On May 18, 2022, the Environmental and Energy Law Section of the New York State Bar Association held its Annual Legislative Forum. It was open to the public without charge and was the third consecutive event held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Based on lengthy oral arguments in two recent high-profile cases, the U.S. Supreme Court appears ready to overturn decades-old precedents on Affirmative Action at public and private universities – a potential turning point for colleges on Long Island and everywhere else.
New planning and zoning concepts and laws that revise and significantly reduce minimum off-street parking requirements will help do that. The idea is to improve quality of life and reduce carbon emissions by limiting “impervious surface” parking areas – either by reducing parking minimums for various developments, or imposing parking maximums, or both.
We are honored that Super Lawyers has recognized sixteen of our attorneys, representing seven practice areas, for exceptional accomplishments and expertise.
The United States Supreme Court held this summer, in West Virginia v. EPA, that a series of Environmental Protection Agency "EPA" regulations promulgated pursuant to the Clean Power Plan "CPP" extended beyond the authority that Congress delegated to the EPA
Recently, Michael Sahn asked Robert Cohen about the success of our merger, and his outlook on the future of our Firm.
Many self-evident benefits require investment. This axiom is particularly applicable to environmental issues. The changing climate, although not the only important environmental issue, it is the pressing issue in the United States. Based upon past efforts addressing environmental concerns, there is cause for optimism as the country seeks a path forward.
Most employers have probably heard about the landmark decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, 142 S.Ct. 2228 (2022), and are contemplating how they, as an employer, should respond. Before putting pen to paper to re-write your employee handbooks and health insurance policies, one must first understand what Dobbs did and did not do. More particularly, Dobbs did not make abortion illegal, but rather disagreed with the holdings in Roe v. Wade, 93 S.Ct. 705 (1973), and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, 112 S.Ct. 2791 (1992), that there was an inherent right to choose rooted in the due process clause of Fourteenth Amendment. As the Dobbs Court rejected the premise that such inherent right to abortion was found in the United States Constitution, it left the decision up to the states under the Tenth Amendment’s reservation clause.
Partner, Erika L. Conti, discusses the recent enactment of new state legislation that provides child support to custodial parents of adult disabled children.
The summer is upon us, and vacation season is about to begin for millions of Americans. With travel reopening for destinations around the world, it is likely that travelers will see evidence of increasing temperatures and weather extremes both here and abroad. The heat-trapping effect of carbon dioxide is more evident than ever because it is at its highest concentration level in the atmosphere in at least 4 million years.
Sahn Ward Braff Koblenz was a proud sponsor of the 47th Annual Golf & Tennis Charity Classic benefitting the Children's Medical Fund of New York. The event was held on Monday, June 20, 2022 at the Glen Oaks Club in Old Westbury, New York. Adam H. Koblenz, Firm member and partner is a member of the Children's Medical Fund of New York’s (CMF) Board of Trustees. For this year’s event, Mr. Koblenz served as Co-Chair of the Tennis Committee. The Children’s Medical Fund of New York is a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising funds for the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York. Through a wide network of friends, volunteers and deeply committed donors, CMF has raised over $90 million to help build, equip and secure ongoing funding for programs that are vital to the needs of seriously ill children and their families.
Partner, Joshua Brookstein, attended the Nassau County Bar Association’s Annual Gala. The Firm was proud to sponsor the Honoree VIP Reception, recognizing Hon. Janet DiFiore, the Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals and other honored guests.
We are proud to announce that Partner John Parker has been named as Vice Chair of the Environmental Law Committee of the Nassau County Bar Association. John leads the firm’s burgeoning Environmental, Energy, and Resources Practice Group which represents clients on a number of environmental issues including brownfield redevelopment, contaminated site remediation, environmental litigation, enforcement compliance, and in real estate transactions, among others. John looks forward to taking an active leadership role for the Committee. The Nassau County Bar Association is made up of private and public sector attorneys, judges, legal educators, and law students and addresses legal issues in 50 law committees for its 4,000 members.
From many important perspectives, these hearings have become significant barriers to regulatory change, stymieing new housing options, climate-change protocols, desperately needed infrastructure improvements and other innovative solutions to important zoning and land-use challenges. But, if the current hearing process is detrimental to important planning goals, what process can we turn to?
Recently, Michael Sahn had a conversation with partner Elisabetta T. Coschignano about her growing land use practice. Elisabetta Coschignano shared her insights on the keys to success in guiding projects from inception to approval. Here are the highlights of the conversation.
Partners, Elaine Colavito and John Farrell, are leading the Firm’s growing Suffolk County practice from our new office in Hauppauge. Both Elaine and John are Suffolk residents. The Suffolk office has been the catalyst for Elaine and John to expand their respective practices in matrimonial and family law, and land use, municipal and real estate law to better serve our clients. We have nearly doubled the size of our office since it first opened at 1300 Veterans Memorial Highway in 2019. The office also gives all the Firm’s attorneys a convenient place to meet clients in Suffolk, and a comfortable workspace when making court and administrative board appearances in Suffolk, and conducting depositions and closings.
On May 18, 2022, John Parker, our Partner who leads the firm’s Environmental, Energy, and Resources Practice Group will serve as Chair of the statewide Legislative Forum continuing his leadership role in this position. The annual event has grown in stature to become one of regional importance in this specialized field.
Partner, Joshua D. Brookstein, and Associates Stelios E. Karatzias and Christopher R. DeNicola, serve as volunteer mentors to middle school students through the Nassau County Bar Association. Many of the students that are selected to participate in this program are customarily identified by school guidance counselors as having difficulties with their academics, social skills with their peers, or potential disruptions at home. .
The UN has warned that time is running out to avoid climate change’s most dire consequences. And according to United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, the Ukraine war’s disruptive impacts on global food and energy markets may put some climate-change targets out of reach. Rising gas prices have increased focus on electric cars and trucks that don’t produce greenhouse gas emissions. Interest in electric-powered and hybrid vehicles, and other alternatives to traditional fossil-fuel engines, was rising fast even before the current “gas crisis,” and as gas prices rise, electric-car sales are surging.
Firm Partner, Elisabetta T. Coschignano, guided Mill Creek Residential Trust LLC toward receiving economic benefits from the Town of Hempstead Industrial Development Agency for its proposed multi-family transit-oriented project in West Hempstead.
Due to the COVID pandemic, New York State employers have been confronted with many challenges over the past two years trying to keep their employees safe while complying with the rapidly evolving laws. Now that we have hopefully put COVID in the rearview, it is time for all New York State employers to ensure that you are in compliance with the legislation that has been passed since the pandemic began. The New York Paid Sick Leave Law is one such law that all New York State employers need to be familiar with.
Danny D. De Voe was named as a Premier Business Women of Long Island in the legal category during a gala event held on March 23rd. The Awards Gala celebrates high-level female business leaders who are making an impact on Long Island in their given fields. The event was hosted by RichnerLIVE in conjunction with Herald Community Newspapers.
The New York Times recognized Danny D. De Voe as one of 2022 Power Lawyers recognized for excellence in the practice of law.
Sahn Ward is pleased that Christopher DeNicola has joined the Firm as a new Associate. He will concentrate his practice in commercial litigation, municipal law and zoning and land use planning. Chris was a legal intern with the Firm. He was sworn in as an attorney in a virtual ceremony at the Firm's office with his family in attendance. Chris is admitted to practice law in the State of New York
Not surprisingly, legal writing and commentary is often dry and stiff. Litigation is serious business. Legal principles can be complex. And the meaning of laws and statutes often depends on a single word, even a choice of punctuation. Which is not to say literary references, cultural touchstones and linguistic lightheartedness don’t abound in judicial decisions and judge’s comments, because they absolutely do. And they don’t only give the law a sense of levity – they often explain complicated legalese in ways laymen can appreciate.
Elaine Colavito was recognized by Long Island Business News as one of the Long Island’s Power 25 in Law. This elite group of leaders were selected by Long Island Business News’ Editor, Associate Publisher and the editorial team based on their achievements and standing in the law community.
On March 25, 2022 in an Installation Dinner ceremony, Elisabetta Coschignano, was sworn in as President of the Columbian Lawyer’s Association of Nassau County.
Michael H. Sahn, Managing Member of Sahn Ward Braff Koblenz PLLC and Robert N. Cohen, President and Managing Partner of Weinstein, Kaplan & Cohen, P.C. take great pride in announcing that our firms have merged, and will continue to practice as Sahn Ward Braff Koblenz PLLC.
Together, the firms have 65 years of preeminent experience representing their clients. Sahn Ward was founded in 1999, and WKC was established in 1979. Sahn Ward has its main office located at The Omni Building, in Uniondale, with offices also in Hauppauge and New York City. WKC will continue to maintain its office at 1325 Franklin Avenue in Garden City. As combined, the Firm will have 31 attorneys, and a dedicated staff of paralegals, legal assistants and support professionals.
The Coronavirus Pandemic impacted our world in many ways, and the real estate industry has been no exception. Many people have left New York City and the boroughs to relocate to the suburbs. They wanted to leave urban settings, seeking homes to accommodate a new lifestyle which included working remotely and children attending school remotely. The demand for homes was immediate, causing a frenzy in the residential real estate market. As the demand increased, so did the prices. Brokers reported that individuals were looking for move in ready homes. Buyers had no interest in renovating homes because they wanted to relocate right away.
Our Special Counsel, Thomas McKevitt, is a speaker about ethics and zoning at the Local and State Government Law Section at the New York Bar Association's annual meeting virtual conference. To learn more about the program and full agenda see below.
Michael Sahn participated as a guest speaker for a virtual conference webinar on January 12, entitled “New York Making a Big Comeback” hosted by New York Real Estate Journal. To hear the podcast, click on the link below.
Last month, the City Council approved a text amendment to eliminate the special permit required for health and fitness businesses in New York City.
Since the 1970’s, New York City zoning regulations required health and fitness facilities (previously known as “Physical Culture or Health Establishments” or “PCEs”), which include gyms, fitness studios and spas, among many others, to secure a special permit from the New York City Board of Standards and Appeals prior to opening in certain zoning districts throughout the city.
In November, ASTM International (“ASTM”) published the new Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (“Phase 1”) standard, updating the previous requirements. Property purchasers should consider using the new standard when undertaking their due diligence when aquiring commercial or industrial properties.