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Celebrating 30 Years of Achievement

The law firm of Forchelli, Curto, Deegan, Schwartz, Mineo & Terrana, LLP celebrated its 30th anniversary this year. Established in 1976 by founder and Managing Partner, Jeffrey D. Forchelli, The Firm has grown from a three-member Mineola-based firm to more than 40 attorneys with offices in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. During this period, its general practice has expanded to include a number of specialized areas of law. The development was not accidental. Forchelli, who specializes in complex real estate and land use matters, explains, "Growth has always been a part of the firm's philosophy. It allows us to establish new practice areas and strengthen existing ones to best serve our expanding client base."

A Tradition of Growth

"When I joined the firm in 1978, Jeff Forchelli and I were the only attorneys concentrating in land use and zoning," notes partner Peter R. Mineo. "Since then, The Firm has grown to become the largest land use and zoning firm on Long Island."


Growth, as a means to provide a broad range of legal expertise, can be seen in a number of recent key mergers and partnerships. In 1998, William S. Cohn, a prominent land use and zoning attorney, joined the firm. A merger with Curto, Barton & Alesi, P.C. followed in 1999, expanding the firm's expertise in mergers and acquisitions, along with corporate and commercial matters.

Entering the new millennium, the firm strengthened its Tax, Trust and Estates practice with the addition of Terence E. Smolev in 2001. The next year, the firm added partners James Ricca and James E. Cantanno to its roster through the acquisition of Ricca & Donnelly, a well established real estate and banking law firm with strong roots in Queens County.

New York State Senator John J. Flanagan joined as counsel in 2003, providing the firm with increased presence, experience and capabilities, particularly in the Suffolk County region. The arrival of partner Gary M. Kushner in 2004 launched the firm's practice in the areas of Bankruptcy, Insolvency and related litigation, while Robert F. Chicco's partnership in 2005 provided specialization in co-op and condo conversions to the firm's already well established real estate practice.

True to its tradition of growth, The Firm announced its most recent expansion on July 1, 2006 with Groman, Ross & Tisman, P.C. By adding Robert H. Groman, Russell G. Tisman and Richard A. Ross as partners, the firm strengthened its existing practice areas, added expertise in employment and labor law, and introduced new practices in the nursing home and trade show industries.

The client list has grown along with the firm. Among the firm's current clients are Cablevision Systems Corporation, Northrop Grumman Corporation, HSBC Bank, Commerce Bank, Broman Trucking, Austin Travel, Long Island Jewish Medical Center, Adelphi University, Nassau Community College, Oak Tree Farm Dairy, Inc., Photocircuits Corporation, Rainbow Media Group, Lowe's Home Centers, Target Corp., Sleepy's, Sunrise Assisted Living, Inc., Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, T. & V. Rental Co., Inc., Freeman Decorating Services, Inc., GES Exposition Services, Inc., J&R Electronics, Inc., County of Nassau, and the incorporated villages of Asharoken, Bayville, Freeport, Lake Success and Laurel Hollow, among others.


Division of Labor

The firm today includes the region's top legal talents specializing in such practice areas as land use and zoning, real estate, environmental law, tax certiorari, litigation, banking and financing, commercial and corporate transactions, loan closings and bulk loan sales, trusts and estates, tax and elder law, bankruptcy and insolvency, employment and labor law, municipal law, and business and personal transactions.

According to partner Anthony V. Curto, the firm's practice areas function both independently and as a collective unit. "As partner-in-charge of our Corporate Transactional Department, I find that our practice areas are similar to a production team with a senior partner, associates, support staff, paralegals and interns. Each individual is responsible for exercising his or her own talents and skills, and of course, everyone benefits from being able to obtain valuable input and expertise from other departments. Inevitably, our clients profit from having a one-stop law firm that can address all of their needs."


In addition to celebrating its history, The Firm also understands the importance of incorporating foresight and vision into the culture of its business.

"We want all of our attorneys to embrace the firm's vision so they can understand their role in working towards achieving our goals," observes John V. Terrana, who is partner-in-charge of the firm's Tax Certiorari Department and oversees workplace policies.

The Firm's vision includes future growth opportunities as the firm continues to attract new business and encourage the next generation of legal talent.

"The Firm is committed to the advancement of its younger associates," states partner Barbara Shaheen Alesi. "We work closely with attorneys to help them develop the skills and expertise necessary to serve our expanding client base."

Evidence of the firm's vision-in-action can be seen in a number of strategic moves. In 2005, the firm acquired an additional 6,000 square feet contiguous to its current 20,000 square feet of space located in Mineola. Along with the Nassau headquarters, the firm maintains additional office space located in Melville to accommodate clients located in Suffolk County.

Looking ahead, Donald Jay Schwartz, partner in charge of the firm's Litigation Department, explains, "We are enjoying success and now is the optimum time to enter our next phase of planning. We are progressively making decisions that will lead to even further improvement and growth."

Regional Leaders & Advisors

Many different organizations and institutions have noted the exceptional qualities of the attorneys of The Firm. The firm earned great distinction in being named "Business of the Year" by the Huntington Chamber Regional Business Partnership; Jeffrey D. Forchelli is annually selected for "Who's Who" listings by The Long Island Business News and recently celebrated the Jeffrey D. Forchelli Conference Center being named in his honor by Brooklyn Law School; Anthony V. Curto received a Congressional Achievement Award, a Martin Luther King "Living the Dream" distinction and has been honored by Telecare, the television station of the Diocese of Rockville Centre; John V. Terrana was selected for inclusion in Long Island Business News' "40 Under 40"; and Barbara Shaheen Alesi has twice been recognized as one of Long Island's "Top 50 Women" by the Long Island Business News.

Well known and highly regarded among the leaders of Nassau and Suffolk Counties, members of the firm often serve in important advisory capacities. Terence E. Smolev is a Trustee of Hofstra University, Anthony V. Curto served on Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi's Economic Advisory Board, John V. Terrana has chaired the Nassau County Bar Association's Tax Certiorari Committee for an unprecedented three consecutive terms, Donald Jay Schwartz has recently been named Vice Chairman of the Nassau County Bar Association's Grievance Committee and was recognized as a 2006 Outstanding Pro Bono Attorney by Touro Law Center, and Peter R. Mineo is on the Board of Directors of The Long Island Home.

The firm's partners and associates serve as regular resources to print and broadcast media and are frequently quoted on matters regarding various areas of law, the Long Island community and pertinent issues of the day.

To further ensure that clients are made aware of prominent legal issues and their potential impact, The Firm publishes a quarterly newsletter, The Counselor, which features highlights on the firm's many departments and practice areas. Articles range in subject matter and offer legal updates, advisories and other important information to the firm's divergent client base. (To add your name to the newsletter recipient list, e-mail: Portions of the publication are available on line at

With a team of attorneys who are supremely qualified with the talent, experience and skill necessary to meet the legal needs of any client, The Firm is well positioned to continue its track record of success by providing exceptional service, superb representation and outstanding results.

Reprinted with permission of Long Island Business News

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Uniondale, NY 11553
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