The Avant Building
200 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, New York 14202
New York Office
1270 Avenue of the Americas
New York, New York 10020
Joe is Barclay Damon’s Media & First Amendment Law Practice Area chair. With almost 40 years of legal experience, Joe represents print, electronic, and internet-based news media organizations in all aspects of news gathering and dissemination, First Amendment issues, and defamation defense. He has also been centrally involved in multiple high-profile, commercial-litigation career cases.
- Successfully defended Erie County, along with late law partner John Stenger, against $620 million of lost-profits breach-of-contract damages claims resulting from an aborted domed-stadium project in Buffalo. The county prevailed on all profits claims after two jury trials—one of which lasted 13 months, which was then thought to be the longest civil-jury trial in NY history—and two trips to New York’s highest appellate court. These Court of Appeals decisions, known simply as Kenford I and Kenford II, still stand as the principal NY authorities on lost profits damages in breach-of-contract actions.
- Represented one of the world’s largest petrochemical companies in a breach-of-contract action against domestic and foreign general-liability-insurance carriers and reinsurers to recover its expenditures for environmental cleanups at, among other sites, the Love Canal. Coordinated and supervised a massive discovery effort that involved constructing a screening facility and employing over 100 document screeners and more than 12 lawyers to review over 23 million documents. Eventually, 9 million documents were produced. Oversaw the litigation of over 300,000 document-privilege claims on the way to a favorable confidential settlement.
- Won a decision declaring New York’s statutory ban on cameras in the courtroom inapplicable to bar photographic coverage. The ruling came in the nationally infamous trial of James Kopp for the sniper murder of abortion provider Dr. Barnett Slepian in his Amherst, New York, home.