Joe Hammell has a national employment and commercial litigation practice, having handled cases in more than 20 jurisdictions. He has tried more than 30 cases without a loss involving a variety of employment and commercial disputes in federal and state courts throughout the United States. In a number of defense cases, Joe has won counterclaims and/or awards of sanctions or costs against plaintiffs, which clients have been able to reference to discourage other meritless claims.
Joe has handled individual and class/collective claims of discrimination (including race, gender, pregnancy, age, marital/familial status, and disability), harassment, wrongful discharge, breach of contract, breach of restrictive covenants, misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of fiduciary duty, and the full gamut of employment-related torts. He has substantial experience with sensitive internal investigations, executive and employee agreements, policy formulation, wage and hour issues, and counseling employers on a wide range of employment issues. He also has broad experience with jury research and jury consultants on major litigation.
Joe has developed and successfully implemented strategies for clients with operations across the United States to require all disputes to be litigated or arbitrated in a single forum of the client's choosing. He is a regular speaker and instructor at seminars, conferences, and industry gatherings and has given hundreds of presentations on employment law and litigation skills and tactics.
Joe is a member of the American, Minnesota State, and Hennepin County Bar Associations and a member of the board of the Conflict Resolution Center. He also co-chaired the bar committee that redrafted Minnesota's standard jury instructions for employment cases.
The following represents experience acquired prior to joining Jones Day.
Co-lead counsel for defense in a case involving claims for more than $1 billion for usurpation of corporate opportunity, breach of fiduciary duty, violation of restrictive covenants, and other claims. After eight weeks of trial, judgment for defense at conclusion of plaintiff's case, with client awarded $650,000 in costs.
Co-lead counsel for defense in employee raiding and trade secret case with claimed damages of $450 million. Summary judgment for defense. Successfully argued Eighth Circuit Appeal, achieving full affirmance.
Lead counsel defending large European pharmaceutical and medical device conglomerate in multicontract dispute involving claims in excess of $250 million and complex discovery issues involving documents and witnesses outside the U.S. and application of the Hague Convention. Settled favorably.
Lead counsel in litigation between two major technology companies waged simultaneously in six different states, defeating every attempt by opposing side to obtain preliminary injunctive relief against client, while obtaining injunctive relief in favor of client, and ultimately reaching a favorable settlement with no payment by client.
Lead counsel for defendant in federal class action under Americans With Disabilities Act and parallel state law, with an early, favorable settlement reached.
Lead counsel in multiple wage and hour class actions involving federal and state law claims, including California, Minnesota, New York, and Illinois.
Lead counsel in putative nationwide class action by African American sales representatives, achieving favorable settlement with no payment by client after filing affirmative motion on behalf of defendant to block class certification.
Lead counsel for plaintiff in commercial contract dispute involving claims for breach of contract and business torts involving a nationwide portfolio of limited real estate partnerships, winning $18.3 million jury verdict. Successfully argued Eighth Circuit appeal, obtaining affirmance.
Co-lead counsel for defendant in more than 30 related age discrimination lawsuits involving more than 50 claimants in both federal and state courts of Minnesota arising from a series of workforce reductions. Defeated class certification in federal court, which was affirmed on appeal to the Eighth Circuit. Thereafter, obtained dismissal of almost all individual cases on summary judgment, with settlement of a few cases for nominal sums.
Co-lead counsel for defendants in nationwide age discrimination class action with EEOC intervention, with damage claims of more than $400 million, more than 550 depositions, and more than 3 million documents. Case settled favorably.
Lead counsel in numerous trade secret and business tort cases in a variety of jurisdictions, including cases involving confidentiality and noncompete agreements, breach of fiduciary duty, and employee raiding.
Counsel for employers and individual executives in litigated and non-litigated circumstances involving sensitive terminations of high-ranking employees. In one illustrative case, obtained summary judgment in California state action in which two former executives who had engaged in a romantic relationship sued for wrongful discharge, marital status and race discrimination, invasion of privacy, and other claims. Plaintiffs thereafter agreed to pay client in settlement of the cross-complaint against them for breach of fiduciary duty and other claims.
Counsel for plaintiff in arbitration of major commercial contract dispute, prevailing on claims and obtaining offensive collateral estoppel with respect to other claims.
Counsel for defendants in numerous lawsuits involving food supplement product liability claims. Cases favorably resolved.
Counsel for defendant in multimillion dollar computer disk drive warranty case. Favorably settled.
- University of Michigan (J.D. 1985; Associate Editor, Michigan Law Review); Harvard University (B.A. in Government cum laude 1983)
- Minnesota, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, and U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota
"America's Leading Business Lawyers" by Chambers USA (labor & employment)
Minnesota Super Lawyers
Best Lawyers in America (litigation — labor & employment)
"Top Tier Lawyer" by The Legal 500
"Leading Minnesota Attorney" (commercial litigation and employment law) in an independent survey of Minnesota lawyers