Sussman & Associates is a civil rights firm located in Goshen, NY. Michael Sussman has been fighting for social and individual justice for more than 35 years. He is well known as one of the top trial lawyers in the region. Christopher Watkins, Of Counsel, is an experienced and well-regarded trial attorney and litigator who has consistently obtained outstanding results for his clients. With a team of knowledgeable and hard-working staff, Heather M. Abissi, Esq., Mary Jo Whateley, Esq., Jonathan Goldman, Esq., and Geri Prescott, we comprise the law firm of Sussman & Watkins, dedicated to preserving civil rights and fighting for justice.
— Michael H. Sussman, Esq.
— Christopher D. Watkins, Esq
— Background & Mission
— Our Staff
— Domestic Violence
— Employment Discrimination
— Employment & Labor
— First Amendment: Retaliation
• Carpenter v NYS OCFS
— Governmental Abuse
— Land Use
— Police Abuse & Misconduct
• Police Abuse Cases
— Voting Rights
Christopher D. Watkins is a graduate of Yale University and the University of California at Berkeley Law School. In law school, he was an Associate Editor of the California Law Review and published an article on the rights of developmentally disabled parents.
Mr. Watkins has been practicing law since 1996, beginning with a large law firm in San Francisco where he developed a thorough understanding of labor and employment law. In 1999, he moved to New York and has been representing civil rights plaintiffs ever since, focusing on employment discrimination, retaliation and harassment, and police and government misconduct.
Mr. Watkins has won several trials and otherwise successfully represented individuals in a variety of venues, including in federal and state court, arbitrations and administrative proceedings. Some of his cases are summarized below. Please note that each case is unique, litigation is inherently uncertain, and that the result in any particular case does not mean that the same or a similar result will be obtained in another case, even those involving the same type of legal claims:
Thankachan v. Peekskill Housing Authority (SDNY): Executive Director fired due to his national origin and ethnicity awarded $1 million dollars by jury; remitted to $690,000 by trial judge;
Paolantonio v. Village of Sleepy Hollow (SDNY): Female police officer awarded $2.35 million jury verdict for sexual harassment and retaliation; remitted to $1,000,050 by trial judge;
Cohen v. Middletown Enlarged City School District (SDNY): School administrator who reported sexual misconduct of Superintendent and was subsequently retaliated against obtained pre-trial settlement;
Roe v. Valentine (Orange Cty. Supreme): Female customer awarded $750,000 jury verdict based on sexual assault by her tailor; remitted to $125,000 by trial judge;
Kern v. Layne, Village of Sloatsburg (SDNY): Wife and husband retaliated against by Village building inspector due to wife's First Amendment-protected speech awarded $200,000 at trial.
Pelella v. Local Union No. 38 (SDNY): Punitive damages awarded against union for wrongfully disciplining member upheld by Second Circuit Court of Appeals;
Marshall, et al. v. Wakefern (SDNY): A group of disabled warehouse workers obtained pre-trial settlement based on company's failure to pay them severance benefits;
Mr. Watkins is a member of the pro bono panel of Hudson Valley Legal Services and a member of the New York chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) and the National Lawyers Guild (NLG). He has given presentations to other lawyers for Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credit on various subjects, including gender stereotypes in the workplace, drug testing in the workplace and the Americans with Disabilities Act. He is admitted to practice in New York and its federal courts as well as the Third and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeal, and is an inactive member of the Bar of California.
Contact Info: (P) 845-294-3991; (F) 845-294-1623; Email email@example.com