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Joseph S. Crociata
Partner Emeritus
Washington, DC Office
1233 20th Street NW, 8th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20036

Tel:  (202) 712-7000
Fax:  (202) 712-7100

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Mr. Crociata, a Partner Emeritus, is a Founder of the Firm, and as one of the Firm’s senior trial attorneys, he has been recognized as “AV rated” by Martindale-Hubbell.  He tried dozens of matters to verdict in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Alaska and the District of Columbia, has specially appeared in cases throughout the continental United States. 

He has defended railroads in employee/FELA and third-party/passenger bodily injury and property claims for over twenty-five years, and heads the firm’s rail litigation practice.  The cases he has tried for passenger and freight carriers have arisen from the operation of major passenger terminals, the design and operation of escalators and motorized vehicles, as well as all aspects of the maintenance and operation of trains and rail, including issues relating to derailments and crossing accidents.  In addition, he has tried and litigated numerous cases involving allegations of injury based upon ergonomic theories such as “repetitive stress,” “worn body syndrome” and “whole body vibration.” 

Mr. Crociata has decades of experience in the defense of national clients in the hospitality industry.  He has defended cases involving simple premises issues and motor vehicle liability, more complex matters arising from outbreaks of food- and water-borne pathogens, and serious bodily injury and trauma due to breaches of security or negligent use of force upon arrest.   

Mr. Crociata is a member of the firm’s construction litigation group, and has litigated contractual disputes between contractors and site owners arising from environmental and nuclear remediation projects.  He has also litigated extracontractual claims and remedies, including cases involving allegations of fraud, and negligent or intentional misrepresentation.  He also has extensive experience in the litigation and trial of insurance disputes. 

He also defends and counsels employers on the handling and litigation of employee claims for wrongful discharge, discrimination and harassment and has appeared before administrative agencies and courts on their behalf.  Mr. Crociata has practiced before the EEOC, the Maryland Human Relations Commission and the Commonwealth of Virginia Human Rights Commission.  In addition to his litigation-related activities, he has written or revised employment manuals for national telecommunications companies and charitable associations. 

A licensed pilot since 1972, Mr. Crociata practiced exclusively for a time in the defense of aviation product and professional liability actions, insurance coverage cases and general aviation tort matters.  He was also active in the litigation and trial of matters involving allegations of airline legal liability, as well as those arising from airport operations.  He has defended domestic and international carriers from claims of passenger bodily injury, cargo loss and delay, and has also participated in the defense of product claims against maintainers and remanufacturers of components of transport-category aircraft. 

Mr. Crociata has been retained to serve on arbitration panels resolving major commercial and contractual disputes, whose awards have been uniformly upheld on appeal.  He has also served as counsel before arbitration panels in insurance matters.  He has served as a court-appointed mediator and arbiter for the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, where he has also served as a trainer and evaluator of attorney/mediators. 


Professional & Community Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Bar Association of the District of Columbia
  • District of Columbia Defense Lawyers Association
  • National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Lawyer/Pilots’ Bar Association


  • Washington College of Law of the American University, J.D., 1982
  • State University of New York at Brockport, B.A., 1979

Bar and Court Admissions

  • District of Columbia Court of Appeals 
  • Maryland Court of Appeals
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois 
  • Northern District of Illinois Trial Bar
  • United States District Court for the District of Columbia
  • United States District Court for the District of Maryland
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of New York
  • United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit 
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • Supreme Court of Illinois
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