Joseph J. Mueller


  • Co-Chair, Trial Practice

Joe Mueller is a top national trial lawyer who has played a leading role in dozens of high-stakes trials in courts across the country. Just since 2020, Mr. Mueller has first-chaired the trial teams in seven trials that each involved billion-dollar stakes, as well as two other trials that each involved multi-hundred-million-dollar stakes. He was recently named among the top 100 trial lawyers in the country by Benchmark Litigation.

Mr. Mueller has particular knowledge in intellectual property cases—per feedback reported by IAM Patent 1000, “Joe is in the top 1% of patent trial lawyers of his generation,” “a contentious ace,” and “a fabulous trial lawyer.” In 2022, Mr. Mueller achieved the rare feat of leading billion-dollar-stakes cases in four intellectual property disciplines—patents, trademark, licensing, and trade secrets—in courts from coast-to-coast.   

But his trial experience extends beyond intellectual property to many other types of trials, including civil trials involving wide-ranging subjects (e.g., antitrust, contract, and fiduciary duty claims) as well as criminal trials. He has a special skillfulness in crafting trial strategies for high-stakes cases involving interdisciplinary and cross-jurisdictional (and sometimes cross-border) issues.

Among his many recognitions, he has been ranked as a leading lawyer by Chambers USA, honored as an Intellectual Property Trailblazer by The National Law Journal, named the Lawyer of the Year for Intellectual Property Litigation in Massachusetts by Best Lawyers in America, and is a multi-time winner of Litigation Daily’s “Litigator of the Week.” Mr. Mueller was a finalist for the 2023 New England Litigator of the Year, and is a finalist for the Benchmark Litigation US Intellectual Property Litigator of the Year award. In Mr. Mueller’s position as co-chair of WilmerHale’s Trials Practice, he was featured as a litigation leader alongside co-chair Hallie Levin in Litigation Daily.

Mr. Mueller’s advocacy work extends beyond trials. He has considerable appellate experience and has argued before federal and state appeals courts including the United States Courts of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Fourth Circuit and Ninth Circuit. He has also worked on projects involving a wide array of government agencies and has spearheaded the formulation and implementation of policy strategies for interactions with those agencies.

Beyond his domestic practice, Mr. Mueller has in-depth knowledge regarding strategies for international litigations and regulatory proceedings. He has experience with courts and government agencies throughout Europe and Asia. 

Earlier in his career Mr. Mueller served as a Commonwealth of Massachusetts Special District Attorney in the Middlesex District Attorney's Office, where he prosecuted cases involving violent crimes, financial fraud, and many other criminal offenses. While at the Middlesex DA's Office, Mr. Mueller tried thirteen criminal cases to juries and judges.

Mr. Mueller has worked on significant pro bono matters involving disability rights, political asylum, detainee rights, public school disciplinary procedures, and healthcare. Over the years, he has received the Boston Bar Association's President's Award and the firm's John H. Pickering Award for his exemplary pro bono service.

Professional Activities

At the appointment of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Mr. Mueller served as a Special Prosecutor for the Eastern District. He has also served on multiple special committees for the Eastern District.

Mr. Mueller is an adjunct professor of law at Boston College Law School, where since 2011 he has taught a biennial course on patent litigation, and also recently taught a course on “Litigating With An Eye Toward Trial.” From 2004 to 2007, he held principal responsibility for the school's international law advocacy programs—the Jessup International Law Moot Court program and the European Union Law Moot Court program.

  • Trial Co-Chairs Hallie Levin and Joseph Mueller Spotlighted as ‘Litigation Leaders’ in Litigation Daily

    Hallie Levin and Joseph Mueller, WilmerHale’s Trial Practice co-chairs, were recently featured in Litigation Daily’s “Litigation Leaders” Q&A, which highlights leaders in the largest law firms in the country.

    September 21, 2021
    Read More
  • Joseph Mueller and Brittany Amadi Named “Litigators of the Week” for Victory in T-Mobile Trademark Fight

    Joseph Mueller and Brittany Amadi were named Litigation Daily’s “Litigators of the Week” in recognition of their trademark victory for client T-Mobile US Inc. in its high-stakes dispute with Simply Wireless.

    November 4, 2022
    Read More


  • Award Text

    Recognized as a Leading IP Lawyer

    Chambers USA


  • Award Text

    Named Top 100 Trial Lawyer

    Benchmark Litigation


  • Award Text

    Selected as Massachusetts IP Litigation Lawyer of the Year

    Best Lawyers in America


  • Named a Litigator of the Week by The American Lawyer for a victory in a high-stakes trademark fight for T-Mobile.
  • Named a Thomson Reuters Stand-out Lawyer – independently rated and selected by clients.
  • Shortlisted for Intellectual Property Litigator of the Year (2024) by Benchmark Litigation and named by the publication as a “Top 100 Trial Attorney” (2024) and “Litigation Star” (2022-2024).
  • Recognized as a finalist for The American Lawyer New England Legal Attorney of the Year award, an award that honors an individual whose legal accomplishments over the past year have far outpaced their peers.
  • Regularly recognized by Chambers USA Guide in Massachusetts for intellectual property. Chambers reports that clients refer to Mr. Mueller as an “excellent trial lawyer.”
  • Named among the 2020–2024 Best Lawyers in America for his intellectual property practice and in 2023 and 2024 for his patent litigation.
  • Named the 2021 Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers in America for intellectual property litigation in Massachusetts.
  • Named to the 2022 and 2023 edition of IAM Patent 1000 – The World’s Leading Patent Professionals guide for his litigation practice.
  • Named to Boston Magazine’s Top Lawyers list in 2021–2023 in the area of civil litigation/defense.
  • Named a 2019 Intellectual Property Trailblazer by The National Law Journal.
  • Received the Winning Litigator award by The National Law Journal in 2017 for a significant trial victory for Intel Corporation in a $2 billion patent infringement suit brought by AVM Technologies.
  • Texas Lawyer selected client Apple’s case led by Mr. Mueller, Core Wireless Licensing v. Apple, as a Top IP Defense Win in 2015 in their Top Texas Verdicts & Settlements supplement.
  • Selected as a 2014–2023 IP Star by Managing IP, a guidebook that identifies leading IP lawyers in the United States.
  • Recognized for intellectual property - patent litigation in the 2018 edition of The Legal 500 United States.
  • Recognized as a 2014 Boston Rising Star by The National Law Journal, a list honoring 40 outstanding lawyers age 40 or under who “have accomplished big feats” and are also “improving their communities.”
  • Named a 2013 “40 under 40” honoree by the Boston Business Journal, among “business and civic leaders who collectively represent the next wave of talent and commitment in the Boston economy.”
  • Selected for inclusion in the 2016–2021 editions of Massachusetts Super Lawyers, published in Boston Magazine, and was listed as a Massachusetts Super Lawyers Rising Star in 2009–2014.
  • Named to the Lawdragon 500 Leading Litigators in America list.

Insights & News


  • Education

    • BA, Government, Harvard University

      cum laude
    • JD, Boston College Law School

      summa cum laude Order of the Coif
  • Admissions

    • Massachusetts

  • Clerkships

    • The Hon. Paul R. Michel, US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

    • The Hon. Patti B. Saris, US District Court for the District of Massachusetts



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