Relationships. Commitment. Results.

icon Careers

William R. Hanna



Learn about Bill

Bill is a partner and Chair of the Walter | Haverfield Public Law Group. He also focuses his practice on labor and  employment law and litigation. His local government practice involves a broad range of legal issues that regularly confront local government bodies, including public records, open meetings, public employment matters, zoning, economic development, and 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 Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Ohio Civil Rights Commission (OCRC), and other state administrative agencies and private mediators.

Bill currently serves as the Director of Law for the City of Cleveland Heights and the Village of Moreland Hills, and since 2014, he has worked as legal counsel to the Board of Trustees for the Richfield Joint Recreation District. From 2011-2020, Bill was the 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, 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.




  • Defends employment discrimination claims filed with the EEOC, OCRC, 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
  • Defends 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
  • Represents 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 PROW management ordinances
  • Represents public entities in zoning/land use litigation, including the defense of O.R.C. Chapter 2506 appeals taken from decisions of local boards of zoning appeals
  • Represents public entities in tort litigation involving the assertion of immunities and defenses under O.R.C. Chapter 2744
  • 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
  • Represented a municipality in substantial public records litigation
  • Advised local government entities on the formation of a joint recreation district to preserve a 300+ acre property from development
  • Serves as special counsel for municipalities in the development and administration of comprehensive PROW management ordinances


  • Member, Ohio State Bar Association
  • Member, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
  • Member, Society for Human Resource Management
  • Member, Northeast Ohio Law Directors Association
  • Member, Ohio Municipal Attorneys Association


  • “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 Spring Municipal Law Seminar, 2019
  • “Regulating Small Cell Facilities in the Right-of-Way,” American Planning Association, Cleveland Planning and Zoning Workshop, 2018
  • “Ohio’s New Small Cell Wireless ROW Legislation,” Mayor’s Association of Portage, Stark and Summit Counties, 2018
  • “Small Cell Regulation: Ohio HB 478 vs. Ohio SB 331,” Cuyahoga County Mayors and Managers Association, 2018
  • “Telecommunications Law Update,” Ohio Municipal League Annual Conference, 2017
  • “Telecommunications Law Update – Small Cell Developments,” Ohio Municipal Attorneys Association Law Institute, 2017
  • “Managing the Administrative Process,” Educational Service Center of Northeast Ohio, 2015
  • “Updates in Public Law Mini-Seminar: Managing the Public ROW in Ohio,” Educational Service Center of Northeast Ohio, 2015
  • “Zoning Variances in Ohio,” Northeast Ohio Planning and Zoning Workshop, 2014