Contributors

EDITORIAL TEAM
Email Chris Christopher A. Andreucci. Chris served as Director of Operations and as Deputy County Executive in the Office of the Albany County Executive. He also served as the secretary to the Senate Minority Conference of the New York State Legislature. He is involved in a variety of tax-exempt and taxable bond financings and project financings on public infrastructure financings. Chris is a partner of Harris Beach in the Public Finance and Economic Development Practice Group. Click here to read Chris’ latest post.
Email Karlee Karlee S. Bolaños. Karlee counsels and represents employers in all aspects of labor and employment law, including federal and state discrimination laws, the National Labor Relations Act, wage and hour laws, the Fair Credit Reporting Act and other privacy laws, the Americans With Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and constitutional issues. She is a partner of Harris Beach and co-leader of the Municipalities and Local Agencies Team. She practices in the Labor and Employment Law and Immigration Law Practice Groups, and serves on the Educational Institutions Industry Team and the Internet Law Industry Team. Click here to read Karlee’s latest post.
Email Tahesha Tahesha C. Gilpin. Tahesha is an experienced trial attorney who brings analytical, investigative, organizational and advocacy skills to prepare for the defense of a broad spectrum of clients. Prior to joining Harris Beach, Tahesha was a trial attorney for the New York City Law Department, Office of the Corporation Counsel, where she began her legal career litigating tort claims against the City of New York. Tahesha is an associate of Harris Beach and serves on the Municipalities and Local Agencies Industry Team. She is also a member of the firm’s Mass Torts and Industry-Wide Litigation, Insurance Litigation and Product Liability Defense Practice Groups. Click here to read Tahesha’s post.
Email Howard Howard J. Goldsmith. Howard has more than 21 years of experience in education law, policy and operations, having directed and served in various offices within the New York State Education Department. He is a graduate of the 2006 Leadership Classroom Program sponsored by the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations. He received an award for Outstanding Service and Achievement from The Coalition of New York State Career Schools and an award of Special Appreciation and Recognition from District Superintendents and BOCES. Howard is senior counsel to Harris Beach. He practices in the firm’s Labor and Employment Law Practice Group and serves on the Educational Institutions Industry Team. Click here to read Howard’s latest post.
Email Pat Patrick M. Malgieri. Pat has a strong background in New York municipal law and serves as counsel and special counsel to several localities and authorities. He has been engaged in public finance as bond counsel, underwriter’s and private placement agent’s counsel, letter of credit issuer’s counsel, trustee’s counsel and special transaction counsel. Pat served as bond counsel to several municipalities in connection with their issuance of tax exempt general obligation notes and bonds. Pat is a partner of Harris Beach and co-leader of the Municipalities and Local Agencies Team. He practices in the Commercial Real Estate and Public Finance and Economic Development Practice Groups, and the Financial Institutions and Capital Markets Industry Team. Click here to read Pat’s latest post.
Email Rich Richard E. Rising. Rich is an economic development specialist with more than 30 years of experience in community planning, economic development, and municipal management and assistance. He works with municipalities and local agencies on a variety of organizational, community planning and economic development projects. For eight years, Rich served as city manager for the City of Geneva. He was also director of planning and economic development for that city, executive director of the Geneva Industrial Development Agency, and executive director of the Geneva Business Improvement District. He started his career in Monroe County where he became deputy director of economic development of the Monroe County Economic Development Department. Rich is an economic development manager with the Government Assistance Team of Harris Beach, working in the Public Finance and Economic Development Practice Group. Click here to read Rich’s latest post.
GUEST CONTRIBUTORS
Stephen J. Acquario. Stephen is Executive Director/General Counsel of the New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC). In this capacity, he is responsible for the overall direction of the Association, including coordinating and prioritizing agendas to assure a cohesive, coherent legal and legislative strategy on behalf of New York State’s 62 county governments. Stephen represents a diverse statewide constituency of elected and appointed county officials and interacts on a regular basis with all branches of federal, state, and local governments. Click here to read Stephen’s post.
NYCOM Executive Director Peter A. Baynes. Peter is Executive Director of the New York State Conference of Mayors and Municipal Officials (NYCOM), a membership association representing more than 590 city and village governments. NYCOM has been in existence since 1910. Peter has been employed by NYCOM since 1985, having previously served as Legislative Analyst, Director of Intergovernmental Finance, and Deputy Director. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Siena College and has taken Masters-level courses in History and Public Policy from State University of New York at Albany. He currently serves as a member of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Mandate Relief Redesign Team and the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) Consumer Advisory Council. Prior to his employment with NYCOM, Peter worked for United University Professions in Albany, New York, and the Close Up Foundation, a government studies program based in Washington, D.C. Click here to read Peter’s post.
Former Albany County Executive Mike Breslin. Mr. Breslin served as Albany County Executive from January 1, 1995 to December 31, 2011. During his sixteen years in office, he was committed to providing essential services to the people of Albany County, while increasing the efficiency and reducing the size and cost of county government. Through sound fiscal management, he was able to soften the impact of the current economic downturn on taxpayers. Click here to read Mike’s post.
Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks. Ms. Brookshas earned a reputation as a dedicated and effective leader since she was sworn in as Monroe County’s fifth County Executive in January 2004. The first woman to hold this position, she was re-elected to a second term in 2007 by an historic 74 percent of the vote. Maggie is well-known in the Greater Rochester area from her many years as a local television news anchor and radio reporter. She previously served as Monroe County Clerk and as Monroe County Legislator for the 17th District. Click here to read Maggie’s latest post.
Former Erie County Executive Chris Collins. Mr. Collins served as Erie County Executive from November 6, 2007 to December 31, 2011. A businessman with 35 years of private sector experience, Mr. Collins believes in running county government like a business. His approach to government is simple and straightforward. He calls it the 3 R’s: Reforming Erie County government, Rebuilding the local economy, and ultimately, Reducing taxes. Click here to read Chris’s post.
Ann Marie Cook. Ann Marie is President/CEO for Lifespan of Greater Rochester, Inc., our community’s only non-profit agency dedicated solely to enhancing the quality of life for those in the second half of life. Ms. Cook has been at Lifespan for over ten years, and before her promotion to her current position, she was Chief Operating Officer. She is on the Workforce Investment Board for Monroe County and Chairs the Monroe County Council for Elders. She also serves on the Board of Visiting Nurse Service, the University of Rochester Medical Center Community Advisory Board for Community Health, Fairport Baptist Homes Advisory Board and the United Way 2-1-1- Advisory Board. She was a delegate to the 2005 White House Conference on Aging. Click here to read Ann Marie’s post.
Theodore M. Fafinski. Mr. Fafinski served as a Farmington Town Board Member from January 1, 1990 until elected and subsequently appointed early as Town Supervisor in November 1998. He is also the Budget Officer for the Town and Canandaigua Farmington Water District as well as a number of special districts. In addition, he represents the residents of Farmington as a member of the Ontario County Board of Supervisors, currently serving as Chairman of the Board of Supervisors. Mr. Fafinski previously served on the following Board of Supervisors Committees: Chairman of the Personnel; Member of the Insurance; Vice-Chairman of Government Operations and Improved Methods. He is a past member of the county Public Safety and Alternatives to Incarceration Committees. He previously served on the Management Compensation sub-committee. Click here to read Ted’s post.
Melissa A. Fingar. Melissa is the Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources at Brockport Central School District. She has held this position for approximately seven years. Prior to joining the school district, Melissa was an attorney at Harris Beach and practiced in the areas of labor and employment, education, employee benefits, and fire and emergency services law. Click here to read Melissa’s post.
Email Jill Jillian D. Kasow. Jillian serves as the New York State Senate’s Director of the Legislative Commission on Rural Resources. This bipartisan Commission is charged with examining the impact of rural resources on the state’s economy, reviewing existing laws and regulations as they relate to rural resources, and assessing the effectiveness of programs designed to promote rural viability. She was formerly an associate of Harris Beach and member of the firm’s Energy Industry Team. Prior to joining Harris Beach, Jillian served as assistant counsel to the New York State Senate, Office of Majority Counsel, where she was assigned to the following committees: energy and telecommunications; agriculture; environmental conservation; and cultural affairs, tourism, parks and recreation. Click here to read Jill’s post.
Anita W. Laremont. Anita served as general counsel to the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) prior to joining Harris Beach as partner in early 2011. In early 2014, she was named general counsel of the New York City Department of City Planning. At ESDC, she served as deputy general counsel from 1989-1995 and as a senior counsel from 1982-1989. She began her legal career with a New York City law firm. At Harris Beach, Anita practiced in the Public Finance and Economic Development and the Commercial Real Estate Practice Groups and served on the Real Estate Developers and the Municipalities and Local Agencies Industry Teams. Click here to read Anita’s latest post.
Mark Lesko. Mark is the Executive Director of Accelerate Long Island, a regional collaboration to accelerate the formation of an innovation-based economy on Long Island. Prior to joining Accelerate Long Island, Mark served as Town Supervisor for the Town of Brookhaven for over three years and served for ten years as a federal prosecutor for the U.S. Department of Justice, leading all federal investigations and prosecutions on Long Island. Click here to read Mark’s post.
Patricia Malgieri. Patty is Chief of Staff to Rochester City School District Superintendent Bolgen Vargas. Prior to accepting this position in July of 2012, she served as President of Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection. Before joining Hillside, Patty served as Deputy Mayor of the City of Rochester for approximately five years. Previously she served as the Executive Consultant to The Rump Group of Rochester and as President and CEO of the Center for Governmental Research. Patty is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the College of the Holy Cross with a degree in political science and holds a Masters in Public Administration from the Syracuse University Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.Click here to read Patty’s post.
Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy. Mr. McCoy was elected to be the fourth County Executive in Albany County’s history on November 8, 2011. Dan is currently completing his third term as the County Legislator representing the 10th Legislative District. In 2010, he was elected to serve as Chairman of the County Legislature by a unanimous vote, the first Chair to have done so. Click here to read Dan’s post.
Assemblyman John T. McDonald III. Assemblyman McDonald is serving his first term in the New York State Assembly representing the 108th Assembly District, which consists of parts of Albany, Rensselaer and Saratoga Counties. He previously served as Mayor of Cohoes for 13 years during which time he pursued an aggressive economic development agenda centered on downtown revitalization, adaptive reuse of historic buildings, Hudson and Mohawk Riverfront developments and gateway improvements. Click here to read John’s latest post.
Richard Murdocco. Richardhas worked with the New York City Mayor’s Office of Capital Project Development, and studied planning under Dr. Lee Koppelman, Long Island’s veteran planner. He earned his B.A. from Fordham University in both political science and urban studies, and his master’s in public policy from Stony Brook University. Richardhas worked with the New York City Mayor’s Office of Capital Project Development, and studied planning under Dr. Lee Koppelman, Long Island’s veteran planner. He earned his B.A. from Fordham University in both political science and urban studies, and his master’s in public policy from Stony Brook University.Click here to read Richard’s latest post.
Harvey Randall. Harvey served as Principal Attorney, New York State Department of Civil Service. He also served as Director of Personnel for the State University System, as Director of Research, Governor’s Office of Employee Relations and Staff Judge Advocate General, New York Guard. He is a co-author of a number of electronic manuals [e-books] focusing on New York State public personnel law including The Discipline Book; Layoff, Preferred Lists and Reinstatement in the Public Service; and The General Municipal Law §207-a /§207-c Manual. Harvey also maintains a law blog, New York Public Personnel Law. Click here to read Harvey’s latest post.
Thomas S. Richards. Mr. Richards served as Rochester mayor from April 11, 2011 to December 31, 2013. He was sworn in as mayor after a special election decided who would succeed former Mayor Robert J. Duffy, who became Lieutenant Governor. Mr. Richards stepped into the Mayor’s office after serving more than four years as Corporation Counsel and two months as Deputy Mayor. In his previous roles, Mayor Richards oversaw the sale of the fast ferry and the termination of costly long-term leases for the Port Terminal building and with the Toronto Port Authority. Click here to read Tom’s post.
Connie Sowards. Ms. Sowards worked in municipal government for 11 years. She served as Village Administrator/Clerk-Treasurer for the former Village of Seneca Falls for the six-and-one-half years. She served as Director of Workforce Development, Tompkins County, for three years prior to Seneca Falls. Ms. Sowards is a retired Depart of Defense civilian who worked at the Seneca Army Depot as Logistics Manager until its closure. She holds a Masters in Public Administration from the State University of New York at Brockport. Click here to read Connie’s post.
Michael W. Tucker, Mayor, City of Lockport. Mr. Tucker has been mayor of the city of Lockport since 2004. He has overseen the $3 million Main Streetscape and $2 million Canal Street re-development, upcoming Flight of Five restoration, and the Erie Canal Discovery Center. He has worked closely with local Lockport developers to fill parcels in the heart of downtown, some of which have been vacant for the past thirty (30) years. Mr. Tucker has also overseen dozens of projects city-wide, and a city-wide restructuring/downsizing plan. Click here to read Michael’s post.
J. Justin Woods. Justin has over 15 years of experience as a municipal planner, public administrator, and municipal planning and management consultant. He is currently pursuing Joint JD/MPA Degrees from Pace Law School and the Department of Public Administration at Pace University’s Dyson College of Arts and Sciences. Justin has been named Land Use Scholar by the Pace Land Use Law Center for Sustainable Development and is a Student Researcher/Local Government Advisor at the Pace Law School Energy & Climate Center. He is President and CEO of J. Justin Woods, LLC. Click here to read Justin’s post.
CONTRIBUTORS
Email Rachel Rachel Baranello Endress. Rachel is an associate of Harris Beach and practices in the Public Finance and Economic Development Practice Group. She received here JD, magna cum laude, from Syracuse University College of Law and BA, cum laude, from Nazareth College. During law school, Rachel served as the form and accuracy editor of the Syracuse Law Review. Click here to read Rachel’s latest post.
Email James James E. Beyer. Jim is an associate of the firm in the Labor and Employment Law Practice Group. He was a summer law clerk at Harris Beach in 2011, an extern in the New York State Office of the Attorney General in 2011, and a summer law clerk for the Hon. David G. Larimer at the United States District Court for the Western District of New York in 2010. He received his JD, cum laude, from Syracuse University College of Law, where he served as associate notes editor of the Syracuse Law Review. Click here to read Jim’s latest post.
Email Shannon Shannon K. Buffum. Shannon is an associate of Harris Beach who practices in the Labor and Employment Law Practice Group and serves on the Educational Institutions Industry Team. Ms. Buffum negotiates collective bargaining agreements, manages grievances, addresses employee disciplinary matters, represents school districts in alleged violations of the Taylor Law, serves as an appointed hearing officer for student disciplinary hearings, and investigates allegations of academic dishonesty and misconduct. Click here to read Shannon’s latest post.
Email Vince A. Vincent Buzard. Vince is the founder and leader of the Harris Beach Appellate Litigation and Advocacy Practice Group. He is chair of the Council of Appellate Lawyers of the American Bar Association, author of New York Appellate Practice published by LexisNexis and an author of the New York Chapter in The Appellate Practice Compendium published by the American Bar Association. Mr. Buzard has lectured extensively in New York and nationally on appellate practice. Click here to read Vince’s post.
Email Mike Michael E. Condon. Mike is an associate of Harris Beach who practices in the Corporate Practice Group and serves on the Financial Institutions and Capital Markets Industry Team. He obtained his JD, cum laude, from Syracuse University where he was a member of the Justinian Honorary Law Society; and his BA, cum laude, from Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Click here to read Mike’s post.
Email Andy Andrew Q. Conroy. Andy is an associate of Harris Beach who practices in the Public Finance and Economic Development and Tax Law Practice Groups. He focuses his practice on bond financing transactions for state and local government agencies primarily in the areas of higher education, health care, tax-exempt organizations and industrial development projects. He also counsels on a broad range of federal and state tax matters and is involved in tax planning, tax advice and tax dispute resolution work for state and local tax clients. Click here to read Andy’s post.
Email Emily Emily D. Crowley. Emily is an associate of Harris Beach and serves on the Health Care Industry Team. She obtained her JD, magna cum laude, from Albany Law School, her MBA from Clarkson University, and her BA from Hobart and William Smith Colleges. During law school, Emily served as a senior editor of the Albany Law Review. She took second place and won Best Oral Advocate in the Karen C. McGovern Senior Prize Trials. Emily serves as an advisor/coach of the Mercy High School Mock Trial Team. Click here to read Emily’s latest post.
Email Chris Christopher H. Feldman. Chris currently handles a wide variety of municipal issues for the Village of Dobbs Ferry and City of Rye, where he serves in a deputy capacity with the Corporation Counsel’s Office. Chris additionally works on matters for Rockland County and Westchester County among other municipal clients. Prior to starting with Harris Beach Chris served in the City of Yonkers Office of the Corporation Counsel, where he represented the city in a wide range of state and federal civil defense litigation as well as various land use and environmental matters. He is an associate of the firm and practices with the Business and Commercial Litigation Practice Group and Municipalities and Local Agencies Industry Team. Click here to read Chris’ post.
Email Susan Susan E. Fine. Susan advises school districts in general education, special education, fiscal accountability, student discipline, residency, open government, and policy matters. She has litigated numerous special education administrative and adjudicative proceedings and practiced before the Commissioner of Education and New York courts regarding education and labor issues. She is senior counsel to Harris Beach serving on the Educational Institutions Industry Team and practicing in the Labor and Employment Law Practice Group. Click here to read Susan’s latest post.
Email John John R. Forbush. John is an associate of Harris Beach who practices in the Business and Commercial Litigation Practice Group. He obtained his JD, magna cum laude, from Albany Law School where he was a member of the Justinian Honorary Law Society; his MS from Carnegie Mellon University, H. John Heinz School of Public Policy and Management; and his BA, cum laude, from Union College. Click here to read John’s latest post.
Email Bill William M. Flynn. Bill is a former chairman of the New York State Public Service Commission and a former president of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. He is a partner at Harris Beach and leads the firm’s Energy Industry Team. Click here to read Bill’s post.
Email Terry Terrance P. Flynn. Terry regularly advises Fortune 500 or large privately held companies, including Walmart, Facebook and Continental Airlines, on such matters as corporate compliance, commercial litigation, product liability or personal injury litigation. He is a partner of Harris Beach and the co-leader of its 13 office Government Compliance and Investigation Team along with a member of its Business and Commercial Litigation and Insurance Litigation and Product Liability Defense Practice Groups. Click here to read Terry’s post.
Email Aaron Aaron T. Frazier. Aaron is a recent law school graduate whose admission to practice law is pending and who works for Harris Beach. He obtained his JD from Cornell Law School and his BA from Harvard College. Click here to read Aaron’s post.
Email Douglas Douglas E. Gerhardt. Douglas serves schools, municipalities and other government entities as general counsel to both school districts and BOCES, public sector labor counsel, special counsel on specific projects, and not-for-profit counsel, including establishment of not-for-profit entities. He is a partner of Harris Beach and practices with the Educational Institutions Team and the Labor and Employment Law Practice Group. Prior to joining Harris Beach, Douglas was General Counsel to the New York State Council of School Superintendents. Click here to read Douglas’ latest post.
Email Shawn Shawn M. Griffin. Shawn has extensive experience handling private and public financing transactions, with special emphasis in various types of commercial and real estate related transactions involving industrial development agencies, housing authorities, and application of the Empire Zone and Empowerment Zone programs. He also focuses on structured financings involving straight-lease transactions and bond transactions involving industrial development agencies and has significant knowledge and experience in working with these programs and the overlay of other local, state and federal benefits. Shawn is a partner of Harris Beach and co-leader of the Public Finance and Economic Development Practice Group. He also serves on the Municipalities and Local Agencies and the Science and Technology Commercialization Industry Teams. Click here to read Shawn’s post.
Email Kate Kate L. Hill. Kate focuses her practice on advising school districts on legal issues, with an emphasis on special education and disability issues. Ms. Hill represents school districts in impartial due process hearings, appeals to the Office of State Review, and federal and state court actions. She is an associate at Harris Beach in the Labor and Employment Law Practice Group and serves on the Educational Institutions Industry Team. Click here to read Kate’s post.
Email Roberta Roberta A. Jordans. Certified by the National Development Council as an Economic Development Finance Professional, Roberta offers more than 25 years of experience in public and private economic development including grant writing and incentive identification, commercial banking, finance, economic development strategic planning and commercial real estate. She advises on economic development projects and helps to expedite those projects to completion. Roberta is manager of economic development assistance in the Harris Beach Public Finance and Economic Development Practice Group. She supports the firm’s attorneys prior to the closing of a transaction by acting as an intermediary between clients and governmental agencies. Click here to read Roberta’s latest post.
Email Gene Gene Kelly. Gene is an experienced environmental litigator with intimate knowledge of the workings of local, state and federal agencies. He served as the regional director of Region 4 of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Gene also served as an advisor to the Capital Region and Mohawk Valley regional economic development councils and an assistant attorney general in the Environmental Protection Bureau of the New York State Office of the Attorney General. Prior to these positions, he was a senior attorney in the DEC’s central office. Gene is senior counsel to Harris Beach where he practices in the Environmental Law and the Government Compliance and Investigations Practice Groups and serves on the Energy and the Municipalities and Local Agencies Industry Teams. Click here to read Gene’s latest post.
Email Pietra Pietra G. Lettieri. Pietra works with companies, issuers, banks and underwriters in obtaining financing through the issuance of tax-exempt bonds. She also assists companies in obtaining tax savings through transactions with Industrial Development Agencies. She also works with clients to obtain tax savings through the New York State Brownfield Cleanup Program. In the area of tax dispute resolution, Pietra represents clients in federal and state tax disputes from the audit level through the appellate process with respect to controversies involving taxes such as business tax, personal income tax, and sales and use tax. Pietra is an partner of Harris Beach in the Public Finance and Economic Development and Tax Law Practice Groups. Click here to read Pietra’s post.
Email Tracie Tracie L. Lopardi. Tracie focuses on counseling and representing school districts and businesses regarding various areas of education, labor and employment law matters. She is a former general counsel to Niagara University. Tracie is a partner at Harris Beach where she practices in the Labor and Employment Law Practice Group and serves on the Educational Institutions Team. Click here to read Tracie’s post.
Email Bill William Q. Lowe. Bill Lowe is involved in the counseling of employers on all areas of labor and employment law and in the defense of employers in a wide range of employment litigation and administrative agency matters. He is an associate of Harris Beach in the Labor and Employment Law Practice Group. Click here to read Bill’s latest post.
Email Russ Russell E. Maines. Russ represents clients in zoning, planning and commercial disputes, and handles all aspects of pending lawsuits, including negotiations, trials, arbitration, and appellate advocacy. He is senior counsel to Harris Beach and practices in the Business and Commercial Litigation and Construction and Surety Law Practice Groups and with the e-infosm Electronic Information Counseling and Management Team. Click here to read Russ’ post.
Email Brigid Brigid M. Maloney. Brigid advises health care physicians and institutions in corporate law, board governance, human resources, operations, change management, billing policies and practices, regulatory compliance and other matters. She is a partner of Harris Beach and practices with the Health Care Industry Team. Click here to read Brigid’s post.
Email John John A. Mancuso. John is an associate of Harris Beach and practices in the Appellate Litigation and Advocacy, Commercial Real Estate and Business and Commercial Litigation Practice Groups and with the Real Estate Developers and the Municipalities and Local Agencies Industry Teams. Click here to read John’s latest post.
Email Mark Mark J. McCarthy. Mark focuses his legal practice on construction, corporate, and employment litigation. He is a partner of Harris Beach in the Business and Commercial Litigation, Labor and Employment Law, and Construction and Surety Law Practice Groups. Click here to read Mark’s post.
Email John John T. McManus. John advises clients on various legal and regulatory issues. He is a partner of Harris Beach and a member of the Energy and Telecommunications Industry Teams and Environmental Law and Commercial Real Estate Practice Groups. He also serves on the Real Estate Developers Industry Team. Click here to read John’s post.
Email Todd C. Todd Miles. Todd is a member of Harris Beach and practices in the Public Finance and Economic Development Practice Group and serves on the Municipalities and Local Agencies Industry Team. Prior to private practice, he had substantial experience in state government, as legislative counsel for members of the New York State Assembly and the Office of Assembly Speaker, and as counsel to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. During his career he has served as bond counsel to numerous municipalities in the State of New York. Click here to read Todd’s post.
Email Justin Justin S. Miller. Justin practices in the areas of municipal law, state and local finance law, and industrial development. He has extensive experience counseling public benefit corporations, local development corporations and municipalities regarding large infrastructure projects and financings. He also provides legal counsel in the areas of public, industrial and commercial finance; formation and administration of special districts; State Environmental Quality Review Act compliance, formation of not-for-profit entities, and general economic development initiatives, including New York’s Empire Zone Program. Justin is a partner of Harris Beach in the Public Finance and Economic Development Practice Group, the Energy Team, and the Municipalities and Local Agencies Team. Click here to read Justin’s latest post.

Email Kat
Katarzyna D. Murphy. Kat is an associate of the firm in the Corporate Practice Group. She was a summer law clerk at Harris Beach in 2011, served as a research assistant for Professors Lisa Dolak and Sanjay Chhablani at Syracuse University College of Law in 2010 and summer clerked at the Legal Aid Society in 2010. She received her JD, magna cum laude, from Syracuse University College of Law, where she served as associate member of the Syracuse Law Review. Click here to read Kat’s latest post.
Email Bob Robert G. Murray. Bob counsels and represents municipal entities, real estate developers and companies in financing, leasing, and other matters related to real estate development/expansion and application of the Brownfield Cleanup Program and federal Renewal Community/Empowerment Zone Programs. He also works with urban renewal agencies, industrial development agencies and local development corporations with respect to real estate redevelopment projects. He is a partner of Harris Beach and practices in the Public Finance and Economic Development, Environmental Law, and Commercial Real Estate Practice Groups, and serves on the Municipalities and Local Agencies Industry Teams. Click here to read Bob’s post.
Email Dave David W. Oakes. Dave counsels and represents school district clients in a wide range of education law matters with a major emphasis on special education and disability issues. He has extensive experience with charter schools regulation and also practices in employment law issues. Dave is a partner of Harris Beach and a member of the Educational Institutions Industry Team and the Labor and Employment Law Practice Group. Click here to read Dave’s post.
Email Andrew Andrew J. Orenstein. Andrew is an experienced trial attorney who focuses his legal practice primarily in the areas of complex torts and toxic tort litigation, products liability and general commercial litigation. He has litigated and tried cases in defense of municipalities and product manufacturers in courtrooms across New York state. Andrew was a Senior Counsel and trial attorney for the City of New York Law Department, Office of the Corporation Counsel where he handled litigation in high exposure tort claims against the City of New York. He is a partner of Harris Beach. Click here to read Andrew’s latest post.
Email Frank Frank C. Pavia. Frank focuses his practice on all aspects of environmental and land use law including, but not limited to, the Clean Water Act, National Environmental Policy Act, New York State Environmental Quality Review Act, and the New York State Eminent Domain Procedure Law. He has served as counsel on SEQRA matters for the City of New York on various zoning-related matters as well as other municipalities located throughout the New York state. He is a partner of Harris Beach and practices in the Environmental, Public Finance and Economic Development, and Commercial Real Estate Practice Groups, and serves on the Municipalities and Local Agencies Industry Team. Click here to read Frank’s post.
Email Mitch Mitchell J. Pawluk. Mitch is an associate of Harris Beach serving on the Government Compliance and Investigations Team and practicing in the Business and Commercial Litigation Practice Group. He currently serves on the City of Cohoes Board of Ethics. Click here to read Mitch’s latest post.
Email Joe Joseph D. Picciotti. Joe focuses his legal practice on environmental and commercial matters, including litigation. He has substantial experience representing companies and municipalities in hazardous waste site clean-up actions and prosecuting environmental claims on behalf of private parties and municipalities. Joe is a partner of Harris Beach and leader of the Environmental Law Practice Group. Click here to read Joe’s post.
Email Laura Laura M. Purcell. Laura counsels and represents school districts and municipal clients throughout the state. She is a partner of Harris Beach and leader of the Educational Institutions Industry Team. She also practices in the Labor and Employment Law Practice Group. Click here to read Laura’s post.
Email Warren Warren H. Richmond. Warren is engaged in all aspects of school district representation, including the provision of advice to clients regarding federal civil rights law, education law, disability law, students’ rights issues, and labor relations law. He is a partner of Harris Beach and a member of the Educational Institutions Industry Team and the Labor and Employment Law Practice Group.Click here to read Warren’s post.
Email Kevin Kevin P. Ryan. Kevin focuses his practice on all aspects of construction law, particularly the representation of owners, contractors and sub-contractors in dispute resolution through arbitration, mediation or litigation. He is an associate of Harris Beach where he practices in the Construction and Surety Law and Business and Commercial Litigation Practice Groups and serves on the Educational Institutions Industry Team. Click here to read Kevin’s post.
Email Bob Robert J. Ryan. Bob served as assistant counsel to Governor George E. Pataki. He advised the governor and senior staff on major economic development initiatives, and drafted and negotiated the governor’s Program Bills, including Empire Zones Reauthorization, Public Authorities and Industrial Development Agency Reform. Bob was general counsel to the New York State Department of Economic Development before serving as the governor’s assistant counsel. He began his New York state government career in 1997 with the Governor’s Office of Regulatory Reform. Bob is a partner of Harris Beach in the Public Finance and Economic Development Practice Group and the Government Compliance and Investigations Team. Click here to read Bob’s post.
Email Karl Karl J. Sleight. Karl served as the Executive Director of the New York State Ethics Commission from March 2001 through March 2007. During his tenure, he was responsible for conducting investigations of high ranking government officials and private sector entities that interact with government officials. Karl also provided advice and interpretation of the state’s ethics and integrity laws to statewide elected officials. He is a partner at Harris Beach and co-leader of the firm’s Government Compliance and Investigations Team. Click here to read Karl’s post.
Email Laura Laura W. Smalley. Laura focuses her legal practice on technology development and exploitation, including the enforcement of intellectual property rights. She regularly supports on-going litigation cases involving computer language technology, the electrical components industry, and imaging technology. She also prosecutes patents in the chemical field. Laura also performs appellate work in both New York state and federal appellate courts. She is admitted to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office with a technical background in chemistry, including organic and analytical chemistry. Laura is a partner of Harris Beach in the Business and Commercial Litigation, Intellectual Property, and Appellate Litigation and Advocacy Practice Groups. Click here to read Laura’s post. Click here to read Laura’s post.
Email Howard Howard S. Smith, Ed.D. Howard leverages insights from 39 years of teaching and administrative experience in New York public schools to assist and guide school districts throughout the state. He focuses his consulting on providing advice and training for boards of education, superintendents, assistant superintendents and administrative staff. Howard’s extensive school experience includes serving for seven years as the Superintendent of Schools for the Williamsville Central School District and for seven and a half years as Superintendent of Schools in East Aurora. He has also served as assistant superintendent for personnel in the Gates Chili Central School District in suburban Rochester and as a high school principal for the Poughkeepsie City Schools. Howard is the leader of the HB Solutions Education Leadership Team and a member of the Harris Beach PLLC Educational Institutions Industry Team. Click here to read Howard’s latest post.
Email Marnie Marnie E. Smith Marnie works with school districts on matters including student discipline, residency, FERPA and social networking. She addresses FOIL requests, Open Meetings Law issues and also revises board of education policies and codes of conduct. She investigates employee misconduct, discrimination and sexual harassment claims, and has been involved in arbitration proceedings and staff training sessions on these and other topics. Marnie is an associate of Harris Beach in the Labor and Employment Law Practice Group and serving on the Educational Institutions Industry Team. Click here to read Marnie’s latest post.
Email Peter Peter J. Spinelli. Peter represents school districts and other municipal clients in all areas of employee relations, including negotiations, improper practice proceedings, representation matters, student and employee discipline, teacher tenure and certification issues. He also has extensive experience in labor arbitration and contract administration. He is a partner at Harris Beach in the Labor and Employment Law Practice Group. Click here to read Peter’s post.
Email Jim James A. Spitz, Jr. Jim focuses his practice in all areas of employee relations, including employment discrimination, collective bargaining, arbitration, improper practice/unfair labor practice proceedings, representation matters, employee discipline/termination, wage and hour issues, compliance with federal and state labor laws and other laws affecting the employer-employee relationship, counseling on employment policies and procedures, and contract administration. Jim is the CEO of Harris Beach and a member of the Labor and Employment Law Practice Group and the Educational Institutions Industry Team. Click here to read Jim’s post.
Email Josh Joshua D. Steele. Josh counsels and represents employers in a wide range of labor and employment law matters, including litigation under Title VII, ADA, ADEA, FMLA, the New York Labor and Human Rights Law, and the First and Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Josh also represents employers in administrative proceedings before the New York State Division of Human Rights, the EEOC, and the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board. Josh is an associate of the firm in the Labor and Employment Law Practice Group. Click here to read Josh’s latest post.
Email Joan Joan P. Sullivan. Joan served as associate counsel to the New York State Commission on Public Integrity (formerly the New York State Ethics Commission and New York Temporary State Commission on Lobbying). In this capacity, she authored formal and informal advisory opinions on a range of issues to executive branch public officials and employees interpreting New York State Public Officers Law. Joan is a partner at Harris Beach and practices with the firm’s Government Compliance and Investigations Team and the Appellate Litigation and Advocacy Practice Group.Click here to read Joan’s post.
Email Tom Thomas R. Suozzi. Tom is the former County Executive for the County of Nassau (2002-2009) and Mayor of the City of Glen Cove (1994-2001). He served as chairman of the New York State Commission on Property Tax Relief from 2008-2009. He is a co-founder and served on the Executive Committee of Climate Communities in Washington, D. C. From 2002-2009, Tom served as chairman of the New York Metropolitan Transit Council. In 2005, he was president of the Association of County Executives of New York State and in 2009 he was New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s appointee to the New York State Public Authorities Reform Task Force. Tom is of counsel to Harris Beach in the Corporate Practice Group. Click here to read Tom’s post.
Email Mike Michael J. Townsend. Mike is currently chairman of the New York Power Authority. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, and a member of the New York State Economic Development Council. He is a partner of Harris Beach and practices in the Public Finance and Economic Development Practice Group, and serves on the Energy and Municipalities and Local Agencies Industry Teams. Click here to read Mike’s post.
Email Ed Edward A. Trevvett. Ed represents clients in both the public and private sector, focusing his legal practice on providing counsel to employers in all areas of labor and employee relations. He is a partner of Harris Beach and practices in the Labor and Employment Law Practice Group. Ed also serves on the Educational Institutions, Emergency Medical Services and Fire Protection, and Health Care Industry Teams. Click here to read Ed’s latest post.
Email Sara Sara E. Visingard. Sara counsels public and private sector employers regarding all aspects of labor and employment law. Her work includes the defense of employers and educational institutions against complaints brought in administrative forums, such as the State Division of Human Rights, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the federal and state Departments of Labor. She also represents and counsels educational institutions with respect to student issues, day-to-day operational issues, board of education issues, and labor and employment matters. Sara is a partner of Harris Beach and practices in the firm’s Labor and Employment Law Practice Group and serves on the Educational Institutions Team. Click here to read Sara’s post.
Email Jeff Jeffrey J. Weiss. Jeff represents school districts in impartial due process hearings, appeals to the Office of State Review, and federal and state court actions. He is a partner of Harris Beach and practices with the Educational Institutions Industry Team and Labor and Employment Law Practice Group. Click here to read Jeff’s post.
Email Steve Steven D. Wilson. Steve focuses his practice in areas of energy law including electric generation and transmission line siting, municipal law, state and federal permitting, hydroelectric relicensing, utility rate cases, condemnation, and mergers and acquisitions. He represents developers, independent power producers and regulated utilities before state and federal administrative agencies, including the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and New York State Public Service Commission. He also represents clients in state and federal courts. Steve is an associate of Harris Beach and serves on the Energy Industry Team. Click here to read Steve’s latest post.