News Archives

Welcome to Cioffi Slezak Wildgrube P.C.

News & Events Archive

2014 News Archive

December 5, 2014 The CSW staff participated in The Chamber of Schenectady County and Concerned for the Hungry annual Thanksgiving Food Drive this year. The staff collected various requested food items and also donated money to the cause.

December 4, 2014 Michelle and Lauren co-hosted the NYSBA Holiday Party at Mexican Radio in Schenectady. The party was sponsored by five NYSBA Sections: Real Property Law, Young Lawyers, Business Law, Torts Insurance and Compensation Law, and Intellectual Property Law. Guests were encouraged to bring a toy to support our local chapter of Toys-for-Tots.

November 19, 2014 Your you 65+? Do you live in Niskayuna Fire District 1? If yes: Call the Niskayuna Fire Department at 518-374-8386 and receive free smoke detectors and free installation!

November 18, 2014 CSW is participating with The Chamber of Schenectady County and Concerned for the Hungry to support the annual Thanksgiving food basket effort in our community. The employees of CSW have been generous in their donations of canned food, stuffing, dessert mixes, and other items needed for the struggling families in our community during this holiday season.

November 18, 2014 Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman recently issued a consumer alert following recent reports of New York State tax debt collection scams. Please be aware that scammers have been posing as debt collectors seeking to settle New York State tax debts, sometimes asking for payments by money order. The Attorney General advises that “Consumers should be wary of any telephone solicitation asking them to send money and should always request appropriate documentation in writing.” Note that both federal and state tax authorities send notifications in writing and do not contact consumers by telephone. If you believe you have been a victim of any tax scam, you can file a complaint by visiting the Office’s website www.ag.ny.gov or calling 1-800-771-7755.

November 7, 2014 Deb and Cris attended a fundraising event for Danielle’s House. The event was held on October 23rd at Rolling Hills Country Club, Fort Johnson. In addition to raising money for the shelter, the event honored Vic Giulianelli (CEO of St. Mary’s Healthcare, Amsterdam) for his support of the collaborative project. As it developed, he made the full resources of St. Mary’s Healthcare available to the founders of the project.

Danielle’s House is a homeless shelter for individuals and families in the Amsterdam, NY area. It is named in honor of Sister Danielle Bonetti, formerly VP of Partnership for St. Mary’s Healthcare, Amsterdam, after she observed how many homeless people were passing through St. Mary’s Emergency Room as a result of the effects of homelessness. The project works in concert with Montgomery County DSS and the Sheriff’s Office to help get people off the streets into a warm and safe setting. To volunteer or to contribute, call Danielle’s House at 518-842-3762.

November 7, 2014 Ann Sharpe is in her second three-year term on the Board of Trustees for the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region. The mission of the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region is to strengthen our community through philanthropy. Ann participates on the Professional Advisors Committee, the Grants Committee and the Audit Committee.

November 7, 2014 Ann Sharpe is in her second year as Vice President of the Chango Elementary School (Shenendehowa) Parent Teacher Association. In addition to her role as VP, Ann is also the Membership Chair and the School Banking Chair. “A rich and diverse educational experience is so important for our children so that they can become active, involved citizens in our society.”

November 7, 2014 Ann Sharpe is the “Popcorn Kernel” for Cub Scout Pack 6 in Round Lake, NY. As the Popcorn Kernel, Ann coordinates the annual fundraising season for the Pack in order to raise funds for fun and educational activities for the cub scouts throughout the scouting-year.

November 6, 2014 Ann Sharpe spoke on the topics of estate planning and estate administration at Trustco Bank on November 6th. Ann presented the nuts and bolts of estate planning, Wills, and Powers of Attorney. Along with Michael Bates of Trustco Bank’s Financial Services Department, Ann discussed probate assets versus non-probate assets and the reasons why a person may wish to utilize a trust instrument rather than a last will. Ann would love to speak with your organization or your clients – “educating the public is always a priority.”

October 31, 2014 Happy Halloween from CSW to you and your family!

October 31, 2014 On October 24th, Michelle Wildgrube was appointed to the Committee on Character and Fitness for the Fourth Judicial District by the Appellate Division, Third Department. The Committee is responsible for evaluating the character and fitness of persons seeking admission to the Bar.

October 31, 2014 On October 14th, Michelle Wildgrube received the New York State Bar Association’s National Pro Bono Week Award for her work with The Legal Project on their Affordable Housing Attorney Assistance program which works with community-based Affordable Housing agencies to assist homebuyers who are unable to afford legal fees. In addition, she helped develop the new Wills Program which assists low-income individuals with wills, health care proxies, and powers of attorney.

October 28, 2014 Karen Satterlee participated in The Legal Project’s Pro Bono Wills Clinic on Saturday, October 25, 2014. Karen regularly volunteers her time and skills to helping low income individuals with their estate planning needs. The clinic is usually held quarterly at The Legal Project, depending on the level of need.

October 27, 2014 Happy news at CSW! Congratulations to Lauren Sharkey (formerly Palmer) and Crystal Doolity-Mills (formerly Doolity) on their recent nuptials! Lauren was married to Patrick Sharkey on September 13, 2014 at the Mabee Farm in Rotterdam Junction, NY. Crystal was married to Jim Mills on October 11, 2014 at the Normanside Country Club in Delmar, NY.

(Palmer-Sharkey Wedding)

(Doolity-Mills Wedding)

October 24, 2014 Deb presented on Medicare and Long Term Care for the Federated Bar Association at the Mirror Lake Inn in Lake Placid, NY.

October 22, 2014 Michelle gave a presentation on Powers of Attorney, Capacity Issues and Guardianships for the Albany Guardian Society.

October 22, 2014 Lauren and Deb gave a presentation on Article 17A Guardianships at The Schenectady ARC. The presentation focused on alternatives to guardianship as well as a detailed review of guardianship procedure. The next presentation at Schenectady ARC will be held in spring 2015 on Supplemental Needs Trusts.

September 15, 2014 Michelle taught a Continuing Legal Education seminar on Estate Planning and Real Estate Transaction at the NYSBA Young Lawyers Section Fall Meeting in Albany.

September 4, 2014 Michelle gave a lunchtime seminar on the subject of Estate Planning for the Employee Assistance Program for the NYS Department of Health and the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General.

July 30, 2014 CSW treated its staff to a night out in Saratoga where they attended a dinner at the Hall of Springs and enjoyed the Bolshoi Ballet & Orchestra’s performance of Don Quixote. This event was sponsored by the CDWBA. Below, from left to right, are Crystal, Lynn, Ann, Lauren, Nicole, and Michelle.



July 19, 2014 Michelle presented the “Real Estate Update” at the NYSBA’s Real Property Law Section’s Summer Meeting at Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. She presented with Peter Coffey, Esq., and discussed and analyzed recent real estate cases from New York State courts.

July 7, 2014 Michelle and Lauren, as 4th District Representatives, co-hosted an evening at The Tri-City Valley Cats for the New York State Bar Association’s Real Property Law Section (RPLS) and the Young Lawyers Section (YLS). Event attendees were encouraged to bring their well-mannered dog to the game: Tri City ValleyCats vs. Connecticut Tigers. Tri City ValleyCats are a Class A Baseball team and 2013 Penn League Champions. A donation of 40% of all ticket sales was made to OUT OF THE PITS, the Capital Region’s most prolific pit bull rescue and rehabilitation non-profit organization.

June 21, 2014 Michelle attended her first meeting of the NYSBA’s House of Delegates as a Section Representative from the Real Property Law Section. Michelle was appointed to a three year term.

June 19, 2014 Michelle presented on “Suddenly Alone” for the Albany Guardian Society in connection with The Legal Project. This seminar focused on estate planning and elder law issues for women who find themselves suddenly alone. Michelle shared the podium with Colleen Campoli, CPA, who spoke about financial issues and tax planning.

May 31, 2014 Karen Satterlee volunteered at The Legal Project’s Uncontested Divorce Clinic in Mechanicville, New York. The program provides assistance to low income individuals with the preparation and filing of necessary documents in uncontested divorce actions. Clinics are held every other month at the Mechanicville Community Center. Clients are provided with a one-on-one appointment to receive assistance with the state issued uncontested divorce packet. Call The Legal Project at (518) 435-1770 for more information and to request eligibility.

May 22, 2014 Cristine Cioffi was named Lawyer of the Year by the Schenectady County Bar Association for her outstanding professionalism and distinction in the legal profession. Way to go Cris!



May 15, 2014 Michelle presented “The Umpteenth Real Estate Update” with Attorney Peter Coffey at the Schenectady County Bar Association’s Real Estate Seminar. The two credit hour presentation included review and analysis of real estate cases for the past year. This is the sixth time that Michelle and Peter have presented this topic together.

May 1, 2014 Michelle presented at the New York State Bar Association’s Real Property Section Continuing Legal Education seminar on the topic of Contracts. This presentation involved the dissection of a contract for the purchase and sale of a residential property.

April 15, 2014 Michelle presented “Suddenly Alone” for the Albany Guardian Society in connection with The Legal Project. This seminar focused on estate planning and elder law issues for women who find themselves suddenly alone. Michelle shared the podium with Kathleen Godfrey, a financial planner.

April 10, 2014 Karen Satterlee is now serving on the Board of Directors for the Capital District Paralegal Association (CDPA) for 2014. Karen is also the Chair of the Pro Bono Committee for the CDPA.

April 3, 2014 CSW co-sponsored the Amsterdam Family YMCA's Outstanding Senior Student & Educator Awards Program. Deb Slezak also presented at this event.

March 25, 2014 Pat Roslund was awarded the YWCA Women of Achievement REACH AWARD as an exemplary team member who has gone above and beyond, on behalf of CSW. The award is presented to outstanding women who have demonstrated unusual achievement and distinction in career and/or community work and have made a difference in the elimination of discrimination on the basis of race, gender or creed. These nominees have overcome or helped to eliminate any racial, societal or professional barriers while serving as role models through the leadership qualities they exhibit.



March 21, 2014 Laurie Keniry, an Academy of the Holy Names (AHN) parent, attended Career Day at the AHN Upper School, which featured an impressive group of women mentors from a wide variety of businesses and careers. Laurie discussed a career in law with interested students.

March 13, 2014 The Schenectady County Bar Association Elder Law, Trusts and Estates Committee hosted the 18th Annual Elder Law Seminar at the Glen Sander's Mansion. Many of the attorneys at CSW are members of the Committee, which is Chaired by Deb Slezak.

March 12, 2014 During Career Day at Wilber H. Lynch Literacy Academy, Deb Slezak presented a mock arraignment to five classes and explained to the students the education and other requirements for becoming an attorney as well as the various careers that they could find in the law.

March 3, 2014 As President of the New York Bar Foundation, Cristine Cioffi was quoted in The Daily Record, a newspaper based out of Rochester, New York. The article entitled "Vigdor Adds Another Achievement to Full Life" is about Rochester attorney Justin L. Vigdor, a former president of the New York State bar association, Monroe County bar association, and The New York Bar Foundation. The Foundation recently presented him with its Lifetime Achievement Award, honoring him for significantly advancing the Foundation’s purpose. Here is a link to the article: http://nydailyrecord.com/blog/2014/03/03/vigdor-adds-another-achievement-to-full-life/.

March 1, 2014 Karen Satterlee volunteered at The Legal Project’s Uncontested Divorce Clinic in Mechanicville, New York. The program provides assistance to low income individuals with the preparation and filing of necessary documents in uncontested divorce actions. Clinics are held every other month at the Mechanicville Community Center. Clients are provided with a one-on-one appointment to receive assistance with the state issued uncontested divorce packet. Call The Legal Project at (518) 435-1770 for more information and to request eligibility.

February 28, 2014 Michelle spoke at the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System’s Pension and Retirement Education Program on the topic of Estate Planning. Her presentation included an overview of Health Care Proxies and Living Wills, Powers of Attorney, Wills, and Trusts for teachers who are considering retirement.

February 23, 2014 Lauren Palmer participated in the Disney World Princess Half Marathon in Orlando, Florida. The race consisted of a 13.1 mile course through Disney's Magic Kingdom® Park and Epcot®. Finishers received a very “bling” princess medal!

January 1, 2014 Happy New Year!

2013 News Archive

December 16, 2013 We are pleased to announce that the tree we donated to the annual Festival of Trees at the YWCA and Schenectady County Historical Society, which we called “The Ice Tree,” was chosen as the People’s Choice Tree! Visitors to the Festival of Trees had the opportunity to vote in the categories of Most Creative and People’s Choice at each location. We were thrilled to learn that the person who won the raffle for The Ice Tree literally screamed with excitement when she learned that she won our tree. A thank you goes out to Claudia Jakubowski and Susan Bodak of CSW who were instrumental in coordinating the design and production of the tree.

December 10, 2013 Karen Satterlee was elected to serve on the Board of the Capital District Paralegal Association (CDPA) to serve as Director of the Pro Bono Committee at CDPA’s annual business meeting. Go Karen!

December 5, 2013 As Fourth District Representatives of NYSBA’s Real Property Section and Young Lawyers’ Section, Michelle Wildgrube and Lauren Palmer co-sponsored a holiday event at the Pump Station in Albany. Guests were asked to bring an unwrapped toy that was donated to the local chapter of Toys-for-Tots.

November 28, 2013 The CSW Team participated in the Ellis Medicine’s 32nd Annual Cardiac Classic on Thanksgiving Day for the 5K Road Race, Wellness Walk, and Fun Run in Schenectady’s Central Park. The race supports the Ellis Medicine's Wright Heart Center. CSW had 15 team members participate and raised over $500 for Ellis Medicine. All team members completed the race (even though it was bitterly COLD!). Cris Cioffi even received a medal for getting 3rd place in her age group!



November 18, 2013 As members of the Ellis Medicine Cardiac Classic Committee, Cris Cioffi and Lauren Palmer are helping to plan the annual Thanksgiving Day 5K Road Race, Wellness Walk, and Fun Run in Schenectady’s Central Park. This year, CSW created its own team and set a goal of 8 runners and $300 in donations. To date, CSW has raised $450 and has 12 runners on the team! If you would like to donate to Ellis Medicine, please visit our team website at http://www.kintera.org/faf/search/searchTeamPart.asp?ievent=1072523&lis=1&kntae1072523=B3E5B420E6CA494E848F28286863043C&team=5699688. Look for our team shirts at the race!

November 16, 2013 Karen Satterlee volunteered at The Legal Project’s Uncontested Divorce Clinic in Mechanicville, New York. The program provides assistance to low income individuals with the preparation and filing of necessary documents in uncontested divorce actions. Clinics are held every other month at the Mechanicville Community Center. Clients are provided with a one-on-one appointment to receive assistance with the state issued uncontested divorce packet. Call The Legal Project at (518) 435-1770 for more information and to request eligibility.

November 15, 2013 TOYS FOR TOTS. Once again, CSW is participating in the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. The program’s mission is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community. Staff and clients are encouraged to donate to this cause. A Toys for Tots box will be located in our reception area for collections.



November 15, 2013 FESTIVAL OF TREES. CSW is participating in the 7th Annual Festival of Trees, put on by the Schenectady County Historical Society and YWCA Northeastern NY (NENY). Last year over 1,000 people visited the display of holiday trees prepared by community groups and businesses. This year, our theme is “The Ice Tree.” Our tree is on display now at the firm for approximately two weeks. Then, ours will be displayed at Schenectady County Historical Society Headquarters, 32 Washington Avenue from November 29 to December 15th. A raffle will be held for the donated trees. Proceeds from the raffle benefit SCHS and the YWCA.



November 13, 2013 Michelle Wildgrube spoke at a “Legally Speaking” workshop for the Legal Project through the New York State Employee Assistance Program on the topic of Estate Planning. Legally Speaking is a free service of The Legal Project offered to community groups and organizations. The goal of the program is to provide community members with the legal information they need for situations where legal representation may not be necessary or where a greater understanding of the legal system is needed.

October 30, 2013 Michelle spoke at the New York State Bar Association’s Introduction to Estate Planning Continuing Legal Education (CLE) in Albany on the topic of ethics. Cris Cioffi also spoke at this CLE.

October 25, 2013 Michelle spoke at the Federation of Bar Association’s Fall Continuing Legal Education (CLE) at Mirror Lake Inn on the topic of ethics involving real estate matters.

October 16, 2013 As a committee member, Michelle Wildgrube helped plan The Legal Project’s Pro Bono Awards Luncheon which was held at The Century House. The Legal Project honored volunteers and community partners who have gone above and beyond to promote access to justice in our community.

September 25, 2013 Michelle Wildgrube is on the Ellis Medicine’s Women’s Night Out Committee, which organizes a fundraiser event each year filled with education, shopping and dining with friends, family and colleagues. This year, the event featured Joy Bauer from The Today Show. All proceeds from Women’s Night Out support women's health services at Bellevue Woman's Center.

September 24, 2013 Karen Satterlee was a panelist with three other members of the Capital District Paralegal Association who presented a roundtable discussion with current paralegal students at Schenectady County Community College. The discussion included current trends in the paralegal profession, tips for networking, recommendations for launching a job search and preparing for the job interview.

September 21, 2013 Karen Satterlee volunteered at The Legal Project’s Uncontested Divorce Clinic in Mechanicville, New York. The program provides assistance to low income individuals with the preparation and filing of necessary documents in uncontested divorce actions. Clinics are held every other month at the Mechanicville Community Center. Clients are provided with a one-on-one appointment to receive assistance with the state issued uncontested divorce packet. Call The Legal Project at (518) 435-1770 for more information and to request eligibility.

September 20, 2013 Homeowners must now list school tax exemption with the State or lose it. If you receive an envelope from the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, do not ignore it. The tax department is sending millions of letters to homeowners statewide reminding them to register their School Tax Relief (STAR) exemption with the state before December 31, 2013. Registration can be done on-line or by phone.

September 19, 2013 Michelle Wildgrube spoke at the New York State Bar Association’s Hot Topics in Real Property Law Continuing Legal Education (CLE) in Albany on September 19th. Michelle presented the Real Estate Update. She will also present the same program on September 26th in Buffalo and again on November 8th in New York City.

September 17, 2013 Michelle Wildgrube is scheduled to speak at all three SUNY Albany campuses for The Legal Project’s Legally Speaking Program on the topic of estate planning on September 17th (uptown campus), September 19th (downtown campus), October 1st (east campus) and October 2nd (uptown campus).

July 27, 2013 Cris Cioffi was appointed to the Third Department Committee on Professional Standards. The 21-member Committee reviews complaints against Third Department attorneys. The primary role of the Committee is to protect the public, deter attorney misconduct and preserve the reputation of the Bar.

July 26, 2013 Claudia’s pet bulldog, Gilbert, was entered in the “Cutest Pet” contest at the Glenville Wal-Mart and won! (How could he not with that face?) Gilbert won a gift basket and of course, bragging rights.


July 26, 2013 Michelle Wildgrube presented at a Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Program entitled, “A Cautionary Tale: Recent Cases Instituted by the Grievance Committee Involving Real Estate Transactions.” Her co-presenter was Peter V. Coffey, Esq. of Englert Coffey McHugh & Fantauzzi LLP, Schenectady, NY. The CLE was held at the Saratoga Springs Public Library. After the CLE, attendees spent the afternoon at the Saratoga Race Track.

July 25, 2013 Nicole Clouthier was appointed to serve as the New York State Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section Liaison to the Trusts and Estate Section for the term June 1, 2013 to May 31, 2014.

July 25, 2013 Lauren Palmer was appointed to serve as the New York State Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section co-representative of the 4th District for the term June 1, 2013 to May 31, 2014.

July 12, 2013 The New York Law Journal published its list of the Largest Women-Owned Law Firms in New York State, which listed Cioffi • Slezak • Wildgrube P.C. as number 8 in New York State! To view the complete list, please go to http://www.nylj.com/nylawyer/adgifs/decisions/061713chart3.pdf.

July 12, 2013 Cris Cioffi was featured in The New York Law Journal article, “State Bar Foundation Aids Sandy Victims,” for her work as President of the New York State Bar Foundation. Cris and the New York State Bar Association President, Seymour James, presented a $4,000 check to the Legal Aid Society to aid Hurricane Sandy victims. This grant was one of 13 grants recently provided by the Foundation to law-related groups who are aiding Hurricane Sandy Victims. To view the article, please go to http://www.newyorklawjournal.com/PubArticleNY.jsp?id=1202602287344&State_Bar_Foundation_Aids_Sandy_Victims&slreturn=20130612121608.

July 12, 2013 The Southern Saratoga County Women in Business Committee, a committee that Ann Sharpe and Pam Moore are very active in, participates in an annual program called “Backpacks of Hope.” Before school begins each year, the committee collects donations from both members and the community to assemble backpacks filled with basic school supplies for children of all ages whose parents have requested assistance from the Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Services of Saratoga County. The committee’s goal is to provide 100 backpacks per year and so far, through the efforts of our committee and the generosity of the community, they have hit goal every time. This year, the assembly date is August 21.

Unfortunately, there are too many women who require assistance from the DVRC in any given year. Even worse, it is the children that are most affected; many of them are starting at a new school after suffering through a horrible family experience that they had no control over with a parent with no money to buy them anything for school—sometimes these children don’t even have permanent housing yet, but are living in a shelter.

CSW is collecting for donation any backpacks or school supplies, or monetary donation or gift card. The monetary donations are used to buy school supplies that are need but not generally donated, such as calculators for the older school children. Pam and Ann will bring whatever is donated to the Chamber Offices.

June 15, 2013 Claudia Jakubowski and Lauren Palmer ran the inaugural Strawberry Fest 5k, sponsored by Best Fitness. The route showcased Upper Union Street and the surrounding neighborhoods. Claudia and Lauren both finished second in their age groups. Proceeds from the race benefited the Upper Union BID Scholarship Fund and E4P, Inc.’s Weekend Blessings Project.



June 15, 2013 Katy Carpenter was married at the Canfield Casino in Saratoga Springs, NY. The firm congratulates Katy and her new husband, Kyle, and wishes them happiness in their new life together.


June 14, 2013 The firm extends its congratulations to Lynn Coles who graduated from the Chamber of Schenectady County’s Leadership Tech Valley program today! Over the past year, Lynn has volunteered countless hours of her time and efforts to several different projects sponsored by the program, including assisting needy children by raising money and actually building a playground for them.

June 11, 2013 Susan Bodak was honored today for being with the firm for ten years. Susan is a valued member of the firm and is truly a pleasure to work with: she is knowledgeable and kind. Here’s to another ten years!


June 6, 2013 Claudia Jakubowski ran in the Vale Park 5K Run, sponsored by the Booster Club of Notre Dame Bishop Gibbons School, and placed first in her age group. She won a gift certificate to Villa Italia. The Vale Park run is a lovely tour through Vale Park and Historic Vale Cemetery.

June 3, 2013 Lynn Coles attended the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony celebrating the completion of the Play It Forward playground project. Play It Forward project was inspired by the prospect of assisting some of Albany County’s neediest children toward having a safe and creative playground in which to climb, run, swing, slide and learn through play. As an active member of The Chamber of Schenectady County’s Leadership Tech Valley Class of 2013, Lynn has helped to make this project a reality.



June 1, 2013 Michelle Wildgrube, Lauren Palmer, Karen Satterlee, and Katy Carpenter participated in the pro bono Wills Clinic hosted by The Legal Project. Together, they helped five low-income families or individuals with their estate planning needs.

May 21, 2013 Ann Sharpe was sworn in as Vice President of the Chango Elementary School (Shenendehowa District) Parent Teacher Association for the 2013-2014 school year.

May 19, 2013 Katy Carpenter presented at an Elder Law Presentation on behalf of the Albany Law School’s Elder Law Pro Bono Project and the Rural Law Center at the Voorheesville Public Library. She discussed estate planning documents, Medicaid, housing rights, public benefits, consumer rights and family law for senior citizens.

May 15, 2013 Michelle Wildgrube co-presented “The Umpteenth Annual Real Estate Update” at the Schenectady County Bar Association’s Real Estate Seminar with her colleague, Peter Coffey. Peter is a partner as Englert, Coffey, McHugh & Fantauzzi, LLP in Schenectady. The two (seminar) hour presentation was a review of New York State real estate related cases from 2012. This is the fifth year that Michelle and Peter have collaborated for this presentation.

May 15, 2013 Michelle Wildgrube is this year’s winner of the New York State Bar Association’s 2013 President’s Pro Bono Service Award in the 3rd Judicial District (Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, Schoharie, Sullivan, Ulster counties). Michelle has been a volunteer with the Legal Project in Albany for more than 10 years, assisting the Affordable Housing Attorney Assistance Program and handling pro bono real estate closings.

May 11, 2013 Lynn Coles spent her Saturday building a playground for children in need with her Leadership Tech Valley Class of 2013.



May 6, 2013 Michelle Wildgrube gave a presentation on Estate Planning for the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System in Albany, covering the topics of Health Care Proxies and Living Wills, Powers of Attorney, Trusts and Wills.

April 19, 2013 Cioffi • Slezak • Wildgrube P.C. supported the Play It Forward initiative and sponsored a “Wear Jeans for St. Catherine’s Marillac Shelter Playground Day” today. St. Catherine’s Marillac Family Shelter in Albany provides shelter to 50 children, on average, every day. Lynn Coles, Esq. and her fellow Leadership Tech Valley Class of 2013 classmates are providing Marillac with a new playground to help combat the negative effects of homelessness a child’s physical, mental and emotional health. This new playground will promote healthy physical and mental play, while providing opportunities for the children to learn positive social and conflict resolution skills. At the project’s completion, the Class of 2013 will donate the tools purchased to complete the construction of the playground, and ‘Play Them Forward’ to Habitat for Humanity. Habitat will use the tools to help numerous low-income families realize the dream of home ownership.



April 6, 2013 Michelle Wildgrube, Karen Satterlee, and Katy Carpenter participated in the pro bono Wills Clinic hosted by The Legal Project. Michelle, Karen, and Katy volunteered their services to help low income individuals with their estate planning needs.

April 2, 2013 Michelle lectured for the New York State Bar Association’s seminar on Purchases and Sales of Homes on the topic of Contract Drafting and Negotiation. This seminar was sponsored by the Real Property Law Section, Michelle is a member of the Executive Committee for the Section.

March 17, 2013 Lauren Palmer participated in the New York City Half Marathon hosted by the New York Road Runners Club. This was Lauren's third half marathon and best time yet at 1:48!

March 14, 2013 The Schenectady County Bar Association Trusts and Estates/Elder Law Committee, chaired by Deb Slezak, hosted a seminar at the Glen Sanders Mansion, which was reported to be “an unequivocal success” by the Bar Association’s President, Michael Basile. The well-attended event featured informative presentations on Medicaid Law, Cy Pres Proceedings, Estate Planning, and Ethics by CSW attorneys: Cris Cioffi, Ann Sharpe, Pam Moore, and Lauren Palmer, as well as Martin Finn, Kate Toombs, Bill Keniry, Ellyn Kravitz, and John Casey. A special congratulation goes to Pam Moore, who very capably pinch hit as a moderator for the event.

March 11, 2013 Michelle Wildgrube was the guest speaker at Union Graduate College on the topic of Pregnancy and Motherhood Discrimination. Michelle is a contributor to the The Psychology of Women at Work, Volume One (Praeger, 2008), which is a text for this class.

March 1, 2013 Katy Carpenter has volunteered as a VITA tax preparer at the Ellis site through the tax season. VITA, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, provides free tax preparation and helps working families to access the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and many other credits and savings to which they are entitled under law. There are free VITA sites in each county throughout the Greater Capital Region. They are staffed by volunteers representing United Way, the finance industry, the IRS, social services and community members. Here is a website link for more information along with the capital region sites: http://www.cashgreatercapitalregion.org/. In addition, Katy was elected as Project Director for the Albany Law School’s Pro Bono Society Tax Law Program (VITA).

February 1, 2013 Heart disease still kills more women than all cancers combined. CSW participated in the National Wear Red Day® by wearing red and donating to the fight against heart disease. We raised over $200 for the American Heart Association this year and had fun doing it!


January 23, 2013 CSW received a warm thank you from the raffle winner of our tree, which was donated to the 6th Annual Festival of Trees, hosted by the Schenectady County Historical Society and YWCA Northeastern NY: “I had been wanting a new, more realistic tree for our family room and this tree was perfect! It was beautifully decorated with at least 80 ornaments. The tree skirt was a perfect complement to the theme. I will enjoy it every Christmas. Please send this note on to the people that donated the tree with all my thanks!” - V.D. of Ballston Lake

January 19, 2013 Lauren Palmer and Katy Carpenter participated in the pro bono Wills Clinic hosted by The Legal Project. Lauren and Katy volunteered their services to help low income individuals with their estate planning needs.

January 1, 2013 Lauren Palmer was elected Treasurer of Umbrella of the Capital District, Inc. (Umbrella). Umbrella is a nonprofit agency, serving the Capital District, that has been helping senior citizens and people with disabilities live comfortably, safely and independently in their own homes since 1995.

 

2012 News Archive

December 6, 2012 Lynn Coles participated in the CDWBA Women’s Self Defense Course at the Modern Self Defense Academy. It was an active evening filled with helpful information on avoiding confrontational situations. The course included real scenarios and instruction on how to handle physical confrontations and escape safely.



December 3, 2012 Katy Carpenter, a paralegal at CSW and first year law student at Albany Law School, wrote a blog post on The Elder Statesmen, a blog presented by Albany Law School’s National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys Student Chapter. The blog focuses on contemporary issues and developments concerning elder law and policy. Check Katy’s post out at http://albanylawelderlaw.blogspot.com/.

November 16, 2012 CSW is participating in the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. The Program’s mission is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community. Today, a client and friend of the firm very generously donated four Build-a-Bears (two boys and two girls), all with second outfits.

November 15, 2012 Pamela Perry (now known as Pamela Moore!) and her new husband, Don, attended The Southern Saratoga County “Chamber Angels” annual gala. CSW has been a silver sponsor of the event for the last three years. The Chamber Angels program provides hundreds of children in Saratoga County, whose parents are having financial difficulties, with their only source of Christmas gifts.

November 15, 2012 Please be on the look-out for Hurricane Sandy Scams! The IRS has received reports of scam artists impersonating legitimate charities following Hurricane Sandy. Bogus websites may solicit funds for Hurricane Sandy relief. These bogus sites frequently mimic the sites of, or use names similar to, legitimate charitable organizations. The IRS cautions that scam artists also frequently attempt to contact taxpayers by email. The agency (and CSW) reminds taxpayers to donate to recognized charities and to make donations by check or credit card or another way that provides documentation for the gift.

November 15, 2012 Michelle Wildgrube spoke at the NYSBA live CLE Webcast/Webconference on Providing Legal Assistance to Persons Affected by Superstorm Sandy. There were nearly 2,000 registered for this CLE. Michelle was one of the panelists discussing client counseling and the best practices for advising clients in disaster relief situations with regard to disaster unemployment assistance, document loss/replacement records, banking, consumer debt/credit issues, family, and benefits.

November 9, 2012 CSW collected non-perishable food items for victims of Hurricane Sandy. Pat Roslund will drop the food off today with Security Supply. Security Supply is a local business with 12 branches in the Upstate Area. They are sending a large truck to the Food Bank of New Jersey located in Hillsdale, New Jersey. The food bank is distributing food throughout all areas of the New Jersey, which were hit by the storm. We remember how much help was appreciated by co-workers and friends in our area last year during Hurricane Irene and wanted to join in this much need effort.



November 2, 2012 Once again, CSW is participating in the 6th Annual Festival of Trees, put on by the Schenectady County Historical Society and YWCA Northeastern NY (NENY). Last year over 1,000 people visited the display of holiday trees prepared by community groups and businesses. This year, our theme is “Birds in the Woods.” Our tree will be on display at the firm for approximately two weeks. Then, it will be on display at Schenectady County Historical Society Headquarters, 32 Washington Avenue, and the YWCA’s main campus, 44 Washington Avenue, from November 23 to December 9th. The display will be open Monday -Friday, noon to 8pm and Saturday & Sunday, 10am to 8pm. A raffle will be held for the donated trees. Winners will pick up trees the week of December 10th. Proceeds from the auction will benefit SCHS and the YWCA.


November 2, 2012 Lauren Palmer attended a CLE hosted by The Legal Project on Domestic Violence Cases Involving the Military.

October 23, 2012 CSW celebrates its 8th Anniversary! To commemorate this special occasion, CSW went on a firm retreat. The partners, Cris, Deb, and Michelle, kept the activity secret until the day of the event and simply told everyone to go to The Glen Sanders Mansion at 12:30 p.m. for the retreat. When we arrived, we learned that we would be teaming up for a cake decorating contest! The theme: What CSW Means to Me. Prizes were given to the Best Theme and Best Design. Team Mango (Pam Perry, Lauren Palmer, and Sherri Price) won Best Design with their 100% Women Cake and Team Hunter Green (Pat Roslund, Cris Cioffi, Penny Gagliardi, and Janice Panasiuk) won Best Theme for their umbrella-like cake which represented the firm’s support network, unity, and friendship. The cake decorating was followed-up with a cooking class by one of Glen Sanders’ chefs, where Pam Perry volunteered to help the chef. We then got to enjoy the dish the chef prepared and one of our own cakes at a luncheon. After the event, four of the decorated cakes were donated to the Bethesda House. All in all, it was a fabulous day at CSW!


October 20, 2012 Deb Slezak has accepted a position on the Ellis Residential & Rehabilitation Center Board of Trustees Committee. Deb is excited to be participating on the Trustees Committee and looks forward to serving as a Board member.

October 20, 2012 Lauren Palmer and Karen Satterlee participated in the pro bono Wills Clinic hosted by The Legal Project. This is the second time Lauren and Karen have volunteered their services to help low income individuals with their estate planning needs.

October 18, 2012 Cris Cioffi led the New Trustees’ Orientation for The New York Bar Foundation at the Bar Center, located at 1 Elk Street in Albany, New York.

October 18, 2012 Lauren Palmer attended her first meeting as a member of the Kate Stoneman Committee at Albany Law School. The Committee focuses on honoring pioneering women in the law in memory of the first woman to be admitted to the bar in New York State in 1886. For more information about Kate Stoneman, please visit http://www.katestoneman.org/.

October 18, 2012 Michelle Wildgrube, Lauren Palmer, and Ann Sharpe attended The Legal Project’s Pro Bono Reception held at The Egg in Albany, New York.

October 17, 2012 Ann Sharpe and Pam Perry attended the Women in Business Fall Luncheon with Anne Saile hosted by the Chamber of Southern Saratoga County. Anne Saile is nationally recognized as a management expert and brings over 25 years of chief executive experience running complex, multimillion dollar companies.
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October 11, 2012 Deb Slezak, Michelle Wildgrube, and Donna Law attended a continuing legal education on Estate and Gift Tax in Albany, New York.

October 4, 2012 Cristine Cioffi and Lauren Palmer attended the first meeting of the Ellis Medicine Cardiac Classic Committee of the year. Cris and Lauren are members of the Committee which has planned a 5k race in Schenectady’s Central Park, held on Thanksgiving morning, for the past 31 years.

September 29, 2012 Cristine Cioffi welcomed her grandson, Jack Lawrence Male, into the world today! Congratulations to Cris and her family.

September 27, 2012 The CSW attorneys, their guests, and over 650 others attended Women’s Night Out, hosted by Ellis Medicine. This is an event that everyone at CSW looks forward to each year. Michelle Wildgrube even helped plan this year’s Women’s Night Out, which included education, shopping, and dining with friends, family and colleagues. We especially enjoyed nationally-renowned cardiothoracic surgeon Kathy Magliato, MD and Ellis’ cardiac doctors Herbert Reich, MD and Andi Nawab, MD who led a panel discussion on Women and Heart Disease and, of course, entertainment journalist Giuliana Rancic. All proceeds from Women’s Night Out supported the expansion and modernization project at Bellevue Woman’s Center.

September 24, 2012 Ann Sharpe and Cristine Cioffi, joined by their respective spouses and family members along with several clients of the firm, attended the informational community outreach event at The Medical Center of Clifton Park, a division of Ellis Medicine.

September 19, 2012 Lauren Palmer co-presented at a workshop hosted by Andre Turman of Merrill Lynch at the National MS Society. Lauren spoke about Advance Directives (Health Care Proxies and Powers of Attorney) and Simple Wills.

September 19, 2012 Deb Slezak is chairing the Schenectady County Bar Association Elder Law, Trusts and Estates Committee for a third term. Ann Sharpe, Lynn Coles, Pam Perry, and Lauren Palmer are members of the Committee.

August 28, 2012 As members of the Women in Business committee of The Chamber of Southern Saratoga County, Pam Perry and Ann Sharpe helped assemble 106 new backpacks filled with school supplies (and several additional boxes of supplies) that are now all at Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Services of Saratoga County. The backpacks will be given out to the families seeking the help of DVRC throughout the school year. These backpacks and school supplies take a burden off the shoulders of the women dealing with domestic violence issues and bring a smile to the faces of the kids that get to pick out their own new backpack.
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August 20, 2012 CSW Law Firm welcomes new staff member and paralegal Penny Gagliardi to the team!

August 20, 2012 CSW is pleased to announce that Katy Carpenter will begin classes at Albany Law School; she will be a part-time student enrolled in the J.D. program, Class of 2016.

August 13, 2012 Associate Lynn Coles was accepted into the prestigious Leadership Tech Valley Class of 2013. Leadership Tech Valley develops the leadership potential of participants and builds a solid foundation of informed, action-orientated and productive employees and citizens through a series of thought-provoking session days, which begin on September 20, 2012. Leadership Tech Valley unites individuals from diverse fields and backgrounds to learn more about themselves as leaders and how to best serve their organizations and community. Leadership Tech Valley is a shared initiative of the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber of Schenectady County. For more information, please see Leadership Tech Valley’s website at http://www.leadershiptechvalley.org/.

August 12, 2012 Associate Lauren Palmer participated in the Warrior Dash at Windham Mountain, which is a 3.2 mile run up and around a mountain with 12 obstacles, including a fire pit and several muddy ponds to cross! The race is also a fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®.

July 12, 13, and 14, 2012 Michelle Wildgrube will be attending the Summer Meeting of the New York State Bar Association’s Real Property Section as a speaker and the District Representative for the Fourth Judicial District. Michelle will be co-presenter of the Real Estate Update.

June 23, 2012 Karen Satterlee participated in the pro bono Pro Se Divorce Clinic, hosted by The Legal Project at the Mechanicville Community Center.

June 13, 2012 Pam Perry presented a lunch seminar on “Legal Aspects of Long Term Care and Elder Law Planning” at Southern Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce.

June 5, 2012 Michelle Wildgrube presented at the Schenectady Bar Association’s 31st Annual Real Estate Practice Seminar at the Glen Sanders Mansion. Michelle presented with Peter V. Coffey, Esq. on relevant Real Estate Updates in New York State.

May 17, 2012 Michelle Wildgrube was awarded the "Lawyer of the Year" award from the Schenectady County Bar Association. A ceremony was held at the Lighthouse to present the award to Michelle, along with the other honorees, including Honorable Vincent J. Reilly, Jr., who will be receiving the Lifetime Achievement award. What does it take to be named Lawyer of the Year? “An ability to lead, a great reputation, getting others involved,” observed Judge Christine Clark, in white.

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May 7, 2012 Cris Cioffi is pleased and proud to announce that her daughter, Sara Sharkey Male, and her son-in-law, Benjamin Male, will be welcoming a baby boy soon!

May 6, 2012 Lauren Palmer participated in the New Jersey Shore Half Marathon today. This was Lauren’s second half marathon and she is happy to report that she beat her last time by two minutes!

May 5, 2012 Ann Sharpe participated in the Albany YMCA 5K Run that begins and ends at Washington Park Lake House, which raises money for underprivileged children and families in the Albany community.

May 1, 2012 Lynn Coles participated in Law Day sponsored by the Schenectady County Bar Association, where she answered legal questions about estate planning from community members in attendance.

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April 30, 2012 Lauren Palmer joined the Umbrella of the Capital District, Inc. board of directors. Umbrella is a nonprofit agency, serving the Capital District, that has been helping senior citizens and people with disabilities live comfortably, safely and independently in their own homes since 1995.

April 28, 2012 Michelle Wildgrube attended the annual meeting of the Federation of Bar Associations, Fourth Judicial District in Montreal. Michelle will continue to serve as the president of the Federation until April, 2013.

April 28, 2012 Ann Sharpe, Lauren Palmer, and Karen Satterlee (a member of the Capital District Paralegal Association) participated in the pro bono Wills Workshop hosted by The Legal Project.

April 26, 2012 Cioffi • Slezak • Wildgrube P.C. celebrated Staff Appreciation Day at the Stockade Inn. Staff members gathered for a special luncheon hosted by the partners of the firm.

April 26, 2012 Karen and Lee Satterlee have been named the 2012 Ambassadors for the Dine Out For Life fundraiser for the AIDS Council of Northeastern New York. They were at Aperitivo Bistro on April 26th during the dinner service. Karen’s co-workers at CSW donated to the event.

April 23, 2012 Michelle Wildgrube presented at the New York State Bar Association Seminar on Practical Skills—Purchases and Sales of Homes. Michelle’s topic was real estate contracts. Michelle continues to serve on the New York State Bar Association’s Real Property Law Section Executive Committee as the Fourth District Representative.

April 16, 2012 Deborah Slezak participated in the Elder Law Section’s Mitchell Rabbino National Healthcare Decisions Day program. She volunteered by speaking at the Gloversville Senior Center in Gloversville, NY about Advance Directives (Health Care Proxies and Powers of Attorney).

March 2012 Cris Cioffi to be the new President of the New York State Bar Foundation, effective June 2012. The New York Bar Foundation is a nonprofit organization that receives charitable contributions and provides grants to promote service to the public, improvements in the administration of justice, legal research and education, high standards of professional ethics, and public understanding of legal heritage. The Board of Directors includes distinguished lawyers from across New York State including four other officers, 25 directors and two ex officio directors.

March 15, 2012 Deb Slezak hosted the 16th Annual Schenectady County Bar Association Trusts, Estates and Elder Law Seminar at Glen Sanders Mansion in Scotia, New York. Lynn Coles gave a lively presentation entitled, "Estate Tax Update and Planning Methods in Light of Current Tax System," where she educated practitioners on current estate planning techniques.

March 1, 2012 CSW participating in The American Cancer Society's Daffodil Days. Claudia Jakubowski, our "Director of First Impressions," helped to coordinate donations for The American Cancer Society's Daffodil Days from the CSW staff members. This is the second year the firm has participated in this fundraiser.

February 3, 2012 CSW hosted "Go Red for Women" day at the office. For a donation to the American Heart Association, staff could wear jeans and a red top to the office.



January 28, 2012 CSW Law Firm staff attends Ellis Hospital fundraiser. Cris Cioffi, the current Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ellis Medicine, hosted her fourth annual Ellis Hospital fundraiser at the Glen Sanders Mansion in Scotia, New York. Cris was joined by her husband, John Sharkey, and her two children, Patrick and Sara. Also in attendance were partner Deb Slezak and associate Lauren Palmer. The event was by all accounts a success. Everyone had a wonderful time talking, eating and of course, dancing!

January 23, 2012 CSW Law Firm welcomes new staff member and paralegal Karen Satterlee to the team! Karen has extensive experience in real estate transactions and will also play an intricate role the preparation of estate planning documents.

January 19, 2012 CSW Law Firm is proud to announce associate Lauren Palmer's admittance to the New York State Bar. Lauren will be working in the areas of estate administration, estate planning, Medicaid planning, real estate transactions and corporate filings.

January 2012 CSW Law Firm has launched a new and revised website. New layout and design will help clients easily navigate CSW services and staff.

 

2011 News Archive

November 18, 2011:  Michelle Wildgrube, as President of the Federation of Bar Associations of the Fourth Judicial District helped to organize a Fall CLE program at which she and Deb Slezak both presented.  They traveled to lovely Lake Placid, New York where Michelle presented on real estate and Deb on Elder Law to fellow attorneys.    

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November 24, 2011:  CSW likes to play together while they support causes in our community.  Cris Cioffi, the Chair of the Board at Ellis Medicine is a supporter of all things Ellis and our staff enjoys running…a perfect combination!  Ellis Medicine’s Cardiac Classic was held, as it always is, on Thanksgiving morning.  This year the race was run on Thursday, November 24, 2011 at 9:00am.  Lauren Palmer, Law Clerk at CSW, and a member of the planning committee, participated in the run; as did, Claudia Jakubowski, CSW’s Co-Director of First Impressions, and Connie Carrigan, our Closing Coordinator. 

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Liz Schalk, a paralegal at CSW and her daughter Jennifer, together with Christina Vincent and her sister Missy participated in Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.  The event was held at Washington Park in Albany, New York. 

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Lynn M. Coles, as a member of the CLE Committee of the Capital District Women’s Bar Association, along with her fellow committee, organized a continuing legal education event entitled “The Portrait of a Judge: The Honorable Judith S. Kaye: A Look at Her Continuing Legacy of Writings, Initiatives, Landmarks for Women in the Law”.  The event was sponsored by the Capital District Women's Bar Association, in conjunction with the Historical Society of the Courts of the State of New York.

The program highlighted the remarkable legal and administrative legacy of Judge Kaye.  The speakers included three superb presentations by Judge Susan Read, who discussed the history of the portraits, Professor Susan Herman, who analyzed Judge Kaye’s jurisprudence over the years and Judge Juanita Bing Newton, who revealed the impact of Judge Kaye on the access to the court system through her judicial initiatives.  The seminar included a phenomenal panel discussion about Women as Judges and Partners.  The panelists included Judge Judith Hard, Judge Leslie Stein, Judge Christine Clark, Janet D. Callahan, Melanie L. Cyganowski, and Kathryn Grant Madigan, all of whom shared their unbelievable stories of the discrimination they had encountered in their careers – both as attorneys and from the bench.  The discussion was structured around three general subjects: handling adversity on entering the profession, the challenges of balancing a family life with a career, and the impact of Judge Kaye’s service as Chief Judge on these issues. The panel discussion was moderated by Albany Law School Professor Patrick Connors.

The participants also included: Chief Judge Lippmann and the Associate Judges of the Court of Appeals; Andrew Klein, Clerk of the Court; Cynthia McCormick, Director, Court of Appeals Management and Operations; Frances Murray, Court of Appeals Chief Legal Reference Attorney; Lisa Bohannon, Senior Court Analyst; Bryan Lawrence and the technical staff of the Court of Appeals; Lisa Cleary, Principal Court Stenographer; and all the other Court personnel.

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CSW participated for the fourth year in a row in the Festival of Trees at the Schenectady Historical Society.  The attorneys and staff at the firm enjoy letting their creative side show and this year they chose Alzheimers:  Remembering Christmases Past as their theme.  They are awaiting the results of the tree raffle at this time. 

2010 News Archive

Cioffi • Slezak • Wildgrube sponsored the Chamber Angels Reception of the Southern Saratoga Chamber.  The Reception was held on November 18, 2010 and proceeds from the reception provide support to local families during the holiday season.

CSW Attorney Ann Sharpe spoke at Albany Law School on November 5th to recent graduates on the topic of representing clients in residential real estate transactions.

Ann Sharpe also spoke at Better Neighborhoods, Inc to a crowd of first time homebuyers about the process of purchasing a home on September 22nd.

Ann Sharpe and Pam Perry participated in the Baskets of Hope assembly this November with the Women in Business Committee of the Southern Saratoga Chamber.  The Baskets are donated to the Saratoga Domestic Violence & Rape Crisis Center. For more information on the program click the link www.dvrcsaratoga.org/

In August, Deb Slezak will be a panelist for the Medicaid Interactive Session at the NYSBA Elder Law summer meeting in Philadelphia, PA. Deb, along with Michael Amoruso, Esq. and Judy Grimaldi, Esq. from downstate will be raising questions to the attendees regarding complex issues in Medicaid planning.

Michelle Wildgrube will be speaking at the New York State Bar Association Real Property Committee Meeting in July, 2010. Her presentation at the summer meeting will cover the popular topic of Case Law Update, a topic that was well received by attorneys at the Schenectady County Bar Association's Real Property CLE on May 13, 2010, where Michelle and Peter Coffey delivered the 2-hour discussion.

On Tuesday, June 15, Michelle Wildgrube conducted training for new attorneys through The Legal Project's Affordable Housing Attorney Assistance Program. The Program's initiative is to help first time homebuyers who cannot afford an attorney to understand the documents they are signing and the grants, loans and other assistance they may be eligible for.

Michelle Wildgrube has been named an initial director of the Disability Education Forum of New York, Inc., a Not-for-Profit corporation. The purpose of the corporation is to increase awareness of people with disabilities by conducting seminars at schools and universities, working with businesses to encourage employment and develop workshops. 

Deb Slezak was a presenter at the June 11, 2010 New York State Bar Association CLE titled "Advanced Document Drafting for the Elder Law Practitioner." Deb spoke on the topic of Drafting Wills and Revocable Trusts.

On March 24, 2010, Michelle Wildgrube attended the Capital District Tobacco Free Coalition's dinner honoring those organizations in the community who aid and encourage Tobacco Free. As President of The Legal Project, Michelle and Executive Director Lisa Frisch accepted their award for outstanding support. In a related matter, Michelle will speak at the Rip VanWinkle Tobacco Free Coalition informational program in Hudson on April 29, 2010. She will discuss the legal issues involved with the smoking policies in rental properties. (Photos by: JoanHeffler.com.)

On March 19, 2010, Deb Slezak and Ann Sharpe presented at the Schenectady County Bar Association's 13th Annual Elder Law Seminar. The seminar was attended by 72 area attorneys who heard Deb speak on the topic of Medicaid Planning Techniques and Ann on the duties, details and deadlines of Estate Administration. Deb and Ann both serve on the Elder Law Committee.

Cris Cioffi has been invited to be a speaker at a national conference hosted by Union Graduate College on August 2, 2010. The conference is entitled "Women, Management and Leadership: Organizational Practices and Individual Strategies for Women". This conference will bridge academic research with organizational practices in the area of women and leadership.

Deb Slezak was sworn in as Town Justice of the Town of Amsterdam on January 3, 2010. The swearing in ceremony was held at the town board's organizational meeting, where Deb was honored with a plaque for her dedication as the Town Attorney for 13 years.

Michelle Wildgrube will be attending the New York State Bar Association's annual meeting the week of January 25th in New York City. While in NYC she will also attend the Real Property Executive Committee meeting.

Michelle Wildgrube will be speaking on "Challenging your Real Estate Tax Assessment Lunchbox Luncheon, sponsored by KeyBank in March 2010.

 

 

 

2009 News

News & Events Recap

  • January 2009
  • March 2009
  • April 2009
  • May 2009
  • June 2009
  • July 2009
  • August 2009
  • October 2009
  • November 2009
  • December 2009

Cris Cioffi, Michelle Wildgrube and spouses were delighted to be guests of Key Bank at the production of ‘Avenue Q,’ which was presented at Proctor’s Theater in Schenectady on January 20th

In late January, Cris Cioffi presented a program to approximately 50 residents at the Glen Eddy, located on Consaul Road in Niskayuna, titled “Financial Literacy for Silver Foxes”. It was done in conjunction with Girls Incorporated of the Greater Capital Region, and also highlighted the Financial Literacy Program offered to girls ages 6 – 18 at this very worthy agency.

On January 13th, Michelle Wildgrube presented at the Key Bank Brown Bag Lunch Series on Health Care Proxies and Living Wills.

On January 27th, Cris Cioffi attended ‘Advocacy Day’ at the Capitol (Albany) as part of a team from Ellis Hospital. Hospital Board and Administration members met with Legislators to discuss NYS government funding of health care initiatives.

The last week of January brought the NYSBA Annual Meeting in NYC.  Deb Slezak attended the Executive Committee meeting for the Elder Law Section as well as an educational program; Michelle Wildgrube attended the Executive Committee meeting for the Real Property Section and an educational program; and Cris Cioffi attended a meeting of the New York Bar Foundation Trustees. The Chair of the Grants Committee for that organization, Cris summarized approximately 50 grants that had been submitted by a variety of not-for-profit organizations that benefit citizens of New York State.  A total of $300,000 in grant awards was approved by the Foundation Board of Trustees.

Deb Slezak spoke at the Schenectady County Department of Senior and Long Term Care Services second annual forum - “Valuable Tools for Difficult Times,” on March 10, 2009. Her presentation was titled Educating Yourself on Medicaid Budgeting Rules. She spoke alongside Katherine Rosenblatt, Long Term Care Specialist and Melissa Hogan, Counselor, New York State Division of Veterans’ Affairs.

On March 25, 2009, Ann Sharpe gave a presentation to new home buyers as part of a Better Neighborhoods series for The Legal Project: Legally Speaking.

Ann Sharpe gave a presentation on recent, sweeping changes to the Power of Attorney statute in New York State to the Schenectady County Bar Association on April 16, 2009.

On May 13, 2009, Ann Sharpe participated in a panel discussion at the Glenville Senior Center on estate planning - Wills, Powers of Attorney and Health Care Proxies.  The panel was sponsored by the NY State Bar Association, Elder Law Section.

Cris, Deb and Michelle all attended the Third Annual Trailblazers Luncheon sponsored by the Women’s Fund of the Capital Region. The Women’s Fund collected items at the luncheon to benefit local women and children who are victims of domestic violence.

On June 1, 2009, Ann Sharpe was sworn in as a Delegate from the Capital District Women's Bar Association (CDWBA) to the Women's Bar Association State of New York (WBASNY).  Ann continues as a Board member on CDWBA, a position that she has held since 2006.

Michelle Wildgrube appeared on Talk am 1300 with Melody Burns to discuss The Legal Project. Specifically they discussed issues that women face every day and the services The Legal Project provides. 

Deb Slezak attended the Key For Women Breakfast on June 5, 2009, at the Glen Sanders Mansion. The Breakfast featured guest speaker Nadja Piatka, author of the book “Now is Not the Time to Retreat,” and self-made millionaire. Piatka is an international supplier to Subway, McDonalds, Giant and Wegmens.

On June 18, 2009, Ann Sharpe was elected to the Board of Directors of the Schenectady County Bar Association for a three year term.

Ann Sharpe will be continuing her position as a member of the Professional Advisory Committee of The Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region for another one year term, from June 2009 through June 2010.

Michelle spoke at the Better Neighborhoods Legally Speaking seminar on July 22. The seminar targets first-time home buyers and helps to rebuild Schenectady neighborhoods through affordable housing.

Michelle Wildgrube attended the NYSBA Real Property Summer Meeting in Ogunquit, Maine, in mid-July. As chair of the 4th district’s real property section, Michelle is also hosting a meet and greet for the members at the Saratoga Race Track in August.

On October 25, 2009, Cris Cioffi, Ann Sharpe, Danielle Lange, Connie Carrigan, Sara Clark and Claudia Jakubowski all participated in the 5K Race for Hope sponsored by St. Peter’s Hospital. The race raised $45,000 for the patients at the St. Peter’s Cancer Care Center.

Michelle Wildgrube and MaryAnn Racicot were interviewed and featured for the Business Review’s October 9th issue, for an article titled “Buy space or lease? Personal preference and an eye on the future determine the answer.”

Ann Sharpe and Pam Perry are participating in the Southern Saratoga County Chamber Business Showcase on November 5th.  The fall showcase offers members of the community an opportunity to meet representatives from local businesses. The free event takes place 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the gym of the Southern Saratoga YMCA.

On November 7th, Cris Cioffi attended a quarterly meeting of the Trustees of the NYS Bar Foundation, for which she serves as Assistant Secretary

On November 10, 2009, Michelle will be presenting at the New York State Bar Association’s CLE titled “Practical Skills – Purchases and Sales of Homes.” Her topic of discussion is Contract Drafting and Negotiation.

Michelle is attending the Schenectady County Bar Association’s “Family and Matrimonial Law” CLE on Friday, November 13th. 

On November 20, 2009, both Deb and Michelle will be presenting at the Fourth Judicial District Federated Bar Associations annual CLE. Deb will be speaking on Medicaid and Elder Law, while Michelle will be speaking on the New Power of Attorney Law.

Cris Cioffi and spouse, John Sharkey, will serve as the Honorary Chairpersons of the Cardiac Classic, a 5K race held in Central Park, Schenectady, on Thanksgiving morning. Staff members at CSW will participate in the 5K Road Race sponsored by Ellis Hospital. The race supports the Ellis Medicine’s Wright Heart Center. Cris currently serves as Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of Ellis Medicine.

Deb Slezak and Ann Sharpe will be volunteers at the NYSBA’s Elder Law Section’s Fall Pro Bono Clinics. Deb will be assisting on December 4th, 2009 at the Jewish Community Center, while Ann will be working the December 1st, 2009 clinic at the Scotia-Glenville Senior Center. The pro bono clinic aims to help seniors in the community with legal questions that are unsure as to whether or not they need an attorney.

Deb Slezak, partner at Cioffi • Slezak • Wildgrube P.C. has been elected Town Justice in the Town of Amsterdam during the recent Novevmber elections.

Cioffi • Slezak • Wildgrube P.C. has volunteered as a drop off location for the United States Marine Corps Toys for Tots drive. All toys must be new and unwrapped. Toys can be dropped off during CSW's regular business hours.

 

2008 Archives

News & Events Recap from 2008

  • December 2008
  • November 2008
  • October 2008
  • September 2008
  • June 2008
  • May 2008
  • April 2008
  • February 2008

On December 12th CSW held its holiday party at the Stockade Inn.  Sara Clark organized a hotly contested trivia game, and Stan Jakubowski (spouse of Claudia) masterminded a word game using Christmas Carols.  Yes, we are a competitive group of people – even when we have fun!

Cioffi Slezak Wildgrube participated in the second annual Schenectady County Historical Society and YWCA of Schenectady Festival of Trees, entering a tree with a "polar" theme.  It was filled with polar bears, penguins, Eskimos, reindeer, igloos, and snowflakes.  The tree was displayed at the Schenectady County Historical Society headquarters at 32 Washington Avenue, and the YWCA main campus at 44 Washington Avenue, from November 28 to December 7.  The masterpiece was raffled off at the end of the Festival. 

Ann Sharpe became a member of the Professional Advisory Committee of the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region.  The Community Foundation is a public charity unlike any other in the Capital Region. It exists not to support a single organization, but to address the broadest range of charitable issues in our community by building an endowment that serves as a perpetual source of community capital.

Ann Sharpe was elected to a second, two-year term as a Director on the Board of Directors for the Capital District Women’s Bar Association.  Ann also serves as Co-Chair on the Membership Committee of the Women’s Bar.

On November 12th, Ann Sharpe presented a ‘Legally Speaking’ topic on Real Estate Contracts for first time home buyers.  Legally Speaking is presented by volunteers of The Legal Project.  The class is coordinated by Better Neighborhoods and was held at The Steinmetz Family Education Center in Schenectady.

Cris Cioffi and her spouse, John Sharkey, co-chaired the ‘Cardiac Classic’ on Thanksgiving morning. It is a 5K run and a Wellness Walk that attracted over 1,100 runners. The event raised $30,000 for the Ellis Hospital Foundation, to be used for the Wright Heart Center.

On October 6th, Ann Sharpe spoke to members of the Albany Public Library Board and Staff on the topic of how to assist donors and potential donors of the Library in making charitable gifts to the Library. The discussion included information about Wills, Charitable Trusts and Charitable Annuities.

On October 16th, Cris, Deb and Michelle traveled to Tucson, AZ for an American Bar Association program entitled:  Women Rainmakers Mid-Career Workshop.  They spent three days listening to national speakers and authors on the topic of marketing the practice of law, and net-working with women attorneys from a variety of states, practice areas, and from large-sized firms as well as small-sized.

The partners gleaned valuable marketing information, and were able to share some of CSW’s marketing successes with colleagues.

Interestingly, CSW was one of only 2 women-only firms represented at the conference.

While visiting Tucson, the partners had a chance to attend the USTA National Championships, where they cheered on the New England team.  Lyn Calkins, a member of the team, is a long-time friend of Michelle and her husband, Drew Lochte.

On October 16th, Sara Clark attended the American Bar Association’s “Working with Digital Documents in a Legal Environment” seminar. The seminar focused on ways law firms can enhance their productivity using certain technology tools, while maintaining the confidential client/attorney setting. 

On October 23rd, Amy Stone, Donna Law and Nancy Gentile attended the New York State Bar Association’s CLE titled “Probate and the Administration of Estates,” at the Clarion Hotel in Albany. The CLE focused on the actual administration of an estate, from determining the nature and extent of a decedent’s assets and liabilities to discussion of tax issues that may affect the beneficiaries of the estate.

On October 28th, Deb Slezak and Ann Sharpe attended a seminar on family and charitable planning with retirement accounts. The seminar was presented by The Jewish Community Endowment Fund at The Golub Center on Washington Avenue Extension in Albany.

On September 12th Ann Sharpe attended a presentation by Marie Wilson of The White House Project.  The luncheon was sponsored by the Capital District Women’s Bar and co-sponsored by many leading local businesses. Ms. Wilson’s remarks encouraged women to get involved in politics at all levels of government from local to national.

On September 24th, Ann Sharpe presented at a Career Panel at Albany Law School.  The Panel, consisting of 10 local women attorneys, shared stories about their career paths with law students.

On June 10 from 12 to 1:00 PM, Michelle Wildgrube presented at the Key4Women Lunch Box Lessons on the topic of traffic tickets. The lunch was at the Key4Women Resource Center, 1 Metro Park Drive. www.key.com/resourcecenter
On May 20, 2008, Michelle Wildgrube will teach a seminar on Real Estate Basics for the Affordable Housing Attorney Assistance Program, a program of The Legal Project. For more information, call The Legal Project at (518) 435-1770. Michelle Wildgrube has also been appointed to the Executive Committee of the Real Property Section of the New York State Bar Association.
On April 23, 2008, Cris Cioffi, Deb Slezak and Michelle Wildgrube each served as board members for the 15th Annual Women's Night Out. Women's Night Out is sponsored by Bellevue Women's Care Center and the Ellis Foundation and looks to meet a goal of $145,000 in donations for Women. Women's Night Out was held on April 23, 2008 at The Crowne Plaza in Albany.
On February 8, 2008, Deb Slezak, Michelle Wildgrube and Ann Sharpe each presented at the Schenectady County Bar Association's Basic CLE course. Deb Slezak discussed estate planning and concentrated on Wills, Health Care Proxies and Power of Attorneys. Michelle Wildgrube addressed the overall aspect of real estate closings from both the purchaser and seller's side. Ann Sharpe lectured on the basic requirements for forming and maintaining a business.

 

2007 Archives

News & Events Recap from 2007

  • December 2007
  • November 2007
  • October 20007
  • June 2007
  • May2007
  • April 2007
  • March 2007
  • February 2007
  • January 2007

The Firm is pleased to announce Ann M. Sharpe, Esq. and Mary Ann Racicot, CPA have joined the firm.

Cris Cioffi has been elected Secretary of the Ellis Hospital Board of Directors, where she also Chairs the Strategic Planning Committee.

Cris Cioffi has contributed a chapter to a work entitled Work, Life and Family Imbalance: How to Level the Playing Field, edited by Michele A. Paludi and Presha E. Neidermeyer, faculty at Union Graduate College. Her chapter is called Finding and Keeping the Best and the Brightest - Flexible Policies in a Small Workplace, and emanated from the business model used at CSW. It is published by Praeger Publishers.

The firm has elected to contribute to Toys for Tots and Dress for Success. We will be collecting new toys for Toys for Tots and pantyhose for Dress for Success. The pantyhose collected will be arranged as a wreath and presented at the Capital District Women's Bar Association Christmas Dinner on December 4, 2007.

As a group, the firm decided to concentrate their charitable efforts, and focused on providing donations to the City Mission of Schenectady. Did you know that for $1.74 you can provide a Thanksgiving Dinner for a person in need? As a group that enjoys sharing meals together, this donation was an easy choice for us.

The CSW firm participated in a staff retreat with a focus on team work. This year, they skipped the course on ropes, but they did engage in some interesting challenges that focused on problem solving. One of the favorite activities was comparing their answers to a questionnaire that highlighted our generational differences. They are looking forward to continuing this tradition in 2008.

The firm was proud to be a sponsor of The Legal Project's 12th Annual Pro Bono Event which was held at the State Museum on Albany. Michelle Wildgrube currently serves as Vice President on the Board of Directors of The Legal Project, an organization dedicated to providing legal services to the working poor of our community. Susan and Nancy also contributed to the event by donating items to the silent auction.

Michelle Wildgrube presented a seminar on Real Estate Closing Basics for attorneys at The Legal Project offices on June 4, 2007. This is the seventh year that Michelle has presented the seminar which is a requirement for attorneys joining the Affordable Housing Attorney Assistance (AHAA) Program of The Legal Project. Attorneys attending the seminar received Continuing Legal Education credits and agreed to represent a homebuyer on pro bono basis. The AHAA program works with community based Affordable Housing agencies to assist homebuyers who are unable to afford legal fees.

On Saturday, May 12, the CSW Adventure Crew comprised of attorneys Crystal Doolity and Samantha Whitney, and Paralegals Kathleen Donnelly, Connie Carrigan and Sara Clark tackled the Hudson River Gorge with Adirondack River Outfitters. The 17 mile rafting trip is the longest stretch of white water in New York State. No CSW employees fell out of the raft.

On May 23, 2007, Crystal Doolity was a co-presenter on Advance Directives to the Adult Outreach Program at Bellevue Reformed Church. The presentation was aimed at informing individuals about Health Care Proxies, Living Wills and Powers of Attorney.

On May 23, 2007, Cris Cioffi will receive The Katherine S. Rozendaal Award at a ceremony held at the Glen Sanders Mansion. Cris was nominated by the Junior League of Schenectady for her dedication to community service.

On May 19, 2007, Crystal Doolity completed the Dennis Devlin Memorial 5K Run in Washingtonville, New York. The 6th annual run was held in memory of NYFD Battalion Chief Dennis Devlin and proceeds were donated to the Washingtonville Scholarship Fund and the NY Firefighters Burn Center Foundation.

On May 13, 2007, Michelle Wildgrube was awarded the Thanks Badge II at the final Annual Meeting for Girl Scouts, Mohawk Pathways Council. The meeting was a celebration of the council as it moves towards merger with Girl Scouts of the Adirondack Council; Girl Scouts, Hudson Valley Council; and Girl Scouts, North Country Council into Girls Scouts, Northeastern New York Council, Inc. Michelle has served as Board Chair of the Mohawk Pathways Council for the past two years and has also co-chaired the Council Realignment Committee. The Thanks Badge II is the highest adult recognition in Girl Scouting.

On May 2, 2007, Deb Slezak spoke at the NYSBA Basic Elder Law Practice Seminar held in Albany. This full-day practical skills program was designed for any attorney looking to understand what elder law practice is all about, or who were looking for a quick refresher course to bring them up to speed on the basic knowledge needed to advise the elderly in New York. The event was held at The Clarion Hotel of Albany (formerly the Albany Q) at 3 Watervliet Avenue Extension.

Michelle Wildgrube was elected to the position of Secretary of the Federation of Bar Associations, Fourth Judicial District at the Federation's Annual Meeting in Montreal on April 28, 2007. The Federation of Bar Associations is comprised of the Bar Associations for the Fourth District which includes the area from Schenectady to the Canadian Border and Watertown to the Vermont Border. Michelle has served as the delegate from the Schenectady County Bar Association since 2002.

On April 12, Cris Cioffi and Crystal Doolity attended the New York State Bar Association Elder Law Section Executive Committee Meeting at Embassy Suites Hotel in New York City.

On March 8, 2007, CSW sponsored the Amsterdam Family YMCA Youth Awards Breakfast.

The Schenectady County Bar Association held it's 11th Annual Estate Planning Meeting on Thursday, March 15, 2007 at the Glen Sanders Mansion in Scotia, NY. Cris Cioffi presented on "Planning with Promissory Notes and Annuities" and Deb Slezak presented "Personal Care Contracts".

On March 26, 2007, Michelle Wildgrube gave a Legally Speaking presentation on The Legal Project's programs and opportunities for the Diversity Study Group of the American Association of University Women, Schenectady County Chapter.

On March 27, 2007, Michelle Wildgrube presented two topics, Landlord Remedies and Ethics, for a Seminar on Advanced Issues in Landlord-Tenant Law held at the Desmond in Albany.

CSW participated in the American Heart Association's Wear Red Day fundraiser. On Friday, Febraury 16, CSW staff wore jeans and red to show support and raise awareness of heart disease in women.

Cris Cioffi, Deb Slezak and Crystal Doolity traveled to New York City the week of January 22 to particpate in the New York State Bar Associations Annual Meeting at the Marriott Marquis. They attended various section programs as well as the Elder Law executive committee meeting.