For over 35 years, Kevin has built a broad-based civil litigation practice, handling cases from intake through full appellate practice before the highest courts in New York State and the federal court system. His work includes major and precedent-setting litigation in: general contract and commercial claims, health care, trademark, civil rights, Freedom of Information entitlements, land use and zoning, personal injury, employment, securities and consumer fraud, tax, banking, education and construction.
Kevin also provides general regulatory, risk management and corporate counseling to clients in the health care industry (including long-term care facilities, provider practice groups, ambulatory surgery centers, and a Medicaid managed care IPA), and in the construction industry (owners, general contractors, and subcontractors), and to religious corporations.
Kevin recently completed a multi-year Surrogate's Court lawsuit against an agent under a Power of Attorney for breach of fiduciary duty, resulting in a substantial recovery for an estate. Additional recent cases have involved significant victories against the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance following its denial of tax credits to real estate developers.
In 2012, Kevin and our litigation team successfully completed the decades-long Beechwood v Leeds litigation in federal court, obtaining a $25 million settlement from the State of New York, after five members of the New York State Department of Health were found liable by the jury for unconstitutional retaliation against a skilled nursing facility and its owners. This is believed to be among the largest civil case settlements ever obtained against the State.
- New York State Bar (1979), Massachusetts (2006)
- U.S. Supreme Court (1984)
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit (1984)
- U. S. District Court, Western District of New York (1979)
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York (1995)
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida (2014)
- U.S. Tax Court (1989)
- U.S. Court of Federal Claims (2001)
- Georgetown University Law Center (J.D., magna cum laude, 1978); Intensive Session in Trial Advocacy (1980)
- Colby College (B.A. cum laude; distinction in Government and American Studies, 1975); Pi Sigma Alpha (National Political Science honor society)
- American Health Lawyers Association
- New York State Bar Association
- Monroe County Bar Association
Kevin's community service commitments include over 20 years as president of Rochester Family Mission, an inner city relief organization, numerous terms of leadership on various church boards and committees, and extended service as a trustee of Allendale Columbia School, Rochester’s premier college preparatory independent school, where he served as Board Chair from 2008-2011. He currently serves as Secretary and Director of Perinton Ecumenical Ministries, Inc., a consortium of local churches which sponsors Advent House, a comfort care home in Fairport, New York.
Honors & Awards
- AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
- Selected to Best Lawyers in America, Commercial Litigation
- Selected to the Upstate New York Super Lawyers list
- Recipient, “Leaders in Law” Award, The Daily Record
Speaking Engagements & Publications
Long Road to Justice and $25 Million: The Beechwood Litigation Saga, 1999-2012. Presentation at the American Health Lawyers Association's Long-Term Care and the Law Conference, February 2013, Austin, TX.
Brewer v BOCES and the Revitalization of Affirmative Action as a Compelling State Interest. Lectures, Board of Cooperative Educational Services administrator continuing education conference (2000); Allendale Columbia School class on American Constitutional Law (2000), Rochester, NY.
Legacies of the Watergate Era. Annual classroom lecture presentations, Allendale Columbia School class in U.S. History Since 1945 (1999-2015). Rochester, NY.
Formation and Organization of Churches Under the New York Religious Corporations Law. Annual lecture presentations. Rochester Institute of Christian Education (1993-1995). Rochester, NY.
A native of Rochester, New York (Fairport High School, '71; Eastman School of Music Preparatory Department, violoncello, '71), Kevin refused to succumb to "Potomac Fever" during his law school years at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C., and instead returned to Rochester to establish a litigation practice in his hometown.
At MCCM, Kevin not only maintains his own practice, but also has the privilege of mentoring many young lawyers. He takes pride in the accomplishments of former colleagues who are now respected members of the state and federal judiciary, federal prosecutors, and attorneys serving clients in corporate legal departments and private practice throughout the region. Kevin served as the firm's managing partner from 1999 through 2006, helping guide the firm's transition to full use of technology for case and document management in its practice, designing systems and software tailored to the firm's particular needs and style of working.
Kevin and his wife, Suzanne, reside in Fairport, New York. They take particular pride in the accomplishments of their children, Carson P. Cooman, John A. Gillette, III, Gina Gillette and Colby B. Cooman, whose extraordinary artistic talents and business, teaching and law enforcement achievements continue to amaze.
Advocacy in Major Reported Case Decisions
- Financial Federal Credit, Inc. v Ramar Crane Services, LLC, 21 F.Supp.3d 264 (W.D.N.Y.2014), 604 Fed.Appx. 38 (2d Cir. 2015) (affirmed dismissal on summary judgment of financial institution's claim for UCC Article 9 security interest; sustained defense of good faith purchase by buyer in ordinary course of business).
- Beechwood Restorative Care Center v Leeds, 436 F.3d 147 (2d Cir. 2006), following remand, 811 F.Supp. 2d 667 (W.D.N.Y. 2011), 856 F. Supp.2d 580 (W.D.N.Y. 2012) (successful reinstatement of civil rights claim based on the First Amendment against officials in the New York State Department of Health, for their unconstitutional retaliation against a skilled nursing home and its owners; jury verdict for liability against multiple defendants, followed by a $25 million settlement by the State of New York).
- Beechwood Restorative Care Center v. Signor, 5 N.Y.3d 435 (2005) (action against the New York State Department of Health for attorney’s fees under the Freedom of Information Law, prompting New York State Legislature to amend FOIL to confirm to plaintiff's asserted position in the litigation. New York Laws of 2006, chap. 492, amending Public Officers Law § 89(4)(c)).
- Rochester Community Practice Association, Inc. v Excellus Health Plan, Inc., 305 A.D.2d 1007, 758 N.Y.S.2s 576 (4th Dep't 2993); Rochester Community Practice Association, Inc. v Finger Lakes Health Insurance Co., Inc., 281 A.D.2d 977, 722 N.Y.S.2d 663 (4th Dep't 2001) (contractual liability of health plan to IPA for over $20 million in capitation and other payments owed to physicians and other health care professionals).
- Brewer v. West Irondequoit Central School District, 212 F.3d 738 (2d Cir. 2000) (successful defense of one of the nation’s oldest voluntary interdistrict school desegregation programs against a reverse-discrimination equal protection challenge).
- Anderson v. Flanagan, 87 N.Y.2d 362 (1996) (clarification of homeowner exemption from Labor Law §240 liability).
- Podhorecki v. Lauer's Furniture Stores, Inc., 184 A.D.2d 1066, 585 N.Y.S.2d 268 (1992); 201 A.D.2d 947, 607 N.Y.S.2d 918 (1994) (attorney's fee rights and calculation in consumer litigation).
- Independent Bankers Association of New York State, Inc. v. Marine Midland Bank, N.A., 575 F. Supp.1425 (W.D.N.Y. 1984); 583 F.Supp. 1042 (W.D.N.Y. 1984); rev'd, 757 F.2d 453 (2d Cir. 1985), cert. denied, 106 S.Ct. 2926 (1986) (legal status of automated teller machines utilized but not owned by national banks).
- Anders v. Segall, 124 A.D.2d 1029 (4th Dep't 1986) (jury verdict increased as inadequate in negligence case).
- Silver v. Rochester Savings Bank, 73 A.D.2d 81 (4th Dep't 1980); 48 U.S.L.W. 2615 (1980) (unenforceability of due-on-sale clause in real estate mortgage).