Sive, Paget & Riesel, PC
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Practice Areas

SPR concentrates in the following areas of practice. In each area, our goal is to deliver innovative and cost-effective professional services. The strength of our experience combined with a collaborative approach ensures that our lawyers work closely with clients, partnering to deliver successful solutions to complex, time-sensitive issues.

Environmental Law and Litigation

Sive, Paget & Riesel has remained on the cutting edge of environmental law since the 1970s. Our long and wide-ranging experience allows our lawyers to provide advice on virtually all aspects of environmental law and litigation. That is why four of our principals, David Paget, Dan Riesel, Mark Chertok, and Jeffrey Gracer, have been singled out by Who’s Who Legal and Chambers & Partners USA as leaders in their field, and a number of others have been named New York “SuperLawyers.”

Litigation is a vital component of our expertise. We have prosecuted and defended countless cost recovery and cleanup actions in federal and state court relating to the cleanup of solid waste and hazardous substances, including leaking underground storage tanks (USTs), other petroleum (oil) spills, and historic contamination from former industrial properties or dry cleaning operations. The firm has substantial experience in cases seeking to force environmental cleanups, as well as allocating costs of cleanup among responsible parties. The firm has also defended a number of high profile “toxic tort” suits where plaintiffs have alleged both personal injury and property damage (including diminution in property value) from contamination. We have also litigated issues relating to energy facility siting and permitting, environmental justice, air pollution, water pollution and wetlands.

Some of the federal and state statutes implicated in the matters we handle include CERCLA (the "Superfund" law), the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the New York Navigation Law, and the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA).

Our experience in defending Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) and assessments under NEPA and SEQRA is unparalleled. We are experts in defending such challenges, having successfully defended a countless number of state Article 78 proceedings as well as federal court actions relating to projects such as the Jacob Javits Convention Center, the Riverside South Project, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Yankee Stadium and many others. Read more about our Environmental Law and Litigation practice area.

Development & Land Use

From the inception of project planning through the defense of legal challenges, Sive, Paget & Riesel offers comprehensive legal services built on our extensive experience with large-scale projects and our pioneering work in environmental law. We represent clients with regard to a range of land use and permitting issues including rezoning, requests for zoning variances, site plan approvals, subdivision plans, historic preservation and landmark designation.

Sive, Paget & Riesel represents a broad array of clients in connection with the development of private and governmental projects including: Brownfields Redevelopment, Environmental Review, Permitting and Litigation for Private Commercial Developments, Environmental Review, Permitting and Litigation For Government-Sponsored Developments, Wetlands and Stormwater, New York City (E) Designation Compliance, Permitting for Industrial Facilities and Zoning and Land Use. Read more about our Development and Land Use practice area.

Municipal Law

Sive, Paget & Riesel assists municipalities with litigation, Environmental Impact Statement development and evaluation, complex land development matters and civil rights issues. Our firm has litigated regulatory takings and permit denial cases both for and against local governments. Our unique experience representing a range of local governments, developers and community organizations enables our lawyers to bring a very broad perspective to solving municipal problems quickly and in ways acceptable to divergent interests.

As part of our Municipal Law practice, our experienced lawyers are also active in election law, having litigated and consulted in the areas of legislative drafting, redistricting and administrative hearings. Sive, Paget & Riesel's focus on election law includes assisting private groups, political committees and candidates in complying with federal and state election rules for ballot access and campaign finance. Sive, Paget & Riesel acts as special counsel to municipalities in New York and as far away as New Mexico providing specialized expertise, including acting as special litigation counsel.

Our Municipal Law practice handles a broad range of issues including Code and Charter Revision, Civil Rights and Personnel Litigation, Intra-Governmental Disputes, Special Districts, Indian Law, Tort Liability, Open Meetings/Freedom of Information and Ethics. Read more about our Municipal Law practice area.

General Litigation

Sive, Paget & Riesel has great strength and depth in litigation and trials. In addition to our nationally recognized leadership in environmental litigation, we have always maintained an active, cost-efficient general litigation practice. Our representation of corporations, educational institutions and municipalities has led to an emphasis in employment litigation and commercial litigation, and our growing construction law practice involving construction and contractual disputes. The firm has represented corporate clients in disputes arising from corporate transactions, and is experienced in handling complex matters involving disputed liabilities arising from mergers, acquisitions, and asset purchases.

At Sive, Paget & Riesel, our lawyers are actively involved in litigation, with experience in all aspects of complex trials and appeals. The firm's trial lawyers include former federal prosecutors, state and city attorneys and federal law clerks.

Employment Litigation

Sive, Paget & Riesel has provided expert advice and representation in all aspects of employment law for over two decades. We are continuously building on our experience to offer clients a full range of services addressing both prevention and resolution of workplace disputes. It is this cost effective, highly successful approach that has attracted clients from around the country including educational institutions, local governments and some of the nation's largest corporations.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

In addition to offering clients a full range of litigation services, SPR assists clients in avoiding and resolving disputes by using various forms of alternative dispute resolution ("ADR"). SPR lawyers have employed ADR procedures to resolve various kinds of disputes. SPR lawyers have also designed ADR processes that were utilized to resolve large scale multi-party environmental disputes. SPR is committed to employing ADR to bring out about cost effective resolutions for clients whenever it is feasible to do so. Read more about our Alternative Dispute Resolution practice.

Pro Bono

SPR is active in diverse pro bono representations, and remains committed to providing pro bono services. Read about our pro bono representations.