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Rick Collins Named to List of 2017 New York Metro Super Lawyers

Pioneer in the Initiative to Make Criminal Record Sealing in New York a Reality Honored as a NY Metro Super Lawyer for Second Consecutive Year

Rick Collins, a Founding Partner at Collins Gann McCloskey & Barry who successfully spearheaded the initiative to make criminal record sealing a reality in New York, has once again been named to the list of New York Metro Super Lawyers. A recipient of this award in both 2016 and 2017, he joins only 5% of attorneys in the state selected by Super Lawyers Magazine for this honor.

For nearly a decade, Rick has been a trailblazer in advocating for a change in state law to allow for criminal record sealing in New York. His diligence and leadership in the area of New York criminal record sealing came to fruition this year when the New York State Legislature passed the 2017-18 budget, now signed by the Governor, with legislators adding a new section to the Criminal Procedural Law, § 160.59, allowing for the sealing of select criminal convictions.  This change in state law, which will go into effect on October 7th, will finally allow the tens of thousands of deserving New Yorkers who are now eligible to seal their criminal convictions to gain a fresh start in life.

Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.  The Super Lawyers selection process includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations by practice area.  Each candidate is evaluated on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement with selections made on an annual, state-by-state basis.

The 2017 list of New York Metro Super Lawyers was published in a special New York Metro Super Lawyers supplement in The New York Times on Sunday, October 1st, 2017 as well as published as the New York Metro Super Lawyers Magazine in October.  In addition to Rick being named to the prestigious list of New York Metro Super Lawyers, Founding Partner Marc Gann, who spearheads the criminal defense practice area of the firm, was also once again named to this year’s list of NY Metro Super Lawyers, and firm partners Gerard McCloskey and David Barry were both named by Super Lawyers as “Rising Stars.”

Rick has been a leader and trailblazer in this area for years, serving as co-chairman of the New York State Bar Association Criminal Justice Section Sealing Committee and the co-author of the committee’s Report and Recommendations to conditionally seal certain low-level criminal convictions in New York. His committee’s report was adopted by the New York State Bar Association and the Nassau County Bar Association, and endorsed by Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice.  The bill passed by the Legislature has evolved from the report, making history by changing the law regarding the sealing of criminal records in New York State. In addition, Rick was appointed by then-President Seymour W. James, Jr., of the New York State Bar Association to serve on a New York State Bar Association Special Committee created to address the issue of prisoner re-entry, examining problems that formerly incarcerated individuals face upon release from prison or jail and the kind of services needed to help them lead productive lives.

In addition to his leadership in the area of changing state law surrounding criminal record sealing, Rick is also an active member of the New York legal community. He currently serves as the elected Vice-President of the Nassau County Bar Association.  As a member of the association for more than 25 years who was honored with the NCBA’s 2001 President’s Award, he also is a member of the Advisory Board of the We Care Fund, part of the charitable arm of the Nassau County Bar Association.  He is a past president of the Criminal Courts Bar Association of Nassau County and the Former Assistant District Attorneys of Nassau County, as well as an officer or member of numerous other state and national professional organizations. In addition, he is an annual faculty member for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy and is on the Adjunct Faculty of Hofstra University Law School.

We congratulate Rick on this honor and for his leadership role in successfully changing state law this year to finally allow for criminal record sealing in New York. To discuss specifics of the new sealing law that will be in effect beginning on October 7th and eligibility to have your criminal records sealed, or to begin the process to have a criminal record sealed, email sealinginfo@cgmbesq.com or call 516-294-0300.

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