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.