Local and State Government Law Section

  • Municipal Law for Law Students
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    Local and State Government Law Section Program at the Annual Meeting January 25, 2018
  • Section Events
    • Local and State Government Law Section Meeting

      Under New York's MCLE rule, this program has been approved for up to 7.0 credit hours (6.0 credits in Professional Practice and 1.0 in Ethics). This program will NOT qualify for credit for newly-admitted attorneys because it is not a basic practical skills program. 

      Richard K. Zuckerman, Esq., Melville, NY

      Martha Krisel, Esq., Mineola, NY
      A. Joseph Scott, III, Esq., Albany, NY

      8:50 AM - 9:00 AM
      Welcoming Remarks

      9:00 AM -9:50 AM
      Blurred Lines – Zoning Limited to Regulation of Use Rather than User
      While zoning laws are limited to regulating use, rather than the owner or occupant of or business operations on, property, the distinction between permissible and ultra vires regulation is hard to discern because of inconsistent case law. The topic is not only of theoretical interest, but has concrete implications with respect to the drafting and application of zoning ordinances and the conditions that may be imposed in connection with land use approvals.
       Adam L. Wekstein, Esq., Hocherman Tortorella & Wekstein, LLP

      9:50 AM-10:40 AM
      Navigating the Approval Process:  The Interplay Between Municipal Land Use Boards
      Even smaller and medium-sized development projects sometimes require the approval of a myriad of local agencies and boards before construction can begin.  Navigating the Approval Process:  The Interplay Between Municipal Land Use Boards focuses on the layers of municipal approvals and the interrelationships among them, including how to identify what approvals are required and how to coordinate them effectively.
      Speaker: Kathleen Deegan Dickson, Esq., 
      Forchelli Deegan Terrana LLP

      10:40 AM- 10:50 AM
      Refreshment Break

      10:50 AM - 11:40 AM
      Update on New York State’s “Zombie Law”  
      Speaker: Wade Beltramo, Esq.
      , NYCOM, Albany 

      11:50 AM - 1:15 PM
      Executive Committee Meeting 
      (for those not involved in the Executive Committee Meeting, lunch will be on your own)

      Constitutional Program:  Three topics in one great panel!
      Update on Sanctuary City lawsuits and Supreme Court October 2018 term decisions
      Moderator: Daniel Spitzer, Esq., Hodgson Russ LLP

      1:15 PM-2:05 PM
      Takings After Murr v. Wisconsin
      We review regulatory takings analysis in the land use arena in light of the Murr v. Wisconsin decision, with a focus on the determination of the property to be evaluated and implications for local zoning codes.
      Speaker: Charles Malcomb, Esq.
      , Hodgson Russ LLP

      2:05 PM - 2:55 PM
      Sign Codes in the wake of Reed v. Town of Gilbert

      Municipalities have been reviewing their sign codes in the wake of Town of Gilbert and its implications for determining what is a content-based regulation and when such regulation can pass a strict scrutiny review.  This session will examine how courts and municipalities are reacting to Town of Gilbert in evaluating local sign codes.
      Speaker: Mindy Zoghlin, Esq., The Zoghlin Group, PLLC

      2:55 PM - 3:05 PM
      Refreshment Break 

      3:05 PM - 3:55 PM
      Social Media as a First Amendment Protected Forum
      Municipal officials are increasingly using social media platforms as conduits of communication with constituents.  This session will examine the First Amendment implications of employing public and private social media for municipal business.
      Speaker: Jessica Copeland, Esq., Hodgson Russ LLP

      3:55 PM- 4:45 PM
      Ethical Issues: Conflict of Interest Update on New York State Conflict of Interest Law

      The Second Circuit recently ended an 11 year battle with a decision that clarified Section 801 of the General Municipal Law in several significant ways. This session will review the decision and analyze the court’s ruling, which provide significant guidance to practitioners relating to the interpretation of several provisions of Article 18 of the General Municipal Law.
      Speaker: Steven G. Leventhal, Esq., Leventhal, Mullaney & Blinkoff, LLP

      Discounts and Scholarships
      New York State Bar Association members and non-members may apply for a discount or scholarship to attend this program, based on financial hardship. This discount applies to the educational portion of the program only. Under this policy, any member of our Association or non-member who has a genuine basis for their hardship, if approved, can receive a discount or scholarship, depending on the circumstances. Request for discounts or scholarships must be received prior to January 12th, 2018. For more details, please contact Beth Gould in writing at New York State Bar Association, One Elk Street, Albany, New York 12207 or bgould@nysba.org

      Accommodations for Persons with Disabilities:  NYSBA welcomes participation by individuals with disabilities. NYSBA is committed to complying with all applicable laws that prohibit discrimination against individuals on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of its goods, services, programs, activities, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations. To request auxiliary aids or services or if you have any questions regarding accessibility, please contact Beth Gould at 518-487-5674.

      For overnight room accommodations, please call the New York Hilton Midtown at 1-800-445-8667 and identify yourself as a member of the New York State Bar Association. The rate will be based on room selection (single/double occupancy) and arrival/departure dates with additional taxes and hotel fees. The discounted rate for January 21st and January 22nd is $179 per night. The discounted rate for January 23rd through January 28th is $229 per night. A rate of $209 will be offered to those with overlapping dates. Reservations must be made before December 15, 2017 by calling the New York Hilton Midtown directly at 800-445-8667 or online at www.nysba.org/am18accomm.

      For questions about this specific program, please contact Beth Gould at 518-487-5674. For registration questions only, please call the Member Resource Center at 800-582-2452. Fax registration form to 518-463-5993.

    • April 27, 2018: Government Law Spring Forum


      Friday, April 27, 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. 

    Read Now>