• College of William & Mary, Marshall-Wythe School of Law, J.D., Order of the Coif
  • College of Willian & Mary, B.A., History and Classical Studies

R. Joseph Barton is the Chair of the Firm’s Employee Benefits Group and the Firm’s Veterans and Service member Rights Group. Mr. Barton has more than 15 years of experience handling a diverse array of complex and class litigation. Mr. Barton has a Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rating and a 10.0 rating from Avvo. Since 2013, Mr. Barton has been named as a Washington, D.C. Super Lawyer. Mr Barton is also listed in the Marquis’ Who’s Who in American Law.

After graduating law school, Mr. Barton served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Lenore C. Nesbitt, United States District Judge for Southern District of Florida. Mr. Barton considers pro bono representation an important part of his practice and has represented clients in actions concerning their employer’s failure to pay wages and/or overtime.

Notable ERISA Cases »
  • Chesemore v. Alliance Holdings, Inc. (W.D. Wis.)
    • Challenged a complex transaction involving Trachte ESOP and the Alliance ESOP on behalf of Trachte employees; litigation led to remedies of $17.2 million, a decision then affirmed by the Seventh Circuit.
  • Severstal Wheeling Inc. Ret. Comm. v. WPN Corporation (S.D.N.Y.)
    • Represented the fiduciaries of two pension plans suing their former investment manager; obtained a judgment for plaintiffs of over $15 million, a decision then affirmed by the Second Circuit.
  • Slipchenko v. Brunel (S.D. Tex.)
    • Obtained the largest per class member settlement in any reported COBRA class action matter.
  • Simpson v. Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company (N.D. Cal.)
    • Represented a class of employees alleging that FFIC’s policy of terminated persons on disability violated the discrimination provisions of ERISA; obtained a settlement restoring their right to benefits for a period of years and reimbursement of past expenses.
  • Barton has litigated and is litigating several private ESOP cases, including the Jeld-Wen ESOP, the Tharaldson Motels, Inc. ESOP and, the Azon Corporation ESOP.
Notable Non-ERISA Cases »
  • Tuten v. United Airlines (D. Col.)
    • Alleged USERRA violations in connection with United Airlines pilots’ pension contributions; settlement for 100 percent of actual damages.
    • The court described the outcome as “outstanding, worthy of being emulated by class representatives and counsel in other comparable litigation.”
  • Bush v. Liberty Life Assurance Co.
    • Alleged that Liberty Life should not have reduced the long-term disability benefits by the amount of benefits provided through the Department of Veterans Affairs; Liberty Life agreed to return 60% of the monies imposed as offsets and to cease imposing such reductions/offsets with state approval.
  • In re High Fructose Corn Syrup Antitrust Litigation (C.D. Ill.)
    • Member of a team engaged in intensive trial preparations for a suit alleging price-fixing by manufacturers; settlement of more than $500 million.
  • In re Mercedes-Benz Antitrust Litigation (D.N.J.)
    • Alleged price-fixing; settlement of $17.5 million, or 50 percent of actual damages.
Publications & Speaking Engagements »
  • Author, “Navigating the Unfriendly Skies of ERISA Reimbursement,” Trial Magazine (2014)
  • Author, “Determining the Meaning of ‘Direct Evidence’ in Discrimination Cases Within the Eleventh Circuit: Why Judge Tjoflat was (W)right,” 77 Fla.B.J. 42 (2003)
  • Author, “Drowning in A Sea of Contract: Application of the Economic Loss Rule to Fraud and Negligent Misrepresentation Claims,” 41 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 1789 (2000)
  • Author, “Utilizing Statistics and Bellweather Plaintiff Trials: What do the Constitution and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Permit?” 8 Wm. & Mary Bill Rts. J. 199 (1999)
  • Speaker, American Bar Association Joint Committee on Employee Benefits Mid-Winter Meeting
Bar Admissions »
  • California
  • District of Columbia
  • Second Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Eastern District of Michigan
  • District of Columbia
  • Southern District of California
  • Central District of California
  • Northern District of California
  • Eastern District of California
  • District of Maryland
  • Northern District of Texas
  • Western District of Texas
  • Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • Western District of Wisconsin
  • District of North Dakota
  • Northern District of Illinois
  • District of Nebraska
  • District of Colorado
Block & Leviton LLP
155 Federal Street, Suite 400
Boston, MA 02110
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  • Fri 9am - 6pm
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