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Paul J. Sweeney

Partner

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 EEOC, NYSHRD, NLRB, PERB and OSHA. 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 is a frequent CLE speaker and 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 New York Super Lawyers publications. He was selected to the Irish Legal 100, an annual compilation of distinguished attorneys, legal scholars and jurists of Irish descent. Mr. Sweeney is a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America and 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. His career included active duty as a criminal defense attorney and a deployment to Fallujah, Iraq where he served as the legal advisor to the commanding general of the I Marine Expeditionary Force on operational law matters. Prior to his retirement, he served as the senior Marine Reserve judge advocate 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, New York Super Lawyers, 2011 – Present.
  • Peer Rated “AV Preeminent” by Martindale-Hubbell, 2015 – Present.
  • Member of the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel, 2017 – Present.
  • Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, 2020 – Present.
  • Selected to the 2020 edition of the Irish Legal 100.
  • 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

Contact

Binghamton, NY Office

Practice Areas

Admissions

  • States of New York, New Jersey, and West Virginia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia
  • U.S. Court of Military Appeals

Education

Brooklyn Law School

  • J.D., 1987

Fordham University

  • B.A., in cursu honorum, 1984

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association (Member, 1988 – Present)
  • New York State Bar Association (Member, 1992 – Present); Labor & Employment Law Section (Executive Committee, 2006 – Present)
  • Broome County Bar Association (Member, 1998 – Present)
  • Northern District of New York – Federal Court Bar Association (Member, 2010 – Present; Treasurer, 2013 – 2018)
Bl 2021
Bl Cg 2020
Best Law Firm 2019
Best Law Firm 2018
Best Law Firm 2017
Best Law Firm 2016
Best Law Firm