William R. Hanna


Direct:  216.928.2940
Fax:  216.916.2377


Focus Areas


  • Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, J.D., 1997
  • Miami University, Ohio, B.A.,1988

Licensed to Practice

  • Ohio
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • Pro hac vice U.S. District Court, District of Colorado, District of Arizona


Bill Hanna is a highly regarded public law specialist; sources say he is an “excellent and conscientious lawyer and particularly skilled at the interface of local government and utility law.”

William R. Hanna is a partner with Walter | Haverfield and Chair of its Public Law Practice Group.  He is also a member of the firm’s Labor & Employment and Litigation practice groups. Bill’s local government practice involves a broad range of legal issues that regularly confront local government bodies: from public records and open meetings to public employment matters, from zoning to economic development, from public entity contracting to public right of way (PROW) management issues.  Bill has served as special counsel and legal adviser to municipal Charter Review Commissions.  In the private sector he has represented employers in defending employment discrimination, wrongful termination, and other employment-related claims, provided day-to-day employment law advice and counseling, and represented clients in more than 100 employment mediations involving the EEOC, OCRC and other state administrative agencies and private mediators.

Bill is the Director of Law for the City of Cleveland Heights and the Village of Moreland Hills, and has served as legal counsel to the Board of Trustees for the Richfield Joint Recreation District since 2014.  From 2011-2020, Bill served as Director of Law for the Village of Richfield, where he remains the Village’s Senior Counsel.  In addition he has served as assistant director of law for the cities of Beachwood and Cleveland Heights, and the Village of Hunting Valley. He has also served as special counsel for dozens of municipalities throughout Ohio in cable/telecommunications, public law, and employment matters.

Download William R. Hanna's Full Bio


  • Defends employment discrimination claims filed with the EEOC, Ohio Civil Rights Commission, and numerous other state and local civil rights agencies for large, Ohio-based employers.
  • Represents employers in state and federal court against charges of discrimination on the basis of race/color, age, sex/gender, and disability.
  • Represents employers in wrongful discharge litigation.
  • Defended municipalities in Section 1983 and civil rights litigation.
  • Assists employers in the design, implementation, administration and enforcement of mandatory alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and arbitration programs covering employment-based claims.
  • Represented employers in state and federal court proceedings to compel the use of mandatory private employment arbitration/ADR programs in lieu of judicial proceedings on the merits.
  • Represents employers in mediations concerning wrongful discharge and discrimination claims brought by current and former employees.
  • Assists municipalities with the development and administration of comprehensive public right of way (PROW) management ordinances.
  • Advised local government entities on the formation of a joint recreation district to preserve a 300+ acre property from development.
  • Represented public entities in zoning/land use litigation, including the defense of R.C. Chapter 2506 appeals taken from decisions of local boards of zoning appeals.
  • Represented public entities in tort litigation involving the assertion of immunities and defenses under R.C. Chapter 2744.
  • Represents a municipality in substantial public records litigation.
  • Advises planning commissions and zoning boards in code interpretation and enforcement proceedings, including procedural amendments to zoning codes to improve the quality and speed of quasi-judicial proceedings.
  • Serves as special counsel for municipalities in the development and administration of comprehensive PROW management ordinances.


  • 2022 – Selected for inclusion in the 2022 edition of The Best Lawyers in America©. Listed in the current edition for Municipal Law.
  • AV Rated, Martindale-Hubbell




  • “Regulating Small Cell Facilities in the Right-of-Way After H.B. 478 and the FCC Small Cell Order,” co-presenter at the Ohio Municipal Attorneys Association’s 2019 Spring Municipal Law Seminar, Columbus, OH, March 22, 2019
  • “Regulating Small Cell Facilities in the Right-of-Way,” American Planning Association, Cleveland Planning and Zoning Workshop, November 2, 2018
  • “Ohio’s New Small Cell Wireless ROW Legislation,” Mayor’s Association of Portage, Stark and Summit Counties, May 22, 2018
  • “Small Cell Facilities in the Row: What Now?”, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, March 15, 2018
  • “Small Cell Regulation: Ohio HB 478 vs. Ohio SB 331,” Cuyahoga County Mayors and Managers Association, January 25, 2018
  • “Telecommunications Law Update,” Ohio Municipal League Annual Conference, November 2, 2017
  • “Telecommunications Law Update – Small Cell Developments,” Ohio Municipal Attorneys Association (OMAA) Law Institute, July 27, 2017
  • “Managing the Administrative Process,” Cuyahoga County Educational Service Center, Independence, OH, March 26, 2015
  • “Updates in Public Law Mini-Seminar: Managing the Public ROW in Ohio,” Cuyahoga County Educational Service Center, Independence, OH, January 16, 2015
  • “Zoning Variances in Ohio” Northeast Ohio Planning and Zoning Workshop, Geneva, OH, June 6, 2014
  • “Public Labor and Employment Law Update,” co-presenter at the Ohio Municipal Attorneys Association’s 2011 Civil Law Institute, Columbus, OH, March 4, 2011
  • 2010 Walter | Haverfield LLP Labor and Employment Law Seminar, “Who’s on the Firing Line? Tips on Avoiding Wrongful/Retaliatory Discharge Claims,” “Someone’s Knocking at the Door, Somebody’s Ringing the Bell: How to Respond to an Employee’s Filing of a Charge with the EEOC or OCRC,” “Employment Arbitration/ADR,” Holiday Inn, Independence, OH September 30, 2010
  • “Public Labor and Employment Update,” Ohio Municipal Attorneys Association Civil Law Institute, Dublin, OH, July 30, 2010
  • “Employment Retaliation for Municipalities,” Ohio Municipal League / Mayors Association of Ohio Conference, June 24, 2010
  • “When Revenge Is Not So Sweet: Developments in the Law of Employment Retaliation,” Ohio Municipal Attorneys Association, May 21, 2010
  • “Public Labor and Employment Law: What’s New and What’s Coming,” Ohio Municipal Attorneys Association, Cleveland, OH, May 1, 2009, Columbus, OH, March 13, 2009
  • “Change is Coming! How Will Employment Laws Be Affected?,” Marriott Cleveland East, January 7, 2009
  • Employment & Labor Seminar on “Managing Employee Leaves of Absence,” Marriott Cleveland East, September 23, 2008
  • “Recent Developments in Ohio Telecom Policy,” Ohio Chapter of the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisers, Cincinnati, OH, May 2, 2008
  • “Public Policy Update: The Meteor and the Dinosaur (Federal, State and FCC Update),” Spring 2008 Central States Conference of the Alliance for Community Media, Cincinnati, OH, May 1, 2008
  • “State and Federal Case Law Update,” Cuyahoga County Law Directors Association/Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association 2008 Annual Presidents’ Day Municipal Law Seminar, Cleveland, OH, February 14, 2008
  • “Public Right of Way Regulation and Telecom Update,” 2007 Ohio Municipal Attorneys Association Annual Municipal Civil Law Institute, Columbus, OH, July 26, 2007
  • “Telecommunications: What’s Ahead in Ohio?” Ohio Municipal Attorneys Association Spring 2007 Municipal Civil Law Seminar panel participant, Dublin, OH, March 23, 2007
  • “Public Right of Way Regulation and Telecom Update,” Cuyahoga County Law Directors Association/Cleveland Bar Association 2007 Annual Presidents’ Day Municipal Law Seminar, Cleveland, OH, February 15, 2007
  • “Employee Rights/Employer Wrongs: The Decision to Terminate, Termination, and Afterwards,” United States EEOC Technical Assistance Program Seminar, Cleveland, OH, December 6, 2006
  • “Cable Franchise Renewals and Transfers, and What Happens When They Overlap,” Annual Conference Of The National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA), Orlando, FL, August 22, 2006
  • “USERRA and Military Leave,” Ohio Municipal League, October 6, 2005, Ohio Municipal Attorneys Association, May 13, 2005


  • Ohio State Bar Association
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
  • Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)
  • Northeast Ohio Law Directors Association
  • Ohio Municipal Attorneys Association


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