Paul J. Sweeney

Paul J. Sweeney

Partner
AV Martindale-Hubbell - Preeminent(R) 2016 | Peer Rated for Highest Level of Professional Excellence | Paul J. Sweeney FDCC Defense Lawyers. Defense Leaders

Mr. Sweeney joined Coughlin & Gerhart, LLP, following active duty as a Marine Corps judge advocate. He is a partner in the firm and concentrates in labor and employment law and commercial litigation. As chair of the firm’s Labor & Employment Law Practice Group, Mr. Sweeney counsels and defends employers against liability, discrimination, disability and wage & hour claims and represents employers in contract negotiations, arbitration, discipline and administrative proceedings before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the New York State Human Rights Division, the National Labor Relations Board, the Public Employment Relations Board and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. In addition, he also represents clients in complex contract, construction and real estate disputes and serves as a mediator for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York.

Mr. Sweeney edits BLR’s New York Employment Law Letter, a monthly publication that helps employers understand new laws, regulations and court cases. He has received an "AV Preeminent" peer review rating from Martindale-Hubbell and has been named for inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America and the Upstate New York Super Lawyers publications. Mr. Sweeney is a member of the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel and the Employers Counsel Network. He co-chaired the Public Sector Labor Relations Committee of the New York State Bar Association's Labor and Employment Law Section and served as the Treasurer of the Northern District of New York – Federal Court Bar Association.

Mr. Sweeney retired as a colonel in the Marine Corps Reserve with more than 29 years of active duty and reserve service, including a combat deployment to Fallujah, Iraq. Prior to his retirement, he served as the senior Marine Reserve attorney in the Office of the Counsel for the Commandant of the Marine Corps and was the officer-in-charge of all Marine Reserve attorneys assigned to support the Commandant, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and DoD Office of General Counsel. His personal awards include the Legion of Merit, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal, with gold star device.

Publications & Presentations

  • COVID-19 L&E Issues (Presenter, Numerous Webinars) (2020)
  • Janus Update (Presenter, PERMA – Fall Educational Meeting) (2019)
  • Negotiating Statutory Procedures in the Public Sector (Moderator, New York State Bar Association CLE – Fall Labor & Employment Law Section Meeting) (2019)
  • Janus’ Impacts on New York’s Public Sector Employers and Unions (Presenter, New York State Bar Association – Annual Meeting CLE) (2019)
  • Leave Under NYS Civil Service Law Section 71 (Presenter, PERMA) (2019)
  • Human Resources Law Bootcamp: Hiring and Firing (Presenter, NBI) (2018)
  • DOL Wage & Hour Update (Presenter, International Municipal Lawyers Association) (2018)
  • Labor & Employment Issues and Opportunities (Presenter, New York State City/County Management Association – Annual Conference) (2018)
  • Life Cycle of a Claim (Presenter, PERMA – Annual Conference) (2018)
  • Small Business Seminar (Presenter, Otsego County Chamber of Commerce) (2018)
  • Labor Law Update for DPW Supervisors (Presenter, New York Conference of Mayors) (2017)
  • Discipline: From Hiring to Firing (Presenter, New York State City/County Management Association) (2017)
  • General Municipal Law 207 Update (Presenter, PERMA) (2015 – 2016)
  • Public Sector Labor Relations: Practicing Before PERB & OCB (Presenter, New York State Bar Association CLE) (2016)
  • Small Business Seminar (Presenter, Otsego County Chamber of Commerce) (2016)
  • Labor Law Update (Presenter, Mid-Atlantic Occupation & Environmental Medical Association) (2016)
  • Medical Marijuana (Presenter, Broome County Bar Association CLE) (2015)
  • Public Sector Labor Relations (Presenter, New York State Bar Association CLE) (2014)
  • Employee Discipline (Presenter, New York State Bar Association CLE) (2014)
  • Federal Evidence Update & Practice (Moderator, NDNY Federal Court Bar Association CLE) (2013)
  • Employee Speech Revisited (Presenter, New York State Bar Association CLE) (2013)
  • Public Sector Labor Relations (Presenter, New York State Bar Association CLE) (2012)
  • Labor Negotiation & GML 2017 Update (Presenter, New York State City/County Management Association) (2012)
  • Current Topics in Labor Law (Presenter, Broome County Bar Association CLE) (2011)
  • FMLA (Presenter, Broome County Bar Association CLE) (2011)
  • Federal Court Practice (Presenter, Broome County Bar Association CLE) (2010)
  • 2010 Legal Landscape: Public Sector Labor Relations (Presenter, New York State Bar Association CLE) (2010)
  • Public Employee Free Speech & Public Employer Restrictions (Presenter, New York Conference of Mayors) (2010)
  • Law Office Management (Presenter, Broome County Bar Association CLE) (2008)
  • L&E Law for the General Practitioner & Corporate Counselor (Presenter, New York State Bar Association) (2005)
  • Bankruptcy Seminar (Presenter, Lorman Educational Services) (2002 – 2003)

Honors & Awards

  • Listed, Best Lawyers in America©, 2012 - Present.
  • Listed, Upstate New York Super Lawyers, 2011 - Present.
  • Peer Rated "AV Preeminent" by Martindale-Hubbell, 2015-Present.
  • Selected for membership in the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel, 2017.
  • Recipient, Broome County Bar Association Community Service Award, 2005.

Past Employment Experience

  • U.S. Marine Corps, Captain and Judge Advocate, 1987 – 1992
  • U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Colonel, 1984 – 1987; 1992 – 2013

Leadership & Community Involvement

  • Member of U.S. Magistrate Judge Selection Panel
  • Member of the Military Academy Selection Committee of U.S. Representatives Richard Hanna, Claudia Tenney and Anthony Brindisi (New York’s 22nd Congressional District)
  • Past Member of Broome County Board of Ethics
  • Past President and Board Member of the Family & Children's Society of Broome and Tioga Counties, Inc.
  • Past Board Member of the American Red Cross, Southern Tier Chapter
  • Past Member and Bagpiper with the Broome County Celtic Pipes & Drums