Avena, Suzanne M.

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AVENAWEB

Suzanne M. Avena

Of Counsel

savena@garfunkelwild.com

111 Great Neck Road, Great Neck, NY 11021
P: 516-393-2229

PRACTICE
Environmental
Finance and Real Estate
Compliance and White Collar Defense
Litigation & Arbitration

EDUCATION
Cornell University
(B.S., cum laude)
St. John's University School of Law
(J.D., Dean's List, Moot Court, Senior Bar)

BAR ADMISSIONS
New York

COURT ADMISSIONS
New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
U.S. District Court for the Eastern
District of New York

HONORS AND AWARDS (continued)
New York Real Estate Journal - Women in Real Estate Spotlight (May 2013)
Long Island Business News - Ones to Watch - Environmental Practice Group (June 2011)
Appointed to Board of Directors of Nassau County Bar Association (June 2009)

PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS
Nassau County Bar Association
(Board of Directors; Past Chair,
 Environmental Committee)
NYS Bar Association's Environmental
Insurance Committee (past Co-Chair)
New York City Bar Association
American Bar Association
Women’s Bar Association
New York State Environmental Business
Association - Brownfield Task Force
NYC Partnership of Brownfield Practitioners
American Health Lawyers Association

Suzanne M. Avena is Of Counsel to the firm.  She is also a member of the firm’s Environmental Practice Group; Finance and Real Estate Practice Group; Compliance Practice Group and Litigation & Arbitration Group.

Ms. Avena counsels in all matters of environmental law and regulatory compliance, including conducting compliance and due diligence audits, negotiating with federal and state agencies regarding violations and representing clients in environmental litigation.  She represents parties engaged in hazardous waste cleanups, litigation related to toxic substances, remediation, insurance and cost recovery actions.  She has particular experience in structuring contaminated (Brownfield) commercial property transactions, including negotiating cleanup agreements, overseeing remediation contractors, drafting related contracts, facilitating development permits and forging deal-specific environmental insurance policies.  Ms. Avena represents municipalities, manufacturers, real estate buyers, sellers, developers and management firms, lenders, investors, hospitals, universities, environmental contractors and consultants, and other business owners.

For five years prior to GW, Ms. Avena was with the New York Environmental Practice at Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker, LLP.  Before that, she was an attorney at AIG Environmental, serving as Director of the Contaminated Property Group.  Prior to AIG, Ms. Avena was Regional Director of the Environmental Risk Consulting Practice at Sedgwick (now Marsh).  During law school, Ms. Avena clerked at the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation in Stonybrook, Long Island and the Environmental Crimes Unit of the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office.

Ms. Avena received her Bachelor of Science from Cornell University and her Juris Doctor degree from St. John’s University School of Law.  She is admitted to the New York State Bar, Second Department and the US District Court Eastern and Southern Districts.  She lectures and writes frequently on such topics as Superfund liability, green buildings, indoor air and environmental quality issues, environmental due diligence and environmental insurance.

Speeches and Events

  • Emerging Issues in Environmental Insurance and Practical Tips, New York State Bar Association, October 30, 2014
  • What You Need to Know About New Environmental Liability Issues in a Medical Practice or Hospital, Webinar in conjunction with Fairfield County Medical Association, March 27, 2013
  • Key/Emerging Environmental Risk Issues and Environmental Coverage/Claims Implications:  Conversations with The Carriers and The Experts, Emerging Issues in Environmental Insurance NYSBA CLE Conference, New York, NY, November 2, 2012
  • Groundwater Contamination and Vapor Intrusion Cases Current Developments in Regulation and Litigation, Newark Sheraton, New Jersey, September 15, 2011
  • Evolving Environmental Risks for the Health Care Industry, (webinar speaker), hosted by the Aon Health Care Practice, February 24 2011
  • Emerging Environmental Risks - Cases and Preview of Insurance Policy Issues, New York State Bar Association, October 29, 2010
  • Consequences of Environmental Non-Compliance and How to Deal With An Agency Inspection, Vassar Brothers Medical Center, May 26, 2010
  • Green Building Legal Exposures, In Service Presentation, Garfunkel Wild, P.C., October 13, 2009
  • Contamination and Environmental Liability Under Federal and New York State Law Affecting Real Estate Value, CLE Program for Nassau County Executive and County Attorneys Office, June 15, 2009
  • Legally Green: How to Make Green by Going Green, Moderator, Nassau Academy of Law, Mineola, NY, May 4, 2009
  • New Environmental Law Requiring Landlords Notifying Tenants, CoreNet Global, Jericho, NY, February 12, 2009
  • Environmental Crimes:  From Pollution to Prosecution, Nassau County Bar Association, January 29, 2009
  • New NYS Environmental Disclosure Law for Landlords to Tenants, Greiner-Maltz Commercial & Retail Real Estate Brokers, Long Island City, NY, January 22, 2009
  • Scofield Town Road Park Federal Superfund Site, North Stamford Association, October 13, 2008
  • Moderator of Nassau County Bar Association meeting on Valuing Brownfields, October 27, 2008
  • Environmental Compliance and Liabilities - The Benefits of an Environmental Compliance Program, Presentation to Nassau Suffolk Hospital Council, September 12, 2008
  • All You Need to Know about Brownfields and How to Make the Programs Work for You, Sustainable Long Island's Fall Breakfast Series, Farmingdale, NY, September 12, 2008
  • Green Guide for Health Care, In Service Presentation to Clients, Garfunkel Wild, P.C., May 22, 2008
  • Vapor Intrusion Legal Issues, Presentation to Long Island Association of Professional Geologists, April 17, 2008
  • Indoor Air Quality/Indoor Environmental Quality Crossroads Conference, The Sheraton, Mahwah, New Jersey, sponsored by the National Alliance of Environmental Specialists (NAESIP), November 8, 2007
  • Nassau County Development Issues: Facilitating Contaminated Property Transactions with Environmental Insurance, sponsored by the Nassau County Bar Association Environmental and Municipal Law Committees, October 25, 2007
  • Environmental Laws Affecting Corporate and Real Estate Transactions, Marsh/AIG Japanese Corp. Solutions, September 21, 2007
  • The New All Appropriate Inquiry Rule for Environmental Due Diligence, Presentation to the Nassau County Women’s Bar Association, November 15, 2006
  • The Secrets of SEQRA, Assist in CLE Presentation at the Nassau County Bar Association Environmental and Municipal Law Committees, October 25, 2006
  • How To Deal With Environmental Agency Inspections, Presentation to the Northern Metropolitan Hospital Association, October 5, 2006
  • The Benefits of an Environmental Management System in Avoiding Regulatory Inspections and Maintaining Environmental Compliance, Presentation to the Board of Directors at Nassau Suffolk Hospital Council, September 7, 2006
  • Legal and Technical Issues in the Assessment and Remediation of Brownfield Sites on Long Island, CLE Presentation at the Nassau Academy of Law, sponsored by the Environmental Business Association, New York State and the Nassau Bar Association Environmental Law Committee, May 15, 2006
  • Legal Protections to Your Environmental Audits Through Attorney-Client Privilege, Presentation to Energy East Operating Companies, Ithaca, New York, April 18, 2006
  • The New All Appropriate Inquiry Rule for Environmental Due Diligence, Presentation to the Long Island Association of Professional Geologists, January 19, 2006
  • What You Need To Know About the New Federal and New York State Brownfields Laws, Presentations to Hauppauge Industrial Association, December 19, 2005
  • Environmental Management Systems for Colleges and Universities, Presentation to College Health and Safety Society, December 13, 2005
  • Negotiating Brownfield Environmental Insurance for Public Sector Representatives, Presentation at Brownfields 2005, Denver, Colorado, November 3, 2005
  • Marsh Environmental Fall Forum, Panelist on Current Environmental Issues, New York, NY, October 17, 2005
  • Environmental Management Systems Workshop Series for Hospitals, Seminar for the Nassau Suffolk Hospital Council Members, September – December 13, 2005; Seminar for the Northern Metropolitan Hospital Council Members, August - November 2005
  • Environmental Insurance for Corporate and Real Estate Transactions, In-Service presentation to firm clients and guests, April 21, 2005
  • Update on EPA Voluntary Audit Program for Colleges and Universities, 1-800-Teleconference to firm clients and guests, November 29, 2004
  • Update on EPA Voluntary Audit Program for Hospitals, 1-800-Teleconference to firm clients and guests, November 28, 2004
  • Emerging Issues in Environmental Insurance, CLE Presentation sponsored by the New York State Bar Association and the New York City Bar Center, November 10, 2004
  • Introducing The New York State Brownfields Tax Credits, In-Service presentation to firm clients and guests, September 20, 2004
  • Environmental Law Affecting Real Estate Transactions, Guest Lecturer at Columbia Business School, Fall Semesters 2001, 2002, 2003

Publications

  • Who Is a Discharger Under the New York Oil Spill Law?  Co-authored, New York Law Journal, August 10, 2015
  • Estate and Executor Liability for Contaminated Property Under Federal and New York State Environmental Laws, Westlaw Journal Environmental (Vol 35, Issue 8, November 12, 2014)
  • Lessons Learned To Help Clients and Practitioners Maximize Environmental Insurance Coverage, NYSBA Seminar "Emerging Issues in Environmental Insurance 2014," October 30, 2014
  • The Hazards of Pharmaceutical Disposal: An Arising Risk for Healthcare, The Risk Management Quarterly, Spring 2014
  • What was your greatest professional accomplishment in 2013? New York Real Estate Journal, December 24, 2013
  • "The Hazards of Pharmaceutical Disposal: Arising Issues of Concern," Westlaw Journal Environmental (Vol. 33, Issue 23, pgs 1-7) May 2013
  • Environmental Risks for Hospitals, Risk Management Quarterly, Spring 2013
  • The Hazards of Pharmaceutical Disposal: Rising Issues of Concern for Healthcare, NJ Chapter HFMA Garden State Focus Magazine, Nov-Dec 2010 issue
  • Prescription Drugs Can Make For Unhealthy Waterways - Health-care Facilities Could Be Barred from Pouring Medication Down Drains, Connecticut Law Tribune, October 4, 2010
  • The Hazards of Pharmaceutical Disposal: Emerging Environmental Issues of Concern, New Jersey Law Journal, July 19, 2010
  • Green Building Construction and Legal Exposure, Nassau Lawyer, September 2009
  • Monitor Those Claims of ‘Green’, The Federal Trade Commission is Watching, and Updating Its Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims, New York Law Journal, Volume 242, August 24, 2009
  • Dealing With Green Building and Lease Issues: How Do Landlords and Tenants Decide Who Covers Costs?, New York Real Estate Journal, June 9-22, 2009
  • Making Leases As Green As Buildings, Connecticut Law Tribune, April 13, 2009
  • New York Landlords Required to Provide Notification of Indoor Air Contaminants to Tenants and Occupants, Nassau Lawyer, February 2009
  • Using Environmental Insurance to Overcome Credit Risk, American Agent & Broker, December 2008
  • The Chilling Impact of Vapor Intrusion, New Jersey Law Journal, July 21, 2008, Vol. CXCIII, No. 3, Index 133
  • Green Building Initiatives Are Now Catching on with Healthcare Facilities, New York Real Estate Journal, June 17, 2008
  • Vapor Intrusion: Legal Issues for Real Estate Development, New York Real Estate Journal, December 18, 2007
  • Question of the Month: Should You Get Environmental Insurance for Contaminated Property Transactions?, New York Real Estate Journal-Long Island, October 2, 2007 (and also appeared in Women in Real Estate feature, November 27, 2007)
  • Corporate Business Profile, published in October 2-8, 2007 issue of New York Real Estate Journal
  • Environmental Insurance for Contaminated Property Transactions, Nassau Lawyer, April 2007
  • FAS 143 and FIN 47: Disclosing Environmental Liabilities, In Re: The Magazine from New Jersey Lawyer, December 18, 2006, Volume 15, Number 50
  • FIN 47 Applies to the Health Care Industry and Nonprofit Entities, Compliance Today – October 2006, Volume 8, Number 10
  • The Fallout of Cooper on CERCLA Settlements And Voluntary Cleanups, Andrews Publications - Environmental Commentary, July 2006
  • Insurance Recovery for Mold-Related Claims in New York, Environmental Claims Journal, Spring 2004, Volume 16, Number 2
  • The Need for Environmental Management Systems in Hospitals, HCCA Compliance Today, 2004

Honors and Awards (continued)

  • Alumni of the Month - St. John's University School of Law (May 2009)
  • New York Real Estate Journal - Long Island Women in Real Estate (March 2008)
  • Long Island Business News - Ones to Watch in Law Partnerships (January 2008)
  • Long Island Business News - Ones to Watch - Commercial Real Estate (July 2007)
  • Appointed Chair of the Nassau County Bar Association Environmental Law Committee (June 2007-2009)