• Pace University School of Law, JD, 2001
  • City College of the City University of New York, BA (magna cum laude), 1994

Joanna is a partner in the New York office where she maintains a nationwide practice and actively provides comprehensive legal advice to US and London market insurers. Joanna litigates insurance coverage issues related to high-exposure personal injury, mass tort, premises liability, property damage (first and third-party coverage), professional liability, public liability, rescission, and breach of contract and fiduciary duty claims in state and federal courts. She has extensive experience analyzing and litigating New York’s Insurance Law and Labor Law, as well as bad faith claims involving Mass. G.L. c. 93A and c. 176D.

Joanna is a member of Kennedys’ Associate Development Committee and participates in recruitment efforts for the firm.

From 2005 to 2020, Joanna was co-chair of the Diversity Committee for the New York State Bar Association’s Torts, Insurance and Compensation Law (TICL) Section. She is currently a member of TICL’s Insurance Coverage Committee.

Qualifications and admissions

  • Massachusetts
  • New York
  • US District Court, Colorado
  • US District Court, Northern District of Florida
  • US District Court, Massachusetts
  • US District Court, Eastern, Northern and Southern Districts of New York
  • First Circuit Court of Appeals

Market recognition

  • TICL’s Chair of the Year Award (2012)
  • Sheldon Hurwitz Young Lawyer Award from the New York State Bar Association’s Torts, Insurance and Compensation Law section (TICL) (2008)

Work highlights

  • Successfully obtained summary judgment for insurer where New York’s “unfortunate events” test did not apply to an employee’s thefts totaling almost $1.5 million. The claimant did not appeal or seek reargument.
  • Secured a dismissal with prejudice for insurer after moving for summary judgment in a New York Labor Law case where the claimant sought to recover $20 million in damages. Instead of filing opposition, the insured agreed to dismiss all claims against the carrier with prejudice and without costs and is instead pursuing its broker.
  • Effectively dismissed claims to recover defense costs and reimbursement of a $2.2m settlement of a Qui Tam action alleging fraud and violations of Federal and State False Claims Acts under a general liability policy and professional liability policy. The dismissal was affirmed on appeal, with costs.
  • Obtained summary judgment for insurer in action seeking reimbursement of amounts that insured contributed toward settlement of underlying lead paint litigation.
  • Avoided expense of appeal through effective re-argument where the court had wrongfully denied summary judgment.
  • Defeated claimant’s dispositive motion and negotiated a nuisance value settlement and release where the sufficiency of client’s disclaimer was questionable and claimant sought to recover $6.5m.

Presentations and publications

  • “The Three-Cornered Mediation: How to Resolve Coverage and Liability at the Same Time”, presented at the ABA Section of Litigation 2020 Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee CLE Seminar, Tucson, AZ (March 2020)
  • “Anatomy of a Coverage Position Letter” In-House Client Training (February 2020)
  • “Basics of Bad Faith” In-House Client Training (January 2019)

Report decisions

  • Ralex Services, Inc. v. Southwest Marine & General Ins. Co., 155 A.D.3d 800 (2d Dept. 2017)
  • Hermitage Ins. Co. v. 186-190 Lenox Road, LLC, 142 A.D.3d 422 (1st Dept. 2016)