Municipal Law Section

  • Mark Davies Video Photo
    The Municipal Law Section Learn more about the benefits of join the Municipal Law Section! Click on the photo to hear from the Section Chair.
  • New York City Skyline Photo
    New York City Skyline NYSBA Annual Meeting | January 26-31, 2015
  • Section Events
    • Municipal Law Section Annual Meeting January 29

      Topics Include:

      U.S. Supreme Court Case Update—Last Term’s Blockbusters and Preview of Key Cases to be Decided This Term, Including Employment Law, First Amendment, and RLUIPA
      Hot Topics in Municipal Finance—Recent Developments Involving SEC and Municipal Bond Disclosures, IRS Audits of Municipal Bonds and High Profile Municipal Bankruptcy Proceedings
      Law of the Land—Land Use Law Update
      Telecommunications Law and FCC Rulings Update
      An Interactive Guide to the Intricacies of State and Local Ethics Law—with Hypotheticals

      View/Download Municipal Law Meeting Program

      Meeting 9:00 a.m. – 12:05 p.m
      Lunch on your own.12:05 p.m. – 1:35 p.m.
      Meeting resumes 1:45 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

      Register Online Now!
      Or Download/Print Annual Meeting Registration Form 

      MCLE Credits:  6.0 Total; 4.0 in Professional Practice and 2.0 in Ethics for Experienced Attorneys Only.

    • January 30: Joint Program on Gaming Casinos



      Gaming Casinos: Learn from the Past to Prepare for the Future  


      Senator Boancic State Senator John Bonacic, Chair of the New York State Senate Committee on Racing Gaming and Wagering to Lead Panel on Legal Challenges For Real Estate, Environmental and Municipal Law Attorneys in Selecting Sites for Gaming Casinos

      Friday, January 30, 2015
      2:15 pm – 4:15 pm

      Gibson Suite, 2nd floor
      New York Hilton Midtown
      1335 Avenue of the Americas 
      (between 53rd and 54th Streets)

      Real Property Law Section Chair
      David L. Berkey, Esq.
      Gallet Dreyer & Berkey LLP
      New York

      Environmental Law Section Chair
      Terresa M. Bakner, Esq.
      Whiteman Osterman & Hanna LLP

      Municipal Law Section Chair
      Mark Davies, Esq.

      In 2013, the New York State Legislature, with the approval of the voters, enacted the Upstate New York Gaming Economic Development Act.  Pursuant to the Act, the New York State Gaming Commission created a Gaming Facility Location Board to entertain and evaluate proposals from various entities seeking to establish a limited number of full-fledged gaming casinos in upstate New York.  Article 2 of the Act, entitled “Facility Determination and Licensing” sets forth the comprehensive procedure that applicants had to follow in seeking to obtain a casino gaming license from the New York State Gaming Commission.  This statute, which appears to override local zoning and placed a strong emphasis on compliance with the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (“SEQRA”) presents challenges and opportunities to real estate, environmental law and municipal law attorneys.  

      On December 17, 2014, the New York State Gaming Facility Location Board recommended the operators of three sites in the Hudson Valley/Catskill, Capital and Southern Tier/Finger Lakes Districts to be given gaming licenses from the New York State Gaming Commission.  The final decision will be made in early 2015 by the Commission itself.

      We are most pleased to have as our keynote speaker New  York State Senator John Bonacic, Esq., Chairman of the New York State Senate Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering.  There is no individual in New York State more knowledgeable and more forceful in regard to New York State’s efforts to approve gaming casinos than Senator Bonacic.  

      After Senator Bonacic’s keynote address, a knowledgeable panel of attorneys will outline the application process and the criteria utilized by the Gaming Facility Location Board in recommending appropriate sites for casino developments.  Attorneys who have represented gaming casino applicants will discuss the land use and environmental challenges faced by their clients in navigating the complex site selection process and in fending off local opposition to gaming casinos.  Further, a municipal attorney will discuss the “host benefit” packages which were proffered to Towns and Villages by gaming casino applicants.    

      The three initial sites for gaming casinos recommended by the Gaming Facility Location Board have already engendered either glee or disappointment among the applicants.  This program certainly is a “hot topic” which should be of widespread interest to members of the State Bar Association. 


      • Keynote Speaker John Bonacic, Esq., Chairman of the New York State Senate Committee on Gaming, Racing and Wagering
      • Virginia C. Robbins, Bond Schoeneck & King, Syracuse, New York
      • Daniel A. Ruzow, Whiteman Osterman Hanna, Albany, New York
      • Joel H. Sachs, Keane & Beane, P.C., White Plains, New York.

      Please note this is a free program that does not offer CLE credit. 

      Note: You are not required to pay the NYSBA Annual Meeting General registration fee of $88 to attend this program.

      Preregistration is required. Register online, or contact Amy Jasiewicz at:, or (518) 487-5682.



    • Save-the-Date 2015 Fall Meeting: September 25 - 27

      Joint Fall Meeting with Labor & Employment Law Section

      Friday, September 25 - Sunday, September 27, 2015
      The Saratoga Hilton, Saratoga Springs, NY

      For Additional Information Contact:  Cathy Teeter at 518-487-5573

  • Ethics for Municipal Lawyers

    The Municipal Law Section of the New York State Bar Association is proud to offer its members and members of the general public this complete resource center on Municipal Ethics. Below please find links to PDF versions of articles, statutes, and NYS Attorney General's Opinion letters.

    Attorney General Opinions 

    Ethics For Municipal Lawyers

    Ethics Litigation Papers

    Ethics Presentations

    Municipal Lawyer Ethics Columns

    Sample Ethics Laws

    Sample Financial Disclosure Forms


  • Legal Resources for Municipal Lawyers

    Welcome to the Municipal Law Sections Legal Resource Center!

    To assist you with resources the Section has prepared accessible lists of resources available in New York State. Click below on the links to help guide you to our resources:

    Ethics for Municipal Lawyers 

    General Municipal Law Legal Links (for a variety of legal resources)

    Municipal Laws 

    Sample Local Laws and Ordinances  

    New York Municipal Guide

  • Municipal Lawyer


    The Municipal Lawyer features peer-written, substantive articles relating to the practice of municipal law on various topics including land use, zoning, ethics, and environmental issues. The Municipal Lawyer is published quarterly by the Municipal Law Section and distributed to Section members free of charge.

    Read Now>