NYSBA leadership shift: Richard Lewis takes helm, Domenick Napoletano prepares as president-elect

June 2, 2023 Rob Abruzzese
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As the legal profession moves forward from the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic, the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) welcomes Binghamton attorney Richard C. Lewis as its new president. Lewis, the 126th president of the NYSBA, steps up from his role as president-elect to lead the association in reshaping legal assistance and services for New Yorkers in need.

His presidency is marked by an ambitious agenda dedicated to protecting lawyers from contradictory court rules, inappropriate legislation, and overly zealous administrative orders.

“Our mission is to allow members to be the best lawyers that they can be while removing all the impediments that stand in their way,” Lewis said.

Lewis, a native of the southern tier, brings a wealth of experience to his role as president of the NYSBA. A stalwart defender of the rights of solo practitioners and small firm lawyers, Lewis currently serves as special counsel at Hinman, Howard & Kattell, a Binghamton-based firm where he specializes in litigation and business law.

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

Lewis is a long-standing member of the House of Delegates since 2001 and holds several prominent committee positions within the association. His commitment to legal excellence is also reflected in his past role as president of the Broome County Bar Association and chair of its Endowment, Ethics, and Grievance committees. Lewis graduated from John Marshall Law School and received his undergraduate degree from Ithaca College.

Lewis’s term will be characterized by a strong focus on poverty alleviation initiatives, including expanding access to housing and health care, establishing a legal framework for medical aid in dying, and addressing the significant increase in hate crimes in New York. His presidential swearing-in will be officiated by Presiding Justice Elizabeth Garry of the Appellate Division, Third Department, on June 10.

Domenick Napoletano, esteemed Brooklyn attorney, is set to assume the role of President-elect of the New York State Bar Association. Eagle file photo by Mario Belluomo.

Simultaneously, Brooklyn attorney Domenick Napoletano takes on the role of president-elect, positioning him to follow Lewis’s lead in the coming year.

Napoletano, a respected legal expert in commercial litigation and real estate transactions, has carved a substantial career spanning several decades. Admitted to the United States Supreme Court, he holds an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell and has been named a Super Lawyer. His significant Brooklyn roots include serving as past President of the Brooklyn Bar Association, and he has made extensive contributions to the New York State Bar Association in numerous leadership roles. As an educator, he frequently lectures at legal seminars. 

Napoletano’s commitment to the community is evident in his involvement with the Hofstra University Law School Diversity Admissions Committee and Bedford Stuyvesant Legal Services Corp. His notable achievements have earned him numerous awards, including the 2019 Saint Thomas Moore Award from the Catholic Lawyers Guild and the 2016 Brooklyn Bar Association Jurisprudence Award.

The other leaders of NYSBA have also been appointed. Taa Grays will serve her third term as secretary. Susan Harper, steps into her first term as treasurer, succeeding Napoletano as he assumes the role of president-elect.

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