Scott M. Karson of Stony Brook has become the 123rd president of the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA).
Karson will serve a one-year term as president. He succeeds Henry M. Greenberg of Albany. He was sworn in on June 1 by New York State Chief Judge Janet DiFiore, during a virtual ceremony that was the first of its kind in NYSBA’s 144-year history and was attended by more than 250 guests .
“The coronavirus has deeply affected NYSBA members and the entire legal community in New York State and beyond, and my leadership of the association over the coming year will focus on addressing these impacts,” Karson said. “The pandemic has also brought to light many issues of critical importance to all New Yorkers where lawyers can make a difference, and NYSBA will continue to work to address those issues.”
Karson noted NYSBA’s ongoing initiatives related to the impacts of the pandemic, including the Emergency Task Force for Solo and Small Firm Practitioners and the Working Group on Reopening Law Firms.
He added that the association will continue and expand its important work training and deploying pro bono attorneys to provide assistance to New Yorkers who need help securing unemployment benefits through the appeal process, resolving matters relating to housing and eviction, handling small estates in Surrogate’s Court, and dealing with other legal issues that arise as result of the pandemic.
“Our profession has a proud tradition of providing pro bono legal services to those who are otherwise unable to afford a lawyer,” Karson said. “In this era of COVID-19, it is more important than ever that we do so.”
[Read Karson’s message to members from the June-July issue of the NYSBA Journal here.]
Karson, a partner at Lamb & Barnosky in Melville, is a commercial and municipal litigator with a concentration in appellate work and has argued more than 100 appeals in the state and federal appellate courts. He also chairs his firm’s Professional Ethics and Litigation Committees.
A NYSBA member for more than three decades, Karson served for three years as treasurer of the association. He has served on the Executive Committee as vice president for the Tenth Judicial District (Nassau and Suffolk counties). He is a member and former chair of the Audit Committee and is a member of the Finance Committee, the President’s Committee on Access to Justice and the Committee to Review Judicial Nominations. A longtime member of the Committee on Courts of Appellate Jurisdiction, Karson worked during his time as chair to clarify court rules to create a standard price that could be charged for court transcripts.
A past president of the Suffolk County Bar Association, Karson was the county bar’s delegate to the American Bar Association (ABA) House of Delegates. As president, he will be a NYSBA delegate to the ABA. He still serves on the ABA’s Council of Appellate Lawyers. Karson is vice chair of the board of directors of Nassau Suffolk Law Services, the principal provider of civil legal services to Long Island’s indigent population. He has twice received the Suffolk County Bar Association President’s Award, in 1996 and 2011, and received the its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018.
Before joining Lamb & Barnosky in 1987, Karson served as an assistant district attorney in Suffolk County and as principal law clerk to the late Associate Justice Lawrence J. Bracken of the Appellate Division, Second Department.
Karson earned his law degree from the Syracuse University College of Law, cum laude, and his undergraduate degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
Other NYSBA Leaders
Also effective June 1, T. Andrew Brown of Rochester becomes NYSBA president-elect. Sherry Levin Wallach of Westchester will serve her fourth one-year term as secretary. Domenick Napoletano of Brooklyn will serve his second one-year term as treasurer.
About the New York State Bar Association
The New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. Since 1876, NYSBA has helped shape the development of law, educated and informed the legal profession and the public, and championed the rights of New Yorkers through advocacy and guidance in our communities.