Membership in the Harpur Law Council is open to all alumni and friends of the University in the legal profession who seek to enhance the national visibility and to sustain the tradition of excellence of Binghamton University and Harpur College of Arts and Sciences. The committees are open to non-steering committee volunteers who seek to enhance the mission of the Harpur Law Council.
Harpur Law Council Committees
Steering Committee: Appointed by the Dean of Harpur College, directs the projects of the Harpur Law Council and is supported by the following working committees.
Internship Committee: Enables placement of pre-law students in public interest law internships.
Development Committee: Explores ways to increase funding for Harpur Law Council projects and Binghamton University.
Membership Committee: Encourages the involvement of law alumni volunteers interested in furthering the goals of the Harpur Law Council.
Social Media and Marketing Committee: Utilizes social media and marketing tools to increase the visibility of the Council and conduct outreach to law alumni to further engage them with the Harpur Law Council, Harpur College and Binghamton University.
Network/Mentoring Committee: Provides opportunities for alumni in the legal profession to network and reconnect with Binghamton University and the Harpur College community. Provides opportunities for alumni to share their professional experiences and advice with current students interested in pursuing a career in the legal field through social media platforms, special events, panel and roundtable discussions and networking events both on and off campus.
Steering Committee Members
Shareema Abel (formerly Gadson-Shaw) is a 1996 Harpur College graduate. She received her JD from Hofstra University School of Law in 1999, where she was a member of the Labor and Employment Law Journal and the Trial Team. Shareema was appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo as special counsel to the Commissioner for Ethics, Risk and Compliance for Homes and Community Renewal. She served as litigation attorney in the Teacher Performance Unit of the New York City Department of Education, where she was lead counsel on disciplinary hearings of tenured pedagogues. Formerly, she was an Assistant District Attorney for the Bronx District Attorney's Office. During her ten years at the District Attorney's Office she served as lead trial counsel on violent felony cases including homicide, robbery, burglary, and serious physical injury assault.
Shareema also served as an Adjunct Professor at Hofstra University School of Law in the field of trial advocacy. She has been an instructor for the National Institute of Trial Techniques since 2004 and currently teaches the Building Trial Skills and Deposition Skills programs in Berkeley, San Diego and San Francisco, California.
Richard Alpern (Chair Emeritus)
Rich graduated from Harpur College in 1969, earned his J.D. at the New York University School of Law in 1972 and was admitted to the New York Bar the following year.
For 24 years he served as special counsel at Sullivan & Cromwell in New York, concentrating on executive compensation and employee benefits matters, and most recently retired as a principal at Frederic W. Cook & Co., Inc., an executive compensation consulting firm.
Florina Altshiler is a 2002 graduate of Harpur College and earned her J.D. from St. John's University School of Law as a Rosenberg Scholar and an Institutional Merit Scholar. Ms. Altshiler is currently the managing attorney for the Buffalo, NY, office of Russo & Toner LLP, a New York City-based litigation firm. She also teaches trial advocacy courses at Columbia University, School of Professional Studies and is an adjunct professor at Daemen College in the Paralegal Studies Department.
Ms. Altshiler appears regularly on the ABC affiliate-WKBW, Channel 7, the NBC affiliate-WGRZ, Channel 2, CBS affiliate News 8 Rochester and Time Warner Cable News to offer legal commentary. Prior to relocating to Buffalo, Ms. Altshiler served as a prosecutor for the State of Alaska, where she handled the prosecution of all levels of crime through jury trial.
Debra Bodian Bernstein
Debra graduated from the School of Management at Binghamton University in 1987 and earned her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1990.
Debra is a commercial litigator, and is counsel to Tarter Krinsky & Drogin LLP in New York, where she has practiced since 2002. She began her legal career at Winston & Strawn. Debra's experience includes complex business and contract disputes, title insurance claims and other real property litigation, art restitution and intellectual property litigation.
Debra has been active over the years in the New York City Bar Association, where she has served on various committees, moderated programs and performed pro bono services. Debra is currently a member of the City Bar's Litigation Committee.
Suzanne Jaffe Bloom
Suzanne Jaffe Bloom earned her B.S. degree in Business Management from Binghamton University in 1985 and her J.D. degree from Harvard Law School in 1988. After starting her legal career at Kaye Scholer, Suzanne served as a federal prosecutor for the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York from 1992 to 1999, and thereafter for the Eastern District of New York from 1999 to 2004, where she was Deputy Chief of the Long Island Criminal Division.
Currently, Suzanne is a Litigation Partner at Winston & Strawn, where she also serves as Co-Chair of the firm's Hiring Committee. Suzanne represents clients in connection with criminal, regulatory, and civil investigations and litigation involving a wide range of issues, including the False Claims Act, the Anti-Kickback Statute, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, as well as alleged health care fraud, government contracting fraud, insider trading, financial fraud, tax fraud, money laundering, public corruption, securities fraud, bribery, obstruction of justice, and whistleblower/qui tam litigation.
Suzanne also counsels clients on the development, implementation, and enhancement of compliance and remediation programs. Suzanne has been recognized in Chambers, the NY Times List of Top Women Attorneys in the NY Metro Area, and NY Super Lawyers as a top lawyer in white collar and government investigations practice, and received the 2007 Burton Award for Legal Achievement.
She is honored to be serving as a Steering Committee member of the Harpur Law Council of Binghamton University.
Andrew Bonzani earned his bachelor's degree in philosophy from Binghamton University's Harpur College in 1986. He earned his law degree from St. John's University School of Law where he served on the Law Review.
Andrew has been the Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary at Interpublic Group since 2012. He is responsible for the oversight of legal matters affecting the Company and its businesses. Prior to joining Interpublic, he worked at IBM for 18 years. Andrew has extensive experience in corporate management, serving as Vice President, Assistant General Counsel and Secretary at IBM. He began his career as an Associate with Wilkie Farr & Gallagher in New York.
Andrew is a member of the Harpur Law Council of Binghamton University Steering Committee.
Marc is a 1995 graduate of Harpur College. He then earned an M.B.A. from the School of Management at Binghamton University in 1996 and later received his J.D. from SUNY Buffalo. He was admitted to the Bar in New York in 2000. Marc is a partner at Goldberg Segalla in Buffalo, NY.
He focuses his practice on business and commercial litigation. His experience includes litigation pertaining to real property title claims defense and real property tax certiorari proceedings, contractual disputes, personal injury, products liability, toxic torts and collection enforcement.
He is the Vice President of SUNY Buffalo School of Law's Alumni Association Board of Directors and Co-President and a board of trustees member at the Kadimah School of Buffalo.
Eric is a 1973 graduate of Harpur College. He first earned an M.P.A. from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University and later received his J.D. from DePaul University. He was admitted to the Bar in Illinois in 1983 and has worked for the EPA there ever since. He is currently an associate regional counsel with EPA Region 5 supervising lawyers practicing environmental law and labor and employment law.
Eric has also served as an adjunct professor at Chicago-Kent College of Law, the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Urban Planning and in the Geography Department at Roosevelt University.
Joel M. Cohen
Joel graduated in 1983 from Harpur College and received his law degree from Georgetown University in 1986. After clerking for a federal appeals court judge, he joined the New York City law firm of Davis Polk & Wardwell in 1987 and became a partner in 1996.
He is a member of the Georgia, District of Columbia and New York bars and has been admitted to practice in the United States Supreme Court and numerous federal trial and appellate courts. and U.S. District Bars. At Davis Polk & Wardwell his main area of practice is antitrust and general commercial litigation. A member of the Antitrust Section of the American Bar Association, Joel served as vice chair of the Section's Intellectual Property Committee and as a member of the editorial board of the ABA-published book "Antitrust Law Developments" (4th edition).
He has written numerous articles concerning antitrust law and litigation for national and international legal publications. He received the Thurgood Marshall Award in 1998 for his successful representation of a Georgia death row inmate whose conviction and sentence were overturned. Click for more Info.
Natalie graduated from Binghamton University in 2009, and received her JD from St. John's University School of Law. Natalie is the founder of Elisha Law PLLC, a firm specializing in trusts and estates, asset protection and elder law. Her practice area is focused on Family and Asset Protection. She specializes in implementing intricate planning structures into the overall business and estate plan to protect those assets from creditors, predators, lawsuits and taxes.
Natalie's prior experience was at a boutique trusts and estates and elder law firm and a real estate development company in Manhattan. She serves as a coach and judge at St. John's University School of Law where she has taken teams national in mediation and negotiation competitions. She serves as the President of Business Network International Chapter 48, is a mentor in NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners) and a member of WPN (Women's Power Network). Natalie is the membership chair of the Exit Planning Institute of New York and is a founding committee member for the Business Owner's Forum held annually. Natalie is a member of the Trial Lawyers Executive Committee for NYSBA (New York State Bar Association). She teaches Negotiation Techniques and Estate Planning at Marino Bar Review and CLE and is a speaker at AARP educating seniors about their estate planning pitfalls.
A Phi Beta Kappa, David graduated from Binghamton University in 1974, and received his J.D. from the National Law Center at George Washington University in 1977. David is general counsel and chief legal officer at Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis, Maryland. He is responsible for the legal affairs of the entire organization, providing legal counsel to senior management and the governing board. He provides legal support to clinical network development efforts; medical staff governance and credentialing; affiliations and partnerships; payer, vendor and physician contracts; compliance and audit functions; employment law and labor relations; and governance matters.
Previously, David served as the Deputy General Counsel for Health Affairs at Yale University. He is a former partner at Crowell & Moring LLP, Michaels and Bonner LLC and Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Elderman & Dicker. He is a frequent lecturer and writer on various topics.
Sheldon is a 1973 graduate of Binghamton University and a cum laude graduate of Syracuse University in 1977 where he earned his JD. He was admitted to the New York Bar in 1978 and the District of Columbia Bar in 1979.
Sheldon recently retired as Americas General Counsel for RBS, in Stamford, CT. He sits on the Managing Board of The Clearing House Association, and is past President of the Association of SEC Alumni, Treasurer of The Securities Industry Association's Compliance and Legal Division, and a Trustee of the SEC Historical Society.
Formerly, Sheldon was Deputy General Counsel at Goldman Sachs & Co. and special counsel at the Securities and Exchange Commission, Enforcement Division.
Heidi B. Goldstein
Heidi is a 1981 graduate (with honors) of Harpur College. She earned her JD from New York University School of Law in 1984. Heidi is senior vice president and general counsel at the Phoenix House Foundation, a New York-based nonprofit drug and alcohol rehabilitation organization. Formerly, she was a longtime litigation counsel at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP & Affiliates, representing both businesses and individuals in a wide-range of complex commercial disputes, frequently involving allegations of breaches of contracts, business torts, breaches of fiduciary duties and fraud.
On a pro bono basis, Heidi has worked to advance opportunities for students with learning disorders; including helping a newly created primary school serving students with learning disorders obtain its first provisional charter from the New York State Board of Regents.
Allen Hecht earned his bachelor's degree in history from Binghamton University's Harpur College and earned his law degree from Fordham University School of Law. He is a Senior Counsel in the New York Regulatory Group at National Grid, one of the major utilities in the northeast. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center where he teaches environmental law.
Allen has also taught at various other places, including the New York City Bar Association, Hofstra University, and Mercy College. He began his career as a Bronx County Assistant District Attorney in the Appeals Bureau.
From there Allen worked at the Sedgwick law firm before returning to government service as a New York State Assistant Attorney General in the Consumer Frauds Bureau. Finally, Allen worked at Bristol-Myers Squibb before joining National Grid.
Aisha is a 1998 Harpur College graduate and earned her JD from Fordham University in 2001. She is Director of Career Planning at New York Law School and also serves as a Deputy Diversity Officer.
Prior to joining NYLS, Aisha served as a career counselor and public interest advisor at the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University. She began her legal career with the New York City Law Department as an Assistant Corporation Counsel in the Commercial and Real Estate Litigation Division and subsequently worked as a commercial litigation associate in the private sector.
Aisha is a member of National Association of Legal Placement and is the chairperson of the Career Advancement and Management Committee of the New York City Bar Association.
Ray Mateo graduated from Binghamton University in 2004 and his JD from Rutgers University School of Law. He is an attorney at Calcagni & Kanefsky where he focuses his practice on complex civil litigation as well as white-collar crime and governmental investigations. Prior to joining Calcagni & Kanefsky, he served as Deputy Attorney General for the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General's Organized Crime Bureau.
In his role as a trial attorney, Mr. Mateo investigated and prosecuted high-profile racketeering, tax evasion, fraud schemes and money laundering matters as well as weapons-and-narcotics-trafficking cases.
Mr. Mateo began his legal career as judicial law clerk for the Honorable Ronald D. Wigler, Presiding Judge for the Criminal Division, Superior Court, Essex County. Mr. Mateo serves on the Board of Trustees for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute. He is also an active member of the Hispanic Bar Association, Hudson Bar Association and Hudson Inn of Court.
Jonathan is a 1981 graduate (with honors) of Harpur College. He received his J.D. from Boston College in 1984 and was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar in 1985.
He is a member of the Boston Bar Association and the National Association of College and University Attorneys. College and University and Real Estate Law are his primary practice areas. In 2007, after serving as a partner at Seyfarth Shaw, LLP, he joined Babson College as its first Vice President & General Counsel.
Glenn Moss is a 1975 graduate of Harpur College. He pursued his J.D. at Case Western Reserve University Law School and graduated in 1980. Throughout his career Glenn has maintained his presence in the communications industry starting with jobs in the New York State Office of Motion Picture and TV Development, the WNYC Communications Group, Cablevision Industries (Liberty, NY) and working independently as a legal consultant for the telecommunications industry.
In 1995, Glenn was hired as Assistant General Counsel at Court TV and served as Senior Vice President of Business Affairs and Affiliate Relations through 2003. Subsequent to leaving Court TV, Glenn has consulted with a number of start-up and emerging digital media and technology companies, including The Musician Network, HealthiNation, VegasHD and Asian Media Rights.
Jocelyn is a 1985 graduate of Binghamton University with a J.D. from Hofstra University which she received in 1988. She is the President and driving force behind Frank, Frank, Goldstein & Nager, PC. (FFGN), A Professional Legal Corporation, is an industry leader in the field of debt collection and commercial litigation. Jocelyn has been with the firm for over 20 years. This specialized law practice was founded in 1940, AV Rated by Martindale Hubbell, making it the oldest collections counsel in New York State.
Jocelyn and her firm represent clients in various industries including health care, insurance, real estate, financial services, manufacturing and wholesale and distribution and has an excellent reputation and rate of recovery FFGN is a certified woman owned business enterprise (WBE) by the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) and the NYC Department of Small Business Services. FFGN was the recipient of the National Minority Business Council, Inc. (NMBC) 2009 Dena Coye Outstanding Woman Entrepreneurship Award, and Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Women Business Owners.
Jocelyn is a Board member of the Executive Associates of New York and International Association of Commercial Collectors. Jocelyn is on the Steering Committee for the Women's President Association, is a member of the Supplier Diversity Committee of the Institute For Supply Management, New York (ISMNY). Jocelyn lives on the upper west side with her two daughters.
Marsha Ferziger Nagorsky
Associate Dean for Communications and Lecturer in Law Communications, The University of Chicago Law School
Marsha Ferziger Nagorsky majored in chemistry and minored in music at the State University of New York at Binghamton and received a BS with honors in 1992. She graduated from the University of Chicago Law School in 1995. While at the Law School, she was a Comment Editor for the Legal Forum and a semifinalist in the Hinton Moot Court competition.
She also received an Ann Barber Award for contribution to life at the Law School. From 1995 to 1998, she was a patent litigation associate with Fish & Neave in New York City. From 1998 to 2000, she served as a Bigelow Fellow. In June of 2000, she was appointed the Director of Special Projects, and has been in the Communications Department since 2004.
She is a member of the Bars from New York, Southern District New York, Eastern District New York, and the Federal Circuit. Her teaching and academic interest is concentrated within areas pertaining to information technology, intellectual property, and ecommerce law, as well as on communications skills for lawyers. Marsha lives with her husband, Brian, and sons, Rafi and Sam, in Wrigleyville, but she roots for the Mets.
Tony Piazza graduated from Harpur College in 1979 and earned is JD from Villanova University School of Law. He is a partner at Barclay Damon in Rochester, NY. His practice focuses on matters involving insurance, appellate law and commercial litigation.
Tony serves on the firm's Management and Compensation Committees and is a member of the Claims and Litigation Alliance and Defense Research Institute. He is the chair of the board of directors for the Hochstein School of Music and Dance and is a board member, program committee chair, past president and volunteer for Volunteer Legal Services Project. Previously he was a partner at Hiscock & Barclay, LLP.
Tom graduated from Binghamton University in 1972. In 1975, he earned his J.D. from Brooklyn Law School and was admitted to the New York Bar in 1976.
In 2004, he retired from the Internal Revenue Service in Rochester, after more than 30 years of Federal Government service. He has opened a law practice of his own, focusing on assisting Attorneys, Accountants and professional Fiduciaries in matters involving Estate, Gift, and Fiduciary Income Taxation. In addition to his work responsibilities, Tom is involved with numerous charitable and professional organizations.
Linda Riefberg (Chair)
Linda graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Binghamton University in 1981 and received her J.D. from the New York University School of Law in 1984. After being admitted to the New York Bar in 1985, she worked in the litigation department of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, focusing primarily on product liability and general commercial litigation.
Later, Linda joined the New York Stock Exchange, Inc., Enforcement Division, as a staff attorney and became Director of the Division in 1998 and Chief Counsel in 2005. A merger occurred between the NYSE regulatory departments and the NASD, and the entity she worked for became FINRA. In September 2011, Linda returned to private practice in the Enforcement and Investigations group of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, where she handles SEC and FINRA investigations, broker-dealer matters and internal company reviews. In 2014, Linda joined Cozen O'Connor, as a commercial litigator in the firm's New York office.
In July 2016, Linda became In House Counsel for the Innocence Project. In that capacity she is responsible for the compliance program for this not for profit that handles wrongful convictions based on DNA evidence. She focuses on trademarks, lobbying and other legal projects for the organization including case in take.
Upon graduation from Binghamton University in 1979, Jonathan earned an M.R.P. from the University of Michigan in 1981 and his J.D. from Temple University (cum laude) in 1989. He was admitted to the Bar in New Jersey and Pennsylvania in 1989 and is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners.
Currently a partner with Manko, Gold & Katcher, LLP, Jonathan's areas of practice include environmental and land use law. He also serves as special environmental counsel to the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation.
Taris Rodney graduated from Harpur College in 2008 with a double major in English and Philosophy. As a student at Binghamton, Taris was a Resident Assistant in Dickinson Community for two years, the President of Thurgood Marshall Pre-Law Society, worked as an Off Campus College Transport bus monitor, and worked in the Mountainview Dining Hall. After graduating from Binghamton, Taris received a Juris Doctor degree from Howard University School of Law. In 2011, Taris created the Taris T. Rodney 08' scholarship award at Binghamton. The scholarship is awarded to an Educational Opportunity Program graduating senior who plans to attend law school. To date, the scholarship has been awarded to eight graduating seniors.
As an alumna, Taris is the Secretary of the Alumni Association Board of Directors and a member of the Educational Opportunity Program Advisory Board. Taris continues to be engaged by regularly attending homecoming, serving as a site leader for the annual Alumni Global Day of Service, and participating in the Binghamton Alumni Mentoring program. Taris also stays in regular contact with the scholarship recipients and mentors them. Currently, Taris is a child protective attorney for the Administration for Children's Services where she litigates child neglect and child abuse cases for the City of New York.
James Serritella graduated from Binghamton University in 2003 and earned his JD from Cornell Law School. He is a partner in the Insolvency, Creditors' Rights & Financial Products Practice Group of Davis & Gilbert.
His practice includes a broad range of commercial matters with a particular focus on complex contractual disputes in the financial services sector, bankruptcy litigation and insurance recovery on behalf of policyholders. James has written several articles on RMBS, insurance and employment related matters that have been published by various organizations, including the American Bar Association.
Prior to joining Davis & Gilbert, Mr. Serritella was a litigation attorney at Anderson Kill & Olick, P.C.
Norman C. Simon
Norman graduated from Harpur in 1994 and earned his J.D. from New York University School of Law in 1997. He is a member of the Bars from New York and New Jersey. A partner at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP, he has trial and litigation experience in advertising, employment, electronic discovery, criminal and regulatory investigations, licensing and contract disputes, trademark, trade dress and copyright infringement as well as general commercial matters.
Norman has been recognized for several years as a "leading lawyer" by Legal 500 and was named in the 2011 Super Lawyers New York edition.
Simone Sterling graduated from Binghamton University in 1998 and earned her JD from Indiana University Maurer School of Law in 2001.
Simone currently works at a major financial services firm in the Governance, Risk and Compliance space having transitioned into this role from her previous role as an eDiscovery Project Manager.
Jeffrey L. Tanenbaum
After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Binghamton University in 1973, Jeff earned his J.D. at the SUNY-Buffalo School of Law in 1976. In 1978, he joined Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, and has been there ever since. As a Partner, Jeff's practice involves business finance and restructuring.
A member of the New York State Bar, the ABA and the American Bankruptcy Institute, Jeff has also found time to author numerous articles on major bankruptcy decisions emanating from the Supreme and Circuit Courts.
Frank S. Vellucci (Vice-Chair)
Frank graduated from Binghamton University in 1994. He earned his J.D. at the New York University School of Law in 1997 and was admitted to the New York Bar in 1997 and New Jersey Bar in 1998.
He is currently a partner in Chadbourne & Parke's corporate practice and his practice areas include corporate, life sciences and securities law.