State Bar Association Elects New Officers

By Brandon Vogel

State Bar Association Elects New Officers

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The House of Delegates, the governing body of the New York State Bar Association, elected a new slate of officers at its 144th annual meeting in New York City on January 30. The new leadership is as follows:

  • Current president-elect T. Andrew Brown of Rochester will commence the one-year term of his presidency on June 1, 2021.
  • Sherry Levin Wallach, of White Plains, has been elected president-elect designee of the New York State Bar Association. Her term in this post also starts on June 1, and she will become president on that same date in 2022.
  • Taa R. Grays of New York City was elected secretary of the Association. Domenick Napoletano, of Brooklyn, was elected treasurer for a third term.

Bios of the NYSBA leaders:

T. Andrew Brown
T. Andrew Brown of Rochester is founder and managing partner of Brown Hutchinson.

A 36-year member of the State Bar Association, he is co-chair of the Task Force on Racial Injustice and Police Reform. He has chaired the Trial Lawyers Section and Finance Committee, was vice-president for the 7th Judicial District, served as a member-at-large of the Executive Committee and co-chaired the Task Force on the Future of the Legal Profession in 2010 and 2011.

Brown entered law practice as an associate with Nixon, Hargrave, Devans and Doyle (now Nixon Peabody). He has also served as Rochester’s corporation counsel — the city’s chief legal officer and head of its law department — and as deputy county attorney for Monroe County. He has been a mediator and an arbitrator on the commercial, employment and complex case panels of the American Arbitration Association for more than two decades.

Brown is a former general counsel of the National Bar Association, the largest association of attorneys and judges of color in the world. He is a past president of the Monroe County Bar Association and the Rochester Black Bar Association. He has served on many other boards and commissions and has also held adjunct teaching positions with the State University of New York.

Brown is a 1984 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School and a 1981 graduate of Syracuse University.

Sherry Levin Wallach

Levin Wallach, serving her fourth one-year term as NYSBA secretary, is the deputy executive director of the Legal Aid Society of Westchester County.

A former chair of the Criminal Justice and Young Lawyers Section, Levin Wallach has served as vice president from the Ninth Judicial District to the Executive Committee, chaired the Membership Committee and co-chaired the Task Force on Incarceration Release Planning and Programs. Levin Wallach serves on the Committee on Professional Discipline, the Committee on Mandated Representation and the Task Force on Parole Reform. She is chair of the Resolutions Committee and a member of the new LGBTQ Law Section.

Levin Wallach is co-founder of the NYSBA Young Lawyers Section Trial Academy, an annual program offering five days of intensive trial training, where she is a team leader and lecturer. She has assisted NYSBA CLE on expanding the Trial Academy to have a series of virtual lectures on Trial Practice that run live from June to December. She chaired this year’s inaugural Virtual Trial Academy.

Levin Wallach organizes and lectures at continuing legal education programs for NYSBA, the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Westchester County Bar Association on the topics of criminal and civil trial practice, ethics and DWI. She has written a chapter on DWI defense, “Best Practices for Defense Attorneys in Today’s DWI Cases,” in “Inside the Minds: Strategies for Defending DWI Cases in New York,” as well as articles on criminal justice issues and trial practice.

Levin Wallach concentrates her practice on criminal defense. She has also practiced in the areas of estate planning, probate and estate administration, real estate, and general civil litigation in the state and federal courts. She is admitted to practice in New York, the U.S. District Courts for New York’s Southern and Eastern districts and the U.S. Supreme Court. She serves on Westchester and Putnam counties’ 18B panels under their assigned counsel plans, which provide criminal defense for indigent people.

She is a former assistant district attorney of Bronx County. Levin Wallach was principal at her law firm Wallach & Rendo for approximately 14 years, and of counsel to both Bashian Law, formerly Bashian & Farber and Brown Hutchinson.

Levin Wallach earned her law degree from Hofstra University School of Law, now the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University and her undergraduate degree from George Washington University.

Taa Grays

Grays is co-chair of the NYSBA Task Force on Racial Injustice & Police Reform. She is a member of the Business Law, Corporate Counsel and Women in Law sections, as well as the Task Force on Autonomous Vehicles and the Law. She previously served as vice-president of the First Judicial District on the Executive Committee.  She previously chaired the New York State Conference of Bar Leaders and the Committee on Women in the Law (now the Women in Law Section). She received the State Bar’s Diversity Trailblazer Award in 2008.

Grays is vice president and associate general counsel of information governance – MetLife Legal Affairs. As the lead of information governance, Grays is responsible for the strategic management of MetLife’s global Information Lifecycle Management Program. She leads an eight-person team that develops, implements and manages the Information Governance strategic plan.

Prior to this role, Grays served as the chief of staff to the general counsel since 2010. She started with MetLife in 2003 in the litigation section. Prior to MetLife, Grays was an assistant district attorney with the Bronx District Attorney’s Office in its rackets bureau for five and a half years.

Grays has been recognized as one of 100 Leading Women Lawyers in New York by Crain’s New York Business in 2017, a Visionary Leader in Litigation by Inside Counsel in 2016, among the Most Influential Black Lawyer in 2015, and R3 – 100: Ready to Rise to become a general counsel in 2013 and 2015.

Within the legal community, the New York City Bar Association recognized her as a Diversity Champion in 2015. The Metropolitan Black Bar Association recognized her dedication and leadership to the bar in 2010 by honoring her with its inaugural Bar Leaders of the Year Award.

Grays earned her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center and received her undergraduate degree from Harvard College.

Domenick Napoletano

Napoletano is a solo practitioner focusing on complex commercial litigation and appellate work while maintaining a general practice. A number of his cases have appeared in published decisions, most involving real property, and tenancy and occupancy issues. He has also spearheaded various state and federal class action lawsuits, including one against the New York City Department of Finance for its imposition of ‘vault taxes.’

Among his NYSBA activities, Napoletano is chair of the General Practice Section and co-chair of NYSBA’s Emergency Task Force for Solo and Small Firm Practitioners as well as the Committee on Civil Practice Law and Rules. He is a member of NYSBA’s Restarting the Economy Work Group and the COVID-19 Recovery Task Force working group on landlord-tenant disputes. He has served on many NYSBA committees including Finance, Leadership Development, Bar Leaders of New York State, Animals in the Law, the President’s Committee on Access to Justice, Task Force on the Evaluation of Candidates for Election to Judicial Office and the Task Force on Mass Shootings and Assault Weapons.

Napoletano also served on NYSBA’s Executive Committee as vice president from the Second Judicial District, and the House of Delegates representing the Brooklyn Bar Association. He is a past president of the Brooklyn Bar Association, the Columbian Lawyers Association of Brooklyn, the Confederation of Columbian Lawyers of the State of New York and the Catholic Lawyers Guild of Kings County.

While in college and throughout law school, Napoletano worked for then–New York State Assemblyman Michael L. Pesce, who recently retired as presiding justice of the state Supreme Court Appellate Term for the 2nd, 11th and 13th Judicial districts. Napoletano earned his law degree from Hofstra University School of Law and his undergraduate degree from Brooklyn College.

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.

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Contact: Brandon Vogel
[email protected]
518/487-5644

 

 

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