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n 1999 the NY Times did a profile of Arthur Schwartzwhich started with the sentence: “ARTHUR Z. SCHWARTZ loves to count the ways he has made people miserable.” The article focused on Arthur’s fight against corruption in unions, and his litigation on behalf of working people addressed to their problems on the job. But the article, after mentioning Arthur’s election as Village Democratic District Leader, concluded: “Still, even when describing the satisfactions of finally having a taste of power, his eyes do not light up the way they do when he talks about fighting for those who have none. ‘I got involved in everything originally because I believed in democracy with a little d,” he said. ”No matter what changes, that still keeps me going.'”
Arthur Schwartz has been representing unions, workers, and Lower Manhattan community residents for over 38 years. He is widely recognized as one of New York City’s top labor (union-side) and employment (employee-side) lawyers.
Arthur was born in the Bronx, and graduated from the Bronx High School of Science in 1970. He got his BA from Columbia University in 1974 and his Law Degree from Hofstra Law School in 1978. He moved to the West Village in 1981, and has lived within a 4 block radius ever since.(Long enough that he has been profiled as a “West Village Original” (link)) He is married to Kelly Craig, a former leader of the Screen Actors Guild, and has four children, ranging in age from 10 to 28.
Arthur became politically active in the Movement against the War in Vietnam in 1969, leading protests of High School students. He continued his activism at Columbia, getting arrested three times at anti-war demonstrations, and traveling the country as a speaker. While in law school he worked with the United League of Mississipii fighting the Klan, and organized a national conference on Affirmative Action In the Professions while the Bakke case, testing affirmative action) was pending in the Supreme Court. After interning at the NY Civil Liberties Union and Bronx Legal Service, Arthur opened his own office in 1978.
While building his practice first as a lawyer for union reformers, and then as union lawyer, Arthur became a lawyer for social activists. He represented demonstrators calling for the shut down of the Indian Point Nuke Plant, and others who successfully stopped construction of a Nuclear Plant in Shoreham, LI. He represented the Mobilization for Survival in its million person anti-nuclear proliferation march in 1982, and regulary (to this day) represents people arrested in acts of civil disobedience. From 2009-2010 he represented the Community Activist group ACORN and helped start its successor in NY, New York Communities for Change.
Mr. Schwartz is currently General Counsel of Board of Education Employees Local 372, DC 37, and is Co-General Counsel of Transport Workers Union of Greater New York, Local 100, which he has worked for since 2001. He has worked as General Counsel to Utility Workers Union of America, Local 1-2 Utility Workers of America at Con Edison, Transport Workers Union Local 101 at National Grid, and Professional Staff Congress of CUNY. He also served as counsel to DC 37′s largest blue-collar locals for many years (where he played a major role at exposing corruption in 1998), Local 32B-32J, SEIU, Emergency Medical Service Workers Union, Teamsters Local 237 (representing elevator mechanics), Local 1182 of the Communications Workers (representing Traffic Enforcement Officers), numerous locals of the American Postal Workers Union, and the Northeast Regional Joint Board of UNITE (the garment workers union). Mr. Schwartz has achieved many important victories for unions and union members in state and federal court, in administrative proceedings and in arbitration.
Mr. Schwartz has also won landmark cases in several other areas of workers’ rights: whistleblower protections, employment discrimination, Equal Pay Act, public employee free speech, union democracy, federal and state civil rights, and pension funds. He has reached a verdict in more than twenty jury trials, has argued over sixty cases in the appellate courts, and has handled hundreds of arbitrations regarding various contractual and disciplinary disputes. He has also specialized in addressing workplace safety, having litigated over 40 OSHA cases, and handled numerous matters involving worker exposure to toxins, like asbestos, in the workplace.
Mr. Schwartz has also represented his community, both as a lawyer and as a citizen activist. He has litigated cases that brought ball fields to Hudson River Park’s Pier 40, stopped the construction of a Costco on 14th Street (getting a YMCA instead), and stopped the closing of subway system token booths citywide. He was also part of teams that stopped a subway fare increase, successfully sued to bring about fair voting procedures in charter school controversies, and represented parents challenging the appointment of Catherine Black to be Schools Chancellor by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He has organized his neighbors to win millions of dollars to renovate local parks and playgrounds, build Hudson River Park, and get needed services. In 2001, he represented severely injured survivors of the World Trade Center collapse.
Mr. Schwartz was a founding member and a long time Board Member of Friends of Hudson River Park and has served three terms as Chair of the Hudson River Park Trust Advisory Council. Mr. Schwartz served on Manhattan Community Board 2 for 24 years and as an elected Democratic District Leader or State Committee Member for Greenwich Village, Soho, Tribeca and Northern Battery Park City for the past 20 years. In 2008, he was elected as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention pledged to Barack Obama.In 2014 he served as State Treasurer for the Zephyr Teachout campaign for Governor, and in 2015 was retained to act as counsel to Bernie Sanders’ Presidential campaign in New York.
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|Award name||Grantor||Date granted|
|Lawyer of the Year||NYC Parents Union||2012|
|Principal Attorney||Advocates for Justice Chartered Attorneys||2005 - Present|
|Managing Attorney||Kennedy, Schwartz & Cure||1995 - 2005|
|Partner||Lewis,Greenwald, Kennedy, Lewis, Clifton & Schwartz||1989 - 1995|
|Partner||hall, Clifton & Schwartz||1979 - 1989|
|Association name||Position name||Duration|
|NYS Democratic Lawyers Association||District Leader||1995 - Present|
|Aulicino v NYC||Setlled -$160,000|
|Katsaros v Cody||$ recovered|
|Con Edison v Donovan||Reinstated w/back pay & fees|
|See all legal cases|
|Hofstra University School of Law||Law||JD - Juris Doctor||1978|
|Columbia University||Political Science||B.A.||1974|
|CLE Conferences||Employment Discrimination Seminar||2016|
|CLE Conferences||Employment Discrimination Seminar||2015|