“Ballot Barristers: Inside The Select World Of New York City Election Attorneys”

With only a small select group of attorneys specializing in election law in New York City and an overabundance of candidates seeking office in 2013, the demand far outstrips the supply. As a result, election lawyers can amass a stable of clients who may find each other strange bedfellows.

Much of this legal work falls on the old guard of mainly white male attorneys who were around City Hall in the 1980s when the nonpartisan Campaign Finance Board was established and its compliance laws and procedures were hammered out.

"When [the CFB] first started up, a lot of election lawyers didn't want to get involved. I do campaign finance compliance now, but generally [candidates] have to take one of the few attorneys that specialize in it," said Martin Connor, a former state senator and noted election attorney who has been retained by John Liu's campaign for mayor.

Among the veteran attorneys dating back to the Koch administration who are still practicing and considered experts in the field of election law are Laurence Laufer, Lawrence Mandelker and Jerry Goldfeder.

(Republished with permission from the February 26, 2013 issue of City&State.)

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