Joseph D. Steinfield is a trial lawyer, teacher, and writer. Over the span of several decades, he has represented clients in a complex business dispute, First Amendment litigation, construction cases, fraud and chapter 93A cases, intellectual property disputes, wrongful death cases, section 1983 civil rights claims, and commercial disputes of all types. Joe has argued many appeals in both state and federal courts, many of which have established important precedents under both state and federal law.

Joe has represented the media in libel, copyright, access, and privacy cases. He represented a well-known magazine in a landmark case in which the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court upheld a claim of First Amendment protection for parody.  He represented a major Boston newspaper in a leading First Circuit case granting access rights. On behalf of a New Hampshire newspaper, he persuaded the New Hampshire Supreme Court to adopt novel procedures under the state’s “Right-to-Know” law. He represented a television network in a high-profile defamation case, and he successfully represented a public television station in a case under the Connecticut shield law.

He has frequently appeared in Puerto Rico federal court, including representing the Governor of Puerto Rico and the University of Puerto Rico in two high-profile First Amendment. With Prince Lobel partner Jeff Pyle, he tried a lengthy case on behalf of a businessman against officials of the Puerto Rico Department of Insurance. The jury returned a multi-million-dollar verdict in favor of his client, which was upheld by the First Circuit Court of Appeals.

In 2000, Joe served as Special Investigator, and then as Special Prosecutor, representing the New Hampshire State Legislature. The case involved claims of judicial misconduct, and after a three-week trial the state senate voted not to convict the impeached Chief Justice of the state.

Joe is a member of two American Arbitration panels, commercial and consumer. In addition to extensive arbitration experience, he has also served as a mediator in both commercial and personal injury cases.

Teaching has been part of Joe’s career from the year he passed the bar to the present. He originated and taught a defamation seminar at Boston College Law School, now taught by Jeff Pyle. He taught the same seminar at the University of New Hampshire School of Law. He now teaches constitutional law in the Lifelong Learners program at Keene State College.

Starting in 2008, Joe has taught at several universities abroad – Russia, Slovenia, Iceland—and In April 2024 he will lead an American College of Trial Lawyers trial advocacy workshop in Pretoria, South Africa.

He has published over 300 articles and book reviews in several newspapers and journals and has published two books, Claremont Boy: My New Hampshire Roots and the Gift of Memory (2014) and Time for Everything: My Curious Life (2022).

Joe has been a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers since 1984 and founded its Massachusetts Superior Court Mediation Program. He chairs the College’s Teaching Abroad Committee, he has served as the college’s state chair, has chaired the College’s Emil Gumpert Committee, and chaired the Sandra Day O’Connor Jurist Award Committee. He was the founding chair of the Law Clerks’ Society of the Supreme Judicial Court and served as chair of both the Massachusetts Clients’ Security Board and the Massachusetts Commission on Judicial Conduct. From 2012 to 2014, Joe served as a member of the Boston Finance Commission.

Education

  • Harvard Law School, LL.B., 1964
  • Brown University, A.B., magna cum laude, 1961

Bar Admissions

  • United States Supreme Court
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire

Memberships & Affiliations

  • American College of Trial Lawyers, Fellow
  • American Law Institute
  • Boston Bar Association
  • Boston Bar Foundation, Society of Fellows
  • New Hampshire Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • American Bar Foundation, Fellow