about Joe platania

about Joe platania

Joe graduated magna cum laude with a BA in Political Science from Providence College in 1994.  He then spent a year teaching and coaching at Our Lady of Guadalupe elementary and middle school in Houston, Texas through the Jesuit Volunteer Corps.  He graduated from Washington & Lee School of Law in 1998 and his first job was in Richmond with the Virginia Resource Center.  Joe was an appellate attorney and represented Virginia inmates who had been convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death.  Joe moved to Charlottesville in 1999 and was one of the 7 original attorneys in the newly opened Public Defender’s Office.  He was appointed as an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney in 2003 and primarily handles serious felony cases in Circuit Court.  Joe also prosecutes crimes of violence and complex narcotics and firearms conspiracies in federal court and has been a cross designated Special Assistant United States Attorney since 2008. 

He serves on the Board of Directors for Offender Aid and Restoration and is the Chairman of the Charlottesville-Albemarle Drug Court Advisory Board.  He is an Adjunct Faculty member at the University of Virginia School of Law where he co-teaches the Prosecution Clinic.  He also serves on the Virginia State Bar’s 7th District Disciplinary Committee and is President Elect of the Charlottesville-Albemarle Bar Association.

His wife Chris is a psychotherapist in private practice and their children, Avery and Lucia, are students at Burnley Moran Elementary School.  In his free time, Joe enjoys playing chess, hiking, and spending time on the St. Lawrence River.

“Goodness without knowledge…is weak and feeble, yet knowledge without goodness is dangerous…Both united form the noblest character and lay the surest foundation of usefulness to mankind.”
—John Phillips 1719-1795