Leader & Berkon LLP has announced that Joseph I. Fontak has been named a partner in the firm. Mr. Fontak, who heads the firm's Philadelphia office, has extensive experience in a variety of litigation areas, including toxic tort, product liability, securities, commercial, real estate and insurance. He applies his mathematical and actuarial background to complex cases, including federal securities law cases involving pension fund allocations, improper accounting procedures and stock parking practices. He is admitted to practice before the state and federal courts of New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. He is the senior attorney in Leader & Berkon’s Philadelphia office.
Mr. Fontak currently supervises attorneys and paralegals in the firm’s role as national coordinating counsel for an asbestos defendant with responsibility for the defense in jurisdictions around the country, as well as in the multi-district litigation pending in federal court in Philadelphia. He began his career at Leader & Berkon as a key member of the defense team for our client, a chemical manufacturer, in the IBM Semiconductor litigation involving over 200 cancers and 50 birth defects in New York, California and Minnesota courts. He recently obtained a favorable settlement for five plaintiffs in a suit against a large banking institution, claiming they had been induced to participate in a private stock transaction through false and misleading statements. The bank settled the case at the courthouse steps after losing motions to dismiss and for summary judgment. His recital of his planned opening statement in a pre-trial conference with the trial judge and the bank’s in-house counsel convinced the bank to settle shortly before trial began. Mr. Fontak has obtained summary judgment in numerous asbestos lawsuits pending in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.