- New York State (1976)
- U.S. Supreme Court (1979)
- U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals (1979)
- U.S. District Court, Western District of New York (1988)
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York (1977)
- U.S. Tax Court (1977)
- Syracuse University College of Law (J.D. cum laude, 1975)
- Boston College (B.A., magna cum laude, 1971)
- Christian Brothers Academy High School (Syracuse NY) (1967)
Jim was a New York State Assistant Attorney General for twenty (20) years [1988-2008] in the Rochester Regional Office and served as Regional Office Head for approximately two years. As an AAG he litigated and tried cases in State and Federal courts defending the State and its officials in civil rights actions and personal injury lawsuits, CPLR Article 78 proceedings (licensing, permits, discipline, DMV, Health Department, Social Services and Corrections matters), affirmative litigation in Mental Hygiene matters (civil retention hearings, CPL §330.20 proceedings etc.) and Habeas Corpus, parole and prisoner litigation. He also represented the State on appeal in those cases.
Prior to his service with the State, he was the First Assistant (Deputy) Corporation Counsel for the City of Syracuse for twelve years [1977-1988]. He was an active trial and appellate attorney defending the City and its agencies in various matters as the City was self-insured. He was the supervisor of the City’s litigation unit and appeals unit and he personally briefed and argued over twenty (20) appeals.
He was the legal advisor to various City Departments with special responsibility for the Police, Fire, DPW and Purchase Departments.
He was designated as the City’s Freedom of Information Law Officer. His other duties included construction contract litigation, claims settlement, architect/engineer contracting and labor and personnel matters (disciplinary hearings and grievances).
Prior to joining the firm as counsel in January 2013, he was retained by the Monroe County Attorney’s Office for four years to handle litigation and appeals involving the County and the Sheriff’s Office in state and federal courts.
Teaching and Speaking Engagements
Jim is an instructor in Cornell University’s Local Roads Program which offers training seminars and workshops to local highway officials. Jim teaches two legal courses dealing with highway related legal liabilities and the powers and duties of local highway officials.
He has lectured to conferences of the New York Association of Towns, the New York State Conference of Mayors, the American Public Works Association and other municipal councils on those subjects.
He has also been a presenter at CLE programs for attorneys sponsored by the Monroe County Bar Association and the New York Attorney General’s Office.
Professional Affiliations and Community Involvement
- St. Thomas More Lawyers’ Guild (Board Member)
- Women’s Care Center Inc. – Board of Directors, Secretary and past Vice-President
- Greece Little League Coach
- Greece Girls Soccer Coach
- Boy Scouts (Tiger Cub Coordinator)
Jim and his wife, Beverly (Russi), live in Greece and have 2 grown children. Their son Nicholas is a psychiatrist in Syracuse and their daughter Danielle, is a school counselor at City Honors High School in Buffalo. Jim enjoys eating his wife’s great Italian cooking and cookies and, of course, the necessary exercise resulting therefrom.