Joseph P. Thomas

Joseph P. Thomas

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Products Liability Attorney in Cincinnati, OH

Ulmer & Berne LLP
 | 600 Vine Street, Suite 2800
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Phone: 513-698-5004
Fax: 513-698-5005
Selected To Super Lawyers: 2004 - 2020
Licensed Since: 1988
Practice Areas:
  • Personal Injury - Products: Defense (60%),
  • Class Action/Mass Torts: Defense (40%)
Attorney Profile

Co-chair of Ulmer & Berne’s Litigation Department, chair of the Life Sciences Group, and chair of the Pharmaceutical Group, Joe is one of the nation’s leading advocates in class-action, multidistrict, and mass-tort litigation involving drugs and medical devices. He has served as national defense counsel and held leadership positions in numerous high-impact mass tort litigations, including those involving fentanyl patches, propoxyphene, isotretinoin, metoclopramide, fen/phen, ephedra, ADHD medications, hormone replacement therapy, antidepressants, oral contraceptives, testosterone replacement therapy, and the New England Compounding Pharmacy. Over the last twenty years, the litigation team he oversees has handled tens of thousands of cases, and the vast majority of those cases have been dismissed well before trial with no settlement payment.

In the late 1990s, he conceived the legal argument for holding makers of generic pharmaceuticals immune from failure-to-warn and design-defect suits on a preemption theory ultimately recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court in the landmark PLIVA Inc. v.Mensing and Mutual Pharmaceutical Company v. Bartlett decisions, in which Joe represented PLIVA and Mutual. His advocacy on those issues “transformed the landscape of litigation against the pharmaceutical industry,” The American Lawyer said in naming Joe its Appellate Litigator of the Week, and is characteristic of his pioneering work for pharmaceutical interests.

His unique background—as a pharmacist, a member of the patent bar, an author of peer-reviewed scientific literature, an inventor of medically relevant technologies, and a clinical researcher—gives him a deep understanding of the science behind his clients’ work.


About Joseph Thomas

Admitted: 1988, Ohio

Professional Webpage:


  • Named a “Leading Lawyer” in Biotechnology in a survey of lawyers by Cincy Business magazine Named to Best Lawyers in America®, Product Liability Litigation and Commercial Litigation Woodward/White (2007-2015) 1996 MEDMARC Defense Attorney of the Year The National Law Journal Appellate Lawyer of the week (July 2011)
  • Named a “state litigation star” in Ohio by Benchmark Litigation (2015)

Special Licenses/Certifications:

  • Registered Pharmacist

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • American Bar Association Cincinnati Bar Association New Jersey State Bar Association International Association of Defense Counsel Defense Research Institute Fellow, American Society for Pharmacy Law Chairman, Drug and Medical Device Subcommittee of Products Liability and Toxic Torts Committee, 1992

Educational Background:

  • Washington State University, (B. Pharm., 1980)   University of Cincinnati, (Pharm. D., 1982)

Articles about Joseph P. Thomas appearing in Super Lawyers

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Office Location for Joseph P. Thomas

600 Vine Street
Suite 2800
Cincinnati, OH 45202

Joseph P. Thomas:

Last Updated: 8/26/2019

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