Welcome to the Spring/Summer 2012 edition of "Report from Counsel," a Newsletter for the Firm's clients and the other professionals who consult with the Firm, updating them on our practice as well as important new developments in the law.

Out & About

     Chris J. Coschignano recently attended the Vatican's Path to Peace Foundation Dinner at the New York Athletic Club.  Pictured with Chris are His Eminence, Edward Cardinal Egan of the Roman Catholic Church and Michael V. Hayden, retired United States Air Force Four-Star General and former Director of the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency.

Chris Coschignano with Cardinal Egan Chris Coschignano with Gen. Michael Hayden

     Long Island Business News featured Michael Sahn in its annual report for 2011, Who's Who in Commercial and Residential Real Estate Law. In an article published in this special section, Michael Sahn addressed the issues and trends surrounding the "greening" of municipal building codes, noting that New York and its municipalities have thus far moved slower than other jurisdictions in adopting green building standards, but that is likely to change dramatically in the next decade as the State finds ways to meet the Governor's Executive Order 24 of 2009, which directs New York State to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. Click here to read the Long Island Business News article.

     Michael Sahn joined a distinguished panel of speakers at the Town of North Hempstead's "Buildings Department Conference," held on April 30. The Conference brought residents and industry professionals together to review current policies and procedures to help residents and businesses move through the application process more smoothly while maintaining adherence to zoning standards. Michael took part in a panel discussion concerning the Board of Zoning and Appeals (BZA) processes. The panel was moderated by Gerard Terry, BZA Counsel, and members of the panel included BZA Chairman David Mammina, Planning Commissioner Michael Levine, Town Attorney Richard Finkel and two other zoning attorneys. To read more, click here.

      Daniel Baker, Co-Chair of the Nassau County Bar Association Real Property Law Committee, moderated a program entitled "Successful Closings in a Distressed Real Estate Market" on Wednesday, March 14th. The program focused on important considerations for successful real estate closings in today's market of cautious lenders and sellers in distressed economic circumstances.

     Partner Miriam Villani and Jason Kaplan gave a presentation on the benefits of solar energy for the agribusiness sector at the New York Agri-Women's Second Annual Conference in Riverhead on March 3. The Conference was an all-day event centered on agriculture and farming. Miriam and Jason discussed the impact of climate change on agriculture in New York State, renewable energy sources, and the viability of solar power systems to balance the volatility of the electric market. They discussed future New York State legislation, which will promote solar power in New York, and federal, state and local incentives for solar systems. For a copy of their presentation, contact Miriam Villani at the Firm's office.

     The Firm is proud to be a sponsor of this coming summer’s “Music Under the Stars” concert series, presented by the Town of Oyster Bay at parks and beaches throughout the Town.

Michael Sahn and Chris Coschignano pictured with Distinguished Dignitaries of the
Town of Oyster Bay and the legendary classic rock group “America” at the
“Music Under the Stars” concert series on July 10th.

“America” performs at “Music Under the Stars” concert series

     SWCB Partner and Town of Oyster Bay Councilman Chris J. Coschignano was honored to serve as the Master of Ceremonies at the 2012 Town of Oyster Bay Induction Ceremony for Town Supervisor John Venditto, Councilman Joseph D. Muscarella, Councilman Anthony D. Macagnone, Councilwoman Rebecca M. Alessia, Town Clerk Steven L. Labriola and Receiver of Taxes James J. Stefanich. More than 500 people attended the ceremony, including dignitaries and elected officials. Among them were Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, Police Commissioner Thomas V. Dale and Nassau County Republican Committee Chairman Joseph N. Mondello, as well as many Village Mayors and New York State legislators and representatives.

     Long Island Business News recognized Adam H. Koblenz in the “LI Lawyer Ones to Watch” column that appeared in the June 8-14 issue. His practice in complex commercial and corporate litigation, insurance fraud actions and employment and labor law matters was highlighted, as well as his current role as a prosecutor for the Village of East Hills, and prior internships with two United States Senators, Hon. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. and Hon. John Kerry, D-Mass. To read the LIBN article, click here.

     SWCB Partner Chris J. Coschignano and his wife Elisabetta recently served as Co-Chairpersons of the Annual St. Edward the Confessor Church Parish Dinner, which this year celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the St. Edward the Confessor School in Syosset. Chris will also be serving (for the 6th consecutive year) as the Co-Chairman of the Annual St. Edward's Church Festival.

     Every month, Elaine Colavito writes the "Bench Briefs" column for The Suffolk Lawyer, an official publication of the Suffolk County Bar Association. She reviews decisions of interest and briefs those that she finds pertinent to Suffolk County attorneys in a variety of practice areas. Readers of her column appreciate being kept up-to-date with new significant decisions that are relevant to their respective practices. To read the latest edition of The Suffolk Lawyer, click here.

     Adam H. Koblenz served as Co-Chair of the tennis portion of the Children’s Medical Fund of New York’s 37th Annual Golf and Tennis Charity Classic, held on June 11th at the Glen Oaks Club. Adam has been involved with the Children's Medical Fund of New York for many years. He currently serves as one of the Vice Presidents of the Men's Division. We applaud Adam's dedication to this important organization. To learn more about the organization, click here.

Adam Koblenz and Dan Braff pictured with the tennis participants at
CMF's 37th Annual Golf & Tennis Charity Classic

     SWCB Partner and Town of Oyster Bay Councilman Chris J. Coschignano was recently honored by Nassau County Republican Chairman Joseph N. Mondello for his efforts on behalf of the Republican Party in Nassau County and the Town of Oyster Bay.

     A new casebook from Aspen Publishing entitled Domestic Violence: Legal and Social Reality, by D. Kelly Weisberg (2012), includes excerpts from an article written by Adam H. Koblenz. The article was originally published as “Jewish Women Under Siege: the Fight for Survival on the Front Lines of Love and the Law” by the University of Maryland Law School in the Journal of Race, Religion, Gender & Class (Volume 9; No. 2; 2009). We congratulate Adam for his contribution to this important casebook. To read the article as originally published, click here.  To learn more about the book, visit the Aspen Publishing website by clicking here.

     For the second year in a row, Dan Braff was invited to represent the Firm at NYU Law School's "Finding Your Professional Niche" Career Fair, held on February 29th. The event provided a forum for 2nd and 3rd year law students to learn about opportunities and discuss professional development with NYU Law School alumni who represent a select group of sophisticated smaller firms, local offices of large firms headquartered elsewhere, and foreign based firms with a U.S. presence. Dan is a dedicated NYU Law School alumnus and enjoys his role as a mentor to NYU Law School students, who benefit from his willingness to share his personal experience and career path. We congratulate Dan on extending the Firm's spirit of generosity to future lawyers.

     Associate Elaine Colavito, as one of the leaders in the Firm's matrimonial practice, has become a Member of the Board of the Directors of the Nassau County Women's Bar Association and is very active with the Matrimonial Committee. Elaine attended a program on April 25 entitled "Reading and Understanding Tax Returns for Matrimonial Attorneys." A presentation by forensic accountants explored issues including undisclosed assets, unreported income, and other red flag items that matrimonial attorneys should look for when evaluating tax returns. To learn more about the Nassau County Women's Bar Association Matrimonial Committee, click here.

     Partner and Town of Oyster Bay Councilman Chris J. Coschignano hosted the 11th Annual Clean-Up Syosset Day on Saturday, May 12, 2012. The event brought together many local organizations in a concerted effort to help beautify the Syosset community. This is the 11th year that Chris has organized the Clean-Up, and he is proud of how local residents work together to make Syosset a better, cleaner place. Chris, who has served as a Town Councilman since 2002, applauds the great effort made by local residents and local organizations who give their time and energy to this civic event.

Chris J. Coschignano hosted the 11th Annual Clean-Up Syosset Day

     On May 29th, Brian Stolar gave a presentation to the Real Property Committee of the Nassau County Bar Association on the potential consequences of merging ownership of adjoining properties and failing to checkerboard title to subdivided lots.

     The Firm is looking forward to this year’s Marcum Workplace Challenge, scheduled for July 31 at Jones Beach State Park. This will be the fifth year in a row that the Firm has participated, and the second year in a row that the Firm has been a sponsor. Every year thousands of walkers, runners, friends and family members from Long Island professional firms and companies gather for an evening of friendly competition and fun at Jones Beach.

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Table of Contents

Cover Page

New Developments at the Firm

New Developments in the Law

Beyond Smart Growth:
New Urbanism

Suffolk County Land Bank and Brownfield Redevelopment

NYS Legislature Adopts New
Law to Allow More Flexibility in Granting Extensions of Time to Complete Requirements of Conditional Approval of Final Subdivision Plats

Matters of Interest at the Firm

Out & About

Up Close & Personal


Firm Partners

Michael H. Sahn

Jon A. Ward

Chris J. Coschignano

Daniel J. Baker

 Miriam E. Villani

Wayne G. Edwards

Brian S. Stolar

Andrew M. Roth

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