About Janet

Bar Admissions
  • Massachusetts, 1979
  • District of Columbia, 1993
Court Admissions
  • U.S. District Court, District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court, District of Maryland
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims
  • Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
Professional Associations
  • District of Columbia Bar Association (Sections: Securities, Litigation)
  • The American Bar Association (Sections: Securities Litigation, Alternative Dispute Resolution)
  • Public Investors Arbitration Association (PIABA)
  • Association of Securities and Exchange Commission Alumni
Education and Training
  • Harvard Negotiation Institute, Mediating Disputes, 2012.
  • DePaul University College of Law, J.D., 1979. Note and Comment Editor for the DePaul Law Review.
  • University of Massachusetts, B.A., 1969.
Speaking and Writing
  • Guest Lecturer, University of Maryland School of Law, 2004 and 2006.
  • Panel Member, NASD-R Mediation Workshop, designed for members of the brokerage industry, 2002.
  • Speaker, NASD Arbitrator Skills Training Program, 1996.
  • Author, SEC Enforcement Developments Involving Financial Disclosure, Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants, 1986.
Pro Bono Representation
  • AARP’s Legal Counsel for the Elderly Pro Bono Program.
  • United Jewish Federation’s Project Citizenship.

Janet K. DeCostaSince becoming a sole practitioner in 1993, I have represented clients in over seventy-five FINRA, NASD, and NYSE arbitrations and mediations. I have appeared before most of the Washington, DC area state and federal courts, as well as before numerous courts throughout the country. As a result of my representation my clients have recovered millions of dollars in compensatory and punitive damages and have resolved a myriad of non-economic issues.

I began my career as a litigator in the Honors Program of the U.S. Department of Justice. My first cases involved stripping Nazi war criminals of their ill-gotten citizenship and deporting them from the U.S. As Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia, I obtained the first conviction in the Fourth Circuit for major drug kingpins under the Continuing Criminal Enterprise Statute. As an Assistant Chief Trial Attorney with the Securities and Exchange Commission, I was lead attorney in litigating the securities fraud case against the CEO of the largest insurance company to have gone bankrupt at that time.

I honed my skills as a lawyer in prosecuting these extraordinarily complex cases. They are the same skills I use as your advocate. When I represent you, you can be confident that there is no attorney who will be better prepared, have a better handle on the issues or be more vigorous and diligent in representing your interests than me.

You, the client, are the driving force in my practice. I always keep in mind that I represent real people with real issues. You may be worried about your life savings, livelihood, career, or business. I will treat you with respect and dignity, keep you informed about your case, and do everything I can to reduce your stress and anxiety so that you can sleep more easily at night.

My peers rank me at the highest level of professional excellence.

Of Counsel to Lax & Neville