Joseph B. Rizzo

Litigation Department Head

Bar Admissions

  • New York State Bar, 1990


Professional Experience

After spending his first twenty-four years in Western New York, Joe took a job straight out of law school with a firm in the Wall Street area of New York City. It was the beginning of a valuable life experience, both personally and professionally. “I was in court my first day on the job.” In his first five years of practice, Joe had already been exposed to virtually every aspect of complex litigation—from client interviews and claims investigations to high-stakes trial work and appellate court arguments.

In 1995, Joe brought his unique experience back to Rochester. Since joining Gallo & Iacovangelo, LLP Joe has become a Partner and Head of the firm’s Litigation Department. He has recovered millions of dollars for the firm’s personal injury clients and helped expand Gallo & Iacovangelo, LLP into new and exciting areas of practice. Joe has argued cases before the New York State Court Appeals and all four Departments of the Appellate Division, as well as before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and for the Federal Circuit. He is a published legal commentator and a lecturer for the Torts, Insurance and Compensation Law Section of the New York State Bar Association. Joe is also a Certified Federal Court Mediator.



  • SUNY at Buffalo, B.A., 1986
  • SUNY at Buffalo, School of Law, J.D., 1989


Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, 1990
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York, 1991
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, 1992
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York, 2005
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, 2000
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, 2005


Professional and Civic Activities

  • Chair, Business & Commercial Litigation Division
  • Chair, Insurance & Municipal Law Division
  • Certified Federal Court Mediator, U.S. District Court, Western District of New York
  • Elected Member of The Order of Barristers, 1989
  • Honorary New York State Chairman, NRCC Business Advisory Council, 2003
  • Member, New York State Bar Association: Torts, Insurance & Compensation Law Section and Commercial & Federal Litigation Section
  • Member, National Crime Victim Bar Association


Honors and Awards

  • Best Brief Award, SUNY Buffalo, School of Law, 1987
  • National Leadership Award, 2003, presented by The National Republican Congressional Committee
  • Strathmore’s Who’s Who, 2005 to 2006 National Registrar, for outstanding leadership and achievement in the practice of law
  • Super Lawyers, Upstate New York, 2013 – Present, Business Litigation and Civil Rights Litigation


Speaking Engagements

  • Basics of Premises Liability 2001. “Intruder & Negligent Security Cases.” Presented by the New York State Bar Association, Continuing Legal Education; Co-sponsored by the Torts, Insurance and Compensation Law Section and the Committee on Continuing Legal Education. Buffalo, NY, December 7, 2001.



  • Negligent Premises Security Law: The Foot Is Still In The Liability Door, New York Bar Journal, Sept./Oct., 1998
  • Judicial Departments Differ On Application Of Spoliation Motion When Key Evidence Is Destroyed, New York Bar Journal, February, 2001


Personal Info/Hobbies/Interests

Joe’s recipe for success in business, as in life, is simple: Pursue excellence, not perfection, each and every day.

Joe is a graduate of Pittsford Mendon High School. He currently resides in South Bristol with his wife, Seema. Joe is the proud father of two daughters, and he is an avid musician, hunter, writer, and sports fan.