John C. Stellakis is an associate in Farrell Fritz’s land use and municipal group. John is experienced in land use and zoning cases, commercial and residential real estate transactions and landlord-tenant relations. John prosecutes and defends Article 78 proceedings and concomitant litigation in trial and appeals courts. In counseling our municipal clients, John drafts laws and advises local governments in their activities and policies. John is also involved in wetlands and environmental matters where action by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation or local jurisdictional authority is taken or imminent. A Long Island native, John has been recognized for his pro bono work in Nassau County, as well as for his volunteer service as a law student.
Why did you choose to join Farrell Fritz?
I grew up on Long Island, so I was aware of the firm’s professional reputation and positive standing in the community. Through my involvement in local bar associations, I worked with several members of the firm who exemplified its character. Working here has far exceeded my expectations.
“Success is as much about the journey as it is about the destination. It means being diligent, communicative and accomplishing what you set out to do, and doing it the right way.”
How do you give back to the community?
I am a strong believer in volunteer and community service. I enjoy using my knowledge and skills to help better someone else’s conditions. Since 2014, I have participated in the Volunteer Lawyers Project at the Nassau County District Court in Hempstead. The organization represents indigent tenants in landlord-tenant disputes. At the Nassau County Bar Association, I have participated in the legal fair clinics, assisting those affected by Super Storm Sandy.
Describe a rewarding moment in your life.
While in law school, I served as a student attorney in our Clinic for Asylum, Refugee and Emigrant Services. My co-student attorney and I spent a semester representing a refugee through the asylum application process, from intake to adjudication. It was an intense and emotional case with high stakes and tremendous responsibility – especially for law students. We were extremely gratified when we secured a positive outcome for our client. The experience reminded me of how truly fortunate we are in this country and showed me that quality legal representation can play a vital role in a person’s life and greatly impact his or her circumstances.