Number of Years as a Member of the WCBA: 30 years. Past president; former vice president and secretary; former executive committee member; current editor-in-chief of the Westchester Bar Journal; current co-chair of the Bar Journal Committee; current editorial staff member of the Westchester Lawyer magazine; past editor-in-chief of the Newsletter and past chair of the Newsletter Committee; past chair of the Municipal Law Section.
Awards and honors received: the 2014 Westchester County Bar Foundation Award; the 2012 New York State Bar Association’s Award for Excellence in Public Service; 2011 Above the Bar Award for Outstanding Public Service Attorney. I am currently serving as chair of the Local and State Government Law Section of the NYSBA.
My current job and practice area are: as Chief Deputy Corporation Counsel for the City of White Plains, I am involved in many aspects of municipal law, including litigation and the drafting of legislation and legal opinions, involving land use law, zoning, public safety, ethics, and environmental issues, to name a few. I am also an adjunct professor at Pace University’s Graduate School of Public Administration.
How I decided to work in municipal law: as an intern at Pace Law School’s then Michaelian Municipal Law Research Center, I really enjoyed researching some cutting edge local government issues for a number of municipalities and writing articles for the Municipal Lawyer and my involvement led me to pursue a career in local government, with the Westchester County Attorney’s Office for ten years and then for the City of White Plains.
One of my favorite legal success stories: as a young lawyer and only three years out of law school, arguing and prevailing on behalf the County of Westchester in a controversial and landmark case before the NY Court of Appeals on the right-to-die issue, in Matter of Westchester County Medical Center (Mary O’Connor).
If I were not practicing law I would be: a medical research doctor.
People may be surprised to learn: as a teenager, I competed in and won the Miss Columbus title for the City of Yonkers Columbus Day celebration. WCBA Past President Ralph Nobile served as master of ceremonies for the pageant and festivities.
The best thing I did to improve my skill set as an attorney: volunteering as a speaker at various CLEs for the WCBA, NYSBA, Pace Law School and teaching legal research and writing, local government law and administrative law.
What I splurge on: clothes, jewelry, gifts for my nieces and nephews, attending baseball games, and musical performances.
The best hour of my day is: sunset.
Favorite movies: The Great Gatsby (with Robert Redford); any Harrison Ford movie, especially Presumed Innocent and The Fugitive; The Doctor; The Sixth Sense; Bang the Drum Slowly; The Way We Were; Body Heat; And Justice for All.
Favorite television shows: Mad Men, Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Downton Abbey, Mr. Selfridge, Longmire, Blue Bloods, E.R., and old Twilight Zone, Perry Mason, Ironside, L.A. Law and Owen Marshall reruns.
Favorite songs: any album or song by Vince Gill; the Eagles’ Hotel California and Tequila Sunrise; Don Henley’s End of the Innocence and any song on his recent Cass County album; Billy Joel’s New York State of Mind and any song on The Stranger album; George Strait’s Amarillo by Morning; Garth Brooks’ The Dance; the Rolling Stones’ Miss You; Sade’s Smooth Operator; Trisha Yearwood’s The Song Remembers When; B.B. King’s The Thrill Is Gone.
Favorite meal: lobster.
Favorite websites or blogs: New York Law Journal, New York Post, New York Times, Washington Post, mlb.com and the New York Mets website and the Law of the Land blog.
My favorite vacation spots: Miami and Captiva Island, Florida; the Hamptons; the Jersey Shore; Cooperstown.
Three things I can’t live without: my family, the law, and the NY Mets.
One of my favorite things to do in Westchester: attending musical performances and plays at the White Plains Performing Arts Theater.
Best advice I ever got: always respect those who respect you and remain constant to your purpose.
My advice to new lawyers: strive to practice the type of law you really have the passion for and enjoy and appreciate the good moments in life.
Last time I was out of my comfort zone: being diagnosed with Stage IV, inflammatory breast cancer nearly eight years ago and trying to figure out how to cope with that reality.
One of my future ambitions is to: write a book.
My favorite part of being involved with the WCBA: acquiring and sharing legal knowledge and experience with true professionals, and the camaraderie and long-lasting friendships with some of the best attorneys and persons in Westchester County.