Joseph M. Hanna

Joseph M. Hanna

Partner

Practice Groups

Joseph Hanna is a partner of the firm and concentrates his practice in commercial litigation with a focus on sports and entertainment law and retail, hospitality, and development litigation. Joe represents sports franchises, professional athletes, and movie studios with various issues related to licensing, contracts, and day-to-day management. He serves as Chair of Goldberg Segalla's Sports and Entertainment Law Practice Group. In addition, Joe is the Chair of Goldberg Segalla's Diversity Task Force and editor of the firm’s Sports and Entertainment Law Insider blog. He possesses an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell.

In recognition of his work representing clients in the media and entertainment world and authoring some of the leading articles on high-profile issues making international headlines in these areas, including the first truly comprehensive examination of the legal issues in the National Football League concussion litigation controversy, Joe was named a Law360 Rising Star for 2014. This national honor ranks Joe among the top lawyers under age 40 practicing today. He is one of only five named in the Media and Entertainment category, and one of just over 160 lawyers in the entire country to receive a Law360 Rising Star award in 2014.

As Chair of Goldberg Segalla's Diversity Task Force, Joe's dedication to diversity is demonstrated in his leadership in various organizations and outreach programs — including his recent tenure as President of the Minority Bar Association of Western New York (MBAWNY) and his current role as President of the MBAWNY Foundation, Inc. — as well as the recognition he has received for his efforts, including the Minority Corporate Counsel Association George B. Vashon Innovator Award and the New York State Bar Association Diversity Trailblazer Award. Joe was recently selected for the 2014 Fellows program by the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity. He organizes and Chairs Success in the City, a diversity networking event geared toward bringing together business, corporate, and community leaders, as well as corporate counsel, local politicians, and members of minority bar associations to celebrate the successes and critical importance of diversity in Buffalo's developing community. Past Success in the City events have drawn more than 500 attendees, and the event serves as a model for other cities aiming to promote inclusive and diverse professional communities. Joe received the MBAWNY Community Service Award for his leadership in making diversity and inclusion in Western New York a focal point through Success in the City and working with inner city students to help better their lives.

Joe is also the Founder and President of Bunkers in Baghdad, Inc., a nonprofit that collects and ships new and used golf equipment for recreational purposes to our brave troops in 30 countries around the world. Bunkers also distributes equipment to wounded warriors throughout the United States and Europe to aid in their rehabilitation, including Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Fort Hood, Fort Drum, and VA hospitals across the country. The charity works with school children nationwide who pack each box with balls, cards, and letters they write to the soldiers. The “Bunkers Buddies” program is especially rewarding for the soldiers, and for the students themselves. Bunkers in Baghdad has collected more than 5 million golf balls and more than 200,000 golf clubs for our troops and veterans. In recognition of Bunkers in Baghdad's contributions, Joe has received numerous accolades, including a Daily Point of Light Award, a national recognition program created by the George H.W. Bush administration to honor individuals and groups for making meaningful change in their communities through voluntary action.

As a member of the American Bar Association (ABA), Joe was chosen to participate in the prestigious Young Lawyer Leadership Program (YLLP). He was named American Bar Association's Outstanding Chair of 2010 for his work on the ABA's Minority Trial Lawyer Committee. Also in 2010, Joe was awarded the New York State Bar Association Outstanding Young Lawyer Award for his efforts to enhance diversity in the legal profession and effective leadership in community activities. The award is presented annually to a young lawyer who has rendered outstanding service to both the community and the legal profession and has a distinguished record of commitment to the finest traditions of the New York State Bar through public service and professional activities. In addition, Joe has received the prestigious 40 Under 40 award given to Western New York's best and brightest future leaders in the community.

In 2007, Joe was named DRI's Young Lawyer of the Year for Outstanding Service for his work on the organization's Young Lawyer Committee. He was awarded this distinction and honor for his commitment to diversity in organizing various minority bar programs throughout the country, authoring articles on minority attorney retention and spearheading the creation of a comprehensive database of over 500 minority law organizations which have been established throughout the U.S.

Joe graduated summa cum laude from the State University of New York at Buffalo and cum laude from its law school. He received his Master of Public Administration degree with a concentration on Public and Nonprofit Management from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs in 2014. Joe graduated in the top 5 percent of his class at Syracuse.

Professional Affiliations
  • American Bar Association
    • Chair, Minority Trial Lawyer Committee
    • Editor-In-Chief, Minority Trial Lawyer
    • Section of Litigation, Young Lawyer Leadership Program (YLLP)
    • ABA Judicial Internship Opportunity Working Group
    • ABA Judicial Internship Opportunity Screening Committee
    • Young Lawyers Division: Vice Chair, Minorities in the Profession Committee
  • Minority Bar Association of Western New York, President 2011
  • Minority Bar Association of Western New York Foundation, Inc.: President
  • Defense Research Institute
    • Marketing Chair, 2013 Annual Meeting
    • Marketing Vice-Chair, 2012 Annual Meeting
    • New York Marketing Chair, 2008, 2009 Annual Meeting
    • Atlantic Marketing Chair, 2007 Annual Meeting
    • Commercial Litigation Committee: Chair, Sports and Entertainment Law SLG; Liaison to Diversity Law Committee
    • Young Lawyers Committee: Chair, Seminar Planning Committee; Chair, Minority Outreach Subcommittee; Liaison to Diversity Law Committee
    • Diversity Committee: Chair, Outreach Subcommittee
    • Construction Law Committee: Seminar Marketing Chair; Liaison to Diversity Law Committee
    • Pro Bono and Public Service Committee
  • Bar Association of Erie County: Judiciary Committee
  • New York State Bar Association: Fellow, New York State Bar Foundation
  • Leadership Council on Legal Diversity: Fellow
Honors — Legal and Community Service
  • Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating: AV Preeminent
  • Law360 Rising Star (Media and Entertainment), 2014
  • All Tournament Team and First Place Team, National Collegiate Golf Association Northeast Regional, Syracuse University, Spring 2014
  • Upstate New York Super Lawyers, Rising Stars 2013-2014 (Entertainment and Sports)
  • ABA Section of Litigation Most Dynamic Committee Award, 2013
  • Lawyers Cup Champion, Minority Corporate Counsel Association 10th Annual General Counsel Invitational Diversity Leadership Summit Golf Tournament, June 2013
  • Minority Corporate Counsel Association George B. Vashon Innovator Award, 2012
  • Value Award for Diversity, Leadership Buffalo, 2012
  • New York State Bar Association Diversity Trailblazer Award, 2012
  • National Federation for Just Communities of Western New York Legal Community Leader Award, 2012
  • American Bar Association's Section of Litigation Good Works Award, 2012
  • Business First's Legal Elite of Western New York (Commercial Litigation)
  • Buffalo Spree Game Changers, 2012
  • Winner (with Christopher J. Belter), Minority Corporate Counsel Association 9th Annual General Counsel Invitational Diversity Leadership Summit Golf Tournament, 2012
  • Defense Research Institute's Community Service Award, 2011
  • 22nd Annual University at Buffalo Law School Students of Color Trailblazer Award, 2011
  • Daily Point of Light Award
  • 40 Under 40 Award, Business First, 2010
  • American Bar Association's Outstanding Chair for 2010
  • 2010 New York State Bar Association Outstanding Young Lawyer Award
  • The President's Volunteer Service Award, 2010
  • Fellow of the New York State Bar Foundation
  • Buffalo Niagara Human Resource Association (BNHRA) Diversity Excellence Award
  • Minority Bar Association of Western New York, Inc. Community Service Award, 2009 
  • New York State Bar Association featured article of the month, “The NFL v. Cable Television: Which Heavyweight Will Be Left Standing?,” May 2008
  • Leader Spotlight, DRI's The Voice, April, 2008
  • The American Bar Association magazine General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Division named “Beware of Dawg, Beware of Owner, Too” the best intellectual property article published in 2006
  • DRI's Young Lawyer of the Year Award for Outstanding Service, 2007
Recognition for Bunkers in Baghdad
  • Certificate of Appreciation, 452nd Combat Support Hospital “Iron Medics”
  • Letter of Appreciation from U.S. Army General Martin E. Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, March 2013
  • Certificate of Appreciation, Third Infantry Division Golf Team, Combined Joint Task Force — Regional Command South, Kandahar, Afghanistan
  • Certificate of Appreciation, Task Force Patika, 3rd Battalion, 69th Armored Regiment
  • Certificate of Achievement from the 519th Military Intelligence Battalion
  • Certificate of Appreciation presented by the United States Department of the Army Wounded Warrior Program
  • Certificate of Appreciation from the United States Marine Corps Battery E, 2d Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division (Forward) 
  • Certificate of Appreciation from the United States Marines Wing Support Squadron 373 (Forward), 3d Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward)
  • Certificate of Appreciation from the U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2)
  • Flag Flown Over Forward Operating Base Dwyer, Helmand Province of Afghanistan, by Battery E, 2d Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division (Forward)
  • Certificate of Appreciation from the 54th Signal Battalion, Camp Arifjan, Voice of the Desert
  • Certificate of Appreciation from the 940th Military Police Company (Combat Support), Camp Liberty, Iraq
  • American Patriot Award, Army National Guard
  • Certificate of Appreciation from the United States Army 116th Brigade Special Troops Battalion Headquarters
  • Certificate of Appreciation, 2nd Battalion 11th Field Artillery Regiment
  • U.S. Marines, Operation Iraqi Freedom Shock and Awe Award of Excellence
  • Certificate of Appreciation, Task Force Troy United States Division-South 84th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Battalion
  • Balad Air Base, Iraq, Certificate of Appreciation for Outstanding Support to the 332 Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Flight in direct support of Operation Iraqi Freedom
  • Fort Leavenworth Outstanding Performance Award Presented by the Command Sergeant Major
  • Fort Jackson Garrison Commander's Award for Excellence for Outstanding Performance
  • 122nd Signal Battalion 2D Infantry Division "Voice of the Warrior" Award
  • Fort Drum 10th Mountain Division Climb to Glory Award Presented by the Commanding General for Excellence
  • Department of Defense Office of Military Commissions, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Defending the Rule of Law Award
  • Marine Corps Recruiting Command, Commanding General's Award for Uncommon Leadership
  • United States Army 12th Psychological Operations Battalions Certificate of Appreciation
  • United States Army Freedom Team Salute Commendation
  • Certificate of Appreciation, United States Army 116th Brigade Special Troops Battalion Headquarters
Admitted to Practice
  • New York
  • U.S. District Court, Western, Southern, Eastern, Northern Districts of New York
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of New York
  • Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Northern, Central, Southern Districts of Illinois
  • Pennsylvania
  • District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court, District of Columbia
  • U.S. Supreme Court
Civic Activities
  • Founder, President, Bunkers in Baghdad, Inc.
  • Chairperson, Success in the City, Diversity Networking Event
  • Board of Directors, National Federation for Just Communities of Western New York (NFJC)
  • Board Member, Buffalo & Erie County Workforce Investment Board (WIB)
  • Member, Erie County Citizens' Budget Review Commission
  • Board of Directors, State University of New York at Buffalo Law School Alumni Association
  • Guest Lecturer, Syracuse University
  • Guest Lecturer, SUNY Buffalo Law School
  • Guest Lecturer, School of Law — Loyola University, Chicago
  • Board of Directors, Minority Bar Association Foundation, Inc.
  • Member, Leadership Buffalo (Rising Leaders — 2007)
  • Coach, Mathewson-McCarthy Babe Ruth Youth Baseball League, Amherst, New York
  • University at Buffalo, Mentoring Program
  • Speaker, Buffalo Prep
  • Speaker, Pinnacle Charter School
Prior Experience
  • Law Clerk, Texas Court of Appeals and Texas District Court
Languages
  • Arabic
Education
  • Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, M.P.A., Public and Nonprofit Management Concentration, Top 5% of Class, July 2014
  • State University of New York at Buffalo Law School, J.D., cum laude, 2005
  • State University of New York at Buffalo, B.A., Middle Eastern Politics and Cultural Affairs, summa cum laude, 2002
  • State University of New York at Buffalo, B.A., Political Science, Public Affairs Concentration, summa cum laude, 2002
Publications/Presentations
  • Editor, Sports and Entertainment Law Insider blog
  • Featured in “SU Maxwell Student Sending Golf Equipment to Troops,Local SYR, WSYR-TV, July 15, 2014
  • Featured in “Bunkers in Baghdad,” AM Buffalo, WKBW-TV, June 30, 2014
  • Featured in "Maxwell Student Delivers Golfing Gear to Troops through Bunkers in Baghdad," Syracuse University News, June 13, 2014
  • Quoted in “Go Figure: 5,000,000,” Sports Illustrated SI Golf+Digital, June 11, 2014
  • Featured in “Success Stories Spotlight,” American Bar Association Judicial Intern Opportunity Program, May 28, 2104
  • Featured in “Bunkers in Baghdad Serving Troops Overseas,” America’s Pregame, Fox Sports 1, May 26, 2014
  • Quoted in “NLRB Ruling Not Likely to Have WNY Impact,” Buffalo Law Journal, May 13, 2014
  • Featured in “Rising Star: Goldberg Segalla’s Joseph Hanna,”Law360, May 6, 2014
  • Panelist, “Surviving and Thriving: Success Tips for Diverse Litigators,” American Bar Association Minority Trial Lawyer Committee, April 2014
  • Presenter, “The Sports Product Licensing Game: From Amateurs to Professionals, Everybody Wants to Play,” Syracuse University College of Law, April 2014; Loyola University, 2013; SUNY Buffalo Law School Graduates of the Last Decade Group, January 18, 2012; Loyola University School of Law, April 19, 2011
  • “Bunkers in Baghdad Hits Milestone,”Buffalo Law Journal, March 10, 2014
  • Participant, “Focus Group Discussion,” New York State Judicial Institute on Professionalism, February 28, 2014
  • Presenter, “Supply Chain Reaction: The New Frontier in Compliance, Social Responsibility, Disclosure, and Transparency,” ABA Section of Litigation Corporate Counsel CLE Seminar, Rancho Mirage, CA, February 14, 2014
  • Author, “Missouri Law Could Spell Trouble for NFL’s Chiefs in New Concussion Lawsuit,” quoted in “Jahvid Best Concussion Case Questions Whether He Should Have Been Eligible for NFL Draft at All” and “Family of Concussed Football Player Sues School District,”Concussion Litigation Reporter, February 2014
  • Co-Author, “Concussion and Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation,” Medical Malpractice Depositions, Juris Publishing, 2013
  • Quoted in “Helping Troops Overseas, One Golf Ball at a Time,” CNBC, December 24, 2013
  • Quoted in “All in a Day’s Sports,”Post-Journal, November 23, 2013
  • Quoted in “Goldberg Segalla Partner Calls for Help to Send Golf Equipment to Troops,”Insurance Day, November 21, 2013
  • Quoted in “Invisible Killer: How Legal Fallout From Traumatic Brain Injuries May Forever Change the Way Sports Are Insured,”Property Casualty 360, August 29, 2013
  • Quoted in “HirePatriots.com Helps Military Veterans Find Good-Paying Jobs,”Buffalo Law Journal, July 22, 2013
  • Presenter, “Big Bang Theory: Will the NFL’s Concussion Policy Expose the League to Potentially Massive Liability?,” DRI Business Litigation Seminar, Chicago, Illinois, May 2013
  • Moderator, “Beyond the Business Case Diversity and the Small/Medium Firm,” American Bar Association Section of Litigation Annual CLE Conference, Chicago, Illinois, April 25, 2013
  • Panelist, “Mastering Depositions,” American Bar Association Section of Litigation Annual CLE Conference, Chicago, Illinois, April 25, 2013
  • Presenter, “Big Bang Theory: Will the NFL’s Concussion Policy Expose the League to Potentially Massive Liability?,” CLE seminar, Minority Bar Association of Western New York, April 2013
  • Quoted in "Playing it Safe: Are Concussions Ruining Sports?" Washington Lawyer, April 2013
  • Author, “Concussion Lawsuit Goes Front and Center,” Buffalo Law Journal, April 1, 2013
  • Presenter, “A Day in the Life of a Litigator,” UB School of Law, March 19, 2013
  • Featured in “Buffalo-Born Charity Hits 4M Mark in Golf Balls Sent to U.S. Troops,” Buffalo Law Journal, March 4, 2013
  • Quoted in “Rutgers, Big East To Talk Settlement In Exit Suit,” Law360, February 13, 2013
  • Author, “Giving Golf to the Troops,” Golf Digest, February 2013
  • Author, “Affirmative Action Under Siege,” American Bar Association Minority Trial Lawyer, Winter 2013
  • Co-Author, “Giving It the ‘Old College Try,’" American Bar Association Minority Trial Lawyer, Winter 2013
  • Featured in “Buffalo Game Changers: Joseph Hanna,”Buffalo Spree, December 2012
  • Quoted in “NFL Taps Clement For Concussion MDL,”Law360, December 20, 2012 (subscription required)
  • Presenter, “Best Practices for Pretrial Discovery and the Use of Experts,” ABA Section of Litigation “Sound Advice” Podcast, November 2012
  • Quoted in “NFL Disability Board Undermines League In Concussion MDL,”Law360, November 16, 2012 (subscription required)
  • Author, “Concussions May Prove to Be a Major Headache for the NFL: Players’ Class Action Suit Places a Bounty on the League,” New York State Bar Association Journal, October 2012; Archived in the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Law and Neuroscience Bibliography
  • Featured Mentor, "Major of the Month" Political Science Event, University at Buffalo, October 11, 2012 
  • Co-Author, “Not for the Bashful: Student Athletes, Drug Testing … and Judicial Doctrine,” DRI’s The Business Suit, Newsletter of the Commercial Litigation Committee, August 20, 2012
  • Presenter, "Mentoring For Diversity Charrette," New York State Bar Association Torts, Insurance, and Compensation Law Section Summer Meeting, August 17, 2012