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Biographies

Alan J. Schwartz, Principal / Attorney
Paul Magel, Associate
Randy L. Braun, Of Counsel
Beth Polner Abrahams, Of Counsel
Adam B. Bayroff, Of Counsel
Bonnie S. Halbridge, Of Counsel
Mark I. Plaine, Of Counsel
Joshua R. Katz, Of Counsel
Mitchell L. Kaufman, Of Counsel
Riva Gaft Schwartz, Office Manager
Alex Karambelas, Legal Assistant
Jessica Craft, Senior Legal Assistant


Alan J. Schwartz, Principal / Attorney

Mr. Schwartz, a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Hofstra University with High Honors in English and a graduate of the St. John's University School of Law, is admitted to practice before all Courts of the State of New York, the United States District Courts of the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York State, and the Supreme Court of the United States. He serves as a member of the Board of Directors and an officer of the Jewish Lawyers Association of Nassau County, and Co-Chairs the Gotham Suffolk Networking Group, and his professional affiliations include the Nassau Lawyers’ Association of Long Island, the Former Assistant District Attorneys Association, the American Judges Association, the Nassau and Suffolk County Bar Associations, the Criminal Courts Bar Association of Nassau County, the Garden City Chamber of Commerce, the Network of Allied Professionals, Inc. (to which the Firm serves as counsel), the Long Island Business Associates, the Long Island Business Resource Association, the Attorney-Accountant Professional Roundtable,the Gotham Long Island Legal Networking Group, the Attorney Round Table, the Lawyer’s Round Table, the Professional Roundtable, the Garden City Business Club and the Accountant/Attorney Networking Group Inc.

Mr. Schwartz has served on the faculties of St. John's University and the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, lectured in the Trial Techniques Program of the Hofstra University School of Law served as a judge on the Polestino Trial Advocacy Institute, the St. John's University Law Invitational Mock Trial Tournament, and Nassau County Bar Association National Civil Rights Trial Competition, as well as the New York University Downtown Invitational Classic with the American Mock Trial Association, and serves as a Nassau County Arbitrator.

Mr. Schwartz has served as a member of the Long Island Association and its Small Business Council, is licensed as a Real Estate Broker in the State of New York and serves on the Advisory Board of the First American Title Insurance Company of New York.

Mr. Schwartz offers his experience to other attorneys as a mentor, in the "Of Counsel Mentor Program" of the Nassau County Bar Association, and currently serves as a member of its Criminal Court Law and Procedure, Real Property Law, District Court, General/Solo/Small Firm Practice and Technology and Practice Management Committees, having previously served on its General Practice, Plaintiff's Round Table, Professional Ethics (and the Executive Sub-Committee thereof), Community Relations and Public Education’s Senior Citizens Forum Sub-Committee, Corporation Law and Law Practice Management Committees. He also currently serves as a member of the Criminal Law, District Court, Real Property and Solo & Small Firm Practitioners Committees of the Suffolk County Bar Association, having previously served on its Law Office Management, Banking, Commercial and Corporate Law Committees.

In the five years he spent as an Assistant District Attorney in Nassau County, Mr. Schwartz practiced in the District Court Trial Bureau, the Grand Jury Bureau and the County Court Trial Bureau. He was also a member of the specialized Sex Crimes Unit of the District Attorney's Office, and served as a member of a select Criminal Justice Task Force with the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, studying and providing recommendations concerning Systems Improvements for Enhanced Community Safety in the State of New York.

Mr. Schwartz serves as the New York Representative of the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network, LLC.

Mr. Schwartz resides on Long Island with his wife. In their leisure time, the Schwartz family spends their summers enjoying golf, bicycling and boating, and are former members of the Huntington Yacht Club. Mr. Schwartz plays golf regularly, and is member at the Hamlet Golf & Country Club.

Mr. Schwartz is an avid car enthusiast and motorcyclist, served as a member of the Long Island Corvette Owners Association (to which the Firm served as counsel) and a charter member of Long Island Vettes. Mr. Schwartz is also a member of the American Motorcyclist Association and the Harley Owners Group, and served as a member, Road Captain, Activities Director and Assistant Director of the Long Island Chapter, as well as a member of the Woodstock Chapter. The Schwartz family spend their winters skiing at Windham Mountain, where Mr. Schwartz was a founding member of the Ski Windham Commerce Club, and his son actively competed for years as a member of the Windham Mountain Alpine Racing Team, later racing as a captain of the Brandeis Ski Team and the United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association.

In his little “spare time”, Mr. Schwartz is an active supporter of the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the Arthritis Foundation.

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Paul Magel, Associate

PAUL MAGEL, associate, is a graduate of St. John’s University School of Law. While at St. John’s, he interned in the Sex Crimes Bureau in the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office, and later represented misdemeanor clients as a clinical student with Queens Legal Aid. He also was an active participant in the Polestino Trial Advocacy Institute, competing in trial advocacy competitions across the country. He currently serves as a coach for the Polestino Trial Advocacy Institute.

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Randy L. Braun, Of Counsel

RANDY L. BRAUN, a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Pace University [where he was elected to the prestigious Alpha Chi National Academic Honor Society] and a graduate of the Fordham University School of Law [where he won appointment as a member of the Moot Court Board], is admitted to practice before all Courts of the State of New York, the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and the Supreme Court of the United States.

Mr. Braun became a partner in a New York City firm in 1996, and opened his own practice in 2004, after which he became of counsel to the Law Offices of Alan J. Schwartz.

Mr. Braun has represented employers and individuals in the areas of labor, employment, discrimination, human resource, prevailing wage and construction law matters. His philosophy is one of creativity and pragmatism as he consistently strives to achieve the best possible result for the client, and to make the client's experience in working with an attorney a positive one.

"Juz The Fax" blog by Randy L. Braun


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Beth Polner Abrahams, Of Counsel

For over 22 years, Beth Polner Abrahams has provided quality legal representation to seniors and the disabled, as well as customized estate planning to meet the personal needs of families, their children and other loved ones.

Ms. Polner Abrahams is a member of the New York State, Nassau and Suffolk Bar Associations and has lectured for the N.Y.S. Bar Association. She is past chairperson and a current member of Senior Umbrella Network of Nassau (SUNN), an association of business professionals and advocates involved with seniors, and a member of the Suffolk and Queens County SUNs. She is also co-chair of the Nassau County Bar Association Elder Law, Social Services and Health Advocacy Committee. Ms. Polner Abrahams is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.

Ms. Polner Abrahams has published articles on planning for the disabled and supplemental needs trusts, guardianship proceedings and estate and elder law planning for dignified aging.

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Adam B. Bayroff, Of Counsel

ADAM B. BAYROFF, Of Counsel, practices in all areas (i.e. purchase and sale, leasing, financing) of commercial and residential real estate. A 1986 graduate of New York University Law School, Mr. Bayroff was a partner in the New York City offices of national law firms Greenberg Traurig and Swidler Berlin. His clients range from buyers/sellers of single family homes to owners/developers in transactions involving the sale, acquisition, leasing and financing of office buildings, retail sites, multi-family apartment complexes, cooperatives, condominiums, shopping centers and land development. Mr. Bayroff specializes in the areas of retail leasing and finance having represented owners in negotiations of leases and loan documents with many regional and national tenants (e.g. FedEx/Kinkos, Gamestop, Radio Shack, T-Mobile, Dunkin Donuts) and lending institutions (e.g. M&T Bank, Signature Bank, New York Community Bank, HSBC).

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Bonnie S. Halbridge, Of Counsel

BONNIE S. HALBRIDGE is a graduate of Hofstra University and Hofstra Law School is admitted to practice in the State of New York. From 1986 to 1991, she worked in State Farm's suit unit where she gained extensive experience in the evaluation and negotiation of bodily injury cases, and rose to became the attorney of record and managing attorney for State Farm. From 1991-1993, she worked for an insurance defense firm. From 1996 on, she has been practicing exclusively in the area of Plaintiff's personal injury representing people who have been injured in automobile accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and fall accidents, dog bites, construction accidents, and cases involving wrongful death.

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Mark I. Plaine, Of Counsel

MARK I. PLAINE has been practicing matrimonial law for 25 years, and regularly appears before courts in New York City and Long Island. He is a member of the New York State Bar Association, Queens County Bar Association, New York County Lawyer's Association and Nassau County Bar Association (and is a committee member for the matrimonial and/or family law sections for each of these organizations). He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and has been recognized by Super Lawyers Magazine as amongst the top matrimonial lawyers in the New York Metro region. He has conducted numerous trials, hearings and appeals in the field of divorce litigation over financial and custodial matters.

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Joshua R. Katz, Of Counsel

JOSHUA R. KATZ regularly appears before matrimonial courts in New York City and Long Island. He has been practicing matrimonial and family law in New York State for 20 years, handling complex matrimonial cases and trials. Mr. Katz is an active a member of the Queens County Bar Association Family Law section, and of the New York State Bar Association. He was appointed by the Appellate Division-Second Department to the Queens County Attorneys for Children/Assigned Counsel Trial and Appellate Panels.

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Mitchell L. Kaufman, Of Counsel

MITCHELL L. KAUFMAN, Of Counsel, recently retired after thirty one years in the New York State Court System, where he served as Principal Law Clerk to an Associate Justice of the Appellate Term in the Second Department. Throughout his varied career in the New York State Court system he has handled a wide a variety of cases and as a Law Secretary in the Appellate Term, he has drafted numerous dissents in matters involving complex litigation. Mr. Kaufman has also done updates and revisions for Matthew Bender Legal Publications. His expertise in research and writing has been well recognized, having many of the decisions he drafted published in the Law Journal as well as receiving recognition and praise from fellow attorneys and colleagues.

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Riva Gaft Schwartz, Office Manager

Riva Gaft Schwartz serves as the Firm’s Office Manager, IT Manager and is also trained as a paralegal specializing in residential real estate transactions, representing sellers, purchasers and lenders. Ms. Schwartz brings a marketing and financial management background to the Law Offices of Alan J. Schwartz, having retired as Vice President/General Manager of Robertson-Shipmate, Inc., an international marine electronics conglomerate. During that time, she was responsible for all phases of operation with particular concentration in marketing, and managed three locations in the United States and was a member of the Board of Directors. Ms Schwartz has also lectured internationally and published numerous articles a variety of trade publications. Subsequently, Ms. Schwartz was extremely active with the Half Hollow Hills PTA and REACH/CYA, having coordinated parenting programs for the Half Hollow Hills School District, lobbied legislators on behalf of the district. Ms. Schwartz also serves as Park Steward for the Otsego Park in Dix Hills. Ms. Schwartz attended Syracuse University and received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Hofstra University in February, 1975.

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Alex Karambelas

ALEX KARAMBELAS joins our office as a Legal Assistant after receiving her MA in History specializing in the history of international human rights law from the New School for Social Research. She graduated from Tufts University Summa cum Laude with a BA in Classical Studies.

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Jessica Craft

JESSICA D. CRAFT has rejoined the Law Offices of Alan J. Schwartz, P.C. after a short hiatus. Jessica has worked with the firm since January, 2003, on and off, and brings us her sharp wit, paralegal skills and pleasant personality and we are all excited that she is back on Team Schwartz.

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