Hon. Joseph Covello

Before stepping down from the Appellate Division – New York’s highest intermediate appellate court -- in 2011, to join the firm and return to the private practice of law, Justice Joseph Covello had over 30 years of experience, divided almost evenly between the private practice of law, and service as a judge. His diverse career background has provided Judge Covello with both a sophisticated understanding of the judicial system, and a keen sensitivity to the needs of private clients. Judge Covello was known as a “lawyer’s judge,” and is a “client’s lawyer.”

Judge Covello’s 16 years on the bench culminated in his appointments by the Governor, first as an Associate Justice of the Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department, and ultimately to one of the seven seats on the Second Department’s constitutional bench.

Prior to his appointment to the Appellate Division, Judge Covello served as a trial judge in the Supreme Court, Nassau County; on the Appellate Term for the Ninth and Tenth Judicial Districts; and as a trial judge in the District Court, Nassau County.

Before taking the bench, Judge Covello spent 16 years in the private practice of law, both with respected firms, and in his own practice. While in private practice, Judge Covello was associate lead counsel in the celebrated case of In Re: Agent Orange, and served as counsel to both the Nassau County Police Indemnification Review Board, and the Town of Oyster Bay Zoning Board of Appeals. Judge Covello’s expertise in zoning and land use matters, and in an active trial practice, gave him extraordinary insight as a judge -- an insight which now benefits the firm’s clients.

In December 2011 Judge Covello was appointed to the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics, and served as a Commissioner until his retirement in 2016. Judge Covello was appointed to the Flushing Bank Advisory Board in January 2016 and continues to serve in that capacity.

Judge Covello has also served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Hofstra University School of Law, teaching, among other classes, advanced appellate advocacy.

Judge Covello is a veteran of the United States Army, having volunteered upon his completion of secondary school. While serving, he was selected for and served in the U.S. Army Presidential Honor Guard in Arlington, Virginia. After the military Judge Covello attended the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he graduated magna cum laude and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Judge Covello received his law degree from Hofstra University School of Law, and has been honored with the George M. Estabrook Alumni Association’s Distinguished Service Award.

A leader in service to the profession and the community, Judge Covello is a past president of the Columbian Lawyers Association, and of the Nassau Lawyers Association of Long Island.

Media Appearances

NY court rules the police can seize your Facebook activity.
April 06, 2017

Judge Covello appeared on Mornings with Maria Bartiromo on the Fox Business Channel on April 6, 2017 to offer insight on the confirmation battle over then Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch and what the recent New York Court of Appeals ruling that police can seize someone's Facebook activity means for your internet privacy.

Can Trump’s campaign rhetoric be used to block travel ban?
May 16, 2017

On May 16, 2017, Judge Covello discussed the legal fallout from President Trump's travel ban executive order and the Supreme Court rejecting the appeal to reinstate North Carolina's voter ID law.

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