Harvard College, A.B.
Boston College Law School, J.D.

Bar Admissions: Florida, New Hampshire

Joseph W. Downs III was born in Winchester, Massachusetts. Mr. Downs received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Harvard College in 1967. He then received his Juris Doctor from Boston College Law School in 1974. He served in the U.S. Army from 1968 to 1970.

Mr. Downs was admitted to the New Hampshire Bar in 1974 and to the Florida Bar in 1975. He was admitted to the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida in 1975 and to the U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth and Eleventh Circuits in 1981.

Mr. Downs has practiced construction law in Miami, Florida since 1974. He has served as a lawyer, a special master, an arbitrator, and a Florida Supreme Court Certified Circuit Civil Mediator. Mr. Downs has represented designers, contractors, owners and developers. He has been the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Florida Bar Grievance Committees and he has co-authored two volumes about construction law.

Mr. Downs’ construction experience has been recognized by Best Lawyers of America, Chambers Partners and Florida Super Lawyers. In 2010, he received the distinction of being named “Best Lawyers’ 2010 Miami Area Construction Lawyer of the Year”. Mr. Downs is “AV” Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.

Practice Areas

  • Construction and Design Law
  • Arbitration
  • Mediation

Professional Licenses & Awards

  • Best Lawyers’ 2021, 2019, 2018, 2013, 2010 Miami Litigation – Construction “Lawyer of the Year”
  • Best Lawyers In America Award: Construction Law, Litigation-Construction (2006-2016)
  • Peer Review Rated – AV Preeminent by Martindale Hubbell
  • Recognized by Chambers & Partners (Construction)
  • Recognized as a “Florida Super Lawyer” (2006-2015)


Reported Appellate Decisions

  • Easterday v. Masiello, 518 So.2d 260 (Fla. 1988)
  • Easterday v. Masiello, 501 So.2d 117 (Fla. App. 4th Dist., 1987)


  • Co-Author: “Florida Construction Law: What Do You Do When…?”
  • National Business Institute, Inc., 1993. Florida
  • Law for Design Professionals, Lorman Education Services, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001

Court Admissions

  • The New Hampshire Bar, 1974
  • The Florida Bar, 1975
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida 1975
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth and Eleventh Circuits, 1981
  • Florida Supreme Court Certified Circuit Civil Mediator, 2007


  • Dade County Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • The Florida Bar (Member, Grievance Committee 11 “D” 1982-1984. Vice Chairman, Grievance Committee 11 “G” 1988-1990. Chairman, Grievance Committee 11 “M” 2005-2008).
  • Member, Panel of Arbitrators, American Arbitration Association 1984-2004
  • Military: U.S. Army, 1968-1970