Practice Areas

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Litigation can be costly, time-consuming, and unpredictable. Depending on your circumstances, alternative dispute resolution may be an advisable alternative to litigation. Arbitration and mediation allow parties to keep costs at a minimum, and they often allow parties to have their disputes resolved more quickly than typical litigation.

Appeals and Motions

The Sugarman Law Firm’s litigation and transactional practices are supported by the Appeals and Motions Practice Group. The Appeals and Motions Practice Group focuses on appellate practice and complex motion practice, and its attorneys specialize in legal research, legal writing, and oral advocacy.

Architects, Engineers, and Surveyors

The Sugarman Law Firm has the industry-specific knowledge, experience, and expertise that design professionals can trust to handle all their legal needs. We understand the unique risks design professionals face, and we can help minimize and manage them.

Business Planning and Litigation

With a diversity of experience representing business clients within both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors, our attorneys provide a full range of legal services for our clients’ corporate and business needs.

Criminal Defense

Sugarman Law Firm is well positioned to serve individuals facing violation, misdemeanor, or felony criminal charges. Our criminal law department is made up of former prosecutors who have a critical understanding of how the district attorney's office operates and how criminal cases are put together by the police and the prosecution.

Family Law and Divorce

Our attorneys handle separation, divorce, custody and support issues, adoption and related family law matters. We start by listening to be sure we fully understand your particular circumstances so that we can develop a plan of action that best fits your needs.

General and Auto Liability Defense

For more than a century, Sugarman Law Firm has represented literally thousands of insureds and remains one of the oldest and largest insurance defense practices in Central New York.

Insurance Coverage Disputes and Litigation

The attorneys at the Sugarman Law Firm have represented both insurers and insureds in insurance coverage disputes and litigation. We provide coverage opinion letters to insurers, and prosecute and defend declaratory judgment actions.

Labor and Employment Law

The attorneys in the Sugarman Law Firm’s Labor and Employment Law Practice Group represent both small and large employers with a wide variety of employment related issues. We handle all types of employment litigation, as well as employment negotiations.

Medical Professional Liability Defense

At the Sugarman Law Firm, we value our relationships with the physicians, nurses, chiropractors, and hospital administrators in Central New York. Because we value those relationships, we do not sue any treatment provider for medical malpractice, and we focus exclusively on defending physicians, hospitals, medical groups, and nursing homes.

Municipal and Governmental Defense

Because of their years of experience, the attorneys at the Sugarman Law Firm are familiar with the particular legal principles and procedural rules that apply to municipal subdivisions and authorities.

Personal Injury Claims

When someone is harmed, injured, or killed through the negligence of another, the Sugarman Law Firm offers aggressive and personal representation, regardless of the size of the claim.

Products Liability Claims

Our attorneys have the experience necessary to handle the complex issues that arise when accidents involving claims of defective design or manufacture of a product are made. The Sugarman Law Firm is read to provide representation at all stages of the process including initial analysis and investigation, identification of experts, discovery, negotiation and, when necessary, trial.

Professional Liability Defense

We have extensive experience defending malpractice claims. Our attorneys have the specific knowledge and experience necessary to handle the issues professionals face. We understand your practice and can help you recognize and manage the risks it presents. We represent architects and engineers, physicians, nurses and hospitals, as well as attorneys, accountants, insurance professionals and real estate professionals.

Real Estate Transactions and Litigation

Whether you are buying your first home or developing a multi-million dollar real estate project, the Sugarman Law Firm’s attorneys cans provide the legal representation you need. We represent real estate developers, buyers and sellers of homes, landlords and tenants, and homeowner’s associations, condominiums, and co-ops in a variety of situations.

Toxic Tort Claims

The Sugarman Law Firm has successfully defended a wide array of toxic tort claims involving lead-based paint, asbestos products, mold, toxic spills and leakages, and industrial chemicals and solvents, including benzene.

Trusts, Estates, and Elder Law

A primary focus of the Sugarman Law Firm’s Trusts and Estates Practice Group is to help our clients achieve their estate planning goals and prepare the legal documents required to implement their objectives. We prepare wills, medical advance directives such as health care proxies and living wills, powers of attorney, shareholder agreements, prenuptial agreements, and both testamentary and living trusts.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Litigation can be costly, time-consuming, and unpredictable. Depending on your circumstances, alternative dispute resolution may be an advisable alternative to litigation. Arbitration and mediation allow parties to keep costs at a minimum, and they often allow parties to have their disputes resolved more quickly than typical litigation.

In arbitration, the parties agree to have a knowledgeable and neutral third-party arbitrator conduct a hearing and decide their dispute. In mediation, the parties work together with a neutral third-party mediator to reach an agreeable resolution of their dispute. Because these alternative dispute resolution mechanisms are a product of the parties’ agreement, the rules governing them can be more flexible, more efficient, and more closely-tailored to the parties and their particular issues.

The attorneys at the Sugarman Law Firm have a wealth of knowledge and experience in alternative dispute resolution. They can help you decide whether alternative dispute resolution is right for you and, if so, handle all aspects of the process, from selecting the arbitrator or mediator, to representing your interests at the arbitration or mediation, to implementing the arbitrator’s decision or the parties’ agreement. Let us help guide you through the process and obtain an agreeable outcome.


Additionally, our senior attorneys are available to serve as mediators or arbitrators to help parties resolve their disputes out of Court.


When disputes cannot be resolved through negotiation, litigation may be necessary. However, in certain circumstances arbitration is an advisable alternative to a lawsuit.

In arbitration, the parties agree to have a knowledgeable third-party “arbitrator” conduct a hearing and decide their dispute. Since the process is a product of the parties’ agreement the rules governing it can be more flexible, more efficient and tailored to the specific parties and dispute. An arbitrator who is knowledgeable regarding the subject matter of the dispute can be selected thereby increasing the chances for reasoned and appropriate decision.

In the right circumstances a dispute can be decided by arbitration in a manner that is faster and less costly than litigation. The attorneys at the Sugarman Law Firm are experienced with the arbitration process. We can help you determine whether arbitration makes sense for you and, if it does, handle all aspects of your case from the selection of an arbitrator, to the conduct of the hearing and implementation of the arbitrator’s decision.


Lawsuits are adversarial by nature; it is highly unlikely that both parties will feel that the conflict has been resolved in a fair and just manner when a judge or jury renders its verdict. Lawsuits often deteriorate relationships, eliminating the likelihood of continuing a business or client relationship. Furthermore, lawsuits are expensive not only in terms of legal fees but in the expenditure of a professional’s resources and time necessary to litigate.

In many circumstances, mediation offers a way for parties to settle their disputes quickly, cost efficiently and without the hostility associated with litigation. The attorneys at Sugarman Law Firm recognize these benefits and are experienced in reaching agreements on a wide range of issues facing professionals. We can help guide you through the process, select a qualified mediator, and obtain an agreeable outcome.

Commercial Arbitration and Mediation

Disputes involving construction projects, contracts, sales of goods, real estate and other commercial transactions can be complex, costly to litigate and difficult to resolve. In the right circumstances mediation or arbitration of a complex dispute can provide a path to resolution that is in the best interests of all parties. Our attorneys have the experience necessary to assist our clients in determining when the alternative dispute resolution process makes sense and to represent our clients throughout the process. We also have experience serving as mediators and arbitrators in commercial disputes. 

Insurance Defense Arbitration and Mediation

Mediation and arbitration can be an effective and efficient means of resolving claims in the right circumstances. Creative solutions such as high/low arbitrations, structure mediations and single issue arbitrations can narrow issues and put the focus on resolving claims and closing files. Our attorneys regularly handle mediations and arbitrations involving personal injury claims of all sorts including claims arising from auto accidents, trucking accidents, products liability matters, construction site accidents slips and falls.