64 Area Lawyers make 'Best Lawyers' Book

The Times Union, March 9, 1997
Copyright 1997 The Hearst Corporation
THREE STAR EDITION

SECTION: CAPITAL REGION, Pg. D7

HEADLINE: 64 area lawyers make 'best lawyers' book

BYLINE: JOHN CAHER; Staff writer

It makes a great law office coffee table book, if you happen to be in it, and wonderful material for billboards.

''The Best Lawyers in America, 1997-1998,'' a costly, biennial publication purporting to list the top attorneys in the nation, is viewed as gospel to those who are in, and a lot less to those who are not. The latest version includes 64 area lawyers in 18 specialties.

Since 1983, Harvard Law School graduates Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith have been polling attorneys to learn which, in the profession, are the highest rated.

Christopher J. Greame, one of the senior editors, said researchers conduct ''in-depth, confidential'' surveys in which they ask lawyers who in their specialty, other then themselves or someone in their firm, they would recommend to a close friend.

The publishers acknowledge that they ''do not attempt to articulate the criteria for judging professional excellence; we left that to the individual attorney,'' and concede that the book ''tends somewhat to favor older, established lawyers over young but equally capable lawyers.'' However, they claim that it is, at the least, a reference point.

In the latest edition of the book, almost everyone in the Capital Region who was in it last time, and is still alive and practicing law, is in it this time.

The only new honorees are: Michael J. O'Connor, a bankruptcy expert in Albany; employee benefits specialist Brian P. Goldstein of Albany; Eugene E. Napierski, an Albany litigator who made the last edition as a personal injury lawyer is now listed in that category as well as legal malpractice law; Dale M. Thuillez, an Albany personal injury lawyer specializing in representing defendants; James W. Bendall, a plaintiff's personal injury lawyer in Schenectady; Jeffrey C. Cohen and Michael Whiteman, both Albany attorneys with expertise in public utility law; and Thomas J. Walsh, a worker's compensation lawyer in Albany.

The book includes 13,802 lawyers in the nation, including about 1 percent, or 1,087, of those licensed in New York.

Listed are:

Banking law -
Thomas E. Dolin, Whiteman, Osterman & Hanna, Albany. Bankruptcy law Richard H. Weiner of Cooper, Ervin Savage, Nolan & Heller, Albany; William M. McCarthy, McCarthy and Evanick, Albany; Michael J. O'Connor, O'Connor, O'Connor, Mayberger & First, Albany.

Business litigation -
John T. DeGraff Jr., DeGraff, Foy, Holt-Harris & Kunz, Albany.

Corporate law -
John A. Beach, Bond, Schoenick & King, Albany; John E. Holt-Harris Jr., DeGraff, Foy, Holt-Harris & Kunz, Albany; Michael Whiteman, Whiteman, Osterman & Hanna, Albany; J. Robert LaPann, Glens Falls.

Criminal defense -
William J. Dreyer, Dreyer & Boyajian, Albany; Stephen R. Coffey, O'Connell and Aronowitz, Albany; E. Stewart Jones Jr., The Jones Firm, Troy.

Employee benefits law -
Richard V. D'Alessandro, Albany; Brian P. Goldstein, Helm, Shapiro, Anito & McCale, Albany; Richard A. ''Fritz'' Langer, McNamee, Lochner, Titus & Williams, Albany.

Environmental law -
Scott N. Fein, Whiteman, Osterman & Hanna, Albany.

Family law -
Stanley A. Rosen, McNamee, Lochner, Titus & Williams, Albany; Timothy M. Tippins, Tippins & Cornaire, Troy.

First Amendment law -
Michael T. Wallender, Albany; Peter Danziger, O'Connell and Aronowitz, Albany.

Health care law -
Robert H. Iseman, Iseman, Cunningham, Riester & Hyde, Albany; Cornelius D. Murray, O'Connell and Aronowitz, Albany; David P. Glasel and Jeffrey J. Sherrin, Sherrin & Glasel, Albany; Barry A. Gold, Thuillez, Ford, Gold & Conolly, Albany.

Labor and employment law -
Richard C. Heffern, Bond, Schoeneck & King, Albany; Edward L. Bookstein and Richard A. Kohn, Kohn, Bookstein & Karp, Albany; Franklin H. Goldberger, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, Albany; Bruce C. Bramley and William Pozefsky, Pozefsky, Bramley & Murphy, Albany; Richard R. Rowley, Rowley, Forrest, O'Donnell, Beaumont & Pelersi; Melvin H. Osterman Jr., Whiteman, Osterman & Hanna, Albany.

Legal malpractice -
Eugene E. Napierski, Carter, Conboy, Case, Blackmore, Napierski & Maloney, Albany; Mae A. D'Agostino, Maynard, O'Connor, Smith, Catalinotto & D'Agostino, Albany; Stephen R. Coffey, O'Connell and Aronowitz, Albany; E. Stewart Jones Jr., The Jones Firm, Troy.

Personal injury -
Eugene E. Napierski, Carter, Conboy, Case, Blackmore, Napierski & Maloney, Albany; Mae A. D'Agostino, Maynard, O'Connor, Smith, Catalinotto & D'Agostino, Albany; Stephen R. Coffey, O'Connell and Aronowitz, Albany; E. Stewart Jones Jr., The Jones Firm, Troy; John K. Powers and Daniel R. Santola, Powers & Santola, Albany; Richard M. Gershon and Arthur H. Thorn, Thorn & Gershon, Albany; Dale M. Thuillez, Thuillez, Ford, Gold & Conolly, Albany; James W. Bendall, Bendall & Mednick, Schenectady.

Public utilities law -
David E. Blabey, Blabey & Sheehan, Albany; Jeffrey C. Cohen, Cohen, Dax, Koenig & Wiles, Albany; Howard Shapiro, Helm, Shapiro, Anito & McCale, Albany; Michael Whiteman, Whiteman, Osterman & Hanna, Albany.

Real estate law -
Lawrence F. Anito Jr., Helm, Shapiro, Anito & McCale, Albany; Harold C. Hanson, Hinman, Straub, Pigors & Manning, Albany; Edward J. Trombly, Hiscock & Barclay, Albany; John W. Tabner, Tabner & Ryan, Colonie.

Tax law -
Richard V. D'Alessandro, Albany; Robert E. Helm, Helm, Shapiro, Anito & McCale, Albany.

Trusts and estates -
James B. Ayers, DeGraff, Foy, Holt-Harris & Kunz, Albany; Robert E. Helm, Helm, Shapiro, Anito & McCale, Albany; Philip T. Dunne and Evan C. Regal, Hinman, Straub, Pigors & Manning, Albany; William S. Haase and Timothy B. Thornton, McNamee, Lochner, Titus & Williams, Albany; Thomas E. Dolin, Whiteman, Osterman & Hanna, Albany; Paul E. Pontiff, Bartlett, Pontiff, Stewart & Rhodes, Glens Falls; Carl T. Baker, FitzGerald, Morris, Baker, Firth, Glens Falls; Michael R. Suprunowicz, Higgins, Roberts, Beyerl & Coan, Schenectady; Robert W. Johnson III and Richard P. Wallace, Martin, Shudt, Wallace, DiLorenzo & Johnson, Troy.

Worker's compensation law -
Robert S. Stockton, Stockton, Barker & Mead, Albany; Thomas J. Walsh, Walsh & Hacker, Albany.