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2022 Up & Coming Awards: Joseph T. Neely, 37

Partner, Behr, McCarter, Potter, Neely & Hyde

Joseph NeelyPractice Areas: Civil and Commercial Litigation, Internal Investigations, Insurance Defense

Law School: University of Michigan

A former FBI special agent who once worked counterterrorism violations, Joe Neely has turned his focus to litigation, internal investigations and insurance defense out of a desire to help people who could not always help themselves.

He was a criminal defense attorney in the United States Marine Corps and his top career achievement occurred in that setting.

“My favorite moment as an attorney was the first time I heard a jury foreperson say, ‘not guilty to all charges and specifications,’” Neely writes.

As a member of his firm’s management committee, Neely completely revamped the firm’s information management systems and oversaw a move to a new building in 2022

A family man, Neely says if he had not become a lawyer, he might have been happy as a stay-at-home dad.

What advice do you have for young lawyers? 

Try not to take it home with you.

What is the best career advice you have received?

Nobody cares more about your career than you do.

What is your biggest accomplishment this year?

I completed an appeal to change the characterization of service for a Marine that was discharged under other than honorable conditions despite having a traumatic brain injury and PTSD from a combat deployment. I recently received a $29 million plaintiffs’ verdict as lead counsel in a personal injury case in St. Francois County. I’m not sure I can pick between the two.

Anything else you want people to know about you?

I have a daughter, Penelope 2, and a son, Jack, 1.

Up & Coming Awards 2022