Introducing 802 Counsel

Volume CVII, No. 4April, 2007

There are some new faces representing Local 802. As reported in last month’s president’s report, Daniel Engelstein and Kevin Finnegan, partners in the law firm Levy Ratner, have been retained as Local 802 counsel. Engelstein is now 802’s lead counsel on the Broadway negotiations and is being assisted by Finnegan. Harvey Mars continues to represent 802 as well.

The firm Levy Ratner has a 35-year record of being a strong negotiator on behalf of unions. The largest health care local in the country — 1199 SEIU — entrusts Levy Ratner with its bargaining, arbitration and NRLB matters. The firm also represents 1199’s pension and health funds. Other major clients include UNITE HERE and the UAW.

Engelstein earned his law degree at Boston College in 1976. After a short stint as an assistant district attorney in Boston, his practice has focused on labor relations and related employment law fields.

During his 20 years of experience in labor, employment and benefits law, Engelstein has represented labor organizations, employee benefit funds and individual employees in negotiations, administrative proceedings, arbitration, bankruptcy proceedings, internal union disputes, employment discrimination litigation and civil rights actions, injunction proceedings, contract actions, employee benefits cases and for general consultation.

Engelstein successfully represented the CUNY teachers’ union in the State Supreme Court. He has handled numerous cases on behalf of other public employee as well.

He served as staff counsel to National Labor Relations Board member John A. Penello from 1977 to 1979.

Engelstein will be joined at 802 by Kevin Finnegan, who is also general counsel to the Working Families Party.

Prior to attending law school, Finnegan worked in the entertainment industry and was an elected member of the governing council for his division of the Directors Guild of America.

Finnegan has had extensive experience in election law, campaign finance, land use and commercial litigation. He frequently lectures on campaign finance issues for labor unions, and he is a veteran strategist of political campaigns and New York State and local budgetary and legislative battles. He has represented unions in contract negotiations in various industries, including healthcare, apparel, retail and food preparation.

Prior to joining his firm, Finnegan directed several major legislative and electoral efforts for 1199 SEIU, the healthcare workers’ union. He continues to serve as a strategic consultant to 1199’s homecare division and has spearheaded the union’s effort to organize, win contracts and ultimately increase Medicaid funding for tens of thousands of home health aides in New York City.

Finnegan has served as manager or consultant on numerous state and local election campaigns including Hillary Rodham Clinton’s first senate race.