About Joseph F. Fiorill

In business, who you know is as important as what you know. Joe Fiorill has found that his team's connections to developers, contractors, judges and others in Washington, DC's real estate and legal communities can make all the difference for their clients.

Knowing construction helps build a winning case

Joe advances the interests of property owners, developers and others in disputes over delays and construction defects in large building projects. His understanding of construction and strong experience in strategizing how to resolve disputes put his clients in the best position to achieve a positive outcome. Knowing what really matters on a construction project and understanding where leverage lies help the team determine what claims to press and how to do it.

Although Joe's cases most commonly involve the construction of buildings, he is equally experienced and adept at handling leasing disputes and other types of real estate-related matters, as well as commercial litigation of other types. He has represented shopping-center and office-building owners in disputes with tenants and neighbors; buyers of commercial real estate whose sellers threatened to renege; employers whose ex-employees violated confidentiality and noncompete provisions; business owners in partnership disputes; developers fighting through municipal bureaucracy; and schools in disputes with enrolled students and their families, with landlords, with construction contractors, and with others.

Above all, Joe approaches the disputes he handles as a problem-solver, with an eye toward achieving his clients' goals in the most efficient and effective manner possible – whether that means trying to reach a favorable settlement as quickly as possible, fighting it out all the way through trial, or something in between.

As a sub-specialty, Joe has frequently represented educational institutions at all levels (from preschool to postsecondary), including in matters involving construction and other real-estate issues, in contract and enrollment-related disputes with students and families, and by serving as outside general counsel to a Washington, DC Montessori school for an extended period of time.

Joe also maintains an active pro bono practice. In addition to his individual matters for pro bono clients, he serves as the pro bono chair for Katten's Washington, DC office and a member of the firmwide Pro Bono Committee.

Joe has another valuable skill that is especially useful to French-speaking clients. Before his legal career, he taught French and worked as a translator. So he's able to help these clients — whether executives with client organizations or asylum seekers fleeing persecution in their homelands — in their own language.

Before joining Katten, Joe was a transactional real estate lawyer at another firm. He also served as a law clerk to the senior judges of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. Before becoming a lawyer, Joe was a journalist covering international affairs. In law school, he was editor in chief of The Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law.

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Practice Focus

  • Litigation
  • Construction
  • Real estate litigation
  • Appellate litigation
  • Educational institutions

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