News & Updates 2020

News & Updates 2020

On Behalf of | Dec 20, 2020 | News & Updates

News & Updates 2020

C&G Partner Paul J. Sweeney Named to Irish Legal 100

(Binghamton, New York) Paul J. Sweeney, Esq., the chair of the Labor & Employment Practice Group at Coughlin & Gerhart, LLP, was named to the Irish Legal 100, an annual compilation of distinguished American lawyers, legal scholars and jurists of Irish descent. Irish Legal 100 honorees are being recognized in a special edition of New York’s Irish Voice newspaper. Past honorees include United States Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, Justices Brent Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch, and retired Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Mr. Sweeney, who graduated from Fordham University and Brooklyn Law School, counsels and defends employers across New York 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 retired as a colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. He is a frequent CLE speaker and edits the New York Employment Law Letter. He received an “AV Preeminent” peer review rating from Martindale-Hubbell and has been named for inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America and the New York publications. 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.

C&G Partner Paul J. Sweeney Named Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America

(October 30, 2020 – Binghamton, New York) Paul J. Sweeney, Esq., the chair of the Labor & Employment Practice Group at Coughlin & Gerhart, LLP, was named as a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America (LCA), a trial lawyer honorary society comprised of only 3500 attorneys, a number representing less than one-half of one percent of all American lawyers. Fellowship in the LCA is highly selective and by invitation. Fellows are selected based upon excellence and accomplishment in litigation, both at the trial and appellate levels, and superior ethical reputation..

Mr. Sweeney, who graduated from Fordham University and Brooklyn Law School, counsels and defends employers across New York 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 retired as a colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. He is a frequent CLE speaker and edits the New York Employment Law Letter. He 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 publications. He was selected to the Irish Legal 100, an annual compilation of distinguished attorneys, legal scholars and jurists of Irish decent. 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.

Coughlin & Gerhart Adds Former New York Supreme Court Justice to Firm

Coughlin & Gerhart, LLP is proud to announce the addition of former New York State Supreme Court Justice, Ferris D. Lebous to the firm’s Litigation Practice Group.

“We are honored and excited to have former New York Supreme Court Justice Ferris D. Lebous become part of the Coughlin & Gerhart team. He will add tremendous experience and expertise as part of our firm’s Litigation Practice Group,” said Managing Partner, Mark Gorgos.

Lebous was born in Binghamton, NY and served as an Assistant District Attorney and Senior Assistant District Attorney for Broome County between 1980 and 1982. He then entered private practice and was a member of the Binghamton firm of Pearis, Ressiguie, Kline, Barber & Lebous until his appointment to the Court of Claims by Gov. George E. Pataki on May 7, 1998.

He is a member of the New York State Bar Association and a member and past president of the Broome County Bar Association. He was elected to the Supreme Court in 2006.

“After leaving the bench at the end of 2019, I was happily retired after my 21 years of service as a trial judge. But, when I received the call from Coughlin & Gerhart about possibly joining their Litigation Practice Group, I realized it was a unique opportunity to provide counsel to their litigators and younger attorneys. I am proud to be returning to private practice with this highly respected law firm,” said Lebous.

Lebous has also served as Village Attorney for the Villages of Whitney Point and Windsor, New York. He was the Town Attorney for the Towns of Sanford and Dickinson, New York, and counsel to the Binghamton/Johnson City Joint Sewage Treatment Board and has acted as special counsel to the City of Binghamton and the County of Broome.

C & G Attorneys Named to Upstate New York Super Lawyers Listing

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Coughlin & Gerhart, LLP is proud to announce that Mark S. Gorgos, Paul J. Sweeney, Robert R. Jones, Beth E. Westfall, Jeffrey A. Brown, Bruno Colapietro, Rachel A. Abbott, and Joseph J. Steflik, Jr. have been included in the 2020 Upstate Edition of New York Super Lawyers. Only 5% of attorneys practicing in the Upstate New York region meet the criteria to be named to this prestigious list.

Brady L. Begeal, Keith A. Gorgos, Zachary D. Morahan, and Nathan D. VanWhy have also been named as 2020 Upstate New York Rising Stars.

New York Super Lawyers magazine publishes this list annually, and bases its evaluations on information gathered from a variety of sources, including peer recognition and professional achievement.

Mr. Gorgos, whose primary areas of practice include commercial transactions, education & municipal law, credit union law, and creditor rights, has been with Coughlin & Gerhart since 1980 and currently serves as Managing Partner. Mr. Sweeney joined the firm in 1992, following active duty as a Marine Corps judge advocate. He is chair of our firm’s Labor & Employment Practice Group. He concentrates his practice in labor & employment law and commercial litigation. Mr. Jones joined Coughlin & Gerhart in 1990 and is a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. He limits his practice to litigation, particularly in the areas of motor vehicle/construction site personal injury, estate litigation, gas & oil litigation, and theft of cable and satellite services. Mrs. Westfall joined the firm in 1986 and is co-chair of the firm’s Trusts & Estates Practice Group. She focuses her practice in the areas of estate planning and administration, elder law, municipal law, land use & zoning, and real estate transactions. Mr. Brown joined the firm in 1986 and practices in the areas of workers’ compensation law, social security disability and insurance defense. Mr. Colapietro joined the firm in 2016 and limits his practice to family law. Mr. Steflik joined Coughlin & Gerhart in 1999 and was a former chair of the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice Group. He focuses his practice in the areas of labor, employment, and construction law. Ms. Abbott, a partner in the firm and member of the firm’s Executive Committee, focuses her practice in the area of plaintiff’s litigation.

Mr. Begeal, a partner with the firm and chair of its Business & Banking Practice Group, focuses his practice in the areas of business & banking law and municipal law. Mr. Keith Gorgos, a partner with the firm, focuses his practice in the areas of business law, banking & credit union law, creditor rights, and litigation. Mr. Morahan is a partner with the firm and focuses his practice in the areas of energy & resource law and trusts & estates law. Mr. VanWhy is a partner with the firm and focuses his practice in the areas of business/corporate and municipal law.

Coughlin & Gerhart, LLP, which was founded in the 1890s, has grown to be a multi-service law firm, consisting of more than 50 lawyers and a professional support staff. The firm’s main office is located at 99 Corporate Drive, Binghamton. It has convenient branch offices located in downtown Binghamton, Bainbridge, Cortland, Hancock, Ithaca, Owego, and Walton, New York, and Montrose, Pennsylvania.

Coughlin & Gerhart Attorney Releases Third Mystery Novel

We are proud to announce that one of our very own Associates, Tom Bouman, recently released another acclaimed novel, The Bramble and the Rose. This third installment of his mystery series follows Officer Henry Farrell on another investigation in Wild Thyme, Pennsylvania, a fictional town just south of the Binghamton area.

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At first it looked like a bear attack–an open-and-shut case. Then Henry discovers that the victim was an out-of-town investigator, and the evidence points in troubling new directions. As the story unfolds, Farrell’s past collides with his present as an ex-flame reappears, and his own nephew disappears into the hills.

The Bramble and the Rose has received glowing reviews, including one from The Wall Street Journal:The Bramble and the Rose has animal-hunting sequences to rival those of William Faulkner and hand-to-hand combat struggles as tense as any depicted by Ron Rash or Daniel Woodrell. Mr. Bouman writes like a poet, whether describing an autumn landscape or a bear autopsy or a man in a midlife crisis. As the tale moves to a close and its storylines converge, Farrell’s personal dilemmas resolve in a burst of grace worthy of the mystery of life itself.” The Philadelphia Inquirer dubbed him “a master of rural noir,” and according to the The Washington Post, “It’s as if Henry David Thoreau had lived into the age of pickup trucks, survivalists and fentanyl.”

In 2015, Tom was awarded an Edgar Award for Best First Novel by An American Author and a Los Angeles Times Book Prize in the Mystery/Thriller Category for his first novel, Dry Bones in the Valley.

When Tom is not writing novels, you might find him trying a complex jury trial or serving his numerous clients outside the courtroom. His writing skills were instrumental in a recent Appellate Division case and other complex litigation matters. Coughlin & Gerhart, LLP is proud to have Tom in our Litigation Practice Group.

We look forward to his future successes in the legal and literary fields!

Update on C&G’s COVID-19 Response (As of June 1, 2020)

As of June 1, Coughlin & Gerhart office locations have re-opened to the public to the extent necessary for legal matters. For everyone’s safety, C&G has implemented the following prevention measures for our employees and guests:

  • Everyone to wear face coverings/masks at all times.
  • Maintain social distancing separation of 6 feet.
  • Attest to your current condition and well-being upon arrival.
  • Only have necessary visitors in attendance.

In addition, C&G is taking these additional safety measures:

  • Continue to work from home and only come into the office when necessary.
  • Limiting the amount of people in our offices.
  • Frequent sanitizing of conference areas and high touch points, including door handles, tables, and chairs before and after meetings.

C&G is taking all necessary precautions to provide a safe and healthy environment to everyone we have personal contact with and ask the same of all visitors during this unusual situation. We will continue to remain vigilant in our duty to uphold recommendations through the CDC, OSHA, and the State and will be constantly monitoring the situation to implement any changes to our policies as needed because safety and well-being in our offices and our community is of the utmost importance to our firm.

Update on C&G’s COVID-19 Response (March 23, 2020)

Greetings to all of our clients, friends, and professional colleagues:

Below is important information during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

First, Coughlin & Gerhart has NOT shut down. The many attorneys, paralegals, and employees of Coughlin & Gerhart continue to work from home through our computer system, which provides confidential and secure access to our files and other important information. Prior to this outbreak, Coughlin & Gerhart had invested extensively in its IT infrastructure, allowing our attorneys to work securely and confidentially from remote locations, and we have expanded those capabilities to our staff as well.

Client information: Please know that we continue to work on your matter(s). All of our necessary operations are functional, so we are continuing to serve you. You can contact your attorney/paralegal by phone or email.

Closings / Court Proceedings / Will Executions / Meetings: The coronavirus restrictions have made it difficult to get things done for all of us. While business is not “as usual” during this difficult time, Coughlin & Gerhart is developing creative ways to provide advice and assistance, and keep our client’s matters on schedule, while at the same time doing our part to help “Stop the Spread.” For example, we are now offering virtual real estate closings to many of our clients, and “meeting” with our clients using videoconferencing technology.

So, don’t assume that your matter is on hold indefinitely, or that you must wait to seek advice on a particular matter. Contact us today to discuss what we can do for you.

Contact us by telephone: Call the main office at 607-723-9511. When you call any one of our 9 locations, you will reach our voice messaging system. After leaving your voice message, it will be forwarded immediately to the appropriate person by one of Coughlin & Gerhart‘s receptionists, who are also working from home.

Contact us by email: This is the best way to reach any one of us during this time. Emails are delivered directly to its recipient. If you do not know the email address of the person you wish to reach, you can simply type in the first letter of the first name, followed by the last name, then @cglawoffices.com. For example: Mark Gorgos’s email address is: [email protected]. Also, our attorney email addresses are listed on our webpage: /Attorneys/.

New Clients: If you are a new client, we would like to hear from you. We are accepting all types of legal matters at this time. Please call us to discuss your situation.

To our friends or colleagues: If you need a reasonable extension of time due to the coronavirus outbreak, please let us know and we will provide an extension if we are able to do so.

We look forward to the time when the coronavirus passes and we can enjoy the warm weather of spring together. For now, please be safe and look out for your friends and neighbors.

March 23, 2020.

Coughlin & Gerhart Announces New Partners to Firm

Zachary D. Morahan
Michael C. Perehinec Jr.

Coughlin & Gerhart, LLP is pleased to announce that attorneys Zachary D. Morahan and Michael C. Perehinec, Jr. became Partners in the firm, effective January 1, 2020.

A 2013 graduate of The Pennsylvania State University Dickinson School of Law, Mr. Morahan joined Coughlin & Gerhart in 2013 as an Associate. Mr. Morahan is admitted in both Pennsylvania and New York State and his practice is concentrated in the areas of energy law, litigation, and trust & estates. He is the Treasurer of the Susquehanna County Bar Association, a member of the Broome County Bar Association, and is on the Board of Directors of the Keystone College Alumni Association.

A 2011 graduate of the Ohio Northern University, where he received honors as a member of the Jerome Prince Moot Court Evidence Team, Mr. Perehinec joined Coughlin & Gerhart in 2017 as an Associate. His practice is concentrated in the areas of civil litigation and appeals, personal injury, trust & estates, business and commercial law, real estate law, and criminal defense. Mr. Perehinec is currently active in the Tompkins County Special Olympics program and is a board member on two local not-for-profit organizations as well as serving as the Tompkins County High School Mock Trial Coordinator. Mr. Perehinec is also the current President of the Tompkins County Bar Association.

Coughlin & Gerhart, LLP, which was founded in the 1890s, has grown to be a multi-service law firm, consisting of more than 55 lawyers and a professional support staff. It has been recognized as a Best Law Firm and 20 of its attorneys have been recognized on either the Upstate New York list or in The Best Lawyers in America®. The firm’s main office is located at 99 Corporate Drive, Binghamton. It has other branch offices located in Montrose, Pennsylvania, Ithaca, Bainbridge, Cortland, Owego, Hancock, and Walton, New York.

Legal Update: New Law Regarding Hemp Industry

On December 9, 2019, Governor Cuomo signed Senate Bill No. 6184, creating a comprehensive framework for New York’s regulation and monitoring of its industrial hemp industry..

Coughlin & Gerhart Holds Ribbon Cutting to Celebrate Opening of New Ithaca Office

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Ithaca, NY – Coughlin & Gerhart is pleased to announce it held a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, September 26 to celebrate the grand opening of its new Ithaca office, located at 798 Cascadilla Street. In attendance were Mayor of Ithaca Svante Myrick, President and CEO of the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce Jennifer Tavares, Tompkins County Legislature Chair Martha Robertson, Fifth Ward Common Council representative Laura Lewis, members of the Coughlin & Gerhart leadership team, as well as key stakeholders and members of the Tompkins County community.

“We couldn’t be more excited to combine three local offices under one roof to create an all-inclusive legal experience for our clients and being part of the West End revitalization presented a great opportunity for us to invest long term in Ithaca,” said Mark Gorgos, Esq., Coughlin & Gerhart Managing Partner.

Coughlin & Gerhart‘s investment marks an exciting and continued expansion of Ithaca’s West End area and another strategic move as part of the area’s waterfront revitalization project.

Jon, Esq., Coughlin & Gerhart stated: “It’s great having our Ithaca offices together to help us better serve our clients. In our new location, we have ample parking, easy access, and we are adjacent to the Waterfront Trail and the location of the new GreenStar.”

To complete this project, Coughlin & Gerhart worked with Organic Elements, LLC, a local real estate development firm on the renovation of the former Palisades Computer building.

Guests were invited to arrive by 11:15AM, with the event scheduled to begin at 11:30AM with brief remarks from Mayor Myrick, Tavares, Robertson, and Lewis, followed by a tour of the new office space with light refreshments from Ithaca Bakery.

For additional information, please call 607-821-2202 or visit online at www.cglawoffices.com.

Coughlin & Gerhart Attorneys Honored in Best Lawyers® List

Coughlin & Gerhart, LLP is proud to announce that fourteen of its lawyers were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2020. The lawyers recognized are Mark S. Gorgos (Commercial Transactions/UCC Law, Municipal Law, Education Law, Banking & Finance Law, Bankruptcy & Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency & Reorganization Law, and Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships)), Paul J. Sweeney (Labor Law-Management),Robert R. Jones (Litigation – Trusts & Estates), James P. O’Brien (Personal Injury Litigation-Defendants and Product Liability Litigation-Defendants), Robert J. Madigan (Real Estate Law), Rachel A. Abbott (Personal Injury Litigation-Plaintiffs), Beth E. Westfall (Trusts & Estates), Kristen K. Luce (Trusts & Estates), Joseph J. Steflik, Jr. (Labor Law-Management and Employment Law-Management), Gordon E. Thompson (Banking and Finance Law and Real Estate Law), Carl A. Kieper (Family Law), Bruno Colapietro (Family Law), Richard B. Long (Arbitration and Personal Injury Litigation-Defendants), and Mary Lou Conrow (Litigation-Labor and Employment).

Since its inception in 1983, Best Lawyers has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which almost 50,000 leading attorneys cast nearly 5 million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas, and because lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed, inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor. Corporate Counsel magazine has called Best Lawyers “the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice.”

Coughlin & Gerhart, LLP, which was founded in the 1890s, has grown to be a multi-service law firm, consisting of more than 50 lawyers and a professional support staff. The firm’s main office is located at 99 Corporate Drive, Binghamton. It has convenient branch offices located in Bainbridge, Cortland, Hancock, Ithaca, Owego, Walton, and Montrose, Pennsylvania.