Liam L. Castro
Attorney at Law

After completing college, Liam L. Castro joined the law firm of Koehler & Isaacs LLP as a law clerk in the labor and employment group. While employed full-time, he attended St. John’s Law School during the evening and received his J.D. in 2003.  During that time, he worked along side attorneys in all facets of their cases, including preparing drafting memoranda of law, discovery demands, improper practice charges, and the like.

After admission to the bar, Mr. Castro has been a member of the firm’s labor and employment group. During that time, he had and continues to specialize in the areas of civil service law, employment law, and public and private sector labor law, and employee benefits. For almost two decades, Mr. Castro has been counsel to numerous public and private sector labor unions, ERISA benefit plans, and has counseled individual union members in many areas of law related to their civil service employment, and beyond. He has represented labor unions and their members before the New York State Public Employment Relations Board, New York State and Federal Courts, before labor arbitrators, and in collective bargaining .  Likewise, Mr. Castro has extensive appellate advocacy experience arguing dozens of times before the Appellate Divisions in three of the four divisions in New York, and twice before the highest Court in New York – the New York State Court of Appeals where he was successful each time he appeared before that particularly distinguished Court.  His cases have been discussed in the media, including the front pages of the Chief News Leader, the New York Law Journal, Reuters, and The New York Times.

Mr. Castro also has extensive experience in labor arbitrations. He has conducted hundreds of disciplinary and contract arbitrations during which he advocated for both his labor union and individual union member clients. Mr. Castro also has extensive and particular experience representing law enforcement officers who were injured in the line of duty. Specifically, he has conducted hundreds of arbitrations advocating for a law enforcement officer’s right to begin to receive or continue to receive line of duty benefits.

Mr. Castro also has experience before the New York State Education Department defending professional license revocation.

Areas of Experience

  • Labor Law
  • Civil Service Law
  • Employment Law

Education

  • J.D., St. John’s University School of Law, 2003
  • B.S., cum laude, St. John’s University, 1998
    • Golden Key National Honor Society, St. Vincent’s College Honor Society, Criminal Justice National Honor Society.

Memberships

New York State Bar Association

Bar Admissions

  • New York
  • United States District Court, Southern and Eastern Districts of New York

Highlighted Cases / State Court and Administrative Decisions

  • COBA v. City of New York, index no. 701499/2020, Queens Supreme Court (in April 2020, along with Steve Isaacs and Howard Wien, we sued the city for failing to provide N95 masks to correction officers and to implement sanitary procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic. The court issued an injunction requiring this relief immediately);
  • COBA, 13 OCB2d 4 (BCB 2020) (the union challenged the City’s decision to house high classification inmates [more dangerous] with lower classification inmates. The City challenged the arbitrability of that grievance, and argued the housing of inmates was a managerial prerogative, arbitration would violate public policy, and this issue is not subject to arbitration. The Office of Collective Bargaining denied their arguments, and ordered arbitration. They held that whatever managerial prerogative they had, once the DOC adopted a written policy concerning a managerial prerogative, that subject becomes arbitrable.);
  • Dinkins v. Brann, Index No. 155550/2019 (NY Supreme Court) (in June 2019 we filed an Article 78 challenging a City correction officer’s termination.  In December 2019 we negotiated with the City the officer’s reinstatement to her position with full backpay and accruals, the total value of which was about $100,000.
  • COBA, 12 OCB2d 31 (BCB September 2019) (union filed a grievance alleging the city failed to credit an employee with compensatory time after he resolved a disciplinary matter pursuant to a negotiated plea agreement. The city argued the grievance was not arbitrable. OCB found that the union brought an arbitrable grievance, and ordered the city to arbitration);
  • Gualtieri v. Suffolk County Civil Service Department, index number 4769/19 (Suffolk County Supreme Court, September 2019) (challenged the Suffolk County Civil Service Department’s decision to disqualify an applicant.  Pending the outcome of that challenge, we showed to the judge a sufficiently compelling  case such that the judge enjoined the Department from expiring the civil service list on which the applicant was);
  • COBA v. City of New York, Index No. 24054/16E (Franco, JSC, July 8, 2019) (in a first-of-a-kind case in New York, our client alleged the Department of Correction failed to properly train and equip officers when they supervised the most dangerous inmates, and in doing so endangered officers and their right to a safe workplace. The city sought to dismiss the case. The Court denied the City’s motion to dismiss, and held that the correction union stated a cause of action against the City);
  • Febles v. NYC, Index No. 160459/2018 (in June 2019 Court denied the City’s motion to dismiss the Article 78, which alleged the City’s decision to terminate a probationary employee was arbitrary and capricious, and ordered the City to submit an Answer explaining the basis of their termination);
  • UFADBA v. City of New York, 12 OCB2d 6 (BCB 2019) (finding the City violated the Collective Bargaining Law when it unilaterally compelled employees who volunteered for overtime, and subsequently rescinded that decision, to either work the shift or find a replacement).
  • Louis v. DOC, 159398/2018 (terminated probationary employee was reinstated with backpay, full leave accruals, seniority and other contractual benefits);
  • County of Nassau v. NCSCOBA, Index Nos. 604338/2018 and 603206/2018 (County sued the union to invalidate a contract worth over $1 million, and sought to permanently stay arbitration. The Court dismissed the action against the union, and held the agreement was valid);
  • Nassau County v. Nassau County Sheriff’s Correction Officers Benevolent Association, Index No. 001243/18 (Court denied the County’s request for a permanent stay of arbitration, and dismissed the County’s Petition).
  • Castro v. Schriro, 29 N.Y.3d 1005 (2017) (In reversing the supreme court’s dismissal of the Petition, the Appellate Division and later the Court of Appeals held the Petition stated a claim for improper termination of a probationary employee, and remanded the proceeding back to the lower court);
  • Uniformed Fire Alarm Dispatchers Benevolent Association v. City of New York, Index No. 656928/17 (pending arbitration of a contract grievance, the city enjoined from altering the comp time leave provisions of their policy);
  • NCSCOBA v. County of Nassau, Index 000220/2017 (pending arbitration, by order to show cause, the Court ordered the County not to reduce the vacation selection process);
  • COBA, 8 OCB2d 30 (BCB 2015) (OCB denied the City’s challenge to, and ordered it to arbitrate the Union’s grievance which alleged the City improperly paid a union member. The result was a settlement of over $110,000 for the member, restoration of her seniority and other benefits);
  • County of Nassau, 48 PERB 3023 (2015) (holding that supervisor discriminated against union members for union activity);
  • Town of Islip v. PERB, and UPSEU, 23 N.Y.3d 482 (2014) (Court of Appeals held the public employer unilaterally and illegally took employees’ take home vehicles);
  • NCSCOBA v. County of Nassau, et al., Index No.: 6478/14 (pending arbitration of a contract grievance, the County was enjoined from terminating a second retired employee’s medical benefits);
  • RK v. Darby, index no. 158177/2014 (NY County Supreme Court, December 2016) (represented a law firm partner as plaintiff in a contract dispute. After discovery, we moved for summary judgment and opposed the defendant’s motion. The court found that the defendant violated the contract and ordered an inquest on damages. The matter settled for 100% of the damages);
  • Matter of Jaronczyk v. Mangano, Index No. 2819/12 2012 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 6683, 2012 NY Slip Op 33728(U) (Sher, A.J.S.C., June 27, 2012), aff’d 121 A.D.3d 995 (2d Dep’t., 2014) (ordered the County to, under FOIL, disclose overtime slips, and also ordered attorney’s fees);
  • NCSCOBA v. County of Nassau, Index Nos. 7449/12, 5839/12, 6909/12 (in three separate proceedings brought by the Union, the County was compelled to arbitrate contract grievances);
  • Matter of Sheriff Officers Assoc., Inc. v. Nassau County, 2012 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 2913 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. June 8, 2012; Murphy, J.S.C.) (pending arbitration of a contract grievance, the County was enjoined from terminating a retired employee’s medical benefits);
  • Singer v. Van Blarcum, Index No. 2469/11 (while the officer engaged in misconduct, the Court found the County’s decision to terminate a tenured CO was improper);
  • Sheriff Officers Association, Inc. v. County of Nassau; Sup. Ct. Index No. 13113/10; App. Div. Index No. 2010-06717 (county was ordered, by order to show cause, to arbitrate a disciplinary matter. Thereafter, and before arbitration, the employer sought grand jury material. The court held that although an individual who brings an action can waive their right to keep grand jury material sealed, the member did not do so when compelling disciplinary arbitration);
  • COBA, 2 OCB2d 7 (BCB 2009) (holding that supervisor discriminated against union member for union activity);
  • Quick v Horn, 21 Misc.3d 1116(A) (2008 Sup. Ct. NY Cnty) (NYC DOC improperly terminated probationary employee).

Articles & Publications

New York Law Journal:

The New York Times:

The Chief News Leader:

Reuters:

Firm News:

National Public Radio: