Skip to main content

James K. Riley

also known as Jim Riley

About me

I am an attorney and partner in  the   law firm of  O'Connell & Riley in Pearl River, N.Y and also Montvale, N.J.   I help my personal clients in the areas of estate planning, elder law planning, and personal injury matters.


 I have been an Adjunct Professor  in estate planning, elder planning,  and financial planning at Pace University in White Plains since 1992 and I also serve as an Adjunct Professor in Public Education Law at Long Island University.  


 I have been rated "very high to pre-eminent" (Av) by my fellow attorneys in the LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell Lawyers Directory and I have been recognized in the Bar Register of Pre-eminent Attorneys and Who's Who In American Law. I am very proud of my "Superb"  Avvo rating (10.0) and "Superlawyer" designations which are both  based upon more than 30 years of dedicated service to my clients.


My work as an attorney is based  upon my deep and sincere desire to help people.




James K. Riley Attends NAELA Advanced Elder Law Boot Camp

Experts Share Information on Elder and Disability Law Trends


Pearl River, NY–James K. Riley of the O’Connell & Riley in Pearl River, NY and Montvale, NJ attended the NAELA Advanced Elder Law Boot Camp held from November 8-9, 2011 in Boston. This two-day workshop was part of theNational Aging and Law Institute, a conference hosted by the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) and co-sponsored by the National Aging and Law Conference (NALC). The National Aging & Law Institute is intended to equip elder and special needs law attorneys and other advocates in law and aging with the resources and information to better serve today’s clients. The NAELA Advanced Elder Law Boot Camp is taught by Certified Elder Law Attorneys (CELA) and is designed for experienced practitioners.


The NAELA Advanced Elder Law Boot Camp covered topics such as:


·        Appeal Process: Requirements for Application,

·        Housing/Residents Rights Advocacy,

·        Insurance and Annuities,

·        Employment, Age and Disability Discrimination,

·        Employment and Retirement,

·        Public Benefits; Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security and VA,

·        Fiduciary Representation,

·        Legal Capacity Counseling,

·        Health and Personal Care Planning,

·        Pre/Post Mortem Tax Planning,

·        Litigation and Administrative Advocacy,

·        Special Needs Counseling, and

·        How to take the CELA Exam.



Members of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) are attorneys who are experienced and trained in working with the legal problems of aging Americans and individuals of all ages with disabilities. Established in 1987, NAELA is a non-profit association that assists lawyers, bar organizations and others. The mission of NAELA is to establish NAELA members as the premier providers of legal advocacy, guidance and services to enhance the lives of people with special needs and people as they age. NAELA currently has members across the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit

About Elder and Special Needs Law

Elder and Special Needs Law are specialized areas that involve representing, counseling and assisting seniors, people with disabilities and their families in connection with a variety of legal issues, with a primary emphasis on promoting the highest quality of life for individuals. Typically, Elder Law and Special Needs Law address the convergence of legal needs with the social, psychological medical and financial needs of individuals. The Elder Law and Special Needs Law attorney handles estate planning and counsels clients about planning for incapacity with health care decision-making documents. The Elder and Special Needs Law attorney also assists clients in planning for possible long-term care needs, including at-home care, assisted living or nursing home care. Locating the appropriate type of care, coordinating public and private resources to finance the cost of care and working to ensure the client’s right to quality care are all part of the Elder and Special Needs Law practice.





Languages spoken: Spanish

Photos and videos

815848 1361843609

Practice areas


  1. Estate Planning: 34%
    44 years, 5.85 thousand cases
  2. Litigation: 33%
    44 years, 2.65 thousand cases
  3. Elder Law: 33%
    44 years, 3.18 thousand cases

Attorney endorsements

6 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Brad Michael Micklin

    James Riley is an experienced attorney whose participation and comments in Avvo show his commitment to serving clients as well as his level of experience. He is an excellent attorney that I recommend wholeheartedly.


    Brad Micklin Divorce & Separation Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • No photo

    I endorse this lawyer.


    James Kosakow Estate Planning Attorney
    Relationship: Worked together on matter

Contact info

O'Connell & Riley

144 East Central Avenue
Pearl River, NY, 10965

O'Connell & Riley

210 Summit Avenue
Suite A-7
Montvale, NJ, 07645



NYCurrently registered 197103/13/2015
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Super LawyerNew York Super Lawyers2015
Probono Legal Services AwardRockland County Bar Association2009
Bar Register Member with FirmBar Register2007
Who's Who in American AttorneysWho's Who in American Law2007
Rotary International Paul Harris FellowRotary International/Rotary Club of Pearl River, NY2000
Citizen of the Year (With Partner Thomas O'Connell)Our Town Newspaper/Town of Orangetown, NY2000
Accredited Estate PlannerNational Association of Estate Planning Councils2000
Certified Financial PlannerNational Institute of Certified Financial Planners1991
Av Rating--"Very High to Pre-eminent Attorney"Martindale Hubbell and Lawyers.com1990
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
PartnerO'Connell & Riley Attorneys At Law1978 - Present
Adjunct Professor in Education Law and Health LawLong Island University2005 - 2015
Town AttorneyTown of Orangetown1996 - 2004
Adjunct Professor in Estate planning and Education LawPace University1993 - 2014
PartnerAmend & Amend 1974 - 1978
Assistant District AttorneyOffice of the District Attorney/ County of Rockland1974 - 1975
Association namePosition nameDuration
New York State Bar AssociationMember House of Delegates2012 - 2015
Rockland County Bar AssociationMember Board of Directors2011 - 2012
National Academy of Elder Law AttorneysMember2007 - Present
Long Island UniversityAdjunct Associate Professor/Education Law and Health Law2004 - Present
Woodstock Business Ethics ProgramMember1998 - Present
Rockland County Bar AssociationPresident1997 - 1998
Pace UniversityAdjunct Instructor/Estate and Financial Planning1993 - Present
Pace University, Pleasantville, NYAdjunct Associate Professor/Education Law1993 - 2014
New York State Association of School AttorneysMember1979 - Present
Rockland Community CollegeAdjunct Instructor Business Law1974 - 1978
Rockland County Bar AssociationMember1971 - 2015
American Bar AssociationMember1971 - Present
New York State Bar AssociationMember1971 - Present
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
Azoy v.Fowler/ New York Appellate Court/ 57 A.D. 2d 541The Appellate Court on appeal ruled that my client prevailed in her right to a jury trial on the alleged fraudulent conduct of the executor of the estate..
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
New York State Bar Association General Practice SectionThe Dream of the Celt and the Trial of Roger Casement2015
New York State Bar JournalA Strange Case of Mistaken Identity1998
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
Rutgers University School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1970
Fordham UniversityN/AA.B.1967
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
NBI-The Probate Process From Start to FinishLitigating the Case in Probate Court2015
National Business Institute--White Plains, N.Y.Estate Planning From A to Z--Basic Tax Planning and Trusts 1012015
2015 Annual Conference New York State Bar AssociationLegal Planning for Clients--Hot Topics From The Experts2015
National Business InstituteDue Process and Special Education Law2014
Lawfully Manage Student RecordsLawfully Manage Student Records Under F.E.R.P.A. and Protection of Pupil Rights2014
Annual Meeting NY State Bar AsociationTraditional Areas of Law2014
NBI Seminar White Plains, NYSpecial Education Law2013
NBI National WebinarEstate Planning2013
NBI White Plains, NYEstate Litigation2013
Newburgh, NYEstate Administration and Estate Litigation2012
Hudson Valley Conference on Special Education and Special NeedsSpecial Education and Special Needs Law2012
Estate Administration ProgramEstate Administration2012
Law For Public Libraries in 2011Law For Public Libraries In 20112011
Sex Bias Probe in Colleges' SelectionsRole of Gender in College Admissions2010