February 2, 2010


Hanna cited for establishing important diversity initiatives in the legal profession and for his commitment to improving our communities

ALBANY-Joseph M. Hanna, a partner of Goldberg Segalla LLP, was honored with the 2010 Outstanding Young Lawyer Award from the New York State Bar Association during its Annual Meeting at the Hilton New York in Manhattan. Sponsored by the Young Lawyers Section, the award is given annually to a young attorney who has rendered outstanding service to both the legal profession and the community with a distinguished record of commitment to the finest traditions of the Bar through public service and professional activities.

The section presented the award to Hanna, of Amherst, for his efforts to promote diversity in the legal profession and his leadership in his community. In only five years since graduating from University at Buffalo Law School, he has made partner at his law firm, chaired diversity networking events that have become nationwide models, and founded a non-profit organization that provides soldiers serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and wounded veterans at home golf equipment for rehabilitation and recreation.

"In just a few short years, Joe Hanna has captured the attention of senior members of the bar and has been a great role model for young attorneys. He exemplifies the very best of our profession through his legal work, his commitment to increasing diversity in our profession, and his work on behalf of veterans," said State Bar President Michael E. Getnick (Getnick Livingston Atkinson & Priore, LLP of Utica and of counsel to Getnick & Getnick of New York City) "It is always important to take time to recognize the future talent of our profession and we are pleased to present this award to him."

Hanna concentrates his practice in commercial litigation with a focus on intellectual property law; construction litigation; fidelity and surety law; and sports and entertainment law. He chairs his firm's diversity task force including organizing and chairing "Success in the City," a networking event that brings together business leaders, politicians, and members of minority bar associations to celebrate diversity in Buffalo's developing community. The event is now being replicated in cities across the country including Baltimore, Maryland and Birmingham, Alabama.

"Whether it's effectively maintaining a complex litigation caseload, creating networking events that celebrate diversity, or helping our troops, Joe Hanna has been simply an outstanding role model. He does all he can to make his community better, with incredible intelligence and unparalleled drive," said Young Lawyers Section Chair Tucker C. Stanclift of Glens Falls (Stanclift Ludemann & McMorris, PC). "He is a most deserving recipient of this award, and we are pleased to recognize his considerable achievements."

A Buffalo native, Hanna is the founder and president of Bunkers in Baghdad, Inc., a Buffalo-based non-profit that collects and ships golf equipment to soldiers serving in combat zones, as well asĀ  to injured veterans in the United States to aid their rehabilitation. To date, Bunkers has shipped more than 360,000 golf balls and 8,800 clubs to Iraq and Afghanistan, and 415,000 golf balls and 13,000 clubs around the nation. On June 26, 2009, Hanna rang the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange in recognition of Bunkers' work.

Hanna is a frequent speaker on diversity issues and has written more than 50 articles and chapters in national and state publications on issues such as diversity in the legal profession to pieces on sports and entertainment law. He also is the recipient of the Defense Research Institute's Young Lawyer of the Year for Outstanding Service for his work in organizing minority bar programs throughout the country, authoring articles on minority attorney retention, and spearheading the creation of a comprehensive database of more than 500 minority law organizations established throughout the United States. Within the State Bar Association, Hanna is a member of the Young Lawyers Section and the Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Section.

Previous winners of the Outstanding Young Lawyer Award include: Past President Kathryn Grant Madigan of Binghamton (Levene Gouldin & Thompson LLP); Andrew P. Sparkler of New York (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers); David A. Kochman of New York (Reed Smith); Torts, Insurance and Compensation Law Section Chair Laurie A. Giordano of Rochester (Leclair Korona Giordano Cole LLP); and John G. Horn of Buffalo (Harter, Secrest & Emery LLP).

Founded in 1876, the 77,000-member New York State Bar Association is the official statewide organization of lawyers in New York and the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. The State Bar's programs and activities have continuously served the public and improved the justice system for more than 130 years.