A seasoned labor and employment attorney with over three decades of experience representing employers, Jim defends employers in both state and federal courts and before state, federal and local governmental agencies, and counsels employers on traditional union labor law issues.
From discrimination and harassment claims to collective bargaining negotiations, he is known for finding creative and practical solutions to his clients’ labor and employment matters. Whether in the courtroom, before an administrative agency or at the negotiating table, Jim’s focus is on achieving the most cost-effective and beneficial result for his clients.
In addition to handling litigation in court, Jim regularly defends employers in matters before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), New York State Division of Human Rights, New York City Commission on Human Rights, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the U.S. and New York State Departments of Labor.
Representing clients in collective bargaining negotiations, handling labor arbitrations, advising clients on day-to-day collective bargaining agreement administration, and defending clients before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is also a large part of Jim’s practice.
Many clients also rely on Jim’s experience for practical advice on managing day-to-day employment issues, such as disciplining and terminating employees, providing reasonable accommodations, severance agreements, and wage and hour compliance.
Honors & Awards
Chambers USA: America’ s Leading Lawyers for Business, 2021-2023 Listed in
The Best Lawyers in America
Best Lawyers Labor Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Buffalo, 2021 ® Selected for the
Upstate New York Super Lawyers ® list, 2007-2008, 2011-2023
Education & Admissions
State University of New York at Buffalo Law School, J.D.,
magna cum laude, 1990 Hobart College, B.A.,
cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 1986
Admitted to Practice
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York
U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
U.S. District Court, Western District of New York
U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
Represented private jet charter company in discrimination matter involving claims of sex, disability and pregnancy disability.
Obtained dismissal of discrimination claims filed against national sports organization.
Obtained a favorable arbitration decision upholding a client’s right under its collective bargaining agreement to use its discretion in filling position vacancies.
Represented medical practice in breach of contract claim.
Represented roofing company against OSHA citations arising from fatality incident.
Prevailed in an NLRB unfair labor practice charge filed by client requiring the client’s union to sign the parties’ collective bargaining agreement.
Burch v. Pioneer Credit Recovery, Inc., 551 F.3d 122 (2d Cir. 2008)
Allaire v. HSBC Bank USA, 2004 WL 2203986 (2d Cir. 2004)
DiStefano v. HSBC Bank USA, 2004 WL 1563103 (W.D.N.Y. 2004)
Aratari v. Genesee County Sherrif’s Office, 2004 WL 1812677 (W.D.N.Y. 2004)
Samborski v. West Valley Nuclear Services, Co., Inc., 2002 WL 1477610 (W.D.N.Y. 2002)
Fulham v. HSBC Bank USA, 2001 WL 1029051 (S.D.N.Y. 2001)
In re Mercy Hospital, 336 NLRB 1282, 2001 WL 1699611 (2001)
Woolcott v. E.l. Du Pont de Nemours & Company, Inc., 1997 WL 251475 (W.D.N.Y. 1997)
Presenter, “AI in the Workplace: Navigating the Legal Frontier,” Buffalo Niagara Human Resources Association (BNHRA), June 2023
Presenter, “From Starbucks to Amazon and Beyond: Recent Developments Regarding Union Organizing,” Phillips Lytle Labor & Employment Law Seminar, October 2022
Presenter, “Labor and Employment Updates,” Phillips Lytle Labor & Employment Law Seminar, October 2021
Presenter, “NY Hero Act: What Employers Need To Know,” Phillips Lytle Labor & Employment Law Webinar, August 2021
Presenter, “Legal Update,” Buffalo Niagara Human Resource Association (BNHRA), June 2021
Presenter, “Legalized Marijuana and the Workplace: What Employers Need to Know,” Phillips Lytle Labor & Employment Webinar, April 2021
Presenter, “Considerations for HR, Operations & Sr. Leaders,” “Preparing Your Business for COVID-19 Vaccines,” Buffalo Niagara Partnership Webinar, April 2021
Panelist, “B2B Panel: Vaccination Guidance for Employers and NY Paid Sick Leave,” Rochester Rotary Club, February 2021
Panelist, “Take A Deeper Dive: Covid-19 Panel” Phillips Lytle and Tronconi Segarra & Associates LLP Webinar, February 2021
Presenter, “Relief Package 2.0 & Employee Vaccinations,” Buffalo Niagara Partnership Webinar, January 2021
Presenter, “New York State Sick Leave Law: What Employers Need to Know, ” Phillips Lytle Labor & Employment Law Webinar, November 2020
Presenter, “New York State’s COVID-19 Travel Quarantines,” COVID-19 Comeback Series, Phillips Lytle Labor & Employment Webinar, July 2020
Presenter, “Reopening Safely: Regulations, Guidelines and Strategies,” COVID-19 Comeback Series, Phillips Lytle Webinar, May 2020
Presenter, “COVID-19: Federal and New York State Leave Laws and Related Employment Issues,” Phillips Lytle Labor & Employment Webinar, April 2020
Presenter, “COVID-19: Federal and New York Labor and Employment Laws,” Phillips Lytle Labor & Employment Webinar, April 2020
Presenter, “Guidance for Coronavirus in the Workplace,” Phillips Lytle Labor & Employment Webinar, March 2020
Speaker, “New York State Human Rights Law Update,” Phillips Lytle Labor & Employment Legal Updates, December 2019
Presenter, “NYS Pay Discrimination Updates: What Employers Need to Know,” Rochester Chamber of Commerce, September 2019
Presenter, “FMLA and Paid Family Leave: Employee Eligibility & Employer Rights,” Phillips Lytle Labor & Employment Law Spring Seminar, April/May 2019
Presenter, “#MeToo: Preventing and Responding to Workplace Harassment,” Phillips Lytle Labor & Employment Law Seminar, April 2018
Presenter, “New York State Paid Family Leave Benefits Law – Are You Ready?” Phillips Lytle Labor & Employment Law Workshop, October/November 2017
Presenter, “New York State Paid Family Leave,” “Breakfast with a Legal Twist,” Buffalo Niagara Human Resource Association, July 2017
Buffalo Business First Power Breakfast on the New York State Paid Family Leave Program, June 2017 Presenter, “How Healthy Is Your Wellness Program?,” Phillips Lytle Labor & Employment Law Seminar, April 2017
Presenter, “Preparing for the New ‘White Collar’ Overtime Salary Requirements,” Phillips Lytle Labor & Employment Law Workshop, November 2016
Presenter, “Hot Topics in Labor and Employment Law,” Phillips Lytle Labor & Employment Law Seminar, June 2016
Presenter, “The Changing Labor and Employment Landscape,” “What Government Contractors are Facing in 2016,” Phillips Lytle LLP Seminar, March 2016
Presenter, “Strategies for Preventing FMLA Leave Abuse,” Phillips Lytle Labor & Employment Law Seminar, March 2015
Activities & Professional Associations
American Red Cross of WNY, Board of Directors
Bornhava, Board of Directors
City of Buffalo Charter Review Commission, Special Counsel
Cleveland Hill Educational Foundation
Kevin Guest House, Board of Directors
Niagara Frontier Industry Education Council
St. Mary’s School for the Deaf, Board of Directors
American Bar Association
Labor and Employment Law Section
Equal Employment Opportunity Committee
Bar Association of Erie County
Labor and Employment Committee
Buffalo Niagara Human Resource Association
Defense Research Institute
New York State Bar Association
Labor and Employment Law Section
Trial Lawyers Section
Society for Human Resources Management