Local and State Government Law Section

  • Municipal Law for Law Students
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  • Local and State Government Fall 2017 slider
    Local and State Government Law Section Fall Meeting October 27-28, 2017 | Embassy Suites by Hilton, Saratoga Springs, NY
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    Local and State Government Law Section Program at the Annual Meeting January 25, 2018
  • Section Events
    • October 27-28, 2017: Fall Meeting


      October 27-28, 2017 
      Embassy Suites by Hilton | Saratoga Springs, NY 

      Mark your calendars and join your fellow colleagues of New York State Bar Association’s Local and State Government Law Section for networking and educational panels October 27-28, 2017 in historic Saratoga Springs, NY. Explore all the city has to offer like great dining and entertainment.



      11:30 a.m. Registration – Foyer
      12:30 -2:00 p.m.    CLE For Transitional Attorneys 
      (Experienced Attorneys Also Welcome!)
      12:30 - 1:00 p.m.   The Essentials to Running Meetings of Public Bodies (0.5 credits in Professional Practice)
      Numerous factors play a role in creating healthy local governments that run effectively: good leadership and communication as well as a solid understanding of the laws under which local governments operate are imperative.  The Open Meetings Law is the law that governs the conducting of meetings of public bodies.  This session will address the requirements for giving notice of meetings, how and when public bodies may enter into executive session, and what the public’s rights are with respect to participating in and videotaping of meetings.
      Speaker: Wade Beltramo, Esq., NYCOM, Albany

      1:05 – 1:30 p.m.    Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning Boards, Practice and Pitfalls (0.5 credits in Professional Practice, Transitional Credit)
      This presentation will focus on the practice and procedures with respect to a local Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning Board, including recent judicial decisions affecting their determinations.  Please let me know if you need anything else, other than the actual paper.  
      Speaker: Chris Trapp, Esq. Greco Trapp, PLLC, Buffalo

      1:30 – 2:00 p.m.    An Overview of the Labor and Employment Laws covering Public Sector Workplaces (0.5 credits in Professional Practice, Transitional Credit)
      An overview of the labor and employment laws covering public workplaces, including the Civil Service Law, the Taylor Law, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, anti-discrimination laws, and more.
      Speaker:    Sharon N. Berlin, Esq., Lamb & Barnosky LLP, Melville

      2:00 - 5:15 p.m.     General Session – Congress Room

      2:00 -2:50 p.m.      Use of Search Warrants and Other Possible Investigative Tools (1.0 credit in Professional Practice)
      Speaker: Hon. Robert Spolzino, Smith Buss & Jacobs LLP, Yonkers

      2:55 - 3:45 p.m.     “Sanctuary" Jurisdictions and Federal Immigration Policy (1.0 credits in Professional Practice)
      Many cities and towns across the State have adopted so-called "sanctuary" legislation and policies to guide their responses to increased enforcement of immigration laws by the Federal government.   This session will explore the legal issues arising from requests by Federal immigration authorities that localities detain individuals for immigration enforcement purposes,  provide information about individuals' immigration status or  provide access to public property, including local government discretion to decline such requests, and potential Federal responses to local legislation and policies.
      Speakers: James D. Bilik, Esq., Arbitrator and Mediator, Albany | Spencer Fisher, Esq., New York City Law Department, Division of Legal Counsel, New York City | Anjana Samant, Esq., New York State Office of the Attorney General, Civil Rights Bureau, 
      New York City 

      3:45 - 4:00 p.m.      Refreshment Break

      4:00 - 4:50 p.m.      Affordable Housing/Fair Housing/Community Land Trusts for Local Governments (1.0 credit in Professional Practice)
      Municipalities are faced with modifying current revenue streams which cannot cover the growing needs of their residents, such as infrastructure and affordable housing.  This presentation will focus on what can be done within our current legal framework to fill this financing gap from the point of view of the municipal attorney.  It will give an overview of some of New York State’s best community development tools, and how they can be mixed and matched together to suit the needs of a municipal client, urban or rural.  Some of the tools that will be discussed are public private partnerships, form-based and inclusionary zoning, business improvement districts, community land trusts, tax credit financing, and community benefits agreements.
      Speakers: Joseph Trapp, Esq., Greco Trapp, PLLC, Buffalo 

      4:55 – 5:20 p.m.      Updates from the State’s 2017 Legislative Session  (0.5 credits in Professional Practice)
      This presentation will discuss highlights of the state legislature’s 2017 session such as raising the age of criminal responsibility, authorizing ridesharing to operate throughout the state, reforming workers compensation, and requiring counties outside of New York City to prepare shared services plans. This presentation will summarize principal features of these laws and discuss their implications for local governments throughout the state.
      Speakers: Andrea Fastenberg, Esq., NYC Office of The Corporation Counsel, New York City 

      5:20 - 5:30 p.m. Closing Remarks

      5:30 - 6:30 p.m. Please join us in the hotel restaurant for a reception


      8:30 a.m.                Registration – Foyer

      9:00 - 9:50 a.m.      Public Sector Labor and Employment Law 2017 Update (1.0 credit in Professional Practice)
      This presentation will review recent PERB and court decisions, legislative and administrative enactments and other substantive and procedural changes to the way that public employers manage their workforces and administer their collective bargaining agreements and personnel policies. 
      Speakers: Richard K. Zuckerman, Esq., Lamb & Barnosky LLP, Melville

      9:50 - 10:00 a.m.    Refreshment Break

      10:00 - 10:50 a.m.   New York State's Paid Family Leave Law is Arriving Soon--Are You Ready (1.0 credit in Professional Practice)
      This presentation will review the upcoming New York Paid Family Leave Act, how it applies to municipal employees, and how it compares to and complements other applicable statutes such as the Family and Medical Leave Act and the New York State Disability Law.
      Speakers: Thomas B. Wassel, Esq., Cullen and Dykman LLP, Garden City

      10:50 - 11:00 a.m. Refreshment Break

      11:00  - 11:50 a.m.    Law, Government and Politics, Achieving the Perfect Mix (1.0 credits in Ethics)
      Municipal lawyers confront a combination of these elements in many situations and in making many decisions.  Judge Pigott, in addition to his many years as a trial level, Appellate Division and Court of Appeals judge, served as Erie County Attorney for four and a half years and as counsel to one of the major political parties during his legal career before the bench.  He will discuss how one walks that sometimes narrow path that leads to the appropriate (and ethical) outcome.
      Speaker: Hon. Eugene F. Pigott, New York State Supreme Court, Buffalo 

      11:50 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.  Closing Remarks

      12:00 - 1:00 p.m. Executive Committee Meeting – Peerless Room


      For more info: Beth Gould

    • January 25, 2018: Local and State Government Law Section Annual Meeting Program

      Mark Your Calendar!

      Local and State Government Law Section Annual Meeting MCLE Program 

      Thursday, January 25, 2018

      New York Hilton Midtown, NYC

      More details coming soon!

    • May 5, 2017: Government Law Spring Forum


      Friday, May 11, 2018

      2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. 
      Reception to Follow 

      New York State Bar Association | 1 Elk Street |  Albany NY 12207

      3.0 MCLE Credits (2.0 credits in Professional Practice and 1.0 in Ethics)

      Cost: Free to NYSBA Members | $25 for Non-Members 

      Panel and speaker info to follow 

      For questions contact Beth Gould 

      To register over the phone please contact the Member Resource Center at 1-800-582-2452 

    • September 27-28, 2018: Fall Meeting Buffalo, NY


      September 27-28, 2018

      The Westin Buffalo | 250 Delaware Ave. | Buffalo NY 14202

      Hotel Rooms: $169 a night 

      Book your hotel room online today!: https://www.starwoodmeeting.com/Book/NewYorkStateBarAssnRoomBlk2018 or call The Westin Buffalo at 716-858-5900 (Mention the New York State Bar Association Room Block to receive the discount)

      Program Information Coming Soon! 

  • Ethics for Municipal Lawyers

    The Local and State Government 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 Local and State Government Law Section's 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

  • Section Publications


    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 Local and State Government Law Section and distributed to Section members free of charge.

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    Each Government, Law and Policy Journal features peer-written substantive articles with a theme on a current issue of interest to government attorneys. Past themes have included Aging and Longevity, Renewable Energy, Civil Rights and Disabilities, Firearms, Public Safety and the Law; The Oversight Function: Guarding the Public Interest; New York State's Budget; Beverage Alcohol Law: Regulation and Policy; Public Authority Reform; Freedom of Information Law; and Climate Change. 

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