Joanna Topping focuses on civil litigation and counseling in the areas of municipal, education, civil rights and employment law. She also has significant experience handling insurance defense litigation and coverage disputes. Joanna has tried numerous cases receiving favorable verdicts in New York state and federal trial courts. She also regularly represents clients in administrative forums such as the New York State Division of Human Rights and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Drawing on her strong written and oral advocacy skills, Joanna effectively represents the interests of private and municipal clients in appellate matters. Her appellate experience encompasses many areas including employment, civil rights, products liability, automobile and premises liability and commercial litigation.
Joanna also provides services to help clients avoid litigation, including drafting and negotiating employment and separation agreements, drafting employee manuals and conducting internal investigations on behalf of employers.
Joanna practiced in the areas of plaintiffs’ personal injury and criminal defense before joining and becoming a partner in a large national defense firm. Her prior experience brings unique insight to her analysis of the claims she handles in her current practice. She also previously worked as a law clerk in the offices of the Kings County District Attorney, Nassau County District Attorney and United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.
Some of the representative cases she has handled are as follows:
Bivens v. Institute for Community Living, 14 CV 07173 (S.D.N.Y.) (obtained defense verdict in gender discrimination in employment claim)
Buchy v. The City of White Plains, 14 CV 01806 (S.D.N.Y) (obtained defense verdict in Fourth Amendment excessive use of force claim)
Benjamin v. The City of Yonkers, 13 CV 08699, 2017 WL 187479 (S.D.N.Y. 2017) (obtained summary judgment dismissing complaint in gender discrimination in employment claim)
Thrower v. The City of White Plains, 09 CV 06828 (S.D.N.Y) (obtained defense verdict in racial discrimination in employment claim)
Sheppard v. New York Sports Club, 14 CV 09907 (S.D.N.Y.) (obtained summary judgment dismissing complaint in racial discrimination claim alleging denial of public accommodation)
Bishop v. Henry Modell & Company, 08 Civ. 7541, 2009 WL 3762119 (S.D.N.Y. 2009) aff’d , 422 Fed. Appx 3, 2011 WL 1789986 (2d Cir. May 11, 2011) (obtained dismissal of racial discrimination claim alleging denial of public accommodation, affirmed by Second Circuit on appeal)
Bishop v. Henry Modell & Co, Inc., 126 A.D.3d 483 (1st Dep’t 2015)(Appellate Division affirmed Supreme Court’s dismissal of complaint alleging fraud and negligent misrepresentation claims)
Pierre v. Westchester Medical Center, 04 CV 07659 (S.D.N.Y.) (obtained defense verdict in gender and racial discrimination in employment claim)
Pisani v. Westchester County Health Care Corporation, 424 F. Supp. 2d 210 (S.D.N.Y. 2006) (obtained dismissal of compliant alleging federal and state law defamation claims)
Van Cortland v. Westchester County, 07 CV 01783 (obtained summary judgment dismissing complaint of violation of civil rights arising out of involuntary commitment to psychiatric facility)