"A seasoned litigator"

Joe is regularly recognized by Chambers USA

A public servant

Joe served as City Solicitor for the City of Philadelphia under Mayor Rendell and, for four years, was a member of the School Reform Commission.

A writer

Joe has written fiction and creative non-fiction for many years. Dozens of his stories have been published in literary journals and magazines.

Joseph Dworetzky focuses his practice on insolvency matters and commercial and governmental litigation. He has represented clients in hundreds of cases under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. He has served as trial counsel in numerous high profile litigation matters in state and federal courts.

From 1993 to 1996, Joe served as City Solicitor for the City of Philadelphia and was a member of Mayor Rendell’s cabinet. Prior to joining the City, he was a Managing Partner at Drinker Biddle & Reath in Philadelphia.

Joe graduated first in his class, summa cum laude, from Villanova University School of Law in 1977. He was also elected to the Order of Coif and was an associate editor of the Villanova Law Review. Joe received many honors, including the Saint Ives Medal for the best overall grade point average and the Pulling Award for best law review article. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Purdue University in 1972 with a double major in Philosophy and Writing. From 1977 to 1978, Joe served as a law clerk for the Honorable Ellsworth A. Van Graafeiland of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Joe has been regularly recognized by Chambers USA as a Rank 1 bankruptcy attorney (2004-2009), a Star Practitioner ( 2010-2014), an Eminent Practitioner (2015 – 2017) and a Senior Statesman (2018), with the publication describing him as “one of the smartest lawyers in the country.” Joe has regularly been included in The Best Lawyers in America and that publication named him “Philadelphia Lawyer of the Year” three times: in 2012, for Bankruptcy and Creditor Rights Law, and in 2014 and 2018 for Bankruptcy Litigation. He is a Fellow and was a member of the Board of Directors of the American College of Bankruptcy. Leadership Philadelphia named him one of the “101 Connectors” in the Philadelphia area. In 2009, Governor Rendell appointed him to serve as one of five members of the Philadelphia School Reform Commission, responsible for the oversight of the Philadelphia School District, and he served on that commission until 2014.

Representative Matters

  • In re Image Masters, Inc., 421 B.R.164 (Bankr. E.D. Pa., 2009)
  • Jones v. ABN Amro Mortgage Group, Inc., 551 F. Supp. 2d 400 (E.D. Pa. 2008)
  • Pennsylvania Department of Education v. Chester-Upland School District Special Board of Control, 938 A.2d 1 (Pa. 2007)
  • JP Morgan Chase Bank v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., 189 F. Supp. 2d 24 (S.D. N.Y. 2002)
  • Public Advocate v. Philadelphia Gas Commission, 674 A.2d 1056 (Pa. 1996)
  • Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission v. School District of Philadelphia, 681 A.2d 1366 (Pa. 1996)
  • Mid-Atlantic Power Supply Ass’n v. Pennsylvania PUC, 755 A. 2d 723 (Commw. Ct. 2000)
  • In re Penn Central Transp. Co., 944 F.2d 164 (3d Cir. 1991)
  • In re Remington Rand Corp., 836 F. 2d 825 (3d Cir. 1988)
  • Penn Central Corp. v. United States, 814 F. Supp. 1116 (Sp. Ct. R.R.R.A. 1993)

Honors & Awards

Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, 2004 – 2015; Star Individual, 2010 – 2014; Eminent Practitioner, 2015 – 2017, Senior Stateman, 2018

The Best Lawyers in America, 2009 and 2011 – 2018

The Best Lawyers in America, 2012 Philadelphia Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law Lawyer of the Year; 2014 Philadelphia Bankruptcy Litigation Lawyer of the Year; 2018 Philadelphia Bankruptcy Litigation Lawyer of the Year

Coleman Award for outstanding contributions to the arts community, 1997

Villanova Law Review, Associate Editor

Villanova University School of Law, St. Ives Medal

Villanova University School of Law Pulling Award

Award Methodologies

Read more

Teaching & Lecturing

“Bankruptcy Law,” Temple University School of Law, 2005 – 2006

Lecturer on School Funding in Pennsylvania, Educational Summit, 1997 – 1998

“Bankruptcy and Advanced Bankruptcy Law,” Rutgers School of Law – Camden, 1986 – 1993

Memberships & Community

American College of Bankruptcy, Board of Directors and Fellow

Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Chair, Judicial Merit Selection Committee, Bankruptcy Judges, 2005, 2006 and 2009

Lawyers Advisory Committee of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Chair, 2007 – 2009

Eastern District of Pennsylvania Bankruptcy Conference
Chair, 2001
Vice Chair, 2000
Steering Committee, 1992 and 1999
Co-Chair of Education Committee, 1990 – 1991

Consumer Bankruptcy Assistance Project, Board Member

Philadelphia School Reform Commission, Commissioner, 2009 – 2014

Parkway Council Foundation, Board of Directors, 2005 – Present

Moore College of Art and Design, Board of Directors, 2003 – 2006

Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority, Board of Directors, 2004 – Present

William Penn Foundation, Board of Directors, 2001 – 2005

Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, Advisory Board, 2001 – 2007

Read more

Joseph A. Dworetzky's Recent News

View All News