New Section Chairs Take Office
Thirteen of the New York State Bar Association’s (NYSBA) sections have elevated new chairs this month to oversee efforts to improve laws, address professional development and sponsor continuing legal education courses in a variety of substantive fields. NYSBA has 28 sections, which range in size from 300 to more than 4,500 members.
Thomas Pitegoff of New York City is a principal at Offit Kurman, whose core practice is franchise law. Pitegoff also advises businesses on alternatives to franchising including license and distribution agreements. A 34-year member of the State Bar, Pitegoff also is a member of the 50+ Section.
Pitegoff graduated from Sarah Lawrence College and earned his law degree from Syracuse University College of Law.
Commercial and Federal Litigation
Ignatius A. Grande of New York City is a director at the Berkeley Research Group with expertise in cyrptocurrency, electronic discovery and cybersecurity. Within the section, Grande served as co-chair of the Social Media and New Communication Technologies committee. He is a 22-year member of the association.
Grande graduated from Yale University and earned his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center.
Noah Hanft of New York City is the co-founder of Acumen ADR, a dispute prevention and resolution platform. Prior to Acumen ADR, Hanft was president and chief executive officer of the Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution and the general counsel of MasterCard. A 10-year member of NYSBA, he also is a member of the Commerical and Federal Litigation Section.
Hanft graduated from American University and earned his law degree from Brooklyn Law School.
Elder Law and Special Needs
Christopher R. Bray of Ilion concentrates his practice on long term care, estate planning and guardianship at Rheinhardt & Bray. A 19-year member of the Association, Bray is a member of the House of Delegates and the Trusts and Estates Law Section.
Bray graduated from Syracuse University and earned his law degree from Albany Law School.
Environmental and Energy Law
James P. Rigano of Melville has concentrated his practice in environmental law for more than three decades. He is the founder of RIgano, LLC. Rigano, LLC. He is a 39-year member of the Association.
Rigano graduated from Adelphi University and earned his law degree from Hofstra University School of Law.
Bruce Hafner of Lynbrook concentrates his practice in elder law, family law, and estate planning. A 49-year member of the Association, Hafner is a member of the House of Delegates, as well as the 50+, Elder Law and Special Needs and the Trusts and Estates Law Sections.
Hafner is a graduate of St. John’s University and earned his law degree from St. John’s University School of Law.
Jane Bello Burke of Albany is a partner of Hodgson Ross. She concentrates her practice in health care litigation, regulation and compliance matters. A 22-year member of the Association, Bello Burke is a member of the House of Delegates and chair of the Health Law Section’s Long-Term Care Committee.
Bello Burke is a graduate of Georgetown University and earned her law degree from American University, Washington College of Law.
Brooke Erdos Singer of New York City is the new chair of the section. A partner of Davis & Gilbert, she concentrates her practice in trademark law, contracts, and advertising law. An 11-year member of the State Bar, Singer previously chaired the section’s Advertising Law Committee.
Singer graduated from the University of Denver and earned her law degree from the University of Denver College of Law.
Azish Filabi of New Paltz is the executive director of the American College Maguire Center for Ethics in Financial Services. She also serves as an associate professor at the college. A 16-year member of the Association, she is a member of the House of Delegates and the Women in Law Section.
Filabi graduated from the University of Virginia and earned her law degree from the of the University of Virginia School of Law.
Judge Joanne D. Quiñones of Brooklyn is the new presiding member of the section. In May 2022, Governor Kathy Hochul appointed her to the New York State Court of Claims. She was previously an Acting Supreme Court Justice in Kings County. A 24-year member of the association, she is a member of the House of Delegates.
Judge Quiñones is a graduate of Brown University and earned her law degree from Fordham University School of Law.
Labor and Employment Law
Robert L. Boreanaz of Buffalo concentrates his practice on union-side labor law and plaintiff-side employment law at Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria. A 20-year member of the Association, Boreanaz is a member of the Executive Committee of the Labor & Employment Law Section and the Criminal Justice Section.
Boreanaz graduated from Canisius College and earned his law degree from the University at Buffalo School of Law.
Real Property Law
S.H. Spencer Compton of New York City is a vice president and special counsel at First American Title Insurance Company. Prior to joining the company, he practiced real estate law with an emphasis on commercial leasing and financing transactions. Compton is a frequent contributor to the NYSBA Real Property Law Journal. A 25-year member of the association, he also served as a leader of several committees.
He graduated from New York University and earned his law degree from Brooklyn Law School.
Brandon Lee Wolff of White Plains & Philadelphia concentrates his practice in employment, complex commercial, financial services and commercial tenancy litigation at Kaufman Dolowich Voluck. A seven-year member of the association, Wolff is a member of the House of Delegates and the Task Force on the U.S. Territories.
Wolff is a graduate of Swarthmore College and earned his law degree from Seton Hall University School of Law.