July 11, 2008


Delmar Attorney Named Special Counsel

Attorney Richard Rifkin of Delmar was recently named to the newly-created position of special counsel to the New York State Bar Association. Rifkin, who most recently served as special counsel to Governor David Paterson and former Governor Eliot Spitzer, brings 42 years of experience to the position.

"Richard Rifkin is an extremely talented individual who has dedicated more than four decades of his life to serving the public," said Association Executive Director Patricia K. Bucklin. "He has spent his career working tirelessly to improve the law for the public good, and his extensive knowledge of ethics law, public policy and state government will undoubtedly be a tremendous asset to our organization. We are very excited and fortunate to have Richard with us, and I join all of my colleagues in welcoming him to the Bar Association team."

As special counsel, Rifkin will assist the Executive Director in identifying and responding to issues of interest to the Association. He will also handle day-to-day ethics-related inquiries and work on federal legislative priorities. He will serve as staff liaison to the Committees on Professional Ethics, Professional Discipline and Unlawful Practice of the Law, the recently created Task Force on Wrongful Convictions, and the Special Committee on Federal Legislative Priorities.

Rifkin has worked for New York Statein a variety of capacities for more than 30 years. Prior to serving Governors Paterson and Spitzer, he served as Deputy Attorney General for the State Counsel Division of the Attorney General's office from 1999 until the end of 2006. He also worked in the Attorney General's office from 1979 to 1994, holding a variety of positions, including counsel to the Attorney General and First Assistant Attorney General. From 1994 through 1998, Rifkin was the Executive Director of the New York State Ethics Commission.

Rifkin received his undergraduate degree from Washington and Jefferson College , and his law degree from Yale Law School. He was appointed Counsel to the Bronx Borough President in 1973 and served as staff counsel to Assemblyman Leonard Stavisky from 1970-1973. Rifkin worked in private practice for seven years after he was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1966.

The 74,000-member New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. Founded in 1876, the Association's programs and activities have continuously served the public and improved the justice system for more than 130 years.