From the waterfalls of Letchworth Park to the water authorities of Western New York, Jim thinks globally and acts locally. As a member of the firm’s Municipal Practice Group, he has actively advised and represented local and municipal governments and agencies for more than 30 years. His experience is extensive in the areas of general municipal law, public finance, eminent domain, tax certiorari, legislative and administrative process, and the planning and development of capital projects and improvement districts, as well as economic development, planning, zoning and litigation related to those areas.
As Bond Counsel for the City of Buffalo Municipal Water Finance Authority and numerous Western New York municipalities, he has been involved in the financing of all types of municipal capital projects, as well as the refinancing of outstanding municipal debt. Jim has also acted as Underwriter’s Counsel for major investment banking firms in connection with the underwriting and public sale of large-scale public debt offerings.
In the 22 years he has served as Counsel to the Livingston County Industrial Development Agency, Jim has been involved in a wide variety of transactions including tax-exempt bond financings, sale leaseback PILOT transactions, real estate transactions, the acquisition and development of industrial parks, and IDA corporate and organizational matters, as well as litigation.
He currently serves as General Counsel to the Towns of Geneseo and Mt. Morris, the Villages of Leicester and Caledonia, the Ontario County Industrial Development Agency, the Ontario County Economic Development Corporation and the Livingston County Development Corporation. He also serves as special counsel on various projects to a number of cities and towns throughout Western New York.
In addition to his municipal clients, Jim represents private-sector developers and nonprofit organizations in capital commercial and industrial development projects, and advises them on a variety of issues ranging from the financing of projects to their planning and final construction.
Professional and Community Involvement
Jim is a past Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Livingston County Chamber of Commerce, and was the chairperson of the Chamber’s Public Policy Committee. He also is a member of the Board of Directors of the Noyes Hospital Foundation. He previously served on the Board of Directors for the Genesee Valley Arts Council, Young Audiences of Rochester and the Friends of Letchworth Park.
He is a member of the National Association of Bond Lawyers, the New York Conference of Mayors, the New York State Association of Towns, the New York Government Finance Officers Association and the New York State Economic Development Council. He is also the current author of the Thomson-West Publishing Company’s treatise on Municipal Finance titled Private Activity Bond Tests, and is a contributing author of the Thomson-West Treatise, State and Local Debt Financing.
Awards and Recognitions
Jim was selected a 2007-2019 Upstate New York Super Lawyer. The Super Lawyer group represents the top 5% of attorneys in Upstate New York who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. He also was named to the 2010-2020 editions of Best Lawyers in America® and was honored with their 2020 Rochester "Lawyer of the Year" designation for Municipal Law.