2023 Annual Report

New York City Law Department
Year in Review 2023

The Hon. Sylvia O. Hinds-Radix - Corporation Counsel
New York City Law Department, 100 Church Street, New York, N.Y. 10007

Muriel Goode-Trufant - First Assistant Corporation Counsel
Eric Eichenholtz - Managing Attorney
Ashley Iodice - Chief of Staff
Richard Dearing - Executive Assistant Corporation Counsel & Chief of Appeals
Karlyne Fequiere - Chief Diversity & Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Officer
Stephen Louis - Executive Assistant Corporation Counsel & Chief of Legal Counsel
Toshia McKnight - Chief Assistant for Criminal Justice
Sheryl Neufeld - Chief Assistant for Regulatory Law & Policy

To learn more, visit our website: www.nyc.gov/law

With offices in all five boroughs and Kingston, N.Y., the New York City Law Department handles over 70,000 active or ongoing legal matters each year. In addition to litigating cases, attorneys draft and review local and State legislation; provide legal counsel to City officials on a wide range of issues (such as criminal justice, social services, education, election reform and environmental policy); oversee juvenile prosecution and the handling of interstate child support matters; handle a vast array of Tort cases and issues, including over 7,000 new suits a year and risk management matters; defend the City and its officials in civil rights cases brought in Federal court in which police, district attorney or correction officer misconduct is alleged; negotiate and structure business transactions; approve leases, contracts and financial instruments for the sale of municipal bonds; and many other critical functions. The office's support professionals also play a key role in our operations and work closely in tandem with our attorneys. Listed below are some major issues and matters handled by the various Law Department Divisions in 2023.

Legal Divisions

Administrative Law & Regulatory Litigation

Division Chief: Michelle Goldberg-Cahn | Deputy Chief: Karen Selvin

  • Sale of Force-Fed Animal Products: Continued defending City's prohibition on the sale of force-fed animal products, such as foie gras, in New York City due to concerns over animal cruelty and health impacts.
  • AirBNB: Successfully defended rules promulgated by the Mayor's Office of Special Enforcement seeking to implement a short-term registration scheme in New York City in two lawsuits filed by AirBNB and three of its hosts.
  • Protecting Gun Licensing Laws: Continued defending numerous cases by individuals seeking to obtain permits to possess firearms under an array of theories under the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution in response to the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in Bruen and its aftermath.
  • Regulation of Adult Use Establishments: Took to trial four longstanding federal lawsuits challenging the 2001 amendments to the zoning resolution that clarified the definition of adult use entities that are subject to various zoning restrictions. Continued to defend challenges to these zoning amendments since 2001.
  • Voter Redistricting: Successfully litigated a challenge to the City's election district maps drawn in late 2022, whereby the petitioners claimed that the new districts split voters of certain races into separate district impacting their candidates of choice. As we prevailed in preventing an injunction, primary election races were able to proceed as scheduled.
  • Regulation of Delivery Apps: Continued defending against a challenge to the City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection's rules requiring a minimum pay rate to be made to drivers providing food deliveries on behalf of delivery app services. Continued to handle litigation filed by third-party delivery app services challenging, on constitutional grounds, laws regulating the apps in terms of imposing caps on prices and fees that may be charged by the third-party apps and disclosure of certain customer information to restaurants that use the apps.

Affirmative Litigation

Division Chief: Gail Rubin | Deputy Chiefs: Eric Proshansky & Melanie Ash

  • Combatting Vape Sales: Brought action to enjoin distribution of flavored electronic cigarettes or "vapes" that are illegal under Federal, State and City law against the importer of "Hyde" brand e-cigarettes -- one of the most popular brands of flavored vapes -- and several in-City distributors and the nation's largest vape distributor.
  • Asylum Seeker Lawsuits: In the face of efforts by upstate counties and towns to keep out asylum seekers despite a statewide emergency, defended the City's use of available upstate hotel rooms for temporary housing assistance for the massive influx of asylum seekers arriving in New York City.
  • Opioids Recovery: Continued working to protect the City's interests in settlement agreements with pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors as part of a multi-district litigation and New York lawsuit, adding to the hundreds of millions of dollars in payments over time to be used to address and remedy the opioid epidemic.
  • Focus on Tenant Protection: Continued comprehensive enforcement activities in roughly 50 open matters against bad landlords and compelled remediation of thousands of code violations. This included bringing two new large portfolio lawsuits to improve the living conditions for thousands of tenants in more than 20 buildings with deteriorating facades, defective elevators, non-code-compliant sprinklers and fire suppression systems, and illegal gas connections.
  • Insurance Project Savings: Received taxpayer savings from an insurance initiative that exceeds over $2.1 billion dollars in defense and liability costs for lawsuits arising out of work done in connection with a City contract, permit, lease or license; compelled insurance companies to comply with policy obligations and cover the City as an additional insured.


Division Chief: Richard Dearing | Deputy Chiefs: Claude Platton & Devin Slack

  • Challenges to Gun Laws: In the wake of a major Supreme Court decision, defended local firearm regulations from constitutional challenges in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
  • Rent Stabilization: Successfully defended against constitutional challenges to New York City's rent stabilization scheme in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
  • Ban on Dangerous Police Restraints: Persuaded the N.Y. Court of Appeals to reject a constitutional challenge to a local law criminalizing police officers' use of chokeholds and other dangerous restraints.
  • Taxi Medallions Auctions: Successfully defended against a putative class action claiming the City misrepresented the value of taxi medallions in the N.Y. Court of Appeals.
  • Pandemic-related Litigation: Handled a range of pandemic-related litigation in federal and state appellate courts, including constitutional and statutory challenges to employee vaccination requirements.
  • Amicus Briefs: Filed amicus briefs in various courts on a wide range of issues, including abortion access, police discipline, firearm regulation and rights of transgender athletes.

Commercial & Real Estate Litigation

Division Chief: Richard Schulsohn | Deputy Chiefs: Robert Funkhouser & Amanda Papandrea

  • Obtained Favorable Bench Trial Decision: In a construction contractor's suit seeking more than $7 million for extra work, contract balance and prejudgment interest, obtained a verdict after a bench trial that limits the City's liability to approximately $1 million.
  • Resolved Franchise Dispute: Negotiated resolution to a street furniture franchise dispute that resulted in payment of $92 million in franchise fees to the City, 345 additional bus shelters, 40 new public automated toilets and additional revenue sharing, plus public service and international advertising for New York City.
  • Vindicated City's Real Property Rights: Sued a storage and truck rental business that had fenced off a portion of a dead-end street in order to store its vehicles and equipment. Won summary judgment dismissing the defendants' claim to title by adverse possession, awarding possession to the City.
  • Improved City's Contracting Processes: Continued providing counsel to the Capital Process Reform Task Force in developing recommendations for improving City construction contracting. This included joining other Divisions to advocate successfully for an initiative to make contracting faster and easier by increasing the oversight limits for the Financial Control Board and drafting provisions for extended work allowances that permit quicker payments for certain types of extra work.
  • Defeated Challenges to Hotel Severance Law: Pursued action against a hotel chain and a hotel trade group, both of which filed separate Federal suits challenging the City's law requiring severance payments to hotel workers for hotel closures in the wake of COVID-19. After the City defeated preliminary injunctions, both actions were discontinued.
  • Ensured Early Learning Program Continued: After defeating challenges by a childcare services provider to suspension of payments due to false billing, worked with the Department of Education and the Administration for Children's Services to ensure the provider continued to provide services to approximately 1,000 children under new management.

Contracts & Real Estate

Division Chief: Amrita Prabhakar Barth | Deputy Chief: Isabel Galis-Menendez

  • Franchise and Concession Review Committee: Continued to represent the Corporation Counsel on the Franchise & Concession Review Committee (FCRC) via an attorney from our Division. The FCRC holds public hearings on certain franchise and concession agreements; it is required by the Charter and City Rules to approve certain concessions and franchise agreements. In addition, the Division reviews concessions and franchise agreements, and advises agencies and the Mayor's Office of Contracts Services on legal issues relating to the FCRC process. Two included the Downtown Heliport and Ferry Point Golf Course in Van Cortland Park.
  • Renewable Energy: Continued to undertake various energy projects in furtherance of the City's policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as a solar power purchase agreement between the City and the New York Power Authority. Advised on procurement issues and on the options available to the City in order to implement these projects.
  • Asylum Seeker Contracts: Maintained active involvement in numerous licenses and contracts, including emergency contracts, to provide housing and services for the asylum seekers arriving in New York City. These include contracts for hotel rooms, food services, and legal services.
  • Project Labor Agreements: Continued helping to negotiate, administer and interpret the City's Project Labor Agreements (PLAs). The PLAs dictate when the City will use union labor on construction projects in exchange for cost savings; these agreements are being extended for another year and are anticipated to cover several billion dollars' worth of construction work.

Economic Development

Division Chief: Betty Woo | Deputy Chief: Kim Bryan

  • Pier 94 Lease: Executed amended and restated lease for development of Manhattan's first "purpose-built" studio on Pier 94. The pier will feature six film and television soundstages and ancillary community amenities, including new public restrooms for Hudson River Park, amenity spaces, waterfront open space on the pier and safety improvements to the existing greenway.
  • Inwood Rezoning Initiatives: Closed on the City's transfer of 38,000 square feet of development rights to an adjacent developer to enable construction of a 100-percent affordable housing project with approximately 611 units. This will be built out of the adjoining waterfront public access area and will become part of the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway.
  • Hunts Point Remediation: Negotiated a cooperation agreement with Con Edison to resolve global clean-up issues at what is now the Hunts Point Market that were attributable to Con Edison's operation of a manufactured gas plant before the City acquired the site. The City (through New York City's Economic Development Corporation) is remediating the site at Con Edison's cost.
  • Willets Point Phase 1A: Executed lease for the first development phase consisting of two buildings containing 881 units of affordable housing, community facility space, ground floor retail and parking, as well as approximately one acre of open space.

Environmental Law

Division Chief: Hilary Meltzer | Deputy Chief: Chris Reo

  • Defended Challenge to the City's Climate Law: Successfully defended a challenge to New York City's sustainable buildings law (Local Law 97) that requires most buildings over 25,000 square feet to meet energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emission limits.
  • Supported the City's Transition to Renewable Energy: Counseled City agencies on permitting and land use requirements for a wide array of renewable energy projects, including offshore wind transmission cables and battery storage.
  • Streamlined Environmental Review: Advised on draft rules exempting small and medium-sized residential development projects from preparing time-consuming and unnecessary environmental reviews.
  • Challenged "Greenwashing" by Fossil Fuel Companies: Continued pursuing New York City's action alleging that oil companies violated the City's Consumer Protection Law through misleading advertising campaigns directed at consumers in New York City. (Companies that "greenwash" intentionally make their products and policies appear more environmentally friendly – or less environmentally damaging – than they actually are.)
  • Supported Environmental Justice: Continued advising on multiple aspects of the City's efforts to advance environmental justice, including advocacy on State legislation and implementation of the Climate Leadership & Community Protection Act as well as implementation of the City's own environmental justice laws.
  • Coalition Advocacy Advancing City Interests: Participated in coalition litigation in Federal court and other advocacy related to vehicle emission and fuel economy standards; Federal regulatory structure for controlling greenhouse gas emissions from power plants; energy efficiency standards for products such as commercial boilers, dishwashers, washer/dryers and several types of light bulbs; and controlling ozone from power plants in upwind states that contribute to pollution in New York.
  • Cleanup of Hazardous Substances: Continued to coordinate the City's compliance with Federal clean-up procedures at numerous sites including the Gowanus Canal and Newtown Creek, as well as sites owned by the National Park Service that were formerly used as City landfills.

Ethics & Compliance

Division Chief: Karen Griffin | Deputy Chief: John Owens, Jr.

  • Created a New Division: Launched Ethics & Compliance in 2023, expanding on the Law Department's existing ethics work. Counseled and trained Law Department employees, elected officials and City agencies employees on legal ethics, representation, privilege and sanctions matters. Added new responsibilities including counseling and training employees on Chapter 68 issues, overseeing outside employment waivers, handling whistleblower investigations, advising on employment disciplinary matters, offering conflict counsel assignment and bill review, representing City attorneys and Assistant District Attorneys before the attorney grievance committees, and working with Legal Counsel on False Claims Act matters and other compliance-related issues.
  • New Representation Protocol: Worked with another newly created counterpart, the Risk Management Division, to create and implement a new employee representation decision protocol, with Ethics & Compliance assuming the role of performing clean team representation interviews on the office's behalf.

Family Court

Division Chief: Jennifer Gilroy Ruiz | Deputy Chiefs: Jessica Latour, Rosemarie Peyton, Cecillia Shepard & Aimee Sklar-Calogero

  • Juvenile Delinquency and Interstate Child Support Cases: Delivered legal services on behalf of the City's children, families and communities within two practice areas: Juvenile Justice and Interstate Child Support. Processed approximately 8,000 new cases representing an increase of approximately 52 percent and 11 percent respectively in each practice area. Also, 73 percent of the juvenile delinquency referrals received were for felony offenses.
  • Firearm Case Processing: Handled a record 415 firearms cases, an eight-percent increase over the previous year. Launched an innovative Firearm Task Force that reviewed over 280 firearm cases with the goals to ensure consistency in practice across the boroughs, reduce recidivism, promote community safety, provide an open forum to address social justice issues, and reduce decision intervals from referral to filing decision.
  • Enhanced Legal Case Management: Streamlined the delinquency legal case management process leading to more expeditious processing of over 700 cases and more manageable workloads.
  • Services for Youth and Families: Screened over 460 cases for consent referrals to Atlas, a community-based program partner offering youth and families evidence-based therapeutic services.
  • Community Outreach and Stakeholder Engagement: Presented information about the juvenile delinquency and interstate child support practices locally, domestically and abroad. Attended over 124 events which included school presentations on bullying and social media, precinct council and community board meetings, career day panels, Law Day presentations and external agency trainings. Presented an interactive training webinar for child support officials in the high-volume interstate practice States of Florida and Virginia.

General Litigation

Division Chief: Peter Farrell | Deputy Chiefs: Marilyn Richter & Jonathan Pines

  • Benefit Rights: In the face of the historic increase in post-pandemic need from New Yorkers, continued to defend against litigation as well as seek to fashion compliance efforts for providing various needs-based benefits, including cash assistance, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) aid and Family Homelessness & Eviction Protection Supplements (FHEPS).
  • Access Rights:
    • Continued to assist with the implementation and expansion of the New York City Public Schools' Athletic League (PSAL) All-Access Program, consistent with the terms of a class-wide settlement agreement designed to increase access to PSAL sports programming for schools and students that have traditionally been underserved.
    • Continued to handle ongoing challenges brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act and working to improve accessibility of public buildings including courthouses, police stationhouses and libraries for those with limited mobility.
  • Education Services:
    • Obtained seven decisions in Federal court applying the "attorney-fee cap" under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (operates similar to a Fed. R. Civ. P. 68 offer of judgment), cutting off any fee recovery for motion practice.
    • Continued to defend against numerous class and individual actions surrounding the process by which parents challenge the adequacy of education services provided to children with special needs.
  • Prison Conditions Litigation:
    • Continued to defend against a multitude of cases asserting allegations of unconstitutional prison conditions at Rikers Island, including defeating certification of a proposed class action.
    • Continued to defend against claims of alleged unconstitutional conditions of confinement at the five borough central booking facilities.
  • Child Safety: Defended caseworkers who seek to protect the safety of children from harm against claims of improper removal, including having one Federal court action dismissed on summary judgment.

Labor & Employment Law

Division Chief: Maxwell Leighton | Deputy Chief: Iván Méndez

  • COVID Vaccination Mandate: Maintained successful defense of the reasonable accommodation process employed by agencies when considering religious and medical exemptions from the mandate, as well as defended dozens of Federal and State court actions challenging individual denials of religious and medical accommodations to the COVID vaccine mandate.
  • Class and Collective Actions: Continued handling the Division's usual high-volume caseload of labor and employment law matters while experiencing an influx of class and collective actions, including challenges to the City's pay practices.
  • Client Advice: Continued providing City agencies with day-to-day guidance and advice on a broad range of labor and employment law issues, including wage and hour compliance; reasonable accommodations; the Family Medical Leave Act; Title VII of the Civil Rights Act; State and local human rights law; the Americans with Disabilities Act; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act; and general retaliation complaints.

Legal Counsel

Division Chief: Stephen Louis | Deputy Chiefs: Martha Mann Alfaro & Spencer Fisher

  • Cannabis Policy & Regulation: Worked closely across agencies and with the Mayor's Office to implement a legal cannabis market in New York City. Efforts included providing legal analysis and drafting legislation with respect to enforcement against illegal cannabis sellers, commenting on proposed State regulations, working to create a cannabis loan fund to support equity applicants for cannabis licenses, and advising on zoning and land use issues surrounding cannabis cultivation, sales and use.
  • Asylum Seekers: Worked with the Mayor's Office and affected agencies to analyze numerous legal issues in connection with the City's expedited and far-reaching response to the dramatic increase in asylum seekers, including issues concerning the nature and scope of services to be provided and funding options.
  • Community Hiring Program: Drafted – and assisted in efforts to win support for – a new State law authorizing the City to establish a community hiring program. The program will require City contractors to make best efforts to hire employees, including apprentices, who are economically disadvantaged, or from economically disadvantaged regions.
  • Local Law 97: Worked with the Department of Buildings on rules to implement Local Law 97 of 2019, landmark environmental legislation that sets ambitious targets for lowering greenhouse gas emissions from large buildings in the City. These rules establish a system of credits for owners who undertake to replace equipment, set forth a framework for non-compliant owners to come into compliance and provide guidance to owners who make good-faith efforts to comply with emissions limits, so as to mitigate penalties.
  • Open Restaurants: Worked closely with the City Council and City agencies to enact legislation making permanent the successful Open Restaurants Program, which expanded outdoor dining to sidewalks and roadways across the City during the COVID pandemic. The Division also assisted Law Department colleagues with successful defenses of the temporary program and the new law, and worked with agency clients to craft rules implementing the new permanent program, to be known as the Dining Out NYC Program.

Municipal Finance

Division Chief: Albert Rodriguez | Deputy Chief: Michael Moore

  • Bond Transactions: Provided legal services on more than $20 billion of City bond issues that financed City capital projects or refinanced previously issued bonds.
  • Bond Refinancings: Refinanced major transactions resulting in debt service savings in excess of $750 million for City bond issuers.
  • Taxi Medallion Loan Restructuring Program: Subsequent to playing a central role in the creation of the City's Taxi Medallion Relief Program in prior years, continued to advise and assist the Taxi & Limousine Commission and other City agencies in administering the program, which has resulted in more than 1,700 medallion loans being restructured and saving City taxi drivers more than $400 million.
  • Water System Stormwater Fee Authorization & City Resiliency Program Financing: Advised and assisted a multi-agency City task force in formulating (i): legislation that would authorize system storm water fees and (ii): potential financing options for the City's draft $52 billion climate resiliency program.
  • PACE Program: Managed contractual and legal issues for the City's Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Program, which is expected to provide hundreds of loans for energy retrofits of commercial buildings in the City.

Risk Management Division

Division Chief: Nancy Savasta | Deputy Chief: Fei Cheuk

  • Created a New Division: Successfully launched the newly created Risk Management Division, which has already doubled in size. Met with Law Department Divisions officewide to identify risks and highlight opportunities for collaboration.
  • Federal Monitorships: Continued supporting litigating Divisions involved with Federal monitorships.
  • Asylum Seekers: Provided legal guidance and risk management advice to City Hall and City agencies concerning the City's response to the influx of asylum seekers.
  • Representation & Training: Advised on the decision-making process for employee representation requests. Developed a protocol with Ethics & Compliance and the Chief of Staff to streamline the referral process. Provided training for Tort's entry class.
  • Alternative Destinations: Provided guidance, along with our Legal Counsel and Contracts & Real Estate colleagues, for the Fire Department's plans to update emergency ambulance response protocols.
  • Bias Complaints: Counseled the Police Department and Civilian Complaint Review Board to finalize an agreement for sharing relevant bias complaints.
  • Indemnification and Insurance: Continued advising on indemnification and insurance requirements for City partners such as Business Improvement Districts (BIDS).

Special Federal Litigation

Division Chief: Patricia Miller | Deputy Chiefs: Elizabeth Dollin, Genevieve Nelson & Mary O'Flynn

  • Protest Cases: Defended law enforcement, first responders, and high-ranking officials (including former Mayor Bill de Blasio) in the many complex Federal lawsuits stemming from protests following George Floyd's murder in 2020, including 10 consolidated matters in the Southern District seeking monetary and equitable relief and class certification. Also handled more than 70 other cases covering 83 protest locations. The Division is negotiating equitable relief to support the Police Department's continued efforts to balance First Amendment Rights of protestors against the public and police's safety.
  • Reverse Conviction Cases: Worked on several high-profile reverse conviction matters resulting in settlements favorable to all parties.
  • Trial Practice: Tried 21 Federal cases, with a 75-percent win rate.

Tax & Bankruptcy Litigation

Division Chief: Rochelle Cohen | Deputy Chiefs: Andrea Chan & Emily Keyes

  • Willis Avenue Bridge & Eminent Domain: Moved successfully to have several multi-million dollar claims effectively dismissed after the City acquired a permanent easement for the reconstruction of Willis Avenue Bridge by eminent domain. An adjacent property owner brought damage claims from the purported impact to its access easement and ability to build. The Court found that none of these rights were impacted.
  • Bankruptcy Successfully litigated in 1325 Atlantic Ave. that the City's Bankruptcy Code Section 1146(a) Real Property Transfer Tax exemption for real property handled under a confirmed Chapter 11 plan should not include mortgage recording taxes and subsequent transfers. Our Bankruptcy Unit's success staved off many similar challenges by debtors to broaden the statutory exception. This has resulted in over $2 million in savings in the past calendar year alone.
  • Income & Excise Tax Ruling: Received a key ruling in an appeal challenging an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)'s determination that a taxpayer had received proper notice of an additional real property transfer assessment, thus making the petition challenging this assessment untimely and subject to dismissal. Following briefing and oral argument, the Tax Appeals Tribunal upheld the ALJ's determination and vindicated the Department of Finance's notice and mailing procedures.
  • Real Property Tax Law: Won a case involving Global Leadership Foundation, a non-profit organization, which sought to litigate its tax-exempt status in Federal court. The Southern District granted, and the Second Circuit affirmed, the City's motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, based on the Tax Injunction Act and the related Federal doctrine of comity.


Division Chief: Fay Leoussis | Deputy Chiefs: Jenny Montana-O'Connor, Lavanya Pisupati, Andrew Potak andDavid Santoro | Director of Personnel Management: LaVonne Pridgen

  • Settlements: Continued and embedded a variety of settlement projects, which, in Fiscal Year 2023 resulted in almost as many settlements as in the pre-COVID era (3,269). Trained staff on the art and skill of negotiation, which will continue enhancing the Office's ability to resolve cases. Division managers continued to work collaboratively with the courts to conference "legacy" cases, or those more than eight years old, for resolution.
  • Medicare Reporting: Continued facilitating collection of more than $26.7 million since 2011 through the Medicare Compliance and Recovery Unit (MCRU). Going forward, this Unit will be housed within the newly created Ethics & Compliance Division settlements.
  • Trials: Prevailed in 19 trials out of the 28 that went forward in FY 23 – a rate of nearly 70 percent.
  • Continued Efficient Workflow in Pleadings Production, Central Disposition and Insurance Units: Produced about 7,300 answers to lawsuits via our Pleadings Unit within the Early Intervention Unit (EIU). The Central Disposition Unit, also housed in EIU, processes about 3,200 settlements for payment annually. EIU's Insurance Group achieved 219 full insurance takeovers for a savings of over $50 million in FY 2023. Since the Insurance Group started working together with the Law Department's Affirmative Litigation Division, it has helped achieve more than $2 billion in savings.

Workers' Compensation

Division Chief: Paul Zaragoza | Deputy Chief: Levi Grosswald

  • Claims Work: Handled over 15,000 new workers' compensation claims in FY 2023. This involved assessing the compensability of claims and handling their administration. In total, the Division provided almost $600 million in wage replacement and medical care, thus offering much-needed assistance to injured municipal employees. Total expenditures were $650 million.
  • Hearings / Revenue Updates: Represented New York City at over 15,000 hearings in front of the New York State Workers' Compensation Board. Recovered over $9 million through New York State's Second Injury Fund and other means, including through intercompany reimbursement arbitration and third-party liens.
  • Client Outreach: Continued advising client agencies on updated Workers' Compensation regulations and advised them on best practices to inform those injured about the need for timely reporting and required Workers' Compensation Board deadlines.

Support Divisions


Division Chief: Jennie Nagle-Yndigoyen | Deputy Chief: Leon Breeden

  • Pay & Title Restructuring Initiative: Completed a "deep dive," along with our Diversity & Equal Employment Opportunity Office, into the job responsibilities of staff members in various support titles. Where there were significant increases in workload and responsibility, we submitted requests (many officially approved) for appropriate compensation from the Office of Management & Budget. These increases impacted employees in 12 different titles within seven divisions.
  • Encumbrance Control Unit: Recorded 20,199 payment records for budget purposes, which were later uploaded to our case management system, representing over $452 million in spending.
  • Personnel: Achieved the hiring and processing of more than 368 paid and unpaid legal and support staff for 2023.
  • Payroll/Timekeeping: Processed over 37,297 direct deposits, and audited and distributed or mailed thousands more in 2023.


Division Chief: Rachel Kaufman | Deputy Chief: Anthony DiSenso

  • E-Discovery Support: Helped attorneys and client agencies master the increasingly complex world of electronic discovery evidence in connection with litigation, governmental investigations, subpoenas and Freedom of Information Law requests.
  • Helping Staff: Provided input to lawyers on e-discovery obligations in hundreds of cases.
  • Creating Defenses: Implemented standardized workflows to streamline our processes and ensure that Law's e-discovery processes are defensible, consistent and cost-efficient.

Information Technology

Chief Information Officer: Intekhab Shakil | Deputy Chiefs: Maria Rodriguez & Pervez Ahmed

  • Law ServiceNow: Launched Law ServiceNow, an easy-to-use online tool whereby staff can request Information Technology (IT) services from anywhere and track the progress of their requests.
  • 100 Church Street WiFi: Teamed with the Office of Technology & Innovation (OTI) to replace the WiFi at our 100 Church Street office location; providing staff and visitors with more secure, reliable WiFi access.
  • Nutanix Hypervisor Installation: Transferred 220 TB of data to Nutanix, a system for storing virtual machines, thereby helping the Law Department manage work more efficiently.
  • P: Drive Migration: Moved user data to a new storage system in Nutanix from an old, unsupported Windows server.
  • Office Moves: Set up network connections for Law offices at 60 Bay Street, 10th Floor, and 233 Broadway, 12th Floor.
  • Citrix Storefront: Worked with OTI to improve remote access making it more stable and reliable.
  • Tanium: Via the Cybersecurity team's efforts, added Tanium for real-time security. This scans for vulnerabilities and helps monitor compliance.
  • PrinterLogic: Introduced PrinterLogic, a tool to better manage printing solutions for our users with improved troubleshooting options and a better user interface.
  • 2019 Windows Server: Moved most of our apps to the new 2019 Windows server to complete our Domain migration project.

Litigation Support & Information Management

Division Chief: John Hupper | Deputy Chief: Beth Nedow | Director: Patricia DeLisa

  • Practice Management: Configured new document management system servers and continued preliminary "behind-the-scenes" work for migration to new matter management system. Continued to generate 1,000 production reports on regular schedules and another 3,500 civil lawsuit checks for various City, State and Federal prosecutor and/or investigative offices from the matter management system. Continued to publish case-related data about our civil litigation dating back to 1960 (pursuant to the City's Open Data Law) and about Alleged Misconduct Actions commenced and disposed against the Police Department and the Department of Correction (pursuant to the City's Administrative Code).
  • On-Site, Agency-Based Discovery Staff: Continued to provide support by conducting searches in response to discovery requests at the Department of Transportation and the Parks Department. Also continued to provide support to the Department of Environmental Protection to facilitate discovery requests and to the Department of Education to conduct searches in response to discovery requests. Continued training and management of temporary staff assisting with searches in response to discovery requests.
  • Information Governance: Continued to give wide-ranging techno-legal advice, including on electronic retention policies.


Division Chief: Jonathan Pinn | Deputy Chief: Omer Soykan

  • Division Office: Continued to finetune processes to facilitate production of well over 2,000 contact lists and reports, including the detailed Annual Report of Workers' Compensation Claims. Operations analysts helped to realize nearly $275,000 in savings by identifying and correcting over 1,200 invoices.
  • Communications & Docketing: Successfully processed and distributed over 1,900 buckets of mail and nearly 13,000 critical documents in a timely manner. Also accepted and processed well over 14,000 Service of Process requests in various formats, about 16 percent over the previous year.
  • Electronic Information Group (EIG): Reviewed over 330,000 e-mails (8 percent more than the prior year) and processed well over 99,000 case file e-mails initiated by court systems (a 12-percent increase from the previous year); most of these contained multiple attachments to be reviewed and handled appropriately. The EIG team also facilitated well over 3,000 requests for legal representation.
  • Process & Couriers: Managed nearly 10,900 requests to serve, file, deliver and pick up items. Onsite members scanned approximately 7,500 notice of claim packages to the Comptroller's Office and to Law Department personnel.
  • Bronx and Brooklyn: Processed nearly 3,650 requests for a variety of operational support services, including reprographics and service of process.
  • Duplication & Finishing: Completed over 3,100 requests, a 13-percent increase from the prior year, which resulted in over 1.1 million pages printed and well over 564,000 original pages scanned for clients in 2023.
  • Document & Data Processing (DDP): Oversaw an approximately 16-percent decrease in the number of jobs requested in 2023. The Unit also noted a two-percent drop in the number of requests for video and redaction services. Additionally, DDP facilitated over 3,800 language services requests, a five-percent increase.
  • Training Unit: Continued offering remote learning opportunities to large groups of learners on subjects including: using Microsoft 365, LawManager, FileSite, Adobe and other applications. Unit members also facilitated over 10 group training sessions as well as multiple one-on-one sessions to address individual needs strategically.

Support Units

Diversity & Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)

Director: Karlyne Fequiere | Deputies: Shanel Spence & Leon Breeden

  • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Continued fostering an environment committed to recruiting, developing and retaining a diverse, inclusive workforce.
  • EEO & Reasonable Accommodations: Continued ensuring that a fair EEO process is available throughout the Law Department. Investigated EEO complaints and processed requests for reasonable accommodations.
  • Fair Workplace: Ensured that our Office complies with Federal, State and local employment laws.
  • Diversity Training: Continued enhancing diversity, inclusion and equity (DEI) in the workplace through the professional development of leaders and employees, including through required trainings, employee resource committees, collaboratives and agency work-life programming (often led by senior leadership).
  • Other Highlights:
    • Expanded the EEO Office to support the agency's immense mandate and its ability to provide responsive, exceptional services.
    • Increased agency response rates to the office climate survey.
    • Helped oversee, along with our colleagues in Administration, a pay and title restructuring initiative.
    • Published the Gender-Neutral Language Guidelines and training.
    • Continued enhancing the pipeline for diverse applicants.

Internal Communications & Strategic Initiatives

Director: Kate O'Brien Ahlers

  • Internal Communications: Continued publishing our internal newsletter, Sidebar, to update the office on major cases, matters, trends and achievements as well as Spotlight, our TV screen news blurbs.
  • Strategic Initiatives: Worked with divisions officewide on special initiatives, including mentoring efforts, committee directives and trial advocacy events.

Law Library

Director: Diana Bracho

  • Social Media and Background Investigations: Analyzed and preserved volumes of evidence.
  • Information Resources: Acquired and maintained access to standard legal resources as well as analyzed new resources for procurement.
  • Training: Offered various trainings on the newest features available in our electronic legal databases.

Legal Recruitment

Director: Lillian Evans

  • Experienced Attorney Hiring: Recruited 92 experienced attorneys to work in 21 different divisions and units.
  • Entry-Level Hiring: Hired 75 recent law school graduates from 32 law schools to work in multiple divisions.
  • Summer Program: Hosted 54 law student interns for a paid nine-week Summer Honors Internship Program.

Public Affairs & Press

Press Director: Nicholas Paolucci | Assistant Corporation Counsel: Justine Ortiz

  • Communication Strategy: Formulated communication strategies regarding case developments in collaboration with Law Department personnel, client agencies and City Hall.
  • Strategic Litigation Communications: Managed press inquiries concerning the City's legal affairs.
  • Press Functions: Managed the development and dissemination of press releases, supporting materials and remarks addressing various legal topics.

Professional & Organizational Development

Director: June Witterschein | Deputy Director: John Campbell

  • Training Developments/Supervisory Cohort: Expanded access to the CE Manager video training catalog for 750-plus support professionals. Developed bite-sized training videos covering supervisory skills such as emotional intelligence, motivating employees, assigning matters, giving feedback, having challenging conversations and embracing a team approach to matter management. Also conducted training on the use of legal technology, including FileSite and LawManager. Enhanced supervisor training to include five monthly sessions for cohorts of recently trained supervisors to hone leadership skills.
  • General Counsel CLE Program: Created a series of monthly training programs tailored for agency General Counsel to further the understanding of various Citywide legal issues and strengthen communications among agency collaborators.
  • Lateral and Transfer Events: Conducted a panel discussion with attorneys who recently transferred divisions to share success stories and answer questions about the process. Implemented in-person and streamlined orientations for lateral attorneys and enhanced their check-in process to ensure engagement.