Janet O’Connor Cornell, Partner

Janet O’Connor Cornell, a founding member of the firm, is an “AV Preeminent” rated attorney and has more than 25 years’ experience as a litigator in the New York City area. Ms. Cornell is a seasoned trial attorney with experience handling a wide range of complex litigation matters for corporate and individual clients in state and federal courts, as well as in court-sponsored and private arbitrations and mediations. Ms. Cornell regularly represents municipalities, major construction companies, corporations, hotels and educational institutions in a variety of matters, including the defense of construction related litigation, insurance coverage disputes, contract actions, and product liability claims. A number of Ms. Cornell’s cases have resulted in reported decisions which continue to shape New York law.

Representative Clients

Ms. Cornell has represented many construction and development companies including Tishman, Pavarini McGovern, Navillus and The Related Companies. In addition, she has represented numerous educational institutions, including Barnard College, The Rockefeller University, Teachers College, Columbia University, The Fashion Institute of Technology and Pratt Institute as well as New York City public schools and many charter schools in a host of litigated matters involving construction and other general liability matters including assault, failure to supervise and wrongful death. Stemming from her success as a litigator, Ms. Cornell has developed a broad-based, full-service relationship with these educational institutions, providing regular advice and counsel on a wide range of issues including contract negotiation and drafting and risk management.


Ms. Cornell has been awarded the “Super Lawyers” rating since 2013. In addition, Ms. Cornell was inducted to the Litigation Counsel of America, an invitation only organization that is composed of experienced trial lawyers around the country. Ms Cornell was also chosen to be a member of United Educators, Defense Advisory Council.


Ms. Cornell is admitted to practice in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

She is also admitted to practice before the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern District of New York and the District Court of New Jersey.

She was deemed qualified to argue before the United States Supreme Court in 1998.

Board/Charitable Endeavors

Ms. Cornell and her firm help sponsor the award-winning Diversity Initiative designed by the Defense Association of New York (DANY) providing mentorship and guidance to minority and women attorneys.

Ms. Cornell is a Board member of “Hope on A String”, a nonprofit that seeks to empower self-sufficiency through the use of music, dance and the arts in communities in Haiti following the earthquake in 2010.

Ms. Cornell helped create a scholarship in memory of her parents that provides financial support to college bound students from public high schools in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

She is also certified with the Literacy Volunteers of America which assist those learning English as a second language.


New York “Super Lawyers”

Litigation Counsel of America

United Educators, Defense Counsel Advisory panel

New York State Bar Association

American Bar Association

Phone: 212-233-1100     |     Fax: 212-233-1110


Fairfield University, BA, cum laude

Fordham University School of Law, Juris Doctor

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