Joseph G. Cosby

Practice Concentration

Joseph G. Cosby is a senior attorney practicing in Butzel Long's Washington, D.C. office. He provides services for foreign and domestic for-profit and nonprofit individuals and entities, concentrating his practice on complex commercial litigation and international transactions.

Mr. Cosby advises individuals and companies on numerous cross-border issues, especially concerning trade sanctions, CFIUS, export control, and related issues. His clients have included banks, multi-national corporations, cultural and economic development organizations, religious organizations, and many others operating in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.

In addition to advising his clients in these areas, Mr. Cosby is an expert litigator. After clerking for the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, Mr. Cosby has litigated complex commercial cases for over 25 years, including international transactions, consumer protection, attorney malpractice, bankruptcy, and other issues. Mr. Cosby has successfully litigated cases in multiple forums, including the United States International Trade Commission (ITC), federal district courts around the country, and the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Mr. Cosby is a seasoned litigator in patent and trade secrets cases, including successfully trying a patent infringement case in the ITC.

Mr. Cosby also has over 30 years experience working with and for nonprofit and political organizations and over 20 years experience serving as an officer or director for a wide variety of nonprofit organizations, giving him a unique understanding of the practical issues nonprofit organizations face. Mr. Cosby advises a wide range of charities, trade associations, political organizations and other nonprofit organizations on employment compensation, compliance issues, sponsorship agreements, unrelated business income tax, and a full range of other issues that nonprofit organizations face on a regular basis.

Because he is located in Washington, D.C., much of Mr. Cosby’s work with non-profit organizations has centered on the political and international aspects of their operations. He has assisted non-profit organizations with their operations in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, and he has advised them on how to set up affiliates in the United States to take advantage of U.S. tax laws and to comply with state and federal laws. He is also well-versed in federal and state campaign finance laws, having advised both candidates for local and federal election and for-profit and non-profit corporations concerning their rights and obligations under federal and state laws.

Educational Background and Civic Involvement

Mr. Cosby served as a law clerk to the Honorable Jerry E. Smith, U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit. He graduated cum laude in 1988 from the University of Michigan Law School and graduated from the University of Chicago, where he obtained his B.A. Mr. Cosby is a member of the bar of the District of Columbia.

Published Works

"The Power of an Offer of Judgement Under MCR 2.405", Negligence Law Section Quarterly, State Bar of Michigan, Fall 2018


  • University of Michigan Law School, J.D.
  • University of Chicago, B.A.


  • District of Columbia

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