Janet O'Connor Cornell
Practice Areas

  • Construction Accident and Labor Law
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Construction Defect
  • Educational Liability and School Supervision
  • Municipal Liability
  • Premises Liability
  • Product Liability

Janet O’Connor Cornell Partner

Janet O’Connor Cornell, a founding member of the firm, is a  “AV Preeminent” rated attorney and has more than 25 years’ experience as a litigator in the New York City area. Ms. Cornell is a seasoned trial attorney with experience handling a wide range of complex litigation matters for corporate and individual clients in state and federal courts, as well as in court-sponsored and private arbitrations and mediations. Ms. Cornell regularly represents municipalities, major construction companies, corporations, hotels and educational institutions in a variety of matters, including the defense of construction related litigation, insurance coverage disputes, contract actions, and product liability claims. A number of Ms. Cornell’s cases have resulted in reported decisions which continue to shape New York law.

Representative Clients

Ms. Cornell has represented many construction and development companies including Tishman Construction Company, Levine Builders, Navillus, the New York City School Construction Authority and The Related Companies. In addition, she has represented numerous educational institutions, including Barnard College, The Rockefeller University, Teachers College, Columbia University, The Fashion Institute of Technology and Pratt Institute as well as New York City public schools and many charter schools in a host of litigated matters involving construction and other general liability matters including assault, failure to supervise and wrongful death. Stemming from her success as a litigator, Ms. Cornell has developed a broad-based, full-service relationship with these educational institutions, providing regular advice and counsel on a wide range of issues including contract negotiation and drafting and risk management.


Ms. Cornell has been awarded the “Super Lawyers” rating since 2013. In addition, Ms. Cornell was inducted to the Senior Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America, an invitation only organization that is composed of experienced trial lawyers around the country. Ms Cornell was also chosen to be a member of United Educators, Defense Advisory Council. Ms. Cornell is a member of the Fellowship of Construction Lawyers Society of America.


Ms. Cornell is admitted to practice in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. She is also admitted to practice before the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern District of New York and the District Court of New Jersey. She was deemed qualified to argue before the United States Supreme Court in 1998.

Board/Charitable Endeavors

Ms. Cornell and her firm help sponsor the award-winning Diversity Initiative designed by the Defense Association of New York (DANY) providing mentorship and guidance to minority and women attorneys.
Ms. Cornell is a Board member of “Hope on A String”, a nonprofit that seeks to empower self-sufficiency through the use of music, dance and the arts in communities in Haiti following the earthquake in 2010.
Ms. Cornell helped create a scholarship in memory of her parents that provides financial support to college bound students from public high schools in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
She is also certified with the Literacy Volunteers of America which assist those learning English as a second language.


New York “Super Lawyers”
Litigation Counsel of America
Construction Lawyers Society of America
United Educators, Defense Counsel Advisory panel
New York State Bar Association
American Bar Association


A Fairfield University graduate with cum laude honors, Ms. Cornell received her Juris Doctorate degree from Fordham University in 1983.


  • Janet O'Connor Cornell


Practice Areas


Cornell Grace, P.C. is committed to providing clients with the highest quality legal representation while maintaining the hands-on personal service of a boutique law firm. We handle cases vigorously, with painstaking attention to detail at every phase, always working in pursuit of the best resolution for our clients.