Joseph M. Cerra

Attorney in Paramus, NJ

Joseph Cerra has been with Forman Holt Eliades Ravin & Youngman since its inception and is widely known as a top litigator. 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 our clients.

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 the 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.

In addition to his trial work, Mr. Cerra possesses extensive appellate court experience. He is frequently retained to review trial proceedings for purposes of identifying appellate issues and to craft appeal briefs on a wide variety of issues. Our clients value Mr. Cerra's ability to understand the way appellate judges will see the issues and his ability to advance arguments as seen from their perspectives.

Mr. Cerra is a skilled brief writer whose submissions to the courts have resulted in numerous reported decisions favorable to our clients' positions. He believes that a thoughtfully written presentation to the court is the 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."

For many years, Mr. Cerra has been selected for inclusion in NJ Monthly's New Jersey Super Lawyers lists. 201 Magazine has listed Mr. Cerra as one of Bergen's Top Lawyers for 2012. Mr. Cerra also is listed in the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory with an AV Peer Review Rating.

Mr. Cerra is committed to legal education and has been an Adjunct Professor of Law at the Seton Hall University School of Law for many years. He also 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 frequently lectures to business students and law students, drawing on his experience in large commercial litigation and bankruptcy reorganizations.

Judicial Experience

Law Clerk to the Honorable James H. Coleman, Jr., Presiding Judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division (1988-1989) (Justice Coleman subsequently was elevated to the New Jersey Supreme Court)


New Jersey State Bar Association

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Peer Rating 5.0 of 5

Areas of Law

  • Commercial Litigation and Collections
  • Appellate Practice
  • Bankruptcy Litigation
  • Franchise Bankruptcy and Insolvency
  • Reorganization and Business Workouts
  • Personal Bankruptcy and Debt Resolution


Peer Rating


Overall Peer Rating

5.0 out of 5.0
  • Meets very high criteria of general ethical standards
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Experience & Credentials



Admission Details

Admitted in 1988, New Jersey
New York
U.S. District Court, Southern and Eastern Districts of New York
U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit and Third Circuits
U.S. Court of the Armed Services
U.S. Supreme Court

Law School Attended

Fordham University
Class of 1988
Editorial Board of the Fordham International Law Journal

University Attended

Fordham College
Class of 1984

Contact Information


201-845-1000 Call Now


Send email to Joseph M. Cerra

Office Information
Joseph M. Cerra
 80 Route 4 East, Suite 290,
Paramus, NJ 07652


Forman Holt Eliades & Youngman LLC (Paramus, New Jersey)

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