"I've always been drawn to the intellectual challenge and competitive nature of litigation, and I enjoy representing my clients well. Long-term relationships are the natural outgrowth when you put in the work to become a true partner to your client."
In his more than 45 years as a trial lawyer, clients have consistently turned to Joe Letzer to untangle their most complex issues and to resolve their most difficult disputes. Joe is the rare combination of successful, strategic litigator and excellent client communicator. He prioritizes knowing his clients’ business well, understanding that knowledge will be both evident in the courtroom and necessary for a long-term client relationship.
Joe focuses on complex commercial, franchise, and bet-the-company litigation. He has successfully tried cases in federal and state courts in 14 states and represented clients in numerous administrative hearings and appellate courts throughout the country, including the U.S. Supreme Court. He is particularly known for franchise litigation, having represented numerous automobile, copier, voice products, soft drink, and a plethora of other types of dealers in disputes with franchisors. In over 25 cases, Joe’s clients have been awarded more than $1 million per case in jury verdicts and settlements. He represents clients in a variety of industries, including automotive, manufacturing and distribution, construction, real estate, and financial services.
As the former head of litigation at Burr from 2003-2016 and a past Executive Committee member, Joe is a sought after mentor for the next generation of litigators and currently dedicates time, in addition to his practice, to the firm's professional development and training program for associates.
Outside of the office, Joe has been an accomplished scoutmaster, having led trips to all three high adventure scouting bases – hiking at Philmont in New Mexico, canoeing at Norther Tier in Canada, and scuba diving at Seabase in the Florida Keys. He is also an avid Alabama football fan and enjoys entertaining clients at games in Tuscaloosa.
Honors & Recognitions
- The Best Lawyers in America®, "Lawyer of the Year," Franchise Law, Birmingham, Alabama since 2014
- The Best Lawyers in America®, Commercial Litigation and Franchise Law, from 2010-present
- Mid-South Super Lawyers, Business Litigation since 2016
- Alabama Super Lawyers, Business Litigation (2008-2015)
Professional & Community
- American Bar Association, Fellow
- Association of Trial Lawyers of America
Legal Practice Assistant
- J.D., Order of the Coif, Member of the Alabama Law Review, University of Alabama School of Law (1975)
- B.A., cum laude, Heidelberg University (1971)
- American University in Washington, D.C.
- London School of Economics
- All State Courts of Alabama
- U.S. District Court - Middle District of Alabama
- U.S. District Court - Northern District of Alabama
- U.S. District Court - Southern District of Alabama
- U.S. District Court - Northern District of Georgia
- U.S. District Court - Northern District of Texas
- U.S. District Court - Western District of Arkansas
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Tax Court