Of Counsel

Stephen J. Acquario

Mr. Acquario is Of Counsel to the firm, focusing on governmental affair matters.

Contact Stephen J. Acquario

Unless someone like you cares an awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not. - The Lorax

Steve has devoted his legal career to championing the rights of local government and their obligation to protect the health, safety and welfare of people, their communities, and the environment, especially for the preservation of natural resources such as mineral, air, water and environmental ecosystems threatened by polluters.

For decades, Steve has consulted with all types of public entities on a wide variety of complex legislative, regulatory and litigation strategies. He offers clients a unique range and depth of governmental experience at the federal, state, and local level.

Steve concentrates on health and pharmaceutical litigation, environmental law, water contamination and consumer fraud actions.  Most recently, Steve received national acclaim for his role in conducting national negotiations in litigation against the manufacturers, distributors, marketers, and dispensers of opioids.

Widely recognized as an expert in the affairs of local and state government, specifically for local government elected and appointment officials, Steve also serves as the executive director for the NYS Association of Counties and the NYS County Executives Association.

Bar Admissions

New York

United States District Court, Northern District of New York

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

United States Supreme Court


Albany Law School of Union University, J.D., magna cum laude, Justinian Society

State University of New York, College at Potsdam, B.A., Industrial & Labor Relations

Cornell University, Graduate Certificate, Industrial & Labor Relations

Awards and Honors

Awarded the prestigious Jefferson B. Fordham Award for State and Local Government Advocacy, American Bar Association

Professional affiliations

Board Member, NYS Clean Water Collaborative, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation

Board Member, NYS Association of Solid Waste Management

Board Member, Albany Law School, Government Law Center

Past President, National Council of County Association Executives (NCCAE)

Past Board Member, National Association of Counties

Speaking Engagements

Well known as public speaker with regular TV, radio and newspaper appearances as a media expert helping to provide commentary on issues germane to state and local government.

Court Appointments

Member, NYS Committee on Character and Fitness NYS Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Judicial Department

Representative Cases and Settlements of Note

*Results May Vary Depending On Your Particular Facts and Legal Circumstances*

Steve held pivotal role in executing strategic negotiation and resolution necessary for the NYS Consent Decree implementing the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement litigation against 45 tobacco companies resulting in $24 Billion for the State of NY, with $12 B going to NY Counties for tobacco related health related expenses in the Medicaid Program.

Served as counsel liaison organizing and negotiating on behalf of 45 NY counties against pharmaceutical industry for inflated drug prices in NY Medicaid Program leading to hundreds of millions of dollars in settlement.  Average Wholesale Pricing, MDL 1456

Recognized national leader in developing consensus in complex multi-state, multi-county opioid litigation, involving thousands of plaintiffs claiming opioid distributed to the death and substance abuse disorders in the state of New York. To this day, MDL 2804, remains the most complex Multi-District Litigation in the History of the Federal Court System.

Pro Bono

Nationally recognized for successfully negotiating overhaul for defense representation of the indigent in New York. Recognized by Chief Judge of NY Court of Appeals for improving the quality of defense through counsel at arraignment, eligibility and case law relief and initiatives to improve quality of defense for indigent defense pursuant to Hurrell-Herring, et al. v. State of New York, et al. 

Led successful effort with the NYS Alliance for Organ Donation to significantly increase New York in nation organ donation participation.

Other Experience

Bar Examiner, NYS Board of Law Examiners, graded thousands of NYS Bar Exam essays

Areas of Practice

Our Locations

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