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Joel E. Smith

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Joel Smith is a trial lawyer featured in “The Best lawyers in America.” He is a founding partner of the Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm, a national practice firm known for its expertise in medicine and health care, and a deep knowledge of discovery law and strategy. Joel is an author of the premier nursing home litigation textbook, Nursing Home Cases: When Caregivers Stop Caring, Thompson-West Publications’ Tort Litigation chapter on nursing home litigation, and the Minnesota State Bar Association’s Elder Law Handbook chapter on nursing home litigation. Joel is a thought leader in Nursing Home / Elder Abuse litigation who is a frequent speaker on liability for nursing homes and assisted living facilities. 

Joel is also a leader in trial bar serving on the Minnesota Association for Justice’s Board of Directors and on the Governing Council for the Minnesota State Bar Association’s Elder Law Section. He is a member of the  American Association for Justice Leadership Forum and is an active member of the American Association for Justice national  Nursing Home Litigation Group. 

Joel is a member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum and has been recognized as a “Super Lawyer” in 2000 – 2002, 2004 – 2005, and 2007 – 2022.

Joel is a graduate of St. John’s University (Collegeville, MN) and the University of Minnesota Law School.

Together with his partner, Mark Kosieradzki, Joel leads a team of lawyers that include a former forensic pathology investigator, a medical doctor, law review editors, judicial law clerk, and a former long-term care ombudsman. With a history of history of courtroom successes, the firm is known for its tenacious professional advocacy for the victims of neglect.

Law firms throughout the country invite Kosieradzki Smith to join their trial teams to assist with cutting edge discovery strategies, unraveling corporate shells, and navigating the nuances of nursing home cases. 


Praise for Joel and Mark’s book, Nursing Homes Case: When Caregivers Stop Giving:

  • Mark Kosieradzki and Joel Smith, two tenacious litigators who have spent their careers fighting to protect the elderly, have generously shared their wealth of knowledge and experience in this book.  It is an excellent resource for attorneys desiring to pursue cases involving neglect of the elderly.  It is a must read for anyone undertaking to litigate nursing home cases, including newcomers as well as those experienced in this area.
  • You think you can do a plaintiff’s nursing home case and not read this book? Really? Kosieradzki and Smith have distilled decades of hard-fought nursing home litigation experience into an easy to read, practical approach to success. This book provides a masterful – and practical – blueprint to litigating a nursing home case start to finish, filled with numerous templates for success. Practitioners in the field who fail to read this book do so at their, and their client’s, peril.
  • A must have masterwork! Inspiring, insightful and complete. Kosieradzki and Smith bring us the best guide to winning nursing home cases ever written. Two great mentors share their roadmap to success.”
  • Mark and Joel have done it again—they have made a complicated subject matter easy to understand.  This compendium belongs on the shelf of every lawyer who handles, or wants to handle, nursing home neglect and abuse cases.  It is written in a style that encourages the readers to continue on, to keep learning more, and provides a wealth of information regarding the most important areas facing nursing home plaintiff’s lawyers today.  In over twenty years of practice, I have not yet encountered such a comprehensive but simply written guidebook in any other practice area.  Superbly written.
  • Kudos to Mark and Joel for writing the book the rest of us have been waiting on for years – an encyclopedic work on nursing home litigation that covers every topic with the same passion and insight that these tireless advocates bring to their everyday practice on behalf of their clients and their mission to educate litigators and trial lawyers to be personally and professionally better every day.
  • I highly recommend Mark and Joel’s primer on how to litigate nursing home cases. The book is a rare combination of the academic nuts and bolts of the case work-up process interspersed with the wisdom and advice that only comes from actual experience of fighting in the nursing home litigation trenches.  My son Evan and I had the pleasure of joining with Mark and Joel in litigating a nursing home abuse and neglect case.  We were able to observe firsthand many of the skills and strategies that are discussed in the book. If you have never tried a nursing home case or have made a career of representing victims of nursing home abuse or neglect, Mark and Joel’s book should be in your bookcase. Better yet, the book should be on your desk, all marked up and tagged with notes.
  • Thirty years from now, the best lawyers in our country who champion the rights of those abused in nursing homes will look back on their careers and cherish the day they found this incredibly comprehensive, well-researched and practical guide. To try and litigate nursing home cases without it would be a serious mistake.

Resume Highlights

  • “Nursing Home Failure of Care Litigation,” WEBINAR, National Business Institute (June 16, 2014)
  • “Nailing the 30(b)(6) Deposition,” Academy of Rail Labor Attorney’s, Naples, FL, (May 9, 2014)
  • “Litigating Nursing Home Injury Claims: Plaintiff and Defense Perspectives,” Strafford Publications (June 2013)
  • “Nursing Home Litigation,” William Mitchell College of Law presentation (Nov. 2012)
  • “Nursing Home Litigation,” National Business Institute (June 2012)
  • “Nursing Home Litigation,” Strafford Publications (June 2012)
  • “Nursing Home Litigation,” Washington State Association for Justice conference (April 2012)
  • “Nursing Home Litigation and Ethics,” Elder Care Rights Alliance annual conference (May 2007)
  • “Igniting Damages in Elder Care,” Minnesota Trial Lawyers Association conference (Mar. 2007)
  • “Eldercare Law,” St. Thomas Law School presentation (Nov. 2006)
  • “Nursing Home Litigation,” Elder Law Institute, Minnesota State Bar Association conference (Oct. 2005)
  • “Litigation Ethics,” North Dakota Bar Association Conference (Dec. 2004)
  • “Strategic Use of Rule 30(b)(6), 30(b)(5) and 34,” North Dakota Bar Association conference (Dec. 2004)
  • “Dealing with Abusive Deposition Adversaries,” North Dakota Bar Association conference (Dec. 2004)
  • “Nursing Home Litigation,” Minnesota Trial Lawyers Association conference (April 2004)
  • “Nursing Home Cases,” Insurance Law Institute conference (July 2003)
  • “Nursing Home Litigation,” Minnesota Trial Lawyers Association conference (Mar. 2003)
  • “Long-Term Care: Identifying the Risks,” ProSource conference (Sept. 2002)
  • “Zen and the Art of Cross Examination of the Defendant Expert,” ATLA Jazz Fest conference, New Orleans (May 2002)
  • “Repeal Minnesota’s Outdated Abate Statute,” Minnesota Association for Justice Magazine, Co-Author Mark Kosieradzki (Winter 2014)
  • “Mismanaged Meds,” Trial Magazine, American Association for Justice             (Oct. 2013)
  • “Nursing Home Litigation,” Elder Law Handbook, 3 ed., Chapter 24, Minnesota State Bar Association (2012)
  • “Deposition Misconduct Warrants Attorney Sanction,” Minnesota Lawyer (March 26, 2007)
  • “Nursing Home Litigation,” Tort Litigation, Chapter 63, Association of Trial Lawyers of America/West Group (2003).