“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.”
I wanted to become a lawyer as far back as I can remember, based on reading books about lawyers and what they did as advocates for their clients. Injustice and wrongdoing always incensed me, and motivated me to action. Although I came from a strong musical background, and played the cello all through college in a professional orchestra, I knew that hours in the practice room was not how I wanted to spend my life. So I am grateful that practicing law became my career, with the opportunity to work for justice in each situation.
Kevin’s road to law practice was inspired by the courageousness of attorneys and judges that he witnessed during the Watergate proceedings. Even today, he remains motivated by the Watergate heroes who stood up to powerful people, and worked to preserve a legal system that can not be corrupted by the self-interest of individuals focused on power or money. If he wasn’t in law, Kevin would have been an American History professor, teaching the next generation to understand both the wonder and the flaws of our Constitution, history, systems and institutions.
As a partner at MCCM for over 40 years Kevin not only has a dedication to his clients, but he also is responsible for his team. He wants his staff and colleagues to find personal and professional satisfaction while pursuing their clients’ best interests.
Kevin's broad-based civil litigation practice encompasses cases from intake analysis at the trial court level through appellate briefing and argument before the highest courts in New York State and the federal court system, and before administrative agencies. His work includes precedent-setting litigation with respect to contract and commercial claims, health care, estate disputes, civil rights, Freedom of Information access, employment, consumer fraud, tax, construction and personal injury.
Clients also engage Kevin for regulatory compliance and risk management counseling in the healthcare industry, including long term care facilities and medical providers.
The firm's estate planning and administration practice in Surrogate's Court increasingly requires Kevin's briefing and oral advocacy on disputed matters among estate heirs and with creditors. He and his team have been successful in numerous cases seeking redress against agents under Powers of Attorney, trustees or executors who have breached their fiduciary duties.
With the state and federal administrative agencies wielding growing power over businesses and individuals, Kevin has represented clients for hearings, trials and appeals successfully challenging decisions by New York and Massachusetts taxing and licensing authorities, and health care regulators. Kevin led our litigation team in its successful claim against five New York State Department of Health officials, who were found liable by a federal court jury for unconstitutional retaliation against a skilled nursing facility and its owners. The $25 Million settlement after trial in the Beechwood v Leeds litigation is believed to be among the largest civil case recoveries ever obtained against the State.
- AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
- Selected to The Best Lawyers in America©, Commercial Litigation, Health Care Law, and Litigation - Health Care
- Selected to the Upstate New York Super Lawyers list
- Recipient, “Leaders in Law” Award, The Daily Record
- 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, one of Rochester’s premier college preparatory independent schools, where he served as Board Chair from 2008-2011. He currently serves as President of Perinton Ecumenical Ministries, Inc., a consortium of local churches which sponsors Advent House, a comfort care home in Fairport, New York.
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.
- Council of Churches Housing Development Fund, Inc. v Arlington Housing Corp., _F.Supp._, 2019 WL 1970517 (W.D.N.Y. 2019) (defeat of motion for preliminary injunction by limited partners seeking oust of general partner from management of low-income housing project).
- Matter of the Estate of Foster, 63 Misc3d 1223A (Surr.Ct., Mon. Co. 2019) (estate creditor's claim based on life insurance policy assignment dismissed on summary judgment as barred by statute of limitation).
- 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 paid 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.2d 576 (4th Dep't 2003); 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).
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 also has had 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 early 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 Webster, New York. They take particular pride in the accomplishments of their children, Carson P. Cooman, John A. Gillette, III, Gina Gillette-Mills and Colby B. Cooman, whose extraordinary talents and achievements continue to amaze. They have also become doting grandparents, watching with joy as Irelynn, Leah, Bella, Mila and Felix grow up.