texas Association of Defense Counsel, Member 
  • State Bar of Texas, Member
  • Houston Bar Association, Member
  • Texas Bar Foundation, Fellow