The American Institute of Architects

Approved Continuing Education Provider

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.

Architects, Engineers, and Surveyors Defense Lawyers

Architects, engineers, and surveyors are involved in the planning, design, and administration of projects of many different types and levels of complexity. They are also often involved in the management and operation of their businesses. Each of these responsibilities creates risk that must be managed and unique legal issues that must be resolved.

The Sugarman Law Firm has the industry-specific knowledge, experience, and expertise that design professionals can trust to handle all their legal needs. Sam Vulcano, Brian Sutter, and Steve Davoli focus their practices on the representation of design professionals.  They understand the unique risks design professionals face, and can help minimize and manage them. 

The Sugarman Law Firm’s services for architects, engineers and surveyors include contract drafting, review, and negotiation; risk assessment and management; dispute resolution, including negotiation, mediation, arbitration and litigation; defense of malpractice and contractual claims, fee collection, labor and employment issues and formation and succession planning for partnerships, professional corporations, and other business entities. We also offer complete estate planning services for professionals.

When a design professional is sued for malpractice, the Sugarman Law Firm has the expertise they need to successfully defend. Even before a lawsuit is commenced, the Sugarman Law Firm can provide “pre-claims” assistance. Defending an architect, engineer, or land surveyor requires a level of specialization that many attorneys simply do not have. The attorneys at the Sugarman Law Firm have years of experience defending these types of cases, and working with our clients and expert witnesses. The Sugarman Law Firm is accredited by the American Institute of Architects as providers of continuing education to design professionals and has been named a Tier 1 law firm for the defense of professionals by Best Lawyers. Sam Vulcano was selected by Best Lawyers as its 2014 and 2016 Syracuse Professional Malpractice Defense Lawyer of the Year.

The attorneys at the Sugarman Law Firm also defend design professionals against allegations of copyright infringement and we protect our clients’ interests in their own intellectual property.

The attorneys at the Sugarman Law Firm are up-to-the-minute on laws governing building design and construction, and zoning and planning laws and regulations, so consult us before you begin your next project.


Architects, Engineers and Surveyors encounter legal issues in every facet of their practices. Design professionals constantly face responsibilities that require legal advice such as writing proposals, drafting and negotiating contracts with owners and consultants, preparing the "front end" provisions of Contract Documents, handling bidding issues, dealing with claims for extras, requests for extensions of project schedules and claims for extended general conditions, reporting on construction site injuries, negotiating termination and payment issues and defending claims arising from alleged deficiencies in a completed project.  Our attorneys have the experience and expertise required to assist you in managing all of the situations you face.