A proven problem-solver, Joe represents clients in high-stakes commercial litigation with a focus on financial services, commercial lending, energy, construction, and the art world.
With significant experience in federal and state trial courts and arbitration proceedings, Joe is called upon by business leaders to handle their most sensitive matters. He has developed a long-term relationship with his clients by balancing an aggressive litigation posture with a sensitivity to controlling expenses and maximizing efficiency. Among his clients, Joe has represented one of the world’s leading auction houses for over a decade in a wide array of commercial disputes.
Before private practice, Joe worked as litigation counsel for a Fortune 25 financial services company, managing complex litigation nationwide. Having spent time as “the client,” he carries this perspective in every case he handles. In addition to battling adversaries in the courtroom, Joe's practice also includes advising corporate clients on ways to manage and control litigation risks, including oversight of internal investigations.
Any result the lawyer or law firm may have achieved on behalf of clients in other matters does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.
- Representation of renowned New York auction house for over a decade in fine art disputes concerning such issues as authenticity, title, attribution, provenance, fraud, deceptive practices, copyright, UCC compliance, consignment rights, and lending transactions.
- Representation of foreign state-owned gallery in action concerning stolen 11th-century bronze sculpture and continued counseling on provenance issues concerning antiquities.
- Representation of collectors in disputes over ownership and authenticity of fine art and cultural property, including Holocaust restitution claims and sales of fakes and forgeries.
- Representation of foreign state and museum seeking recovery of 16th-century volume of prints and drawings taken during World War II.
- Representation of financers and developers in disputes arising from energy projects in Latin America and Caribbean.
- Representation of renewable energy provider in arbitration brought against engineering firm for faulty design of pipeline that supplied steam to an assembly plant operated by General Motors.
- Representation of investor in Singapore arbitration before The International Chamber of Commerce in dispute over ownership of power plant located in Pakistan.
- Representation of leading North American manufacturer of fresh food and beverage packaging in wide range of commercial disputes throughout the country.
- Representation of corporate clients in internal investigations of executives and employees suspected of defrauding company, including issues related to phantom accounts and vendor fraud.
- Representation of Cayman Island entity in Delaware shareholder derivative dispute seeking majority control of Latin American food distributor.
- Representation of cookware manufacturer in California consumer class action alleging violations of Song-Beverly Credit Card Act.
- Representation of telecommunications company in New York class action alleging Federal Communications Act violations.
- Representation of real estate lender in multiple disputes arising from the finance, construction, operation, and management of a New York City hotel.
- Representation of senior secured creditor of bankrupt entity in malpractice action brought against entity’s accountants.
Honors & Awards
- Chambers High Net Worth Ranked Lawyer, Art and Cultural Property Law, USA – Nationwide, 2021-Present
- Super Lawyers Honoree, New York Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters), 2012-Present
- Top 100: New York – Metro Super Lawyers, 2014-2015
- Brooklyn Law School, Art Law Association, Alumnus of the Year, 2019
Professional & Civic Engagement
- New York State Bar Association
- New Jersey State Bar Association
- New York City Bar Association, Art Law Committee
- Emma’s Place, Staten Island Grief and Loss Center for Children and Families, Board of Directors; Chairman
- The Community School (Teaneck, NJ), Board of Trustees
- Speaker, Guest Conversation with Joe Patella, Center for Art Law, December 9, 2022
- Speaker, 13th Annual Art Law Institute: New Insights in Art Law, New York County Lawyers Association, October 21, 2021
- Featured Guest, Arts Attorneys, Joe Patella + Amelia Brankov (NYC, USA), The Wise Fool Art Podcast, July 15, 2021
- Speaker, Brooklyn Law School Art Law Association, Career Panel, November 29, 2018
- Speaker, Art as an Asset Class: Transactional Concerns for Art Market Participants, The Cardozo Art Law Society, March 6, 2018
- Speaker, Fraud in the Contemporary Art Market: The Lessons of the Knoedler and Johns Scandals hosted by the NYCBA, June 15, 2016
- Author, The Case of the ‘Not Right’ Basquiat, IFAR Journal, December 2013