Joanna Piorek Partner



Joanna Piorek has represented businesses and professionals for nearly 20 years in resolving current disputes and preventing future ones via risk management counseling.

Joanna defends lawyers, accountants, financial advisors, brokers, architects and engineers, among other construction professionals, in state and federal trial and appellate courts and before regulatory and administrative bodies addressing ethical and professional conduct charges. In addition to her professional liability practice, Joanna represents businesses and their owners/directors in commercial disputes and shareholder claims. In her employment practice, she defends employers in discrimination, labor and ERISA claims; conducts investigations‘ and provides risk management counseling in addition to policy drafting and guidance.

Joanna approaches every client and every case as if it were the only one because she understands that is precisely how her clients view the situation. Each matter is distinctive as is its resolution. In every instance and for every client, Joanna exhibits a profound sensitivity to the concerns that go beyond the details of a given claim. Her focus is not only to successfully resolve the given issue or dispute but also to maintain her client’s business and professional reputation and future industry goals.

In addition to her legal practice, Joanna leads her office mentoring program, conducting educational and social events for associates and of counsel in her office. Joanna also has the honor of serving as her office’s WAVE (Women Attorneys Valued & Empowered) representative, holding meetings and events to support and foster the professional growth of women attorneys at the firm.

In addition, by appointment from the New Jersey Supreme Court, Joanna serves on the District XA Ethics Committee wherein she conducts investigations regarding complaints asserted against attorneys and prosecutes those complaints if appropriate.

Through her involvement with the Polish Consulate in New York, and building on her Polish heritage, Joanna supports and promotes the development and furtherance of Polish-American business and cultural relationships. She is a member of the Kosciusko Foundation and the Central European Business Association.

Areas of Focus

Lawyers Liability
Capitalizing on the fact that she stands in the shoes of her lawyer clients, when defending a fellow lawyer Joanna approaches the matter with the big picture understanding that such representation demands assurance of a big picture successful result. As most legal malpractice matters involve the “redo” of the underlying matter or transaction, Joanna’s experience ranges from general liability claims to real estate transactions to matrimonial matters to contentious estate litigations to complex business ventures gone awry. However, when defending against a particular claim, Joanna’s experience in handling ethics matters has made her all too aware of the potential repercussions of an ethical complaint that can destroy reputations and careers. Consequently, she defends her clients passionately while keeping their professional integrity and business secure.

Professional Liability
In her representation of professionals such as financial advisors, accountants and actuaries, along with insurance brokers, Joanna litigates high-exposure matters stemming from failed joint ventures, investments, pension plan administration and coverage issues. In each instance, Joanna is sensitive to the fact that for her client it is not just the matter of someone making a claim against them, rather, it is someone seeking to mar their professional reputation and future business development.

Employment Practices Liability
Joanna’s EPL experience originated from assisting then Dean Charles A. Sullivan of Seton Hall Law School in updating the “Cases and Materials in Employment Discrimination” casebook. She has since conducted internal employer investigations concerning discriminatory conduct and other management malfeasance/nonfeasance claims as well as questions of ethical violations. In addition to risk management counseling, she defends employers in varied discrimination and employment -related claims in court as well as before administrative agencies.

Commercial & Business Dispute Litigation
Joanna represents businesses and not-for-profits, as well as their owners, boards, members, directors and officers in commercial litigation and in internal disputes before administrative bodies and in court. Be it resolving a breach of contract claim, negotiating a new contract or addressing business dissolution associated allegations and/or shareholder/partnership disputes, Joanna’s litigation and resolution plan is one she develops with her client to ensure the client’s long-term needs are addressed and protected beyond the given dispute.

Joanna’s construction defect experience includes commercial buildings, urban residential condominium buildings and suburban townhome complexes as well as private single-dwelling residences, where the claims range from architectural or engineering design defects to defective use or installation claims, to manufacturing defects.

ERISA Coverage / Mental Health
Joanna is well versed in litigating claims for health and mental health benefits, be they under auspices of ERISA or applicable state law.

Representative Matters

Represented accountant in malpractice action for a $30 million loss stemming from a failed joint venture – successfully prevailed on dismissal of all claims on summary judgment.

Represented law firm in approximately twenty individual lawsuits involving claims of fraud, misrepresentation and malpractice in a sub-prime refinance scheme – successfully resolved via global settlement at negligible amount per plaintiff.

Represented lawyer involved in thirty plus real estate flip transactions – negotiated favorable global settlement without any ethical impact.

Represented contractor in commercial building defect claim – successfully negotiated dismissal of all claims.