Tejash: How long have you been a member of the WCBA and what are some of your contributions?
Wayne: Approximately 20 years. In the past, I served as Co-Chair of the Municipal Law Section for the WCBA. Earlier this year, I had the privilege of introducing Richard Gardella, honoree, at the Annual Meeting and Past Presidents’ Dinner in March. I was also the keynote speaker at WCBA’s Law Day program in May.
Tejash: What is your current job and practice area?
Wayne: For the past 19 years I served as the Village Attorney for the Village of Scarsdale practicing in the area of municipal law. I retired as Village Attorney effective June 30, 2018. At this time, I am open to exploring potential opportunities.
Tejash: How did you become a municipal lawyer?
Wayne: I have a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and was working in local government, when I met Past President, Richard Gardella, who encouraged me to attend law school. After completing law school, I began my legal career as an Assistant District Attorney in the Bronx. Upon leaving the District Attorney’s Office, I began working as the Deputy Village Attorney for the Village of Scarsdale and continued my career path as a municipal lawyer.
Tejash: What is one of your favorite legal success stories?
Wayne: One way to characterize the success of a municipal lawyer is his or her ability to provide sound legal advice to the elected officials and administration, and to vigorously and successfully defend their decisions in the various courts. I believe that I have done that over the past nineteen years as the Village Attorney in Scarsdale.
Tejash: Who were some of your legal mentors?
Wayne: I have had many mentors and people whom I admired and respected over the years, but the ones that standout the most are Richard Gardella, Jim Staudt and Joel Sachs.
Tejash: If you were not practicing law, what would you be doing?
Wayne: As previously mentioned, I have a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and was in training to become a city manager. Therefore, I have to assume that if I were not practicing law I would be a city manager, or town or village administrator.
Tejash: What might people be surprised to learn about you?
Wayne: I have three things I can share. I played guard on the varsity basketball team for Cardinal Hayes High School and we made it to the city championship.
I worked at Yankee Stadium during the exciting summers of 1978, 1979 and 1980. I was a vendor selling hot dogs and other food in the stadium seats.
I have a love of music. Music speaks to a person’s heart and soul, and enables us all to temporarily escape the stress of everyday life. It unites us and fosters feelings of love, compassion and understanding, which is something we all seek.
Tejash: What is the last time you were out of your comfort zone?
Wayne: I recently joined the Polar Bears Club in Massachusetts. The club members enter the water early in the morning when it is very cold!
Tejash: What do you splurge on?
Wayne: Certainly, not myself. I was reared and taught that one must always make sacrifices for the family.
Tejash: What is your favorite movie?
Wayne: My favorite movie is “An Officer and Gentlemen” featuring Richard Gere and Louis Gossett Jr. This movie provides a perfect illustration of personal growth, maturity, determination and the importance of being selfless.
Tejash: What are some of your favorite vacation trips?
Wayne: All of my trips to areas surrounding the Caribbean Sea, including Antigua, Barbados and Aruba. The warmth and beauty of the ocean, together with the food and hospitality make for a splendid vacation.
Tejash: What is the best advice you have ever received?
Wayne: We are given two ears and one mouth, which means we should learn to listen more and speak when appropriate.
Tejash: What is the best decision you made to improve your business or professional skills?
Wayne: Getting involved with the International Municipal Lawyers Association (IMLA) where I have served on the Board of Directors for the past 10 years and am presently the Treasurer. IMLA has enabled me to meet, share experiences and discuss issues with municipal lawyers from all parts of the country and Canada. In addition to attending IMLA seminars and conferences, the camaraderie amongst municipal attorneys has fostered friendships that will last a lifetime.
Tejash: What advice would you give to new lawyers?
Wayne: To get involved with the WCBA and take advantage of the wealth of knowledge and experience that the membership offers. My experiences in the WCBA have been