Joseph Ponzi, Brooks Pierce Photo

Joseph A. Ponzi



An experienced litigator, Joey Ponzi represents clients in the areas of environmental law, health care litigation, and complex business litigation. He regularly appears before state and federal, trial, appellate, and administrative courts.

My Practices

  • Joey represents businesses in a wide variety of environmental litigation matters such as NPDES, Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act permitting, NEPA, SPCA, and civil penalty assessments. He has experience representing municipalities and water authorities in environmental contamination disputes. He also represents clients in cleanup disputes between responsible parties, and in insurance disputes over coverage for environmental contamination. Joey has appeared extensively in litigation before administrative bodies, as well as in trial and appellate courts, both state and federal.

  • Joey works with state and federal agencies and advises clients on various environmental issues, including Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act permitting, underground storage tanks, contaminated property, and land use. Examples include a brownfields project for the redevelopment of a 50+ acre historic mill, and permitting for a beach renourishment project. He has represented developers, municipalities, natural resource sector companies, and a range of other businesses.

  • Joey represents clients in a myriad of complex business disputes, including issues related to construction, motor carrier disputes, Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practice claims, franchise disputes, land use, and quiet title actions. He regularly appears before trial and appellate courts. Joey is also experienced in alternative dispute resolution, including arbitration of large-scale public construction projects.

  • Joey represents clients in health care litigation, including Medicaid Waiver disputes with LME/MCOs, licensing and penalty disputes with DHHS. He has extensive experience in Medicaid payment disputes, including payment clawbacks and misprocessing of claims. He regularly appears before the Office of Administrative Hearings, and has substantial experience working and negotiating with regulators.


Honors & Recognitions

Selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in Commercial Litigation (2021-2024)

Received the 2018 Good for Kids Award from the North Carolina Pediatric Society (2018)

Recognized in North Carolina Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters) as a “Rising Star” in Business Litigation (2013-2014), and as a "Rising Star" in Environmental Litigation (2015, 2017-2020)

Recognized as one of the Triad Business Journal's "40 Leaders Under 40" (2018)

Recognized by his peers for inclusion in Business North Carolina's "Legal Elite" in Environmental Law (2023)


University of Virginia School of Law, J.D., 2007; Member, Editorial Board, Virginia Law Review

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, B.S., 2002, with honors and distinction


North Carolina

U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th and D.C. Circuits

U.S. District Court for the Western, Middle, and Eastern Districts of North Carolina



Professional & Civic

Professional & Civic Activities

Board of Directors, Peacehaven Farm (2012 – 2017)

Board of Trustees, Greensboro College (2015 - 2019)

Guardian Ad Litem, Orange County (2003 – 04)

Member, North Carolina Bar Association (2007-present)

Member, Young Lawyer’s Division, North Carolina Bar Association (2007-2016)

Member, Litigation Section, North Carolina Bar Association (2007-present)

Member, Environment, Energy, & Natural Resources Law, North Carolina Bar Association (2007-present)

About Me

In my law practice, my primary interest is in exploring and applying legal principles in order to find solutions to the complex problems that clients encounter. In that regard, while I’ve enjoyed a successful motions and appellate practice throughout my career, I’ve also found that by personally engaging with clients and their needs I am better able to reach practical resolutions, whether in court or through alternative approaches. 
My free time is spent with my wife and two children. I'm an avid hiker - a passion my children have adopted for themselves over the years - and we've taken numerous back country hiking trips in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The wild ponies of Grayson Highlands are a favorite.

  • 2
    2 citizenships, 1 in Italy and 1 in America
  • 1
    1 preference for Eastern NC barbecue over Western
  • Countless time spent in camping stores
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