Joe Cohen Receives DRI Sheryl J. Willert Pioneer Diversity Award


Joe Cohen has been selected as the 2019 recipient of the DRI Sheryl J. Willert Pioneer Diversity Award.  The award honors an individual DRI member in a law firm or corporation who has demonstrated that he or she embraces, celebrates and applies inclusion and participation of a diverse people whereby the legal profession, community and society is a better place in which to live and work.

Founded as the Defense Research Institute in 1960, DRI is a leading organization of defense attorneys and in-house counsel.  It is the largest international membership organization of attorneys defending the interests of business and individuals in civil litigation.

Joe is a partner in the Houston office of Porter Hedges. His practice focuses on handling catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases arising from allegations of products liability (including pharmaceuticals).  He also provides individual representation to current and former employees of pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers in both civil and criminal contexts.  He is also a member of the firm’s Diversity Committee. 

Joe has been active for several years in DRI and currently serves as a National Director on the DRI Board of Directors. Prior to Joe’s election to the Board, he completed his service as chair of the Data Management and Security Committee. He currently serves as a steering committee member of the Product Liability Committee, a steering committee member and seminar planning committee member of the Drug and Medical Device Committee, and a Law in Transition Committee Member. He also served as the Program Chair for the Product Liability Committee’s annual seminar in 2015.

In the International Association of Defense Counsel, Joe currently serves as the Chair of the Membership Committee, the Vice-Chair of Diversity for the Drug, Device, and Biotechnology Committee, and the Co-Vice-Chair of Member Involvement for the Diversity and Inclusion Committee.  He will become the Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee following this year’s Annual Meeting.  In the past, he has also served as the Vice-Chair of Internal CLE – Annual Meeting and the Vice-Chair of Membership for the Drug, Device and Biotechnology Committee, and as the First Timers Chair for the 2017 Mid-Year Meeting.