Joseph R.  Connelly, III


Based in Buffalo, New York, Joe’s practice focuses on defending high-value insurance claims with a specialization in product liability, premises liability, and toxic tort litigation related to asbestos and cosmetic talcum powder. He represents large manufacturers of construction materials, industrial equipment, automotive products, naval equipment, and consumer goods, in addition to premises owners and retailers. As counsel to several businesses on both a state and national level, Joe manages large dockets of complex and high-risk cases, including the management and oversight of responses to written discovery and document productions, expert discovery, and trial preparation. He is also involved in developing the overall defense strategy for clients facing litigation in jurisdictions throughout the country.

Bringing an aggressive and innovative approach to each case, Joe has the mindset of efficiently extricating his clients from the litigation with the most favorable outcome. He has attended hundreds of complex product liability depositions and been on several trial teams. Joe prides himself on finding new ways to advocate on behalf of his clients by thinking outside of the box and scrutinizing his adversaries’ tactics. He has managed cases from the filing of the complaint through trial, and into the cost-recovery phase after achieving a defense verdict.

Joe routinely defends clients with issues pertaining to corporate transaction structuring and alleged tort liability for predecessors, subsidiaries, or other related entities.  He has successfully defended clients with claimed successor liability resulting from mergers, acquisitions, and asset purchase agreements. Joe particularly enjoys the civil procedure chess match with his adversaries, and has closely followed recent Supreme Court decisions on the subject of personal jurisdiction and the application of those decisions in state court. Bringing an aggressive approach to jurisdictional challenges, Joe has prevailed in securing dismissals for his clients in several different forums.



  • University of California, Hastings College of the Law  (J.D., cum laude, 2010)
    • Witkin Award; Pretrial Practice (2010); Writing and Research (2007)
    • CALI Excellence for the Future Award - Writing and Research, Torts II (2008)
  • Fordham University  (B.A., 2004)
    • Study Abroad Program in Barcelona, Spain (2003)

Bar Admissions

  • California
  • New York
  • Tennessee


  • Supreme Court of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

Professional Affiliations

  • New York State Bar Association 
  • State Bar of California
  • Tennessee Bar Association


  • James Harkin v. John Crane Inc., et al., Superior Court of California, Alameda County
  • Frank Rondon and Renee Rondon v. Anderson Auto Supply Houses, et al., Superior Court of California, Alameda County
  • Franklin Schwab and Patricia Schwab v. Pneumo Abex LLC, et al., Superior Court of California, County of Santa Cruz
  • Daniel Skinner v. Basco Drywall and Painting, et al., Superior Court of California, Alameda County

Recent Summary Judgment Motions Granted

  • Joseph F. Clausi v. A.O. Smith Water Products, et al., Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of Albany
  • Susan LaLima v. American International Industries, et al., Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of Ulster
  • Eddie Germain v. American International Industries, et al., Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York