Joe Cohen’s practice focuses on handling the defense of catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases arising from allegations of products liability (including pharmaceuticals and medical devices), chemical and substance exposure, general negligence, and commercial litigation. He has successfully tried cases to verdict and engaged in extensive motion practice, including complex summary judgment issues and intricate challenges to experts in a variety of disciplines. Joe has handled matters in over 35 states and in multiple counties throughout the state of Texas.

Joe also provides individual representation to employees (current and former) of pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers in civil and criminal contexts, including U.S. Department of Justice and State Attorneys General investigations. In particular, Joe has extensive experience representing these individuals as defendants and non-party witnesses in lawsuits, and as Witnesses and Subjects in governmental investigations, including preparing and presenting individuals for proffers and before grand juries.  While Joe has represented these current and former employees across multiple divisions and at multiple levels within pharmaceutical and device companies, he has a particularly significant amount of experience representing individuals from the Sales and Marketing departments of those companies.

In addition to his products liability practice, Joe handles disputes related to fraud, deceptive trade practices, breach of contract, commercial and residential lease disputes, and copyright and trademark infringement, including the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA).

Honors & Recognitions

DRI Sheryl J. Willert Pioneer Diversity Award, 2019

Who's Who Legal: Product Liability Defence, Leading Practitioner, 2018 and 2019

Credentials

Education

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

B.A., Northwestern University, 1988

Admissions

Texas

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

United States District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Texas

Experience

Pharmaceuticals / Products Liability

  • Represented 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.
  • Represented a pharmaceutical manufacturer in a suit alleging Stevens-Johnson Syndrome: obtained summary judgment.
  • 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.
  • Represented a major pharmaceutical manufacturer involved in mass tort litigation: responsible for handling matters before a Rule 11 Pre-Trial Judge (for a region covering more than 30 of a state’s counties).
  • Represented fitting and valve manufacturers in products liability cases involving allegations of catastrophic injury.
  • Represented 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.
  • Represented a tire manufacturer in multiple wrongful death and personal injury suits filed throughout state relating to rollover accidents and product recall.

Other Litigation

  • Represented a peer-to-peer software developer against allegations of copyright infringement by the major record labels.
  • Represented numerous physicians, dentists and health care facilities in cases involving allegations of malpractice, including a successful jury trial of dental malpractice case.
  • Represented landowners and property managers in premises liability and lease dispute lawsuits, including successful jury and bench trials.
  • Represented various trucking companies in wrongful death and catastrophic injury lawsuits and claims.
  • Represented a major oil company in numerous contractual disputes with distributors and retail outlets throughout the country.
  • Represented an employer in an Age Discrimination in Employment Act suit, including participation in a trial that resulted in a directed verdict on behalf of the employer.

Newsroom

Speaking Engagements

  • "So, You’re Just a Sales Rep?" DRI Drug and Medical Device Seminar
    Speaking Engagement, 05.2019
  • "Critical Marketing Advertisement Issues for Product Manufacturers," DRI Products Liability Seminar
    Speaking Engagement, 02.2018
  • "The Defense Lawyer in 2025: Legal Trends that Impact Your Practice As Told Through Pecha Kucha," IADC Mid-Year Meeting
    Speaking Engagement, 02.2017
  • Speaking Engagement, 10.16.2015
  • "When Vigorous Advocacy Goes too Far," IADC Annual Meeting
    Speaking Engagement, 07.07.2015
  • "Technology Inside and Outside the Courtroom - Making Your Practice Mobile," Texas Association of Defense Counsel Annual Meeting
    Speaking Engagement, 09.26.2014

Affiliations

State Bar of Texas, Member

Houston Bar Association, Member

Texas Bar Foundation, Fellow

International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC)

Diversity and Inclusion Committee, Chair
CLE Committee, Member and 2021 Mid-Year Meeting Steering Committee Chair
Membership Committee, Immediate Past Chair 
Drug, Device, and Biotechnology Committee, Vice-Chair of Diversity (Former Vice-Chair of Membership)
2020 Mid-Year Meeting, Hospitality Chair
2017 Mid-Year Meeting, First-Timers Chair

DRI - The Voice of the Defense Bar, Member

Board of Directors (Former National Director)
Product Liability Committee, Steering Committee, Member (2015 Seminar Chair, Former E-Discovery SLG Chair and Newsletter Editor)
Drug and Medical Device Committee, Steering Committee and Seminar Planning Committee, Member
Data Management and Security Committee, Former Chair
Law in Transition Committee, Member
Technology Committee, Former Vice-Chair