Joseph J. Wilson
As an attorney who has been practicing law for the past 35 years, Joseph J. Wilson is among the countless in-house lawyers who serve as the unsung heroes of the legal profession. In his career alone, Joseph has taken a significant number of cases to verdict and has been involved in numerous successful appeals. As senior trial counsel for Maisel & Associates in downtown Chicago, Joseph litigates complex high exposure claims in various types of civil cases and prepares for trial through the development of strategic, aggressive, and persuasive litigation strategies.
Joseph graduated from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, with a bachelor’s degree in political science before going on to obtain his Juris Doctorate from DePaul University’s College of Law. Today, Joseph credits his higher education with providing him with the knowledge, discipline, and moral clarity necessary to achieve success in both his professional and personal life.
As in-house attorneys for Travelers Insurance Company, Maisel & Associates hold a reputation for providing high quality legal representation and excellent client services as a dedicated team. The lawyers at Maisel & Associates are not only extremely capable legal technicians, but also have business acumen and expertise in process and project management experience. Their attorneys keenly understanding the role technology plays in the delivery of legal services.
Due to the devastating nature of the coronavirus pandemic, the legal services industry has had to act swiftly to minimize disruptions to business continuity. Years before the pandemic hit, Maisel & Associates embraced technology in unparalleled ways, allowing them to mobilize a remote work force of attorneys and support professionals in response to work-from-home directives without missing a beat. Remote collaboration tools such as web-based video conferencing platforms have been ingrained in attorneys work processes prior to Covid-19. The innovative technology processes at Maisel & Associates set their lawyers up for success in ways that are tangible and extremely important to job satisfaction and performance.
Joseph’s primary area of focus at the firm involves defending complex civil claims with an emphasis on wrongful death, transportation negligence, product liability, construction defects, and all aspects of tort liability. For example, in his last jury trial, Joseph defended a trucking company involved in a significant contested liability case that took place in Cook County, Illinois. The trucking case’s rare no liability finding in Cook County was featured in The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
According to Joseph, it is his passion for the law, tireless advocacy, and steadfast integrity that sets him apart in the legal industry. He explains, “The legal discipline is intriguing, and the litigation arena can be fast-paced and stressful. My passion for the law drives me to excel as an advocate for my clients and to achieve favorable jury verdicts or successful case resolutions before trial. My focus and persistence drive me to develop cohesive, convincing litigation strategies.”
Joseph credits his parents with teaching him the importance of hard work and staying humble. “These lessons fostered a mindset of continuous learning and growth, which motivates me to continually strive for higher levels of performance. In addition, these core values have helped me to persevere, to find ways to appreciate all that I have achieved, and to take action instead of waiting for things to happen. Hard work builds dignity, helps you overcome your doubts, and encourages others to perform at a higher level,“ states Joseph.
Explaining how he decided to become a lawyer, Joseph says, “America is a society based on law and justice. I gravitated to the legal profession because it provides me with the opportunity to be of service to others. Throughout the course of my legal career, I have always asked myself what I can do to help my clients. The ability to provide legal guidance to my client’s faced with challenging situations provides me with motivation and a feeling of satisfaction.”
Over the course of his far-reaching legal career, Joseph has had the the opportunity to work at large private law firms and in-house legal departments. He believes that the knowledge and litigation experience of in-house attorneys has increasingly equaled and even exceeded their peers at private firms. Joseph explains, “In-house attorneys are typically assigned exclusively to a case file from initial referral to conclusion. At private firms, assignments are typically delegated to less experienced attorneys before senior counsel steps in. Having a dedicated lawyer assigned to a file from the start allows the in-house attorney to develop a superior working knowledge of the intricacies of the case, resulting in enhanced preparation and significant advantage at trial. Moreover, this allows in-house counsel to develop closer relationships with their clients while instilling trust and confidence in the scope of our vigorous defense. The end result is the delivery of superior legal services to our clients.”
Joseph is also passionate about educating his peers on how to become aggressive trial lawyers and how to develop advanced skills to effectively handle different types of cases. For instance, he has been a frequent speaker at internal training programs on a variety of topics impacting areas of civil litigation and is an active member of several committees for various industry organizations such as the Trucking Industry Defense Association (TIDA), the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLMA), as well as state and local bar associations.
As a litigator involved in cases with complex and challenging legal issues, Joseph has developed significant skills in the areas of problem solving, negotiating, relationship- building, and creative thinking, which allow him to accept the challenge of each new case with the same tenacity and zeal. “A person becomes a better human being when he is sensitive to the needs of society and strives to contribute to social justice in every way possible,” says Joseph. As a lawyer focused on civil litigation and trial work, Joseph finds the following quote by Thomas Jefferson to still hold true in the twenty-first century:
“I consider trial by jury as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution.”
Joseph J. Wilson
Senior Trial Counsel
Maisel & Associates
161 North Clark Street, Suite 800
Chicago, Illinois 60601
Download the Top 100 Attorneys magazine and check out Joseph's feature on page 14.