The Employment Relations Committee addresses
issues related to labor and employment law, personnel policies, civil service
and collective bargaining in the public sector.
Mission Statement: The mission of the Employment
Relations Committee is to increase the understanding of its members as well as
the Municipal Law Section of issues and development related to labor and
employment law, personnel policies, civil service and collective bargaining in
the public sector, and to provide a forum for private and in-house
practitioners and counsel to exchange ideas, information and experiences.
Sharon N. Berlin
Professionalism: This committee address issues
such as statutory conflicts of interest, gifts to public officials, local
ethics codes and boards of ethics, appearances of impropriety, lobbying acts,
and Rule of Professional Conduct specific to municipal attorneys and practice.
Mission Statement: Municipal attorneys face a bewildering array of ethics provisions
governing the conduct of municipal officers and employees, scattered throughout
the consolidated laws and beyond. In
addition, the Code of Professional Conduct contains unique rules for those
attorneys who work for municipalities.
The Ethics and Professionalism Committee focuses on educating Section
members about these various provisions and proposing changes to improve
them. In particular, the Committee
provides guidance on crafting local ethics laws that offer municipal officials
a comprehensive and sensible ethics system that will assist them in avoiding
actual and perceived conflicts of interest.
Chaired by the Treasurer and including interested Section members, this
committee addresses matters relating to the finances of the Section.
Land Use, Green Development and
Environmental: This committee addresses such
matters as SEQRA, zoning and planning, federal clean air/clean water acts, and
RLUIPA. The Committee also examines ways municipalities can encourage, through
legislation or incentives, sustainable design of structures, increased energy
efficiency and reduced impact on scarce resource resources.
Mission Statement: The committee aims to assist
municipalities, developers and other land use professionals with planning, zoning and additional land use and
environmental issues, including addressing new legislation and case law, with
the goal of reducing the use of natural resources and energy, limiting
environmental damage, and adopting programs and regulations that promote energy
efficiency, renewable energy, water use efficiency, and waste reduction by
residents and businesses.
Lisa M. Cobb
Daniel A. Spitzer
Diversity Committee: This committee works to
develop the Section’s membership, strengthen its diversity, and evaluate and
improve the Section’s services to its members.
A. Thomas Levin
Nichelle A. Johnson
Taxation, Finance and
Economic Development: This committee addresses issues such
as real property taxation, real property assessments and grievances, exemptions
and tax cap.
This new committee is aimed at Section members who are attorneys for municipal entities or serve in a similar capacity either in house or in private practice. This committee will address issues such as advising local boards, drafting local laws, procurement, and open meetings and FOIL.
Mission Statement: The
Municipal Counsel Committee advocates the interests of attorneys who represent
municipal governments as either in house employees or in private practice by:
(a) providing a congenial forum and network system sharing strategies,
practices and procedures to address common legal and administrative issues,
concerns and challenges faced in day to day municipal governance; and (b)
coordinating activities and efforts to represent the interests of member
municipal attorneys in cases and legislation of Statewide impact.
E. Thomas Jones
Carol L. Van Scoyoc
State and Federal
Constitutional Law: This committee is primarily
designed to keep Section members abreast of developments in State and federal
constitutional law. Public officials frequently deal with issues arising
out of the first amendment (employee speech, prayers/ invocations at board
meetings, holiday displays), equal protection and due process (use of public
facilities/changing benefits/salary). It would also be the committee to
address issues arising under the New York State Constitution, such as
separation of powers, home rule and the like.
Mission Statement: An understanding of the ever-evolving body of state and federal constitutional law is essential for attorneys advising municipal governments and officials, as well as to those who represent private parties in dealings with municipalities. Constitutional issues that are paramount in municipal practice include those arising out of: (i) the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and the corresponding state constitutional guarantee; (ii) the equal protection, due process, and takings clauses of the federal and state constitutions; and (iii) Article 8 and 9 of the state constitution, which pertain to municipal finances and taxation and the rights and home rule powers of localities. The mission of this Committee is to keep Municipal Law section members informed about developments in state and federal constitutional law as they relate to municipal practice and to provide a forum through which section members can discuss such issues.
Sharon N. Berlin
Adam L. Wekstein
Liability and Insurance: Many of the Section’s members represent parties in
personal injury litigation involving municipalities, the subject addressed by
Legislation Committee: This committee is primarily designed to keep Section members aware of developments in Legislation.
A. Joseph Scott, III