June 17, 2010


ALBANY - Lisa M. Burianek, deputy bureau chief of the Environmental Protection Bureau in the New York State Department of Law and assistant attorney general for the State of New York, received the New York State Bar Association's 2010 Citation for Special Achievement in Public Service for her tremendous efforts protecting New York State's natural resources. Sponsored by the Committee on Attorneys in Public Service, the citation recognizes special achievements of public service attorneys in projects or events that have a significant positive impact on the community. The award was given on June 16th at the State Bar Center in Albany.

The committee honored Burianek for her negotiating skills and advocacy in the cause of a greener environment. The committee cited in particular her work while defending the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the Adirondack Park Agency and the Governor in a Section 1983 action brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The action sought to open constitutionally protected "forever wild" Forest Preserve lands to motor vehicle use by people with disabilities. With Burianek's guidance, the case was settled in a manner that protected the sanctity of the Forest Preserve and the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan while greatly expanding access to outdoor recreational programs for people with disabilities, making the State a national leader in this area.

"Lisa Burianek is deeply committed to protecting New York's environment. Her ability to build consensus among disparate groups and resolve complex issues have advanced important policy initiatives that make this State a better place to live for all New Yorkers," said Hon. Peter S. Loomis of Albany (New York State Department of Transportation), chair of the Committee on Attorneys in Public Service. "She is an extraordinary public servant, a role model to us all, and a most deserving recipient of this award."

The Committee on Pattern Jury Instructions of the Association of Supreme Court Justices of the State of New York also received a Citation for its work in creating the New York Pattern Jury Instructions - Civil edition.

Last year's inaugural winners were Amy Pitcairn Barasch of Albany (executive director, New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence) and Erin Noelle Guven of White Plains (Legal Services of the Hudson Valley).

Founded in 1876, the 77,000 member New York State Bar Association is the official statewide organization of lawyers in New York and the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. The State Bar's programs and activities have continuously served the public and improved the justice system for more than 130 years.