Sara focuses her practice on complex permitting, licensing, contract preference programs, government certifications, regulatory proceedings, regulatory compliance, corporate governance, commercial litigation, governmental relations, and corporate law.
She advises companies regarding eligibility and compliance matters under numerous state and federal contract preference programs, including: the Federal Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program; the New York State Minority and Women-Owned Business Program; and Small Business Administration programs, such as Small Disadvantaged Businesses Certifications, Veteran-Owned Business Certifications, and HUB-Zone Certifications. She has extensive experience in navigating clients through the complex issues of business planning, demonstrating eligibility under specific program criteria, and potential exposures arising under state and federal laws. Her experience ranges from managing the application process, communicating with agency representatives, representing clients in appeals, handling certification compliance matters, and assisting clients in preparing and implementing diversity policies in their business operations.
Sara's education and professional experience extend into health care information technology, medical device development, public transit, environmental science, and intellectual property. Additionally, Sara has done substantial work in medical marijuana, including representing one of the original five registered organizations authorized to produce and distribute in New York State, and she currently serves on the New York State Bar Association's Committee on Cannabis Law.
Prior to pursing her legal career, Sara focused on various entrepreneurial ventures. She is highly knowledgeable and experienced in creating, planning, implementing the strategic direction of an organization, including client, employee, and capital investment management; identifying, forming, and maintaining business-to-business and customer relationships in target markets; internal and external communications and marketing; planning and managing mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and spin-out opportunities; and structuring and drafting various contracts and agreements.
- Syracuse University College of Law, J.D., magna cum laude
- Syracuse University Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, M.P.A.
- LeMoyne College, M.B.A.
- State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, B.S.
- New York
- New York State Bar Association Committee on Cannabis Law
- New York State Bar Association
- Onondaga County Bar Association
- College of Environmental Science and Forestry, "ESF Alumna Leads Cannabis Team for Law Firm," November 2018
- Cannabis Law Digest, Contributing Editor
- New York State Bar Association CLE, "Medical Marijuana and Adult Use in New York: Patient, Provider and Registered Organizations Perspectives," August 2018
- Onondaga County Bar Association Bar Reporter, "Spark It Up! Business Burns Bright at Barclay Damon," July/August 2018
- The Capital Pressroom, "Sara Payne and Lee Williams on Medical Marijuana," July 2018
- New York Law Journal, "As NY Health Dept. Backs Marijuana Legalization, Attorneys Eye a New Practice Area," July 2018
- New York State Bar Association Journal, "Medical Marijuana in New York: Where We've Been and Where We're Going," July 2018
- New York State Bar Association Journal, "Medical Marijuana: A Current Look at Cannabis Law in the Workplace," July 2018
- Rochester Business Journal BizCast, "Sara Payne and Cannabis Law," July 2018
- Rochester Business Journal, "Barclay Damon Starts Cannabis Team," July 2018
- New York State Bar Association CLE, “Legislative Developments in Medical Marijuana and Industrial Hemp in New York,” May 2018
- Gilberti Stinziano Heintz & Smith, P.C., Associate