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Monthly Feature: Get to Know... Adam P. Mastroleo
September 1, 2020
Adam Mastroleo’s introduction to the law came, quite literally, when he was a junior in high school. A native of the Syracuse, New York, suburb of Solvay, he enrolled in a summer class at Syracuse University. The course – can you guess? Intro to law. It culminated in a mock trial, and the courtroom action had Adam hooked.
“I loved it,” he says. “I loved presenting information to the jury. I loved taking a side and advocating for a client. It was checking boxes I didn’t know I had.”
Adam went on to Syracuse University’s accelerated law program that enables students to finish their undergraduate work in three years, and then earn their bachelor’s degree (summa cum laude in Adam’s case) during their first year at SU’s College of Law. He graduated magna cum laude in 2006 and immediately began working as a litigator in Bond’s Syracuse office.
Adam now focuses his practice on labor and employment law, where he represents employers in litigation matters involving discrimination, harassment and retaliation under state and federal law (Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the New York Human Rights Law and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act). Adam also regularly counsels his clients in all aspects of labor and employment law.
“As employment lawyers, we provide guidance to businesses when they don’t have answers or don’t know how to address a situation,” Adam says. “We are their counselors; we are their advocates.”
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has brought that advisory role into stark relief for Adam, who assumed a lead position in the firm’s COVID-19 Recovery for Business practice. Since the outbreak began in March, Adam has been a fixture on the firm’s Tuesday webinars that break down the legal implications of pandemic issues for employers. He also has been frequently quoted in local news coverage of the health crisis and written articles on issues for businesses to consider as they reopen, all while counseling his own clients.
And during the shutdown, he did all of that from home – no easy feat considering he and his wife, Jillian, share their home with four children under the age of 6. The couple has triplet 6-year-old daughters and a 2-year-old son.
“Working from home was certainly not easy for me,” he says with a chuckle.
In addition to his full-time law practice (and plus-size family life), Adam is a founding board member of David’s Refuge, a nonprofit organization that provides services and support to the caregivers of children with special needs and life-threatening illnesses in the Central New York region. Warren and Brenda Pfohl formed the non-profit in 2011 after their son, David, died from a rare, neurodegenerative disorder called Batten Disease.
The organization provides a number of services to parents and caregivers, including respite weekends at local hotels or bed and breakfasts where parents can rest, recharge and connect with other parents of children with special needs. In 2019, the group was able to provide respite weekends for 350 families.
“I’ve been on the board since it started, and in 2018 I became board president,” Adam said.
“As lawyers we sometime try to get on a board, but this is personal for me. (A former pastor, Warren Pfohl married Adam and Jillian.) It’s been an amazing experience and something I’m passionate about.”