Delaware Valley grad Laffey reaches ‘commanding heights’ in law firm
By Frank Rizzo
NEW YORK CITY April 16, 2013 His 26th floor office at 599 Lexington Avenue affords Casey Laffey stunning vistas of midtown Manhattan.
But it’s doubtful whether Laffey has much time to enjoy the views, what with the inexorable demands of building billable hours and managing complex cases.
The 1997 graduate of Delaware Valley CS was one of 22 associates at law firm Reed Smith recently promoted to partner. The globe-circling firm is one of the largest in the world, employing over 1,700 attorneys.
Laffey, 33, is formerly of Fremont Center.
Laffey described his responsibilities: “I am currently in a management position as the Practice Group Assistant of the New York Commercial Litigation Group, appointed less than a month after being promoted to partner. I manage the work flow of the associates in the group, conduct litigation meetings, participate in the associate review and compensation program, and deal with day-to-day issues that arise in the Group.”
According to a press release, “Casey is a seasoned litigator with extensive knowledge in various areas of law. His practice is devoted to a wide range of commercial and financial services litigation. He has experience handling litigations in both federal and state courts, as well as in arbitration proceedings and civil and criminal enforcement proceedings commenced by the New York State Attorney General's Office.”
Of his early influences and inspirations, Laffey said, “I cannot point to one moment or person who led me to law, but I obviously had great history and political science teachers at DVCS like Dick Fisher (RIP) and Tom Connell that I enjoyed a lot. I also started working with [Callicoon attorney] Fran Clemente during summers off during college, which reinforced my interest in the legal profession. She was a very generous and kind person to me and a great mentor.”
Laffey attended SUNY Binghamton, where he earned a degree in History, and then graduated from St. John's University School of Law in 2004 with a J.D. His college record is full of awards and honors.
After interning at Reed Smith the summer of 2003, Laffey joined the firm in 2004.
Those internships between the second and third year of law school are crucial, and often lead to job offers, Laffey noted.
“I participated in on campus interviews where the top law firms in New York come to interview the best St. John's students for Summer Associate positions,” Laffey said. “I was lucky to meet a future mentor, Robert J. Miller (then head of the Commercial Litigation Department) and we immediately hit it off. He invited me back for more interviews at the firm and I was hired. Robert is now a Justice for the New York State Appellate Division, Second Department and continues to be a close friend and mentor to me today.”
Laffey is admitted to practice in all state courts (including the New York State Court of Appeals, its highest court) and all NY federal district courts and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (the federal appellate court in NY).
The last is one level below the Supreme Court. With his handling complicated cases whose monetary figures run into the hundreds of millions, Laffey can imagine the day when he’ll go through the application process to argue a case before “the Supremes.”
From his firm’s bio page: “Casey has extensive experience arguing complex trial court motions and appeals, taking and defending complex depositions, and has commenced and defended various actions seeking injunctive and declaratory relief. Casey has also tried significant cases and arbitrations through verdict or award.”
Laffey met his wife, the former Jessica Price of Abrahamsville, PA, when both worked summers at Peck’s Markets in Callicoon. The couple lives in Williston Park, Long Island, with their three daughters, Ayden (6), Adyson (4) and Aryanna, who was born February 17, 2013. Jessica is a former teacher and perhaps will return to her profession when her children are older.
Laffey’s parents, Jeff Sr. and Susan, now live in Naples, Fl. His brother Jeff Jr. lives in Tyler Hill, PA.