Joseph F. O'Dea, Jr.

Joseph F. O'Dea, Jr.

Partner

Contact Info

Phone: (215) 972-7109
Fax: (215) 972-1877

Primary Office

Philadelphia
Centre Square West
1500 Market Street, 38th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102-2186

Joseph F. O'Dea, Jr.

Partner

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.

Experience

Higher Education

Joe has a deep understanding of the stakes institutions of higher education face when legal actions arise from allegations of sexual misconduct by its employees and the implications that follow from the institution's response.

Given the sensitivity of these matters, details about individual cases can be provided as appropriate upon request.

Youth-Serving Organizations

In light of his experience representing Penn State in dealing with claims of sexual abuse, Joe also has been engaged by national youth serving organizations to help respond to the challenges that arise from the scourge of childhood sexual abuse. 

Given the sensitivity of these matters, details about individual cases can be provided as appropriate upon request.

Defense and Aerospace

For more than two decades, Joe has represented several of the nation's largest defense/aerospace companies in False Claims Act matters, internal investigations, government contract-related investigations and commercial litigation. Joe has handled matters ranging from false claims allegations, contract and subcontract disputes, compliance matters, cost charging, prime and subcontract quality issues, acceptance testing and cost accounting/pricing issues. Joe's understanding of the technical issues these businesses face is also informed by his credentials as a Princeton University-educated civil engineer and work early in his career on behalf of GE Aerospace at a time when it was one of the nation's largest defense contractors.

Given the sensitivity of these matters, details about individual cases can be provided as appropriate upon request.

Environmental Litigation

Joe counsels clients on enforcement issues arising from compliance with the Superfund law and related obligations in dealing with potentially hazardous substances.

Given the sensitivity of these matters, details about individual cases can be provided as appropriate upon request.

General Commercial Litigation

Joe has represented a wide array of companies in complex commercial litigation involving products liability, commercial contract disputes and other matters. 

Given the sensitivity of these matters, details about individual cases can be provided as appropriate upon request.

Thought Leadership

No results.

Credentials and Accolades

Honors and Awards

Member of U.S. News - Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms" National Tier 1 ranked Environmental Law Practice

Named to The Best Lawyers in America list, Commercial Litigation, 2016 to present

Named a "Local Litigation Star" in Pennsylvania by Benchmark Litigation, 2011 to present

Recipient, First Judicial District's Roll of Honor, First Judicial District's Pro Bono Committee, 2007

Named one of "America's Leading Lawyers in Environmental and Litigation Law," 2005-2006, and "Commercial Litigation Law," 2007 to present, by Chambers USA

Named to the Pennsylvania Super Lawyers List for Business Litigation, 2004 to present

Distinguished Service Award, Villanova Law Review

Memberships and Affiliations

Member, American Bar Association

Member, Pennsylvania Bar Association

Member, Philadelphia Bar Association

Education

J.D., Villanova University School of Law, 1986

B.S., Civil Engineering, Princeton University, 1982

Bar Admissions

Pennsylvania

Clerkships

Judge Joseph L. McGlynn, Jr., U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

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.