Joseph P. Esposito

  • Washington, DC

Joe’s practice focuses on complex business litigation.

Joe’s trial experience includes:

  • a jury trial in the Eastern District of Virginia “Rocket Docket” between competitors in the student loan industry;
  • a patent infringement jury trial in New Jersey concerning memory chips, which was named to the National Law Journal’s 2007 Defense Hot List;
  • a customs fraud jury trial in the Court of International Trade concerning rebates for imported surgical instruments;
  • an antitrust suit in Iowa involving high fructose corn syrup; and
  • a corporate tax case in the US Tax Court regarding depreciation of equipment in the steel industry.

Joe’s experience also includes an employment discrimination jury trial in the Southern District of New York; a partnership fraud and accounting trial in Roanoke, Virginia; and a breach of fiduciary duty/legal malpractice trial in Fairfax, Virginia.

He is a member of the American Law Institute, and has been named to Super Lawyers Washington, DC in 2014, 2015, 2016. Joe has served as an Adjunct Professor at the George Mason University School of Law.

Joe has been recognized by Chambers USA for Litigation (Band 3): General Commercial (District of Columbia), 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. Chambers USA has described him as “meticulous in meeting client expectations” (2010), and as “very responsive, innovative, and tactical in his strategy” (2011). Chambers USA 2012 noted that Joe “consistently provides practical and workable advice where there is a risk of litigation and resolves disputes quickly and efficiently when it is possible to do so.” Further, he is “able to represent a company’s interests while also remaining sensitive to business factors and resolutions.” According to Chambers USA 2013, Joe is “hard-working, insightful, organized and very good at executing a strategy.” “Lauded by clients for being ‘extremely attentive, approachable and thorough’” (Chambers USA 2014), Joe has also been “praised by clients for his ability to ‘take the time to understand our business and our interests’” (2013). Chambers USA 2015 observed that Joe is “applauded for his skill in ‘making the litigation process manageable and human.’” Further, “[c]lients hold him in high regard, noting that he is ‘a winner and is very personable.’”

Prior to entering private practice, Joe clerked first for the Hon. Phil M. McNagny, Jr., of the US District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, and then for the Hon. Paul C. Weick, of the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He practiced on Wall Street before moving to Washington.

Joe has spoken before the Association of Corporate Counsel, National Capital Region (formerly WMACCA) on such topics as expert witnesses, litigation management, the defense of major cases in the Eastern District of Virginia and, most recently “When Litigation Darkens The Door to the C-Suite”; before the Legal Affairs Committee of the National Council of Higher Education Loan Resources (NCHER) on topics including electronic discovery and legal ethics; before the Corporate Counsel Committee of the ABA Section of Litigation; at the ABA TIPS 2013 Spring Meeting on ethics issues concerning expert witnesses; before the New York branch of the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA) on tuition clawbacks; and at the American Conference Institute's National Conference on Consumer Finance Class Actions and Litigation. He organized and moderated programs on mediation for both the ABA Dispute Resolution Section and the DC Bar. He has served on the faculty of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, and has lectured on civil trials for the Institute for US Law. And he serves on the volunteer mediator panel for the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Joe coordinates Hunton’s Litigation Skills Training Program. He co-chaired the Washington office Pro Bono Committee for several years.

Joe is admitted to practice before the US Supreme Court, the US Courts of Appeals for the Second, Fourth, Sixth, Seventh, Eleventh, DC and Federal Circuits; the US District Courts for the District of Columbia, District of Maryland, Eastern and Southern Districts of New York, and the Southern District of Texas; and the US Tax Court.

Relevant Experience

  • Defended a borrower class action in the Central District of California involving loan interest methodology and late fees. 
  • Represented a multi-state company in a state corporate income tax refund action in the North Carolina Business Court. 
  • Prepared amicus briefs to the Seventh Circuit and the Supreme Court in a case involving collection costs for student loans.
  • Defended a newspaper in a lender liability action brought as an adversary proceeding in bankruptcy court in Virginia. 
  • Litigated a securities and derivative action in Texas involving a health care company. 
  • Represented a scientific organization in the Eastern District of New York and the Second Circuit in a suit attacking a report the organization published. 
  • Handled litigation in the Southern District of New York arising under the successor obligor provisions of an indenture agreement. 
  • Represented a major retailer in a subsidence case in West Virginia.
  • Defended a temporary restraining order in a Lanham Act case in Maryland involving country of origin issues, and argued the appeal on an issue of first impression in the 4th Circuit. 
  • Litigated a registration rights agreement in state court in Delaware. 
  • Handled a breach of warranty case in New York state court involving the purchase of a business. 
  • Defended the national secondary market for student loans in class actions filed in Texas and Georgia, including two appeals to the 11th Circuit. 
  • Represented a real estate investment trust in an adversary proceeding in bankruptcy court in Maryland concerning whether a loan was secured or unsecured. 
  • Asserted the California Anti-SLAPP statute to defend a scientific publication. 
  • Handled a baseball memorabilia partnership dispute on behalf of a Hall of Fame baseball player in Florida. 
  • Litigated a public accommodations discrimination action involving the car rental industry in Washington, DC, and an Americans With Disabilities Act public accommodations claim involving financial services in the Eastern District of New York. 
  • Defended, pro bono, two college journalists in a defamation action in the Eastern District of Virginia. 
  • Developed the damages defense in an arbitration involving real estate investments and carried interests. 
  • Litigated internet defamation cases, toxic tort cases, and employment discrimination class actions.
  • Handled various cases involving shopping centers.