Joan M. Cannon


“I try to explain the technical rules of employee benefits in everyday language to help employers understand them more clearly.”

Although she’s been practicing law since 1981, Joan is just as passionate as ever about helping clients solve their employee benefits problems. She’ll say she loves ERISA and ESOPs—and she means it.

Her employee benefits practice includes representation of employers and fiduciaries in both the private and public sectors in the design, drafting, implementation, maintenance and compliance of qualified retirement plans, executive compensation, non-qualified deferred compensation arrangements, stock plans and health and welfare plans. Joan provides both technical advice and practical administrative counsel for sponsoring employers, plan administrators and service providers.

When it comes to ESOP stock transactions, business succession, and executive compensation, Joan has the strategy and know-how to achieve the client’s goals. Her years of experience with large and small ESOP companies provide the foundation of her success.  Joan has worked on many sales and acquisitions of company stock from and to ESOPs.  She works to hand-tailor business succession with ESOPs to meet the client’s needs.  Her expertise includes advising S corporation ESOP trustees in complex executive compensation matters, structuring exempt loans, and leading the charge in a 1042 exchange.  She also guides ESOP boards and trustees through on-going corporate governance and fiduciary training.  Joan has the experience, sophistication, and technical background to provide big-picture guidance and ensure the details are covered.  Joan says that each ESOP is unique and helps guide the Company management to effective employee communication and to develop the ownership culture that works hand-in-hand with the ESOP to achieve remarkable performance.

If her experience and expertise aren’t enough, Joan also brings a team mindset to the table. She works closely with other employee benefits experts in-house along with the client’s accountant, financial advisors, appraisers and third-party administrators to provide the best possible solutions for her clients.

“We see a lot of questions on how to properly compensate and retain good help. And we work hard to find the right solution to fit each client’s need.”

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Practice Areas
Professional Background
Admitted

Nebraska

U.S. District Court, District of Nebraska

Education

University of Nebraska, J. D., 1980

University of Nebraska – Lincoln, B.A., 1975

Accomplishments

Lifetime Fellow, Nebraska State Bar Foundation

Listed: “Best Lawyers in America”, Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law

“Best Lawyers in America”, Omaha Lawyer of the Year – Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, 2019

Professional Organizations

Nebraska Bar Association

Omaha Bar Association

American Bar Association

Women’s Law Caucus

Pension Council of the Midlands, Member

ESOP Association, Member

AGRIP, Member

American Red Cross Heartland Chapter, Board Member, Philanthropy Committee Member

American Red Cross Midwest Region Blood Services, Board Chair