Number of years as member of WCBA:
Eleven years, currently co-chair of WCBA ADR Committee and incoming member of the board of directors.
My current job and practice area:
Partner, Cuddy & Feder LLP, Litigation & Telecommunication Departments.
I was inspired to become a lawyer because:
In high school, I had the opportunity to compete in several New York City law programs, including mock trial, moot court, model congress and model city council. I have been hooked ever since on the challenge and intensity of litigation and the art of negotiation.
A turning point in my legal career was:
Leaving my Manhattan-based practice to plant roots at Cuddy & Feder in 2004, where I discovered the professionalism and collegiality that comes with practicing in Westchester. I also found my sense of balance between a vibrant work life and the ability to be there for my kids.
A source of professional pride is:
My work as a mediator and as co-chair of the WCBA ADR Committee. Mediation skills enable me to help clients achieve their goals while keeping the need for conflict to a minimum. This is a focus of the WCBA CLEs I teach.
If I were not practicing law, I would be: an English professor.
People may be surprised to learn:
That I am in an original roots-rock acoustic band that has played The Bitter End, The Mercury Lounge and Garcia’s at the Capitol. Our self-titled album, Greetings From Anywhere, is now available on iTunes.
What I splurge on:
Guitars and other string instruments (albeit rarely).
The best hour of my day is:
When I return home after a day of work; my dog is ecstatic to see me and I get to unwind and hear about my family’s day.
Favorite movie: Duck Soup.
What’s on my playlist:
The Beatles (Abbey Road), Ray Charles (See See Rider), Joe Cocker (Greatest Hits), The Rolling Stones (Let It Bleed), Ella Fitzgerald with Louis Armstrong (Ella & Louis), Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (4 Way Street), Aretha Franklin (Live at the Fillmore West), Old Crow Medicine Show (O.C.M.S.), Dr. John (Dr. John’s Gumbo), O Brother Where Art Thou (Soundtrack).
My favorite vacation spot:
Wellfleet, Cape Cod.
Three things I can’t live without:
My family, music, manzanilla olives.
One of my favorite things to do in Westchester:
Watching a summer sunset over the Hudson River at Waterfront Park in Dobbs Ferry with my family and our friends.
Best advice I ever got:
Focus on what you do best and the rest will come naturally.
My advice to new lawyers: details are important, but don’t get mired in them to a point where you lose sight of the big picture. Clients come to us not because they want to get enmeshed in legal procedures or contract language, but because they have goals, and the law is a means to achieving those goals.
One of my future ambitions is to:
While it’s rare that attorneys get the chance, I would love the opportunity to argue a case before the U.S. Supreme Court. I sat in on oral arguments the day I got sworn in with a WCBA group and that chamber struck me as the purest place to practice law.
My favorite part of being involved with the WCBA:
I’ve heard it said that you can’t hold a grudge against an adversary with whom you have broken bread at a WCBA banquet or exchanged ideas at a CLE, and it is absolutely true. The bar is the glue of our legal community and it is vital to the civility and camaraderie that makes Westchester such a special place to practice law.