Joanna J. Chen, Phillips Lytle Partner

Joanna J. Chen

Buffalo; Albany
(716) 847-5433
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Ms. Chen concentrates her practice in the areas of class action and complex commercial disputes, including theft of trade secrets, breach of contract, and business torts. Additionally, Ms. Chen has experience in counseling private and public entities on employment matters, as well as defending federal and state employment lawsuits involving FLSA, Titles II and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, ADA, and the New York Human Rights Law. She has experience in federal and state motion practice, appellate practice, depositions and e-discovery.

Admitted to Practice

  • New York
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

Honors & Awards

  • Business First of Buffalo 40 Under 40 Award, 2020
  • Named to Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch
  • Named Upstate New York Super Lawyers® Rising Star, 2016-2020
  • Honorable Judith S. Kaye Commercial and Federal Litigation Scholarship Recipient, 2019
  • Named to Lawyers of Color’s Second Annual Hot List, 2014
  • Honoree of the New York State Bar Association Empire State Counsel® Program for Pro Bono Work, 2012


  • Cornell Law School, J.D., 2011
  • University of Texas, B.A., B.B.A., 2008 (Phi Beta Kappa)


  • Mandarin Chinese
  • French

Professional Associations

  • American Bar Association
    • Business Law Section
    • Litigation Section
    • Young Lawyers Division
  • Bar Association of Erie County
  • New York State Bar Association
    • Commercial & Federal Law Section
    • Young Lawyers Section
  • Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York, WNY Chapter
  • WNY Trial Lawyers Association, Treasurer

Present Activities

  • Erie County Democratic Committee, Executive Committee, Member
  • National Federation for Just Communities of Western New York, Board Member

Past Activities

  • Beverly Gray Business Exchange Center, Special Advisory Group, Co-Chair
  • Minority Bar Association of Western New York, Inc.
  • Cornell International Law Journal, Senior Articles Editor
  • LII Supreme Court Bulletin, Executive Editor
  • Cornell Law School Moot Court Board
  • Tonawanda Main Street Program, Board Member