The American Lawyer Magazine's Litigation Department of the Year – Labor and Employment Law Finalist 2004, Winner 2006, Finalist 2008, Finalist 2010, and Finalist 2012
Listed in the highest tier for National Labor and Employment Practice in Chambers USA 2012
Ranked in the top tier by The Legal 500 for Labor and Employment Litigation, ERISA Litigation, Labor-Management Relations, and Workplace and Employment Counseling (2012)
Ranked, National Tier 1: Employment Law – Management, Labor Law – Management, and Litigation – Labor & Employment by U.S. News and Best Lawyers (2011-2012)
Ranked #1 for "Most Prestigious" Labor and Employment Practice, Vault 2012 Associate Survey
Listed in the highest tier for National ERISA Litigation Practice in Chambers USA 2012
Ranked in Tier 1 for ERISA Litigation by The U.S. Legal 500 (2012)
honors + affiliations
Fellow, College of Labor and Employment Lawyers
Member, American Bar Association; American Bar Association, Employee Benefits Committee; American Bar Association, Committee on the Development of the Law Under the National Labor Relations Act
Listed, Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business (2004–2012) and The Best Lawyers in America (2005–2011)
Listed, Human Resource Executive, 100 Most Powerful Employment Attorneys in America (2012)
Listed as one of the nation's top 100 most powerful employment attorneys in Human Resource Executive (2010)
Noted in The Legal 500 for Employment and Labor (2007)
Noted in The Legal 500 for Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation—ERISA Litigation (2007)
Noted in The Legal 500 for Labor and Employment—ERISA Litigation (2008)
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third, Fifth, and Tenth Circuits
Joseph J. Costello is the practice group leader of Morgan Lewis's Labor and Employment Practice and Morgan Lewis Resources, the firm's workplace training, employment audit, and counseling enterprise. He is responsible for the strategic and day-to-day management of these operations across each of the firm's offices. Within his legal practice, Mr. Costello represents employers in a broad range of employment litigation matters and administrative agency proceedings, and provides counseling in connection with human resources and benefit-related decisions.
Mr. Costello regularly handles complex class actions and litigation involving multiple parties. These matters have included ERISA actions challenging the prudence of benefit plan investment decisions, the legality of plan design decisions, and the adequacy of fiduciary disclosures; employment discrimination cases under Title VII, the ADEA, and state law; and trade secret and noncompete agreement disputes.
Mr. Costello has also advised employers on legal and practical issues associated with reduction-in-force programs, mergers and acquisitions, workplace investigations, employee discipline, accommodations and leave under the ADA and FMLA, and union-management relations. He has represented employers before various administrative agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Department of Labor, and the National Labor Relations Board.
From 2004 through 2012, Mr. Costello was named one of the leading U.S. lawyers for employment law by Chambers USA, based on the views of clients, peers, and other industry professionals. Chambers called Mr. Costello "one of the premier ERISA attorneys in the country" and noted that his clients value his ability to "reduce the subject to a user-friendly form so no one comes out of a meeting not understanding."
Mr. Costello is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and before the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third, Fifth, and Tenth Circuits.
- Stanford Law School, 1985, J.D.
- Cornell University, 1980, M.I.L.R.
- Pennsylvania State University, 1978, B.A.