Joseph A. Gerber is senior counsel at Cozen O’Connor in its Philadelphia office from which he chairs Client Relations and serves in the leadership of the Cozen O’Connor Foundation.
He joined the firm in 1970 and served on the firm’s Executive Committee for more than 30 years.
Prior to joining the firm, Joe served as a federal law clerk to the Honorable Charles R. Weiner of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
During his more than 50 years with the firm, Joe has tried to verdict many civil and criminal matters in both jury and non-jury settings. Representative litigation matters included product liability cases, insurance coverage disputes based upon terms and conditions, ambiguity, policy definitions, triggers of coverage, asbestos litigation, mold claims, catastrophic injury defense assignments, arson and fraud defense, dram shop defense matters and bad faith and punitive damages defense issues.
Today, Joe serves as the firm “point of contact” for a number of major clients. He works with these clients to ensure the ongoing compliance with client litigation management guidelines, overall client satisfaction, and otherwise serves as a liaison between the clients and Cozen O’Connor.
Joe is actively involved in the leadership of a number of professional and community organizations. He is chairman of the board (Emeritus) of The Chubb Foundation; chairman of the board (Emeritus) of the Insurance Society of Philadelphia; and a trustee of the Jewish Family and Children’s Agency, where he served as chair of its Human Resources Committee. As an associate member of the Loss Executives Association, he is the recipient of two President’s Awards for service. In 2001, Joe received the Whelan Award for Excellence in Professional Education. In 2005, Joe received the Franklin Award from the Philadelphia chapter of the CPCU Society for outstanding lifetime achievements and contributions to the insurance industry in the Delaware Valley. He received the Cronin Award from the Loss Executives Association in 2006 for promoting professional and ethical development of the claims profession.
He is a frequent keynote speaker, panel member, and guest lecturer before a wide variety of organizations, including the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania graduate course on negotiation; Temple University Fox School of Business; Insurance Society of Philadelphia Continuing Legal Education and Continuing Professional Education workshops; and numerous presentations at the Property Loss Research Bureau and Liability Insurance Research Bureau Managers Conferences, where he served as chair of the Executive Leadership Forum.
A former chair of the Large Firm Management Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association, Joe served as an officer of the Law Practice Management Division of the Association.
Most recently, Joe received the Insurance Society’s President’s Award in recognition of his more than 25 years of board service, Executive Leadership, legal counsel, and contributions to new and innovative programing.
For several decades beginning in the 1970s, Joe actively supported his alma mater, Albright College, first in connection with Alumni Affairs and then as a member of the college Board of Trustees. As a trustee, he served as chair of the Admissions Committee and on the Faculty and Tenure Committee. Albright recognized his service with a number of awards including the Jacob Albright Award that “is the highest honor bestowed up an Albright graduate. It is presented to alumni who have used their liberal arts education to its greatest potential, thereby making outstanding contributions to the Albright community, their profession and society.”
In addition to over 50 years practicing law, Joe actively participated in a wide variety of nonprofit and charitable causes and organizations beginning while still at Georgetown Law where he was active with the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America program and served as a Big Brother to two Little Brothers in South Arlington, Virginia.
Following his graduation, Joe has served as a member of the Committee of Seventy; a board member of the Philly Pops; the board of the Anti-Defamation League; and the board of the Jewish Family and Children’s Service where he currently serves as a trustee. Joe is also active in the Federation of Jewish Agencies; the “Y”; City Year; and the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation. Joe also serves as a long-time governor of the Pyramid Club of Philadelphia and has served on the board of directors of his synagogue, Temple Beth Hillel, Beth El of Wynnewood.
Joe and his wife of over 50 years, Beverly, reside in Wynnewood. They are the proud parents of Betsy, also an attorney, and her husband David; and Ellen, a tenured professor of English and author and her husband, also named David.
Joe received his undergraduate degree from Albright College in 1966 and his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 1969.