ABOUT US

 

EXECUTIVE MANAGEMENT

CLARE J. DEGNAN

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

For 29 years, Ms. Degnan has served LASW as Associate Counsel, Senior Associate Counsel, Deputy Bureau Chief, Mount Vernon Bureau Chief, Deputy Chief Counsel of Local Courts, and Acting Executive Director. In July 2015, the LASW Board appointed Ms. Degnan as the first female Executive Director in LASW’s history.

 

Ms. Degnan is on the Board of the Chief Defenders Association of New York.  She is a delegate for the 9th Judicial District for the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) of the House of Delegates.  Ms. Degnan is a member of the NYS Bar Criminal Justice Section as Co-chair of the Villages, and Justice Courts Sub-Committee Wrongful Convictions Sub-committee, Mandated Representation, and Family Court Section of the NYS Bar Association. Under her leadership, LASW received grants from the Offices of Indigent Legal Services to fund and develop the Regional Immigration Assistance Center and the Assigned Counsel Resource Center. In 2019, the NYSBA Mandated Representation Committee awarded Ms. Degnan the NYSBA Excellence in Mandated Representation Award.

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SHERRY LEVIN WALLACH

DEPUTY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Sherry Levin Wallach is the Deputy Executive Director of The Legal Aid Society of Westchester County and Secretary of the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA). In January 2020, Sherry was elected President Elect of NYSBA to take office on June 1, 2021. She will assume the role of NYSBA President on June 1, 2022. 

She was a coach for the Pace Law School National Trial Team for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years. Sherry is a member of the Board of Directors of the Westchester County Bar Association. She is on the NYSBA Task Force on Parole Reform, where she co-chairs the subcommittee on supervision and is a member of the NYSBA House of Delegates. She is also a member of the NYSBA Committee on Professional Discipline and the NYSBA LGBTQ People and the Law Committee which is now the newest NYSBA

section. In 2018-2019 she co-chaired the NYSBA Task Force on Incarceration Release Planning and Programs.

 

At the Legal Aid Society of Westchester County, Sherry concentrates her practice on Criminal Defense. Prior to joining the Legal Aid Society, Sherry was Of Counsel Bashian P.C. (formerly Bashian & Farber, LLP), from November 2017 to September 2019, where she practiced criminal defense, general civil litigation and trusts & estates. She was also Of Counsel to Hutchinson & Brown, LLP, from July 2017 to September 2019, where she represented the City of New York in hearings and motion practice.   

 

From 2003 through 2017, Sherry a principle and partner of her law firm, Wallach & Rendo, LLP, where she practiced in the areas of criminal defense, real estate, trusts & estates, and general civil litigation in State and Federal Courts. Sherry began her career as an Assistant District Attorney in Bronx County from 1995-1999. She is admitted to practice in the Courts of the State of New York, the New York Southern and Eastern District Federal Courts, and the United States Supreme Court.   

 

Sherry is a Past Chair of the New York State Bar Association's Criminal Justice

Section, the Immediate Past Vice President from the 9th Judicial District to the New York

State Bar Association Executive Committee, Immediate Past Chair of the New York State Bar Association’s Membership Committee, and she is serving her third four-year term in its House of Delegates.

 

In addition, Sherry is co-founder of the NYSBA Young Lawyers Section's Trial Academy, where she continues to serve on its faculty as a team leader and has lectured on cross examination for the past seven years. She is a frequent lecturer and organizer for continuing legal education programs for the New York State and Westchester County Bar Associations on criminal and civil trial practice, ethics, and DWI.  She has also authored articles on criminal justice issues and trial practice which have been published in the New York Law Journal, The State Bar News, and The New York State Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section Newsletter. Sherry is the author of “Inside the Minds: Strategies for Defending DWI Cases in New York, 2016 ed.” Published by Aspatore Books, a Thomson Reuters business.

LEGAL STAFF
 

Vincent DeMarte

Senior Counsel/

Chief of County Court

vdemarte@laswest.org

Dina C. Denlea

Chief of Trial Assignment Part

dcd@laswest.org

Salvatore A. Gaetani

Chief of Appeals 

sgaetani@laswest.org

Tamika A. Coverdale

Senior Counsel/

Officer of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. 

tacoverdale@laswest.org

Richard Viviano

Chief of Grand Jury & CAFA

rviviano@laswest.org

Jessica Hugel

Chief of Trials

jhugel@laswest.org

Debra A. Cassidy

Senior Counsel Appeals

dcassidy@laswest.org

Anne Bianchi

Senior Counsel/

Region Chief/Training Coordinator

abianchi@laswest.org

Robin J. Bauer

Diversion/Mental Health Court

rbauer@laswest.org

Yvonne Borkowski

Youth Part Region Chief

yborkowski@laswest.org

Netikka D. Seward

DV/IDV Courts Region Chief

ndseward@laswest.org

Allan Focarile

First Senior Trial Counsel

afocarile@laswest.org

MaryPat Long

Region Chief

mplong@laswest.org

Courtney E. McGowan

 Region Chief

cmcgowan@laswest.org

Christine  L. Asch

Deputy Region Chief

casch@laswest.org

Meghan C. Stelzer

Region Chief

mstelzer@laswest.org

Joanna I. Karlitz

Deputy Region Chief

jkarlitz@laswest.org

Nicholas A. Speranza

Trial Counsel

nasperanza@laswest.org

David Rich

Senior Trial Counsel

drich@laswest.org

Theresa Gugliotta

Senior Counsel

tgugliotta@laswest.org

Kate Wasserman

Senior Associate Counsel

kw@laswest.org

Elizabeth A. Hume

       Supervising Attorney               Criminal/Immigration   

Eah@laswest.org

Venessa Melly

Senior Criminal /

Immigration Counsel 

vm@laswest.org

Vishakha Patel

Managing Attorney

Family Court Division

vpatel@laswest.org

Andrea G. Loigman

Senior Counsel

Family Court Division

aloigman@laswest.org

Robert Horne

Managing Attorney Of RIAC and Acting Assigned Counsel Administrator

rhorne@laswest.org

Craig Small

RIAC Staff Attorney

cjsmall@laswest.org

Darryl L. Albert

Associate Counsel

dalbert@laswest.org

Nisha Desai

Associate Counsel

ndesai@laswest.org

Clotelle Drakeford  Attorney for Special Litigation

cdrakeford@laswest.org

Rachel Filasto

Senior Associate Counsel

rfilasto@laswest.org

Paul J. Hanft

Associate Counsel

phanft@laswest.org

Ken Jones

Associate Counsel

kjones@laswest.org

Gary Kropkowski

Associate Counsel

Gkropkowski@laswest.org

Thomas Montella

Associate Counsel

tmontella@laswest.org

Sandhya Prashad

Associate Counsel

sprashad@laswest.org

Ketienne Telemaque

Associate Counsel

ktelemaque@laswest.org

Emma Shreefter

Associate Counsel, Appeals Unit

eshreefter@laswest.org

Carly Lynch-Mcguire

Associate Counsel

CLMcGuire@laswest.org

April A. McKenzie

Associate Counsel

amckenzie@laswest.org

Wali Muhammad

Associate Counsel

wmuhammad@laswest.org

Patricia Petrosky

Associate Counsel

ppetrosky@laswest.org

Hannah Robbins

Associate Counsel

hrobbins@laswest.org

Andrew L. Restivo

Associate Counsel

arestivo@laswest.org

Lynda S. Visco

Associate Counsel

lkoenig@laswest.org

Julie B. Schechter

Associate Counsel

jschechter@laswest.org

Samara Simpson

Associate Counsel

ssimpson@laswest.org

Jennifer Spencer

Senior Associate Counsel

Jspencer@laswest.org

Nicole Zagreda

Associate Counsel

Nzagreda@laswest.org

 
SOCIAL WORKERS / MITIGATION

Mildret Barajas

Director of Forensic Social Worker

mbarajas@laswest.org

Barbara Immediato

Forensic Social Worker

bimmediato@laswest.org

Kristel Ratas

Forensic Social Worker

krr@laswest.org

Selwyn Ellis

Forensic Social Worker

sellis@laswest.org

Jennifer Ledesma

Forensic Social Worker

jledesma@laswest.org

Ashley Bernhardt

Forensic Case Manager 

abernhardt@laswest.org

Catherine Fournier

Forensic Social Worker

cfournier@laswest.org

Aundray Jermaine Archer

Paralegal/reentry/mitigation member

jarcher@laswest.org