Joseph Buckley

Joseph L. Buckley


Joseph L. Buckley is a member of the Firm's Management Committee and Chair of the Litigation Department. He has over 35 years of first chair trial experience in a wide variety of complex cases in federal and state courts in New Jersey and New York. According to a Chambers USA Guide, Mr. Buckley "is considered one of the leading business litigators in New Jersey" and "makes a very favorable impression on clients, who say ‘on experience and knowledge alone he is well worth recommending.'" He is certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Civil Trial Attorney.

As Chair of the Firm's Litigation Department, Mr. Buckley accepted the Benchmark Litigation award for “New Jersey Firm of the Year” for five consecutive years (2017-2021) and, in 2016, 2019 and 2020, accepted the award for "General Litigation Department of the Year - Midsize" from the New Jersey Law Journal. In August of 2018, Mr. Buckley was extensively quoted in a Law360 article entitled "New Jersey Powerhouse: Sills Cummis," in which the Firm was recognized as a New Jersey Powerhouse by Law360. In 2021, Mr. Buckley was listed among New Jersey's "Top 100" by New Jersey Super Lawyers. (See Rankings & Recognition section below.)

Mr. Buckley serves as leader of the Firm’s Banking Litigation Group. He has handled many large litigations for nationally prominent banks, overseeing the process from inception to trial and appeal. He has served as lead counsel to major national banks and their subsidiaries in the defense of putative class action lawsuits venued in state and federal courts in New Jersey and elsewhere, relating to subjects as diverse as equipment leasing, credit insurance, information security, credit cards, ATM fees and an alleged conspiracy to fix interest rates. He has successfully defended large national banks in lawsuits in which tens of millions of dollars in damages were at issue, and has also assisted banks in the recovery in excess of $100 million from borrowers and others. 

In 2015, Mr. Buckley represented the State of New Jersey in a large, commercial litigation and eventual settlement of a dispute with Hammerman & Gainer, Inc. (HGI), the principal contractor involved in recovery efforts in the aftermath of Super Storm Sandy. The settlement amounted to approximately a third of HGI’s demand.

In addition, for more than 25 years, Mr. Buckley has represented data and analytics firms and other computer technology companies, medical device manufacturers, insurance companies, companies that invest in real estate, non-bank financial services companies and subsidiaries of European automobile manufacturers.

After 25 days of trial in the Superior Court of Morris County, Mr. Buckley obtained a multi-million dollar verdict for lost profits on behalf of a client in a dispute between partners of an investment advisory firm. That verdict was affirmed on appeal. Since that trial, Mr. Buckley has assisted the same client in litigation against the same adversary in New Jersey, New York, Delaware and Florida in obtaining awards and recoveries well in excess of $25 million.

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Court Admissions

U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit
U.S. Supreme Court

Representative Decisions

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Rankings & Recognition

Selected for inclusion in:

  • The Best Lawyers in America®* 2003-2022, Commercial Litigation; Litigation - Banking & Finance; Banking and Finance Law  
  • Benchmark Litigation: America’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys®* 2008-2022
  • Chambers USA®* 2006, 2009, 2012-2021, New Jersey Litigation: General Commercial  
  • New Jersey Super Lawyers®*  2006-2021, Business Litigation; Banking
  • New Jersey Super Lawyers®* “Top 100 Super Lawyers” 2021
  • New York Metro Super Lawyers®* 2006-2007, 2014-2021, Business Litigation; Banking  
  • Martindale-Hubbell®* AV rating

* See Award Methodology. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.


Professional Affiliations

Member, Editorial Board (2010-present), New Jersey Law Journal 
Senior Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America
Fellow, American Bar Foundation
Member, Rutgers Business School Finance Advisory Board (2005-2017)
Member, Certified Attorneys, Civil Trial and Banking Sections, New Jersey State Bar Association
Member, Association of the Bar of the City of New York
Member, Association of the Federal Bar of New Jersey
Member, Federal Bar Council
Member, New York State Bar Association
Member, Litigation Section, American Bar Association
Member, Medal of Honor Annual Award Reception Dinner Committee, New Jersey State Bar Foundation (2016)

Community Affiliations 

Member (2004-2015, 2017-present) and Member, Finance Committee (2010-2015), Newark Museum Board of Trustees 
Member (2003-present), Vice Chair (2005-2006), Chair, Leaders and Legends Dinner Committee (2006-present), Member, Audit Committee (2013-2015), Newark YMCA Board of Trustees 
Head Coach (1994-2000), Traveling Basketball, Millburn Township Board of Recreation
Chain Manager (1995-1998) and Manager (1992-1997), Millburn Short Hills Little League
Coach (1995), Millburn Soccer Association