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President's Message | February 2018 Newsletter

In preparing to write this month’s column, I reviewed the mission statement of the Albany County Bar Association (“ACBA”) which is as follows:

“To promote professional collegiality among the bench and the bar; facilitate public service and access to justice for all; and offer programs, benefits and services to enhance the skills of its members.”

With the mission statement in mind, I begin my term as president and look back at the rich history of the organization. ACBA was incorporated almost 120 years ago with just 53 founding members. Today we have over 1200 members and have been the voice of the Albany legal community for more than a century.

When I first became a member of ACBA, I was immediately welcomed by then Executive Director, Barbara Davis. Likewise, I was encouraged to develop into a leadership role by President David Miranda who appointed me as Co-Chair to the newly implemented Attorneys in Public Service Committee (“APS”). My co-chair at that time was Dan Hurteau, a private practitioner who was focused on cultivating more public service attorney involvement in the Bar. The purpose of the committee was to recognize that attorneys in government have different needs than attorneys in the private sector. Today the committee remains dedicated to ensuring that those needs are recognized and addressed by ACBA.

As a Supreme Court Justice, I have the daily opportunity to serve the people of the State of New York by making tough decisions and bringing what I hope is a sense of justice and fairness to each case. Before serving as a Judge, I committed most of my legal career to public service because at the end of the day it was important for me to feel that I was making a difference. Nonetheless, whether you’re an attorney in public service, in private practice, or a solo practitioner, ACBA is an organization that remains beneficial to each one of you. Indeed, there are several committees to join, social gatherings, networking opportunities, mentorship, the lawyer referral service and the list goes on.

My goal this year is to stay focused on the mission statement and work with the Executive Committee, our wonderful Executive Director Marquita Rhodes, the Board and the fabulous members of this fine organization to insure that ACBA continues to grow and offer benefits to each one of you. If you have suggestions you wish to share, please email me at:

Lastly, during my presidency I will use this column to highlight members working in public service with a short interview to spotlight their contributions to the success of our community. You see, public service attorneys work really hard but at times, their work goes unnoticed. I am hoping that will change – through highlighting such work in this column.

This month I interviewed Albany County Attorney Daniel Lynch.

What is your current job title and summarize what you do?

I am the Albany County Attorney and have held this position since February 2016. The County Attorney is the chief legal advisor for the County of Albany, its agencies and officers, on all civil matters and is responsible for representing the County in all civil actions and proceedings brought by or against the County. In short, the County Attorney is legal counsel for the County.

The County Attorney’s Office is comprised of three bureaus: the Civil Litigation Bureau which defends civil and administrative actions brought against the County; the Family Law Bureau which prosecutes abuse/neglect petitions and juvenile delinquents, litigates adult protective issues and initiates action for resource recovery; and the Municipal Bureau which advises county officers, renders legal opinions, reviews FOIL requests, drafts and reviews contracts, and enforces all consumer affairs and health related laws.

What drew you to work in public service?

I knew I wanted to use my legal education to help others and my first opportunity to work for the public was with the Albany County District Attorney’s Office. It was in that role that I enjoyed representing the County to make our community safer and protect victims and their families. I ended up spending over 13 years in that office before becoming Albany County Attorney. I continue to serve the public interest as the County’s legal counsel on matters that affect the citizens of Albany County from providing greater resources to protecting health and safety. For example, our office recently collaborated with Motley Rice, a well-respected mass tort litigation firm, to file a federal lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York against the manufacturers of opiates to combat the prescription drug crisis.

Has your job in public service shaped your view on what it means to be a lawyer? If so, how?

It is inspiring to work in public service. I am reminded daily that the legal work our office does goes beyond motion practice and affects the well-being of families and community members and I am humbled by the opportunity to be a public servant.

What do you find most valuable with being a member of the Albany County Bar?

The Albany County Bar Association offers a wide range of resources for attorneys engaged in both private practice and the public sector. I have found networking events to be a great way to stay connected to the legal community. The networking opportunities offered by the Association are invaluable for both public and private attorneys alike and I have seen first-hand the positive results of fostering these relationships.

Additionally, the Association has offered more trainings tailored for public sector attorneys, which have been useful in practice. For the last several years, the Albany County Bar Association, the Albany County Attorney’s Office, and the County Attorneys Association of the State of New York have partnered and offered statewide training on juvenile delinquency issues. Last year, this collaboration resulted in a 3-day comprehensive training conference which addressed and encouraged discussions on the foreseeable concerns and issues that the recent Raise the Age legislation will have on county government.

What can the Bar Association do to encourage more public sector attorneys?

I think the Bar Association can continue to be a resource and work with public sector attorneys and understand their interests, for example pro bono work, and find ways to assist them on how to make that a reality within the confines of being a public servant.

Hon. Christina L. Ryba
ACBA President



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