Local and State Government Law Section Officers

Chair: Sharon N. Berlin,  Lamb & Barnosky, LLP

Sharon Berlin is chair of the Local and State Government Law Section.

Ms. Berlin is a partner in Lamb & Barnosky. She represents management in public and private sector labor and employment law matters, including investigations, discrimination and harassment, disciplinary proceedings, arbitrations, collective bargaining, wage and hour, and federal and state court litigation. She also serves as general counsel to school districts.

Within the State Bar, Ms. Berlin most recently was the Local and State Government Law Section's first chair. She previously chaired the section's Employment Relations Committee. She also is a member of the Labor and Employment Law Section. She is a past chair of the Nassau County Bar Association’s Education Law and Labor and Employment Law Committees and of the Suffolk County Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law Committee.

Ms. Berlin has been named a Best Lawyer in America© for Labor Law – Management, Best Lawyers Women in the Law - Labor and Employment Law, a Super Lawyer in the New York-Metro Area in Labor and Employment Law, a Super Lawyer Top Woman Attorney in the New York-Metro Area and one of the 10 leaders in Employment Law on Long Island. She has been listed in Long Island Business News’ Who’s Who in Employment LawWho’s Who in Labor Law, and Who’s Who in Women in Professional Services. Ms. Berlin has received numerous accolades including 2016 Outstanding Women in the Law, Business Leader of the Year, the ASIS Public Private Partnership Award, the Nassau County Bar Association’s Directors’ Award and the Long Island Business News’ 40 Under 40 Award. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Long Island Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners, co-chaired the Honorary Board for the Suffolk County Coalition Against Domestic Violence and currently serves on the Advisory Board to the Nassau Academy of Law. 

Ms. Berlin was a co-editor-in-chief of the Third Edition of the Public Sector Labor and Employment Law treatise. She has written articles for the New York Law Journal, the New York State Bar Association’s Municipal Lawyer, the New York State Bar Journal, and the New York State Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law Section Newsletter. Ms. Berlin was a chapter editor for the American Bar Association treatise “Discipline & Discharge in Arbitration.” She has lectured at programs sponsored by the New York State Bar Association, the Nassau/Suffolk Academies of Law, the National Association of Women Business Owners, the Society for Human Resource Management and others.

Ms. Berlin is an honors graduate of Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations and the George Washington University National Law Center.

FIRst Vice-Chair: Michael E. Kenneally, New York State Municipal Workers’ Compensation Alliance

Michael E. Kenneally is the Executive Director of the New York State Municipal Workers’ Compensation Alliance (Comp Alliance), a workers’ compensation group self-insurance program for municipalities and school districts throughout New York State.  Prior to taking his position with the Comp Alliance, Michael served for 10 years with the Association of Towns of the State of New York as Associate Counsel, providing legal services and training to town officials.  He is an active participant in the New York State Bar Association, serving as member of the Executive Committee of its Local and State Government Law Section, and is a frequent presenter at events for the Association of Towns and the New York State Bar Association, among others.  Michael received his JD, cum laude, from Albany Law School of Union University.    

SECOND VICE-CHAIR: Lisa M. Cobb, Wallace & Wallace LLP

Lisa M. Cobb became Of Counsel to the firm in January 2015. With more than twenty years of experience, her practice at the Firm will concentrate in municipal law and litigation. Lisa will also handle the Firm’s appellate work. Lisa regularly counsels Planning and Zoning Boards on behalf of Dutchess County municipalities and represents those same municipalities in various litigation matters. She has participated in drafting local municipal zoning and building codes, and litigated the interplay between local zoning codes and the requirements of the New York State Agriculture and Markets Law. She also has represented applicants in Article 78 and other proceedings against municipalities in Dutchess as well as surrounding counties.

Lisa’s name can be found on more than thirty reported decisions, including significant municipal and land use issues. In 315 Main Street Poughkeepsie, LLC v. WA 319 Main, LLC, for example, Lisa successfully argued that a neighbor did not have a prescriptive easement over the adjoining property. In Town of Wallkill v. Lachmann, Lisa successfully represented the Town in enforcing its right to enjoin a car dealership from operating.

Lisa also has numerous published articles on land use topics. Subjects have included an analysis of the Supreme Court’s decision concerning legislative prayer, “United States Supreme Court Upholds Tradition and Continues Controversy in Town of Greece v. Galloway,” published in the State Bar News and the Municipal Lawyer, and “Urban Chickens,” an overview of the zoning regulations concerning keeping poultry in residential areas, published in The Senior Lawyer and the Municipal Lawyer.

Prior to entering private practice, Ms. Cobb was a Deputy Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in its Antitrust Section. She received her law degree from the Dickinson School of Law in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, where she was a member of the Dickinson Law Review and the Dickinson Environmental Law Review. She graduated summa cum laude from the State University of New York at Albany with a joint degree in English and Economics.

Lisa has volunteered extensively within the legal community. She presently serves on the Executive Committee of the Municipal Law Section of the New York State Bar Association. She organized and co-chaired the Fall 2011 Annual Meeting of the Section and will be a Co-Chair of the Section’s meeting in New York City in January 2016. Previously, she was a Committee Chair for the American Bar Association Section of Litigation’s Trial Evidence Committee and its CLE and Teleconferences Committee. She has participated in numerous CLE programs throughout the country and moderated several national teleconferences on behalf of the ABA. She continues to be a regular presenter at various bar association programs, focusing on municipal law topics.

Secretary: Steven G. Leventhal, Leventhal, Mullaney & Blinkoff, LLP

Steven G. Leventhal is an attorney and CPA, and managing member of the Roslyn general practice firm of Leventhal, Mullaney & Blinkoff, LLP.  He serves as counsel to the boards of ethics of two counties, four towns, and two village. Steven is the Associate Village Justice for two villages, a hearing officer for the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) and an arbitration chairperson for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Steven is Secretary of the NYSBA Local and State Government Law Section, and co-chair of the section’s Ethics Committee. He is the immediate Past-President of the Nassau County Bar Association, a director of the Nassau Suffolk Legal Services Corporation, a member of the Grievance Committee for the Tenth Judicial District and Associate Dean for Continuing Judicial Education of the Nassau County Magistrates Association.

Steven is co-author and editor of Municipal Ethics in New York: A Primer for Attorneys and Public Officials, published by the NYS Bar Association. He served as chair of the Nassau County Board of Ethics, and as a consultant to the United Nations Ethics Office. He has lectured and written extensively on the subjects of government, legal, corporate and medical ethics. Steven is frequently engaged to provide ethics advice, training and continuing professional education programs to municipal officers and employees throughout the state, municipal associations, bar associations, law firms and universities, including the annual orientation for newly elected and appointed officials presented by the New York State Association of Counties.