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Joseph R. Donahue

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Joseph R. Donahue


Joseph R. Donahue's practice focuses on criminal defense in the State, Federal and Municipal Courts of New Jersey as well as criminal appellate work before New Jersey's Appellate Division, the New Jersey Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Mr. Donahue's practice also focuses on Police disciplinary defense, plaintiff's litigation and commercial litigation. Before entering private practice, he was an Assistant Prosecutor for seven years in the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office where he prosecuted a wide variety of cases including those involving drugs, public corruption, extortion, theft, gambling, violent crimes and trademark counterfeiting. Mr. Donahue also served as Chief of the Criminal Investigations Squad and Assistant Trial Chief at the Prosecutor's Office and handled numerous grand jury investigations, trials and criminal appeals.

Mr. Donahue began his legal career as a judicial law clerk for the Hon. Alfred J. Lechner, Jr., U.S.D.J. (ret.) in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. Prior to joining Law Offices of Joseph R. Donahue, LLC, Mr. Donahue served as a litigation associate at both Waters, McPherson, McNeill in Secaucus, New Jersey and Reed Smith in Newark, New Jersey. He is a graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center and also earned his undergraduate degree at Georgetown University.

In 2006 Mr. Donahue was appointed by the New Jersey Supreme Court to serve on Bergen County's Attorney Ethics Committee. In 2009 Mr. Donahue was selected to serve as the District IIB Committee Vice Chair and in 2010 Mr. Donahue was selected to serve as the Committee Chair.

Mr. Donahue has been selected as one of New Jersey's Top 100 Trial Lawyers by the National Trial Lawyers and has also been selected as a Super Lawyer in Criminal Defense

Mr. Donahue is a former United States Marine Corps reservist who was activated for full time duty during the Persian Gulf War.

Areas of Practice

  • Criminal Defense
  • DWI/DUI Defense
  • Police Disciplinary Defense
  • Plaintiff's Litigation
  • Commercial Litigation

Certified Legal Specialties

  • Certified Criminal Trial Attorney, Supreme Court of New Jersey

Bar Admissions

  • New Jersey, 1990
  • U.S. District Court District of New Jersey, 1990
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 3rd Circuit, 2001
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 2014


  • Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, District of Columbia
    • J.D. - 1990
  • Boston University Graduate School of Management, Boston, Massachusetts
    • M.B.A. (concentration in finance) - 1987
  • Georgetown University
    • B.S. - 1981

Honors and Awards

  • Selected by The National Trial Lawyers as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer - New Jersey
  • Selected by Super Lawyers as a Super Lawyer for Criminal Defense
  • Certified by the New Jersey Supreme Court as a Criminal Trial Attorney
  • Appointed by the New Jersey Supreme Court in 2010 as Chair of the District IIB (Bergen County) Attorney Ethics Committee.
  • CJA Panel Attorney, US District Court, District of N.J. , 2003 - 2011
  • CJA Panel Attorney, US Ct. of Appeals, Third Circuit , 2001 - Present
  • PBA Legal Protection Plan Attorney , 2002 - 2016
  • FOP Legal Defense Plan Attorney , 2002 - Present

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Bergen County Bar Association, Member
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Member
  • Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers of New Jersey, Member

Past Employment Positions

  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey, Judicial Law Clerk, 1990 - 1991
  • Bergen County Prosecutor's Office, Assistant Prosecutor, 1991 - 1998
  • Bergen County Prosecutor's Office, Chief Criminal Investigations Squad, 1996 - 1997
  • Bergen County Prosecutor's Office, Assistant Chief, Criminal Investigations Squad, 1994 - 1996
  • Bergen County Prosecutor's Office, Assistant Trial Chief, 1997 - 1998
  • Waters, McPherson, McNeill, P.C., Associate, Litigation Department, 1998 - 1999
  • Reed Smith, LLP, Associate, Litigation Department, 1999 - 2001

How We Can Help

  • Why Hire Us?
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  • Proven Track Record
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  • Client Testimonials
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Hear From Our Happy Clients

At Law Offices of Joseph R. Donahue, LLC, your satisfaction is our priority! See for yourself what our clients have to say about working with us.

    "The best lawyer I could have ever asked for"

    The best attorney I have ever met in my life. I was facing four felony gun charges and ended up paying a $100 fine with a ...

    - Patrick
    "An outstanding lawyer who I will always recommend to my family and friends."

    He handled my case effectively. An outstanding lawyer who I will always recommend to my family and friends. He displays a lot ...

    - Recent Client
    "TRUST me and go to him if you need anything, he won't let you down"

    My experience was beyond amazing. I always thought going through the court process and finding a lawyer would be the hardest ...

    - Recent Client
    ""the superior court judge issued a written order reversing the municipal court's guilty decision""

    Our son was arrested and charged with DUI in early December of 2015. We got a lawyer who helped us gather evidence (arrest ...

    - Anonymous Client
    "You and your staff were exemplary in your efforts and performance."

    Dear Joseph: I wish to thank you and the staff for all of your efforts, professional knowledge and timeliness in performing ...

    - Criminal Client
    "Outstanding Legal Professional"

    As a Case Management Consultant, I have referred a number of clients to Mr. Donahue over the years. He is an outstanding ...

    - Advocacy Support Network LLC
    "restored my faith in lawyers"

    Mr. Donahue defended me in DWI,it would have been my 3rd.I would have lost DL for ten years and 180 days in jail. I would ...

    - Ken
    "Outstanding Litigator"

    I am a legal consultant who works with many of the top criminal defense lawyers primarily in Northern and Central New Jersey. ...

    - Client