Joseph E. Belsito is an experienced business attorney with a passion for client service and an outside-the-box approach to problem solving. His more than 15 years of experience includes counseling closely held and family owned businesses (as well as their owners) and as in-house corporate counsel with a multi-billion dollar global enterprise. At Miller Johnson, his practice focuses on general corporate and business matters, mergers & acquisitions, commercial transactions, and product advertising and regulatory compliance.
General Corporate and Business Matters
Mr. Belsito counsels closely held and family owned businesses in a broad range of matters including pre-formation and strategic planning, entity formation and structuring, corporate governance, officer and directors’ duties, ownership rights, litigation prevention, ownership transfers, and succession planning. .
Mergers and Acquisitions
Mr. Belsito represents private companies in the structured acquisition and divestiture of assets and businesses, joint ventures, and other strategic combinations and sales. He has counseled clients across a broad range of transactions, including stock and membership interest purchase and sales, asset purchases and sales, leveraged buyouts, privately financed acquisitions, management buyouts, and sales to family and key employees.
Mr. Belsito regularly drafts and negotiates commercial transactions across myriad industries, including medical device, food and beverage, auto supply, software, financial services, consumer goods, manufacturing, professional services, franchising, and other regulated industries. He has successfully negotiated product supply and services agreements, software and intellectual property licensing agreements, and equipment sale and leasing agreements.
Product Advertising & Regulatory Compliance
Mr. Belsito has extensive experience advising and managing risk related to advertising and product regulatory compliance, including claims development and substantiation. He has particular expertise counseling clients on FTC advertising law and enforcement for print, digital, and social media involving issues like Made in USA claims, .com disclosures, endorsements and testimonials, comparative advertising, and puffery. He also has extensive experience with FDA regulation of foods, beverages, dietary supplements, and cosmetics and personal care products.
Professional Affiliations, Activities and Honors
Mr. Belsito is a member of the American Bar Association and the Michigan Bar Association. Prior to his transition to in-house counsel, he was recognized as a Michigan SuperLawyers “Rising Star” in 2009 and 2012. He has also served as an Adjunct Faculty Professor at Grand Valley State University, where he taught Commercial Law in 2018 and 2019.
Mr. Belsito has been actively involved in the Grand Rapids community for most of his adult life, including service to local non-profit organizations. Since January 2020, he has served on the Board of Directors for The Delta Project. He has also served on the Boards of Metro Health Hospital Foundation (2013-2015) and Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women (GROW) (2011-2013). He has also devoted his time to the John Ball Zoo Society Planning Committee (2012-2013).
Mr. Belsito earned his Juris Doctor magna cum laude from the Michigan State University College of Law, where he was a Managing Editor of Law Review. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Miami University (Ohio).