Barclay Damon
Barclay Damon

Judith M. Sayles

Judith M. Sayles

Of Counsel

p: 315-425-2784

f: 315-425-8584

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Syracuse Office

Barclay Damon Tower
125 East Jefferson Street
Syracuse, New York 13202

Judith Sayles has more than 25 years of litigation experience, gaining her initial trial experience in the tort and insurance coverage areas. She represented defendants in automobile liability and product liability cases, as well as bank officers in a RICO case and insureds and insurance carriers in environmental contamination cases. Over time Judith’s practice has shifted to focus on the defense of municipalities and private companies in Native American Land Claims in New York State. Judith’s Indian Law work has expanded to include assisting municipal governments and public utilities who oppose Indian tribes’ applications to have land taken into trust by the United States Department of Interior and to provide insight and counsel to utilities facing tribal competition in relicensing applications.

Judith is also a member of the firm’s Lobbying & Election Law Compliance Practice Area. In this role, Judith advises clients on the disclosure and filing requirements of the law and assists them with addressing audits and investigations by regulating agencies in the area of state and federal lobbying and state and federal election Law compliance.

Representative Experience

  • Conducted lobbying compliance training for an international utility company’s officers and employees who would be involved with proposed merger and Public Service Commission approval of same. 
  • Conducted training program for a national cable company’s sales force regarding New York State’s Procurement Lobbying rules. 
  • Prepared education and training materials for the Board of Directors of a natural gas pipeline company on compliance with lobbying laws and rules in State of NY; provide periodic advice to company consultant on compliance questions. 
  • Provided advice to a consulting company regarding compliance with New York State procurement lobbying requirements and Public Officers Law. 
  • Defended local municipalities, utilities and private businesses against claim to lands made by St. Regis Mohawk Indian tribal entities. 
  • Represented local governments in an attempt to obtain Federal Court ordered eviction of Native American group from non-Native American owned land, now on appeal to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. 
  • Represented local governments in Opposition to St. Regis Mohawk Tribe's application to have 39-acre parcel taken into trust by the U.S. Department of Interior and in appeal of DOI decision to Interior Board of Indian Appeals. 
  • Represented local governments in Opposition to the Department of Interior's decision to take over 17,000 acres of land owned by the Oneida Indian Nation of NY into trust and in Federal District Court challenge DOI's determination regarding the same. 
  • Defended town and county governments against claim of St. Regis Mohawk Tribe that lands within the Town and County were within the boundaries of the Tribe's reservation. 
  • Advised utility on Indian Law issues arising in the context of a FERC application. 
  • Represented an international utility in opposition to the Oneida Nation's application to have over 17,000 acres of land taken into trust by the U.S. Department of Interior and in a Federal Court challenge DOI's decision. 
  • Advised financial institution and business clients regarding risks involved with doing business with Indian tribes. 
  • Successfully represented a village in its challenge to Indian tribe's failure to comply with local land use and building regulations and defend village against declaratory judgment action by tribe seeking declaration that tribe had governmental jurisdiction over lands acquired within boundaries of historic reservation.

Practice Areas

Education

  • Syracuse University College of Law, J.D., magna cum laude, 1985
  • Syracuse University, M.S.W., 1975
  • Wells College, B.A., 1967

Admitted To Practice

  • New York, 1986
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of New York
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit

Memberships & Affiliations

  • New York State Bar Association 
  • Onondaga County Bar Association, past Member of Board of Directors

Civic Activities

  • Central New York Community Foundation, Board of Directors 
  • Salvation Army, Advisory Board member, Past Chair 
  • City of Syracuse Downtown Committee, Member of Board of Directors, Past Chair

Honors

  • The Best Lawyers’ Syracuse Product Liability Litigation – Defendants Lawyer of the Year, 2012 
  • The Best Lawyers in America, 2012-2017 for Product Liability Litigation – Defendants 
  • Martindale-Hubbell “BV” Distinguished® Peer Review Rated for High to Very High Ethical Standards and Legal Ability

Prior Experience

  • Hiscock & Barclay, LLP, Partner

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