Born in Westpoint, New York, Joe graduated from University of California at Irvine (B.A., Cum laude 1979) and Loyola Law School (J.D., 1982).
Joe has been in private practice in the Los Angeles area since 1982. He formed McGaughey & Spirito in 1990. Joe has continually maintained an AV rating in the Martindale-Hubbell legal publication and is listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers. He is the past chair of the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Family Law Section, one of the largest family law bar associations in the United States. Joe is co-founder and past president of the collaborative divorce group, A Better Divorce, past president of Los Angeles Collaborative Family Law Association, as well as past president and board member of the South Bay Bar Association. Joe was recently honored as the South Bay Bar Association’s 2018 Lawyer of the Year.
Joe is an adjunct professor at Loyola Law School, where he teaches a marital property course. He serves on the board of directors of Levitt Quinn, a non-profit family law center. He has also served as a family law Judge Pro Tem and is currently a mediator in the Los Angeles Superior Court Family Law Departments. He has appeared numerous times on NBC’s evening news with anchor Colleen Williams and has been a commentator on “Air Talk – The Legal Edition,” KPCC-FM, Pasadena, California, CBC National TV, American Journal National TV, and ABC National Radio.
Joe has been selected by his peers to the Southern California Super Lawyers list (2005 to present) and The Best Lawyers In America list (2013 to present) for the practice area of Family Law.