Joseph F. O'Dea, Jr.
Joe O'Dea handles complex, high-exposure litigation for organizations in a variety of industries. Joe's representation of The Pennsylvania State University best reflects his ability to act as lead counsel to an organization when confronted with the daunting legal challenges that arise in a high-profile, once-in-a-generation legal crisis. From the time of Sandusky's arrest in November 2011, Joe has acted as lead litigation counsel to Penn State in all civil matters brought by the sexual abuse victims of Jerry Sandusky. Joe spearheaded the effort to resolve the majority of victim claims, both in the courtroom and through a novel facilitation process involving acclaimed attorney Ken Feinberg. Joe also represented the University in numerous Sandusky-related lawsuits that did not involve victims, such as lawsuits brought by former football coaches and another by University Trustees challenging certain governance issues. Throughout the crisis and in close collaboration with an outstanding team made up of in-house counsel and University leadership, Joe has helped Penn State navigate the myriad other legal issues that arise in a situation with multiple and overlapping federal and state legal proceedings, all against the backdrop of a highly publicized internal investigative report prepared by former FBI Director Louis J. Freeh and intense national press scrutiny.
In addition to his representation of Penn State, Joe has 30 years of experience representing Fortune 500 companies and privately held, global concerns in industries ranging from defense/aerospace, manufacturing to environmental services. These clients have relied on Joe's counsel to help them with complex commercial litigation, government investigations, or other material threats to the organization.
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