Harris Beach Elects Nine Attorneys as Partners

Rochester Chamber Partner member Harris Beach elected attorneys Amanda Carden Agins, Peri A. Berger, Howard J. Goldsmith, Elliot A. Hallak, Tristan D. Hujer, Gene Kelly, Nicole Ozminkowski, Brendan M. Palfreyman and Mitchell J. Pawluk as partners of the firm effective January 1, 2018.

Amanda Carden Agins focuses on estate planning, estate administration, elder law, and special needs planning. She assists clients in developing and implementing estate plans that comport with their financial goals and personal wishes. Her elder law practice includes Medicaid planning for long-term care expenses and asset protection strategies. Amanda received her JD, magna cum laude, from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law in 2010 and her BA, magna cum laude, from Colgate University in 2007.

Peri A. Berger is a litigator with a decade of experience handling commercial litigation and product liability matters in state and federal courts in New York, New Jersey and nationally. He also advises small and start-up businesses in efficiently navigating legal and regulatory landscapes. He received his JD in 2007 from St. John’s University School of Law and his BA in 2004 from the University of Chicago.

Howard J. Goldsmith served as Assistant Counsel and Bureau Chief to the New York State Education Department for 21 years prior to entering private practice. He brings this experience to his labor, education, special education, and school law practice. He counsels educational institutions in matters related to all aspects of special education practice, providing guidance to education stakeholders on program content, and administration of teacher and student disciplinary matters. Howard received his JD from Boston University School of Law in 1986.

Elliot A. Hallak handles a wide range of business and commercial litigation matters in state, federal, bankruptcy, appellate courts, CPLR article 78 special proceedings, as well as mediations and arbitrations throughout the country. Elliot has also represented large and regional financial institutions in a large variety of litigation, regulatory, and compliance matters. He has handled a multitude of nationwide and regional class action and collective lawsuits involving many thousands of claimants and extensive potential exposure. Elliot has also represented individuals and entities in investigations and enforcement actions by federal and state governmental agencies. Prior to joining Harris Beach, he was a partner at a large national firm where he served as lead counsel and supervised a team of associates on litigation matters. Elliot received his JD from the University of Virginia in 2004 and his BS from the University of Florida in 2000.

Tristan D. Hujer represents a broad array of business interests in commercial litigations and personal injury matters throughout New York state and nationally. Tristan’s litigation experience is wide-ranging, and he has tried several cases to verdict. In addition to his litigation practice, Tristan assists businesses implement their strategic objectives and avoid litigation. Tristan received his JD in 2009 from the University of Maine School of Law and his BA in 2006 from Alfred University.

Gene Kelly works predominantly on matters involving environmental regulatory compliance and permitting issues, providing focused counsel on a wide range of matters requiring interaction and familiarity with complex environmental regulations and the regulators responsible for their implementation. Gene has an extensive background in environmental regulatory policy and litigation, including 21 years of public service. Prior to joining Harris Beach, Gene was the regional director of Region 4 (Capital District/Northern Catskills) of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. He received his JD in 1988 from the University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce Law Center.

Nicole Ozminkowski guides health care organizations, not-for-profits and business entities in corporate and business matters, including organizational matters, general business contracts, mergers, acquisitions and health care regulatory compliance. She provides clients with sound legal advice in challenging regulatory environments, assisting organizations in achieving their business objectives while remaining compliant with applicable regulations. Nicole received her JD from Pace University School of Law in 2008 and her BA from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 2005.

Brendan M. Palfreyman focuses on intellectual property matters and litigation, including patent, trademark, copyright and trade dress infringement actions. He has created a niche practice counseling breweries, wineries, distilleries and cideries in New York state and beyond on how to protect their intellectual property. Brendan received his JD, magna cum laude, from Brooklyn Law School in 2010 and his BA from Haverford College in 2005.

Mitchell J. Pawluk counsels clients in highly-regulated industries, including advisement in navigating New York’s complex regulatory landscape, defending against government investigations, and procuring licenses in highly-competitive processes. He regularly advises clients in the creation and improvement of corporate compliance programs, as well as compliance with federal and state ethics and lobbying laws. Recently, he successfully represented casino and medical marijuana applicants through highly-competitive selection processes, and continues to advise through operation. Mitchell received his JD, cum laude, from Albany Law School in conjunction with his MPA from Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy in 2010. He received his BA, magna cum laude, from the University at Albany in 2007.

About Harris Beach
Founded in 1856, Harris Beach and its subsidiaries provide a full range of legal and professional services for clients across New York state, as well as nationally and internationally. Harris Beach is among the country’s top law firms as ranked by The National Law Journal and is among the 2017 BTI Elite law firms based on in-depth interviews of more than 600 corporate counsel at the world’s largest and most influential companies. Clients include Fortune 100 corporations, privately-held companies, emerging businesses, public sector entities, not-for-profit organizations and individuals. Principal industries Harris Beach represents include education, energy, financial, food and beverage, health care, insurance, manufacturing, medical and life sciences, real estate developers, veterinary medicine, and state and local governments and authorities. The firm’s more than 220 lawyers practice among offices throughout New York state in Albany, Buffalo, Ithaca, Melville, New York City, Rochester, Saratoga Springs, Syracuse, Uniondale and White Plains, as well as in New Haven, Connecticut and Newark, New Jersey.