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!Let’s Come Together and Celebrate NYSASA on its 65th Year!

Join your fellow attorneys to journey through the past, present and future of important issues in school law.

June 3 - 5, 2022
The Sagamore, Bolton Landing, New York

Presented by
The New York State Association of School Attorneys
in conjunction with

The New York State School Boards Association


Conference Registration Deadline: May 20, 2022
Refunds will not be granted for cancellations received after May 20, 2022. All cancellations must be made in writing to the New York State School Boards Association. No-shows will be billed at the full registration fee.

Conference Registration Fees:
NYSASA Member Rate: $480 Nonmember Rate: $545*
Fees include refreshment breaks, two breakfasts, lunch, Saturday barbecue and materials, and a non-refundable $75 administrative fee. *Receive a $65 credit toward NYSASA membership if you join within 30 days of the conference. Contact Greg Guercio, Treasurer of NYSASA, at 516.694.3000 for more details.

You may also register guests/spouses/child(ren) at a participant rate, which includes meals only. No program or materials will be provided to guests.

Guest Rate:

  • Adult (18+ years): $243
  • Teenager (13 –18 years): $169
  • Child(ren) (6 – 12 years): $79
  • Child(ren) (3 – 5 years): $41
  • Child(ren) (Under 3 years): $0

There is no additional fee required for attending the “Education Law Basics” portion of the conference (Friday, June 3, from 1:50 – 5:30 p.m.). However, please indicate on your online registration form if you plan on attending this portion of the conference.

Because the COVID-19 pandemic remains a threat to public health, the NYSASA Board of Directors will continue to monitor the situation, assess risk and make attendees aware of any safety protocols put in place prior to the conference.

The 21st Annual School Attorney Law Conference will be “paper-less.” Attendees will receive a packet with each presenter’s PowerPoint. Prior to the conference, you will receive an email with a direct link to download and preview the conference materials in a printer-friendly format. Free Wi-Fi will be provided at the conference site.


NYSASA has reserved a room block at The Sagamore until May 3, 2022. Everyone must be registered for the conference before a room can be booked. A computer-generated registration confirmation will be emailed after each registration is completed. It will include lodging information. To secure the negotiated rate, all room reservations must be made by the reservation cut-off date of May 3, 2022. After the cut-off date, reservations will be accepted based upon availability and at the prevailing rate. Note: dependent upon demand, rooms may become unavailable prior to May 3, 2022.

A credit card is required to confirm each reservation. A nonrefundable $35 processing fee will be charged at the time of booking. The balance of the stay will be charged to the card on file 14 days prior to the arrival date. For cancellations more than 14 days prior to arrival, the $35 processing fee will be forfeited. For cancellations less than 14 days prior to arrival, the total amount will be forfeited. For no shows on the scheduled arrival date, reservations will be cancelled, and the amount collected will be forfeited.

Per-night room rates,** for single or double occupancy:

  • Lower Lodge Room: $259 • Walk-In Lodge Room: $279 • Lower Lodge Suite: $359
  • Walk-In Lodge Suite: $379 • Hotel Room Garden View: $359 • Hotel Room Lake View: $379
  • Hotel Suite Garden View: $429 • Hotel Suite Lake View: $459

**These rates are subject to a taxed resort fee of $20 per room per day, as well as 7% state and local taxes and 4% Warren County Occupancy Tax. For each additional person (over two people) ages 13 and up sharing a room, there will be an additional room charge of $30 per person per day.

The Sagamore provides an 18-hole golf course, luxury spa, tennis courts, trails, boating, private beach, indoor/outdoor pools and a fitness center.

10.5 credit hours of Professional Practice
1.0 credit hour of Ethics and Professionalism
1.0 credit hour of Diversity, Inclusion, Elimination of Bias
New York State Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Credits: This program is approved for 12.5 CLE credit hours (10.5 in Professional Practice, 1.0 in Ethics and Professionalism, and 1.0 in Diversity, Inclusion, Elimination of Bias). The content is appropriate for both newly admitted and experienced attorneys.

Important Notice: Partial credit for program segments not allowed. Partial credit for program segments not allowed. Under the New York State Continuing Legal Education Board Regulations and Guidelines, attendees at CLE programs cannot receive MCLE credit for a program segment unless they are present for the entire segment. Persons who arrive late, depart early, or are absent for any portion of the segment will not receive credit for that segment.

Tuition Assistance: Application for tuition assistance to attend this program may be made based on financial hardship. Under that policy, an applicant who has a genuine financial hardship may apply in writing not later than five working days prior to the program, explaining the basis of his/her hardship, and, if approved, may receive tuition assistance, depending upon the circumstances. For more details, please contact Jay Worona, NYSSBA, at 518.783.0200 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

***Includes credit hours for attending Education Law Basics
More Information

For more information about the conference, visit, or contact Phyllis Secor, Executive Assistant to Jay Worona at 518.783.3773 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Jay Worona, NYSSBA, at 518.783.0200 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Program Chairs:
Julie M. Shaw, Esq., Shaw, Perelson, May & Lambert, LLP
Erin O'Grady-Parent, Esq., Guercio & Guercio, LLP, co-chair
Pilar Sokol, Esq., NYSSBA
Alyson Mathews, Esq., Lamb & Barnosky, LLP


Friday, June 3, 2022
12:00 - 1:00 p.m. NYSASA Board of Directors' Meeting
1:00 - 2:00 p.m. Registration for Education Law Basics and Main Conference
4:00 - 6:00 p.m. Registration for Main Conference
1:50 - 2:00 p.m. Introduction and Welcome
Pilar Sokol, Esq.,
President, NYSASA
2:00 - 3:05 p.m.
“Money” (Pink Floyd) – Working Effectively with Bond Counsel
The session will cover financing basics for school lawyers, including the issuance of short-term and long-term debt by school districts, and the roles of the fiscal advisor and bond counsel. Review the requirements for the various approvals necessary for capital projects and learn how the school district’s general counsel can work most effectively with the district’s bond counsel.
Colleen W. Heinrich, Esq., Partner, Ferrara Fiorenza PC
William J. Marquardt, Esq., Partner, Trespasz & Marquardt, LLP
3:05 - 4:10 p.m.
“The Chain” (Fleetwood Mac) – Dealing with Labor & Supply Shortages
The COVID pandemic has created new challenges for school districts in finding sufficient personnel and supplies necessary to meet all the instructional and non-instructional functions essential to school district operations, including transportation and food service. Learn about potential strategies for dealing with shortages in staffing including incentives, intermunicipal agreements, contracting with BOCES for shared services and other creative solutions. Hear about potential purchasing options that might help address an unstable bidding environment and increasing costs.
Brian R. Liebenow, Esq., Executive Director of Labor Relations and General Counsel, Erie 2-Chautuqua-Cattaraugus BOCES
Kevin H. Harren, Esq., Of Counsel, The Law Office of Anthony J. Brock
4:10 - 4:20 p.m.
4:20 - 5:30 p.m.
“Take It Easy” (Eagles) – Special Education and Disability Law Update
In this session, two experienced special education and disability law practitioners will discuss hot topics in the areas of special education and disability law. The session will focus on highlighting the intersection of general education and special education so that even school attorneys who don’t specialize in the area of special education can spot the key issues and help their clients avoid common pitfalls.
Wendy K. DeWind, Esq., Partner, Hogan, Sarzynski, Lynch, DeWind & Gregory, LLP
Michael K. Lambert, Esq., Partner, Shaw, Perelson, May & Lambert, LLP
6:00 - 6:15 p.m.
Introduction and Welcome
Pilar Sokol, Esq.,
President, NYSASA
6:15 - 7:30 p.m.
“The Times They Are a-Changin’” (Bob Dylan) – A Conversation with SED Counsel
Learn what the counsel to the State Education Department sees as the issues that school attorneys will need to address in the year ahead.
Daniel Morton-Bentley, Esq., Counsel and Deputy Commissioner for Legal Affairs, NYS Education Department
Jay Worona, Esq., Deputy Executive Director & General Counsel, New York State School Boards Association
7:30 p.m.
Dinner on Your Own
Saturday, June 4 , 2022
7:00 - 8:30 a.m.
Breakfast (included with registration)
7:30 - 8:30 a.m.
Registration for Main Conference
8:30 - 8:40 a.m.
Introduction and Welcome
Julie M. Shaw, Esq.,
Co-Chair 2022 Annual Sagamore Conference Program and First Vice President, NYSASA
8:40 - 9:30 a.m.
“Get Up, Stand Up” (Bob Marley) – Child Victims Act
It’s been two years since the window was opened by the State Legislature to the filing of claims by child victims of sexual abuse. A number of the cases filed under the Child Victims Act (CVA) have named school districts as defendants under various theories of negligence as well as other creative claims. This panel discussion will include a review of the CVA statute, an overview of the various negligence claims raised thereunder and the legal standards for proving such claims. The session will also review lessons learned to date from defending these long dormant claims, including finding insurance coverage, locating records and witnesses.
Anthony J. Fasano, Esq., Partner, Guercio & Guercio, LLP
Julia M. Hilliker, Esq., Partner, Hodgson Russ LLP
9:30 - 9:40 a.m.
9:40 - 10:30 a.m.
Are you Experienced” (Jimi Hendrix) – Labor Arbitration Tips for School Lawyers
Hear from a panel of experienced arbitrators about the good, the bad and the ugly things they have observed while presiding over hearings for school districts and other municipalities. Learn tips about what works and what doesn’t in the eyes of an arbitrator and how to enhance your chances of presenting a successful case on behalf of your school district client.
Jeffrey M. Selchick, Esq., Arbitrator & Mediator
Jay M. Siegel, Esq., Arbitrator & Mediator
Timothy S. Taylor, Esq., Arbitrator & Mediator
10:30 - 11:20 a.m.
“Takin’ Care of Business” (Bachman-Turner Overdrive) – Labor and Employment Hot Topics
Discuss hot topics in labor and employment including ongoing challenges in dealing with employee mental health concerns and accommodation issues, 3020-a case law updates and the latest issues relating to the separation of employees under Civil Service Law sections 71, 72, 73 and 75.
Melanie J. Beardsley, Esq., Partner, Webster Szanyi LLP
Alyson Mathews, Esq., Partner, Lamb & Barnosky, LLP
11:20 - 11:30 a.m.
11:30 a.m. - 12:20 p.m.
“Stuck in the Middle with You” (Stealers Wheel) – Strategies for Dealing with a Spilt Board or Community
Recently, the country has been deeply divided on issues relating to COVID mandates, race and efforts relating to diversity. Many school boards are grappling with hotly contested policy debates and deep divisions within the community and school board over these issues. One example is the debate over Native American mascots and logos in a local school district, which resulted in a Commissioner’s decision that has implications for all districts in the state on both substantive and procedural grounds. Using the mascot/logo example as a case study, as well as other examples, this session will discuss issues that are likely to arise in such situations and review strategies that the school attorney can use for dealing with these situations both from an ethical and legal standpoint.
Jeffrey D. Honeywell, Esq., Managing Shareholder, Honeywell Law Firm, PLLC
David S. Shaw, Esq., Partner, Shaw, Perelson, May & Lambert LLP
12:20 - 12:45 p.m.
NYSASA Annual Meeting for Members
Presider: Pilar Sokol, Esq.,
President, NYSASA
President’s Report; Election of NYSASA Directors and Officers and approval of NYSASA’s Legislative Agenda
12:45 - 1:45 p.m.
Lunch (included with registration)
1:45 - 6:30 p.m.
Take advantage of resort activities
6:30 - 9:00 p.m.
Reception and Barbeque (included with registration)
Sunday, June 5, 2022
7:00 - 9:00 a.m.
Breakfast (included with registration)
8:50 - 9:00 a.m.
Introduction and Welcome
Erin O’Grady-Parent, Esq.,
Co-Chair 2022 Annual Sagamore Conference Program and Fourth Year Director, NYSASA
9:00 - 9:50 a.m.
“Stairway to Heaven” (Led Zeppelin) – Religion in the Schools
Given the recent vaccination and testing mandates for students and employees, there have been more demands for religious exemptions and questions regarding accommodations on the basis of religion. This session will review the existing exemptions and requirements applicable to students and employees who raise religion as a basis for an accommodation or special treatment. The session will also address “hot topics” that may arise in your school law practice.
Donald E. Budmen, Esq., Partner, Ferrara Fiorenza PC
Thomas Volz, Esq., Partner, Volz & Vigliotta, PLLC
9:50 - 10:40 a.m.
“Respect” (Aretha Franklin) – Developing a D, E, I Initiative in Your Law Practice, No Matter What the Size
This session will review the breadth of what diversity looks like in the workplace and address various ways firms can enhance diversity initiatives within their practices, whether they be large or small. The presenters will discuss potential implementation strategies such as education, community outreach, and a review of hiring practices and procedures aimed at increasing diversity and inclusivity.
Andrew J. Freedman, Esq., Partner, Hodgson Russ, LLP
10:40 - 10:50 a.m.
10:50 - 11:50 a.m.
“Touch of Grey” (Grateful Dead) – Ethical Dilemmas
In our last session, two seasoned school attorneys will impart their wisdom on how to apply the sometimes grey ethics rules in the context of the school attorney-board relationship. The presenters will offer tips for handling common ethical dilemmas faced by school lawyers.
John H. Gross, Esq., Partner, Ingerman Smith LLP
Gregory J. Guercio, Esq., Guercio & Guercio LLP
11:50 a.m.


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