Joel H. Bernstein
With nearly four decades of experience in complex litigation, Joel H. Bernstein’s practice focuses on the protection of victimized individuals. Joel advises large public and labor pension funds, banks, mutual funds, insurance companies, hedge funds, and other institutional and individual investors with respect to securities-related litigation in the federal and state courts, as well as in arbitration proceedings before the NYSE, FINRA, and other self-regulatory organizations. His experience in the area of representing plaintiffs in complex litigation has resulted in the recovery of more than a billion dollars in damages to wronged class members.
For several years Joel led the Firm’s Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities team, a group of more than 20 legal professionals representing large domestic and foreign institutional investors in 75 individual litigations involving billions of dollars lost in fraudulently marketed investments at the center of the subprime crisis and has successfully recovered hundreds of millions of dollars on their behalf thus far. He also currently serves as lead counsel in class actions, including In re NII Holdings, Inc. Securities Litigation, Norfolk County Retirement System v. Solazyme, Inc., and In re Facebook Biometric Information Privacy Litigation.
Joel recently led the team that secured a $265 million all-cash settlement for a class of investors in In re Massey Energy Co. Securities Litigation, a matter that stemmed from the 2010 mining disaster at the company’s Upper Big Branch coal mine. Joel also led the team that achieved a $120 million recovery with one of the largest global providers of products and services for the oil and gas industry, Weatherford International in 2015. As lead counsel for one of the most prototypical cases arising from the financial crisis, In re Countrywide Corporation Securities Litigation, he obtained a settlement of $624 million for co-lead plaintiffs, New York State Common Retirement Fund and the New York City Pension Funds.
In the past, Joel has played a central role in numerous high profile cases, including In re Paine Webber Incorporated Limited Partnerships Litigation ($200 million settlement); In re Prudential Securities Incorporated Limited Partnerships Litigation ($130 million settlement); In re Prudential Bache Energy Income Partnerships Securities Litigation ($91 million settlement); Shea v. New York Life Insurance Company ($92 million settlement); and Saunders et al. v. Gardner ($10 million—the largest punitive damage award in the history of NASD Arbitration at that time). In addition, Joel was instrumental in securing a $117.5 million settlement in In re Mercury Interactive Securities Litigation, the largest settlement at the time in a securities fraud litigation based upon options backdating. He also has litigated cases which arose out of deceptive practices by custodial banks relating to certain foreign currency transactions.
Joel has been recommended by The Legal 500 in the field of Securities Litigation, where he was described by sources as a “formidable adversary,” and by Benchmark Litigation as a Securities Litigation Star. He was also featured in The AmLaw Litigation Daily as Litigator of the Week for his work on In re Countrywide Financial Corporation Securities Litigation. Joel has received a rating of AV Preeminent from the publishers of the Martindale-Hubbell directory.
In addition to his active legal practice, Joel co-leads Labaton Sucharow’s Securities Arbitration pro bono project in collaboration with Brooklyn Law School where he serves as an adjunct professor. Together with Labaton Sucharow partner Mark Arisohn, firm associates, and Brooklyn Law School students, he represents aggrieved and defrauded individual investors who cannot otherwise afford to pay for legal counsel in financial industry arbitration matters against investment advisors and stockbrokers.
As a recognized leader in his field, Joel is frequently sought out by the press to comment on legal matters and has also authored numerous articles and lectured on related issues. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, the New York County Lawyers’ Association, and the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association (PIABA).
Brooklyn Law School
Member, Moot Court Honor Society
Settled | Resolved Cases
- In re Adelphia Communications Corporation Securities Litigation
- Construction Laborers Pension Trust of Greater St. Louis v. Autoliv, Inc.
- In re Countrywide Securities Litigation
- Freedman v. Weatherford International, Ltd.
- In Re Phoenix Leasing Limited Partnership Litigation
- In re Massey Energy Co. Securities Litigation
- In re Mercury Interactive Securities Litigation
- In re NII Holdings, Inc. Securities Litigation
- In re Prudential Bache Energy Income Partnerships
- In re Prudential Securities Incorporated Limited Partnerships Litigation
- In re Regions Morgan Keegan Closed-End Fund Litigation
1976, New York
2007, U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Appeals
2004, First Circuit
1982, Second Circuit
1993, Third Circuit
2015, Fourth Circuit
2015, Fifth Circuit
2008, Ninth Circuit
U.S. District Court
1976, Southern District of New York
1976, Eastern District of New York
2011, Western District of Michigan
In the News
- BuzzFeed, Want to Sue Ashley Madison? Move to Canada (08/24/2015)
- The AmLaw Daily, Law Firms Eye Global Market Turmoil, China Plunge (08/24/2015)
- Press Release, Labaton Sucharow Files Class Action Against U.S. Office of Personnel Management for “Most Devastating” Cyber Attack (08/14/2015)
- The National Law Journal, Clinics Let Students Get Real (05/18/2015)
- The National Law Journal, Securities Arbitration Clinic Opens Students' Eyes (05/15/2015)
- Law360, Securities Plaintiffs Bar Unfazed By Dip In Big-Money Suits (01/28/2015)
- The National Law Journal, Elite Trial Lawyers: Labaton Sucharow (09/29/2014)
- Law360, How They Won It: Labaton Scores $265M Massey Settlement (07/30/2014)
- New York Post, Law Firm Offers Wronged Investors a Birthday Gift (03/25/2014)
- Brooklyn Law School, Brooklyn Law School Partners with Labaton Sucharow on New Securities Arbitration Clinic (09/26/2013)
- Law360, Plaintiffs Attys Downplay High Court's Goldman MBS Snub (03/19/2013)
- Politico, Stalled: President Obama's State of the Union Housing 'Stunt' (02/12/2013)
- Ignites, Morgan Keegan to Pay $62M to Settle Closed-End Suit (10/16/2012)
- The AmLaw Litigation Daily, Morgan Keegan, Regions Financial Strike $62 Million Deal to Dodge Mutual Fund Claims (10/15/2012)
- Law360, HSH Nordbank Sues Barclays Over 'Empty' MBS (04/03/2012)
- The AmLaw Litigation Daily, Judge Green-Lights Morgan Keegan Mutual Funds Suit (04/02/2012)
- The Wall Street Journal, Supervisor Pleads Guilty in 2010 Coal-Mine Blast (03/29/2012)
- The AmLaw Litigation Daily, Cravath Loses Bid to Dismiss Massey Shareholder Class Action (03/28/2012)
- Law360, JPMorgan Nailed With RMBS Suits Claiming $273M Damages (03/02/2012)
- Associated Press, W. Va. Settlements Don't End Alpha's Legal Troubles (01/11/2012)
- Los Angeles Times, Countrywide Financial Agrees to Pay $600 Million to Settle Shareholders' Class Action Lawsuits (08/02/2010)
- Financial Times, Countrywide in $624m Class-Action Deal (05/08/2010)
- Law360, Insider Trading Claims Cut for Ex-Countrywide Execs (04/08/2009)
- San Jose Mercury News, HP Unit Reaches Huge Settlement with Shareholders (10/16/2007)
- Reuters, Settlement Reached in Mercury Options Suit (10/15/2007)
- The National Law Journal, Benchmarks and Billions: The Plaintiffs' Hot List (2015)
- Benchmark Litigation, Securities Litigation Star (2012-2015)
- The Legal 500, Recommended in the Field of Securities Litigation (2009-2015)
- The National Law Journal, Plaintiffs' Hot List: Noteworthy Cases (2007 and 2010)
- The AmLaw Litigation Daily, Litigator of the Week (05/13/2010)
Published & Presented
- American Law Institute Continuing Legal Education Group (ALI CLE), Securities and Shareholder Litigation 2016: Cutting-Edge Developments, Planning, and Strategy (Presenter) (03/31/2016)
- American Law Institute Continuing Legal Education Group (ALI CLE), Securities and Shareholder Litigation 2015: Cutting-Edge Developments, Planning, and Strategy (Presenter) (01/29/2015)
- CoreLogic, RiskSummit 2012 - Unlocking the Future of Mortgage Finance (Speaker) (07/30/2012)
- BNA Securities Regulation & Law, Loss Causation and the Global Economic Crisis (07/27/2009)