Columbia University, Bachelor of the Arts


Hofstra Law School, Juris Doctor

Bar Admissions

District of Columbia

New York


Arthur Z. Schwartz

Principal Attorney


Arthur Schwartz is a Principal Attorney at Advocates for Justice Chartered Attorneys.  Mr. Schwartz has been representing unions, workers, and Lower Manhattan community residents for over 32 years.  He is widely recognized as one of New York City’s top labor and employment lawyers.


Mr. Schwartz has worked as General Counsel to numerous labor organizations, including Transport Workers Union of Greater New York (Local 100), Utility Workers Union of America, Local 1-2 Utility Workers of America at Con Edison, Transport Workers Union Local 101 at National Grid, and Professional Staff Congress of CUNY.  He also served as counsel to DC 37′s largest blue-collar locals for many years (where he played a major role at exposing corruption in 1998), Local 32B-32J, SEIU, Emergency Medical Service Workers Union, Teamsters Local 237 (representing elevator mechanics), Local 1182 of the Communications Workers (representing Traffic Enforcement Officers), numerous locals of the American Postal Workers Union, and the Northeast Regional Joint Board of UNITE (the garment workers union). From 2009 to 2010 he worked as General Counsel to the nationwide Community Organizing group ACORN, and presently represents New York Communities for Change, Pennsylvania’s Action United, the Black Institute, and Jobs with Justice.  Mr. Schwartz has achieved many important victories for unions and union members in state and federal court, in administrative proceedings and in arbitration.


Mr. Schwartz has also won landmark cases in several other areas of workers’ rights: whistleblower protections, employment discrimination, Equal Pay Act, public employee free speech, union democracy, federal and state civil rights, and pension funds. He has reached a verdict in more than twenty jury trials, has argued over fifty cases in the appellate courts, and has handled hundreds of arbitrations regarding various contractual and disciplinary disputes. He has also specialized in addressing workplace safety, having litigated over 40 OSHA cases, and handled numerous matters involving worker exposure to toxins, like asbestos, in the workplace.


Mr. Schwartz has also represented his community, both as a lawyer and as a citizen activist. He has litigated cases that brought ball fields to Hudson River Park’s Pier 40, stopped the construction of a Costco on 14th Street (getting a YMCA instead), and stopped the closing of subway system token booths citywide.  He was also part of teams that stopped a subway fare increase, successfully sued to bring about fair voting procedures in charter school controversies, and represented parents challenging the appointment of Catherine Black to be Schools Chancellor by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.  He has organized his neighbors to win millions of dollars to renovate local parks and playgrounds, build Hudson River Park, and get needed services. In 2001, he represented severely injured survivors of the World Trade Center collapse.


Mr. Schwartz was a founding member and a long time Board Member of Friends of Hudson River Park and has served three terms as Chair of the Hudson River Park Trust Advisory Council.  Mr. Schwartz has also served on Manhattan Community Board 2 for 20 years (where he presently chairs the Waterfront Committee) and as an elected Democratic District Leader or State Committee Member for Greenwich Village, Soho, Tribeca and Northern Battery Park City for the past 15 years.  In 2008, he was elected as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention pledged to Barack Obama. He is a vigorous and forceful leader who believes in holding the feet of government officials to the fire.



1981 – 1984

Pace University School of Law, JD


1977 – 1981

Franklin & Marshall College, Bachelor of Arts, Accounting; Int'l

Laura Dawn Barbieri

Special Counsel


Advocates for Justice

Special Counsel


October 2012 – Present
Lead coun
sel for East Ramapo Central School District Litigation, a federal law suit brought by parents and students against certain former and current School Board members. The lawsuit alleges multiple claims against Board members including that they:
• Diverted funds to promote their own religion and private religious schools.
• Discriminated against and segregated students on the basis of race, color, national origin, ethnicity, and religion.
• Gutted the funding of the public schools
• Denied students their right to a sound basic education.
She litigates principally Education Law cases, and cases arising under Individuals with Disabilities In Education Act.  Advocates for Justice is a New York based, non-profit, public interest law firm


Schoeman, Updike & Kaufman, LLP



December 1995 – October 2008
Litigated dozens of cases, including multiple claims, brought by and against multiple parties, and in varying federal, state, local, and administrative venues Authored, edited, and researched thousands of documents, including specialized legal memoranda, client memoranda, articles, and reports Collaborated with client executives, managers, and staff to develop and administer workplace policies and practices designed to engage all collegially, avert conflict, and avoid litigation Provided comprehensive and strategic defense against claims of discrimination – because of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disabilities, gender, wrongful termination, constructive discharge, hostile work environment, failure to promote, and other employment claims, based on alleged violations of civil rights statutes Represented educational organizations, including private universities, secondary and primary schools, and child-care agencies. Also represented a variety of religious organizations, including church congregations, synagogues, synods and parochial schools. Practice included specialized knowledge and experience counseling religious organizations with employment matters, property acquisitions and sales, and compliance with New York’s Religious Corporations Law and Not-For-Profit Law.


Pace University School of Law

Adjunct Professor


August 1995 – May 2005
White Plains, New York
Taught classes in the following subjects:
Appellate Advocacy,Constitutional Law, Criminal Procedure, White Collar Crime, Criminal Law Prosecutorial Ethics ,Negotiations


Faculty Advisor
National Moot Court Competitions, 2002-2004
National Health Law Moot Court Competitions, 2000-2002


Office of the Attorney General of the State of New York

Chief, Charities, Trusts & Estates Bureau


September 1994 – August 1995
Provided direct substantive and administrative support to highest level executives in all subject-related matters, including all litigation, budgets, correspondence, and personnel supervision


NYC Department of Corrections

Deputy Commissioner, Investigations and Health Management Services


July 1993 – August 1994
Provided direct substantive and administrative support to highest level executives in all subject-related matters, including all litigation, budgets, correspondence, and personnel supervision.Chair, Substance Abuse Task Force


Office of the Attorney General of the State of New York

Assistant Attorney General – Civil and Criminal Divisions

August 1990 – july 1993
White Plains, New York
Task Force Attorney, prosecuting Traditional and Non-Traditional Organized Crime. Handled civil forfeiture and asset seizure cases


Kings County District Attorney

Supervising Assistant District Attorney

1984 – 1990

richard desotot.png



New York University Bachelor of Arts


Harvard Law School Juris Doctor

Richard Soto



Richard Soto is an Associate in the New York office of Advocates for Justice Chartered Attorneys.


Mr. Soto earned his undergraduate degree in both Politics and Economics from New York University, where he graduated magna cum laude in 1995.


After completing his undergraduate studies, Mr. Soto worked briefly in banking and for several years in the United States Government.  A passion for reasoned argument pushed Mr. Soto into law school in 2000.  He worked as a student-attorney for indigent defendants facing criminal complaints at Harvard Defenders.


Before joining Advocates for Justice, Mr. Soto worked as an Associate for several large law firms in New York, including Hughes Hubbard & Reed and Hunton & Williams.  He balanced the representation of large clients in complex commercial and products liability litigation with pro bono work focused on representing persons seeking political asylum in the United States.


Mr. Soto’s practice at Advocates for Justice Chartered Attorneys focuses on labor-management issues and civil rights.  Through the pro bono side of Advocates for Justice, Mr. Soto is also pursuing claims for individuals seeking fair compensation under federal and state minimum wage legislation.



1997 – 2000

Fordham University School of Law Juris Doctor

1991 – 1995

Haverford College BA, Sociology at

Bryn Mawr

Laine A. Armstrong


Office of Laine Armstrong

January 2012 – November 2015
New York, NY
Counsel to business professionals, nonprofit organizations, and individuals with a focus on immigration, commercial contracts, employment and intellectual property.

Sklover & Donath, LLC

Senior Counsel

August 2010 – December 2011 

New York, NY
Head of Litigation and primary transactional attorney for boutique employment law firm providing strategic counsel and representation to executives, managers and professionals relative to their employment, compensation and severance ranging from contract law to pension protection, from wrongful discharge to securities laws affecting stock options, from bonus dispute arbitration to federal “whistle-blower” protection statutes.


Nesenoff & Miltenberg, LLP

Senior Associate

2005 – 2010 

New York, NY
Litigated complex legal disputes through trial and appeal in state and federal court at boutique business and real estate law firm. Founded intellectual property practice area focused on trademark and copyright. Advised businesses on formation of corporations and business structures, analyzed, negotiated and drafted commercial contracts.


Supreme Court of the State of NewYork, Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department

Senior Court Attorney

May 2001 – February 2005
Researched and analyzed civil and criminal cases and special proceedings, including disputes involving individuals, state, city and municipal agencies, and all forms of commercial entities. Prepared digests for judges identifying and analyzing applicable law; observed and evaluated oral argument; wrote decisions for publication.


Stella and Charles Guttman Foundation, Inc

Program Officer

June 1996 – November 1998
As primary operations and program support for family foundation with multi-million dollar endowment, I evaluated grant proposals from nonprofit organizations seeking funding for public service programs in education, literacy, the arts, and the elderly, including review of 990s, financial records, community impact, and program performance.


Atlantic Philanthropic Services Company, Inc.

Assistant to Corporate Counsel

August 1995 – July 1996

New York, NY
Wrote memoranda and correspondence about issues essential to nonprofit gift-giving; Researched law on corporate grants, stock acquisitions and swaps.


Private Funding Associates New York, NY

Program Assistant

May 1995 – July 1995
Assisted with candidate research, preparing board books, and assessing criteria for award selection for Gerald Freund’s company that administered prizes in the arts, including the Whiting Writers’ Awards, the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund, the Rona Jaffe Awards, and the Lillian Gish Prize in the arts


One Healing Arts Company

Board President

November 2011 – present
One Healing Arts Company, Inc. is a theater company dedicated to producing work that opens hearts and minds; to create a nurturing environment for artists; to promote wellness and healing of mind and body; and to elevate collective consciousness. As an ambassador for the theater company, I seek to raise the organization’s profile, ignite interest in its mission, and participate in fundraising.


Court Appointed Special Advocates of NYC

Case Manager

1997 – 2000
As appointee of the Court, worked with parents, foster parents, lawyers, teachers and service providers to ensure that foster children were provided the support needed to ensure that they were able to thrive.