As a commercial litigator, Katy’s practice includes counseling large and small businesses, financial institutions and individuals on a range of complex business, real estate and contract/licensing matters. Katy’s experience with commercial cases – including contract claims, product liability claims, tort claims, consumer class-action claims and securities class-actions claims – spans both the federal and state court systems, as well as arbitration and mediation forums. Katy’s practice also involves representing corporations, investment banks and other financial institutions before federal agencies and regulatory bodies and various corporate interests during internal investigations. Katy also publishes articles. Her judicial profiles, notes and legal commentaries can be found in The Federal Lawyer, The Nassau Lawyer and various law reviews.
How do you build good relationships with clients?
I am the youngest of nine children, so I am comfortable interacting with, and learning about, others. In fact, with every person I meet – client, prospective client or otherwise – I strive to be a good listener. In my opinion, it is invaluable to simply listen to an individual – especially their concerns and expectations. I take the extra time to make a personal connection with each of my clients so they feel comfortable and realize that I view our relationship as more than just “doing a job.” I am – and my colleagues are – truly vested in our clients’ personal successes. And, obviously, it is imperative to do your due diligence, bring your consultative expertise to the table with confidence and demonstrate proficiency and efficiency in your work. I take pride of ownership, ensuring my work is accurate and thorough.
“You can go to any large New York City law firm and get great work product. The personal connection of the smaller firm, however, makes a real difference – I think it empowers clients and helps them understand we are invested and really care.”
What you think makes Farrell Fritz successful as a law firm?
Simply put, the people. The caliber of the attorneys at Farrell Fritz is superior. While I began my career at one of the oldest and most respected firms in the nation, the attorneys here at Farrell Fritz are as competent and capable as my former colleagues. The difference is that here, there is a warmth and collegiality among the attorneys, and we really know our clients and their businesses. We’re not servicing a massive financial institution as an entity without a face. Rather, we’re servicing a person – whether it’s a smaller business or a large credit union.
What is your defining moment?
I am proud of everything I have achieved thus far in my career. I had the unique honor of clerking in what are undoubtedly two of the best courts in the nation. I then went on to work at one of the country’s most prestigious law firms, and I’ve climbed the ranks to counsel here at Farrell Fritz. I feel very good about these achievements, especially having accomplished them while balancing the competing obligations of raising a young family. If I had to identify one thing as particularly formative of my successes, it is undeniably my relationship with the Honorable Richard C. Wesley, who sits on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Second to my family, he is my biggest champion and an invaluable mentor. I had the privilege of spending two years under his tutelage. He prepared me for real-life practice, how to take things in stride and what is really important.
Farrell Fritz has a commitment to giving back to the community. What are some ways you give back?
Whether it is fielding a team to participate in a fundraising triathlon or competing in a distance run in support of a cause, I enjoy assisting others however I can. I also try to take regular advantage of pro bono legal opportunities available in the community. Past efforts have included serving as a member of The Special Commission on the Future of the New York State Courts and The Fund for Modern Courts’ Task Force on the Family Courts. I also helped two young women from New Guinea escape persecution based on their gender and secure asylum in the United States. I also enjoy doing volunteer work for each of my alma maters – Colgate University and St. John’s University School of Law. And, in 2012, St. John’s honored me with the Recent Graduate Service Award.