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James K. Riley

Estate planning Attorney at Pearl River, NY

5.0   3 reviews

also known as Jim Riley

  • State Years
    New York - NY 52 years
    New Jersey - NJ 41 years
  • Licensed for 52 years
    State NY
    Acquired 1971
    Currently Registered No misconduct found
  • Licensed for 41 years
    State NJ
    Acquired 1982
    Administrative - Not Authorized to Practice No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About James

Learn James’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Estate planning

    52 years, 5,850 cases

  2. Elder law

    52 years, 3,180 cases

  3. Litigation

    52 years, 2,650 cases


I am an attorney and partner in  the   law firm of  Donohue, 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 Donohue, 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.





Top Contributor 2012
Top Contributor

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Contact James

O'Connell & Riley
144 East Central Avenue
Pearl River, NY, 10965
O'Connell & Riley
210 Summit Avenue
Suite A-7
Montvale, NJ, 07645
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5.0 / 5.0
  3 customer reviews
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Posted by Donald | February 27, 2012
Recent Estate Settlement
Jim and especially his paralegal Angela were superb and top quality professionals handling the recent settlement of a family estate for me. They helped me all the way through, were very thorough and excellent with their communication and follow-up. I highly recommend them!
Posted by anonymous | October 9, 2011
Estate Planning
My family has known Mr. Riley for over 30 years and have trusted him to handle all of our affairs, most recently for my own estate planning as well as the settlement of my mother´s estate. He and his colleagues are extremely professional and a great team to work with.
Posted by Emilia | September 11, 2011
My mother and I recently hired Mr. James K. Riley of O,Connell and Riley, Pearl River, New York to represent us as our attorney for the sale of our family home in Westchester County, New York. Mr. Riley advised us with the highest level of professionalism, always keeping honestly and integrity at the forefront of all issues. He was extremely efficient and facilitated our closing in the most expeditious manner. Without a doubt, I would use him again. We have been prior clients of his for over 30 years. I would never even consider going elsewhere when handling the sale or purchase of a home. He has also handled my estate planning with extreme comfort and ease. I rate him 5 stars all the way!
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AVVO RATING 10.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Of Counsel
  • Donohue, O'Connell & Riley Attorneys At Law
  • 1978 - Present
  • Adjunct Professor in Education Law and Health Law
  • Long Island University
  • 2005 - 2015
  • Town Attorney
  • Town of Orangetown
  • 1996 - 2004
  • Adjunct Professor in Estate Planning and Education Law
  • Pace University
  • 1993 - 2016
  • Partner
  • Amend & Amend
  • 1974 - 1978
  • Assistant District Attorney
  • Office of the District Attorney/ County of Rockland
  • 1974 - 1975
View all work experience


  • Rutgers Law School
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1970
  • Fordham University
  • A.B.
  • 1967

Legal Cases

  • Azoy v.Fowler/ New York Appellate Court/ 57 A.D. 2d 541
  • The 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..


  • St. Thomas Aquinas College (STAC)
  • Adjunct Professor Business Law
  • 2017 - Present
  • Long Island University
  • Adjunct Associate Professor/Education Law and Health Law
  • 2004 - Present
  • Woodstock Business Ethics Program
  • Member
  • 1998 - Present
  • New York State Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1971 - Present
  • American Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1971 - Present
  • New York State Bar Association
  • Member House of Delegates
  • 2012 - 2015
  • Rockland County Bar Association
  • Member Board of Directors
  • 2011 - 2012
  • National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
  • Member
  • 2005 - 2015
  • Rockland County Bar Association
  • President
  • 1997 - 1998
  • Pace University
  • Adjunct Instructor/Estate and Financial Planning
  • 1993 - 2014
  • Pace University, Pleasantville, NY
  • Adjunct Associate Professor/Education Law
  • 1993 - 2014
  • New York State Association of School Attorneys
  • Member
  • 1979 - 2015
  • Rockland Community College
  • Adjunct Instructor Business Law
  • 1974 - 1978
  • Rockland County Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1971 - 2017
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

Honors and Awards

  • Super Lawyer
  • New York Super Lawyers
  • 2017
  • Probono Legal Services Award
  • Rockland County Bar Association
  • 2009
  • Bar Register Member with Firm
  • Bar Register
  • 2007
  • Who's Who in American Attorneys
  • Who's Who in American Law
  • 2007
  • Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow
  • Rotary International/Rotary Club of Pearl River, NY
  • 2000
  • Citizen of the Year (With Partner Thomas O'Connell)
  • Our Town Newspaper/Town of Orangetown, NY
  • 2000
  • Accredited Estate Planner(r)
  • National Association of Estate Planning Councils
  • 2000
  • Certified Financial Planner(r)
  • National Institute of Certified Financial Planners
  • 1991
  • Av Rating--"Very High to Pre-eminent Attorney"
  • Martindale Hubbell and
  • 1990
View all awards


  • New York State Bar Association General Practice Section
  • The Dream of the Celt and the Trial of Roger Casement
  • 2015
  • New York State Bar Journal
  • A Strange Case of Mistaken Identity
  • 1998

Speaking Engagements

  • Grantor Trusts and Marital Trusts For Couples
  • Trusts A to Z
  • 2017
  • 2016 Annual Conference New York State Bar Association
  • Proper Will Execution to Avoid Will Contests--Hot Topics From The Experts
  • 2016
  • The Ultimate Guide To Probate
  • Estate Ethics and Tax Strategies
  • 2016
  • Estate Planing From A to Z
  • Long Term Care Planning, Special Needs Trusts, and Health Care Proxies
  • 2016
  • The Probate Process From Start to Finish
  • Probate Litigation and Ethics in Estate Adminstration
  • 2016
  • Probate Boot Camp
  • Probate Litigation and Ethics in Estate Litigation
  • 2016
  • Annual Meeting NY State Bar Asociation
  • Traditional Areas of Law
  • 2014
  • National Business Institute
  • Due Process and Special Education Law
  • 2014
  • NBI National Webinar
  • Estate Planning
  • 2013
  • NBI Seminar White Plains, NY
  • Special Education Law
  • 2013
  • NBI White Plains, NY
  • Estate Litigation
  • 2013
  • Hudson Valley Conference on Special Education and Special Needs
  • Special Education and Special Needs Law
  • 2012
  • Newburgh, NY
  • Estate Administration and Estate Litigation
  • 2012
  • Estate Administration Program
  • Estate Administration
  • 2012
  • Law For Public Libraries in 2011
  • Law For Public Libraries In 2011
  • 2011
  • Sex Bias Probe in Colleges' Selections
  • Role of Gender in College Admissions
  • 2010
View all speaking engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (7)
Given (12)
Endorse James
Estate planning Attorney | Dec 24
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I endorse this lawyer. I have had the privilege to work and consult with James Riley on legal matters of mutual interest. Mr. Riley is an extremely knowledgeable attorney who has profound acumen in many areas of law, but focuses in Estate Planning, Elder Law and personal injury. Beyond his legal knowledge, Mr. Riley is dedicated to the community. I am personally aware of Pro Bono causes he has undertaken to help the less fortunate. Mr. Riley has handled Pro Bono matters to the point of Appellate practice. He has also championed culturally-sensitive areas that highlight the contributions of trailblazers. It is the totality of his legal acumen, years of experience, dedication to the community and helping the less fortunate that make it my privilege to highly endorse James Riley."
Elder law Attorney | Aug 11
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"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."
Unknown Attorney | Dec 18
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I endorse this lawyer."
General practice Attorney | Jul 25
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Jim is an extraordinarily talented, bright and knowledgeable attorney.He has a reputation for integrity and the excellence which any client should expect in the performance of legal services. He is a leader in the Rockland legal community. His reputation as a hard working counselor in the area of litigation, municipal and elder care matters is well known to his peers. One is well served with Jim as their advocate and advisor."
Unknown Attorney | Jan 28
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Top-notch attorney. Highly respected in the legal community."
Lawsuits and disputes Attorney | Mar 01
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Mr. Riley has been providing good information to the community regarding the law. He cares about people and gives of his time to share his knowledge. He is one of the good guys."
Estate planning Attorney | Feb 15
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I know Jim and I know he is an excellent attorney. In terms of Estate Planning, in my humble opinion, there is no attorney better than him in Rockland County."
View more endorsements
Estate planning
Criminal defense
Antitrust and trade law
Criminal defense
Estate planning