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About me

Joseph Cerra has been with Forman Holt Eliades & Ravin since its inception, and is widely known as one of the firm's top litigators. He focuses on complex commercial litigation, cases under the Uniform Commercial Code, Federal WARN Act Litigation, appellate practice and various adversary proceedings under the Bankruptcy Code. Mr. Cerra regularly appears in courts throughout the United States on behalf of firm clients.


Mr. Cerra is a skilled brief writer with numerous reported decisions to his credit. He believes that a thoughtful written presentation to the court is a culmination of a carefully conceived litigation strategy. "A timely and well executed dispositive motion can be instrumental in getting the result that your client wants," Mr. Cerra says. "You should be planning that motion from the first day you have the case."


Mr. Cerra began his career at one of New Jersey's largest and most respected law firms, where he spent eight years as a commercial litigator. While an associate at that firm, Mr. Cerra handled day-to-day supervision of a major commercial litigation which ultimately resulted in the largest verdict ever in favor of a client of that firm.


Since 1997, Mr. Cerra has been an Adjunct Professor of Law at the Seton Hall University School of Law. He formerly served as a Master in the John J. Gibbons American Inn of Court, which specializes in the study of federal practice and intellectual property law.


Mr. Cerra served as a law clerk for the Honorable James H. Coleman, Jr., Presiding Judge of the Superior Court of the New Jersey Appellate Division during the 1988-89 Court Term. Justice Coleman was subsequently elevated to the New Jersey Supreme Court.


Practice areas


  1. Appeals: 40%
    27 years
  2. Litigation: 25%
    27 years
  3. Chapter 11: 20%
    27 years
  4. Chapter 7: 15%
    27 years

Attorney endorsements

2 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

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    Mr. Cerra taught my Drafting Litigation Documents class at Seton Hall University School of Law. He is incredibly knowlegeable in the areas of federal civil and bankruptcy litigation. I recommend Mr. Cerra for all of your Bankruptcy matters!


    Gary Didieo Litigation Attorney
    Relationship: Other

  • Robert K Malone

    Prior to joining his current firm, Joe worked for me several years ago as an associate. Joe has a very comprehensive understanding of the Federal and State rules of practice. He is very passionate in the representation of his client's cause in a matter.


    Robert Malone Chapter 11 bankruptcy Attorney
    Relationship: Supervised lawyer

Contact info

Forman Holt Eliades & Ravin LLC

80 Route 4 East
Paramus, NJ, 07652

80 Route 4 E Ste 290
Paramus, NJ, 076520000



NYCurrently registered 198907/11/2016
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Super LawyerThomas Reuters2013
Super LawyerThomas Reuters2012
New Jersey Super LawyerThomson Reuters2011
New Jersey Super Lawyer 2010Key Professional Media, Inc,2010
New Jersey Super Lawyer 2009Key Professional Media, Inc.2009
New Jersey Super Lawyer 2008Key Professional Media, Inc.2008
AV RatingMartindale-HubbellN/A
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Member AttorneyForman Holt Eliades & Youngman LLC1997 - Present
Adjunct ProfessorSeton Hall University School of Law1997 - Present
Associate AttorneyShanley & Fisher1989 - 1997
Law ClerkHonorable James H. Coleman, Jr.1988 - 1989
Association namePosition nameDuration
New Jersey State Bar AssociationMemberN/A
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
Tufaro v. Schindler Elevator Corporation,2013 WL 845080 (NJ App. Div. 2013)Judgment vacated and the matter remanded for new trial.
Professional Solutions Financial Services v. Cregar, 2013 WL 709099 (NJ App Div. 2013)Affirmed
Mayer v. Once Upon A Rose, Inc., 429 N.J.Super. 365, 58 A.3d 1221 (NJ App. Div. 2013)Reversed, with Appellate Division agreeing that plaintiff's proofs adequately triggered an inference of negligence under the "res ipsa loquitur" doctrine
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
Mealey’s Emerging Insurance Battles. (Mealey’s Publications Feb. 1997).Employment Practice Liability Insurance Policies: A New Cost of Doing Business1997
White Collar Criminal Reporter, Vol. 5, No. 6, June 1991Criminal Enforcement Under the OSH Act: A Belated Rush to be King of the Hill1991
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
Fordham University School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1988
Fordham UniversityN/AAB1984
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
The World Is Changing: Business, Finance and LifePanel Moderator Rubin Museum NYC2011
Yale Law School Mock Trial AssociationTrial Advocacy2010
Managing for Performance: Lessons for Business (Moderator) (July 7, 2010)Managing for Performance: Lessons for Business2010
Investing in Real Estate (June 29, 2010)Investing in Real Estate2010
Rutgers University Graduate School of Business (October 28, 2009)Managing A Business In Troubled Times2009
Rutgers Graduate School of Business Administration Alumni (July 1, 2009)Managing a Business in Troubled Times2009