I’m a lawyer because I enjoy making creative arguments and finding novel ways to win disputes. I enjoy the challenge of working with complex ideas. Figuring out puzzles gets me going in the morning and I relish finding creative solutions that others may have overlooked.
Joseph “Joe” Apatov is a Member in our Consumer Financial Services Litigation practice group. Based in our Fort Lauderdale office, Joe litigates on behalf of financial services clients in both state and federal courts, with an emphasis on defending banks, mortgage lenders and servicers, private-label card issuers, and automobile finance companies. He has worked extensively with several major consumer protection statutes, including the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), and the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act (FCCPA). His experience also includes representing financial institutions in complex mortgage foreclosure litigation. A substantial portion of Joe’s practice involves consumer class action litigation.
Joe’s approach to litigation integrates both strategic and tactical issues – he begins by performing a quick triage and determining the best course of action for responding, with an eye towards both litigation concerns and business/reputational issues. Each client has unique priorities and concerns, and Joe keeps them at the forefront during the entire course of litigation. Throughout all of this, he looks for systemic problems that may have caused the underlying issue and, where appropriate, advises the client on remedial steps to take to avoid these issues.
Joe is a particularly skilled writer of briefs, pleadings, memoranda, and other documents. When a case requires him to present a difficult or novel argument to a court, he strives to present it in a manner that makes it as familiar and palatable to the reader as possible. Without abandoning a technical argument, for example, he will frame his position in a way that minimizes any undesirable aspects while making the results of his position seem accessible, appropriate, and above all, fair.
He also excels at researching and presenting novel or innovative arguments concerning legal issues that seem settled and final. Particularly for high-volume clients who see a consistent flow of similar litigation and issues, Joe’s ability to uncover, brief, argue, and succeed with groundbreaking legal theories can often alter the legal landscape in their favor for many years to come. When the legal status quo isn’t, his client’s benefit.