Jonathan M. Bernstein, a partner in the firm's Albany office, concentrates his practice in municipal liability, general litigation, professional liability, aviation law, land use and zoning, appellate advocacy, and defending civil rights and employment discrimination suits.

One of the preeminent municipal liability and employment law practitioners in New York State, Jon has defended counties, towns, cities, town boards, government agencies, mayors, and other elected officials in municipal liability, employment and labor, and civil rights matters. He has handled labor and employment matters before the New York State Division of Human Rights, the New York State Public Employment Relations Board (PERB), and the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC). Jon has extensive experience defending municipalities in Article 78 proceedings where the petitioner is seeking to challenge government action, such as in land use and zoning decisions, and also frequently handles responses to Freedom of Information Law requests. He has also represented police and corrections officers in civil rights suits in federal and state courts. He is Chair of the Law Enforcement Sub-Committee of the Defense Research Institute (DRI) Government Liability Committee. Also experienced in education law and in the employment and civil rights law concerns distinct to the field of education, Jon has successfully represented school districts, charter schools, and school officials.

Jon's considerable professional liability experience includes representing accountants and lawyers in malpractice lawsuits. In addition, he handles personal injury claims for the world's largest airline, and has handled personal injury matters involving construction sites for many employers throughout New York State.

Jon has handled appeals for matters including civil rights, employment, and personal injury before the New York Court of Appeals and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and frequently serves as appellate counsel during trial. He has also tried cases to verdict in state and federal court.

Before joining Goldberg Segalla, Jon served as a confidential clerk for the New York Court of Appeals from 2002 to 2004.

Jon is the editor of Goldberg Segalla's Government Liability, Civil Rights, and Labor and Employment newsletter.

  • Best Lawyers in America, Litigation — Labor and Employment, 2017–19
  • Upstate New York Super Lawyers, 2013-2016
  • Capital Region Living, Best Lawyers in the Capital Region, Labor and Employment Litigation, 2018
Professional Affiliations
  • Defense Research Institute
  •           Government Liability Committee
  •                     Chair, Law Enforcement Sub-Committee
  •                     Court Reporter Correspondent
  • Association of Towns
  • County Attorney's Association of NY (CAASNY)
Admitted to Practice
  • New York
  • U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Eastern, Southern, and Western Districts of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court
Civic Activities
  • Member, Town of Sand Lake Planning Board
Prior Experience
  • New York State Court of Appeals, Confidential Clerk, 2002-2004
  • Brooklyn Law School, J.D., cum laude, 2002 (Former Assistant Managing Editor of the Brooklyn Law Review)
  • University of Colorado at Boulder, B.A., 1996
  • Co-Presenter, "New York State Sexual Harassment Update," Tokio Marine HCC Annual Claims Seminar, Plymouth, MI, September 6, 2018
  • Co-Presenter, "New York State Sexual Harassment Update and Municipal Law Update," County Attorney's Association of the State of New York Annual Conference, Cooperstown, NY, May 22, 2018
  • Co-Author, “Guideposts for Assessing Excessive Force,” Defense Research Institute For the Defense, June 2017
  • Co-Author, “Is Your Police Department Ready to Implement Body Cameras?” DRI For the Defense, July 2016
  • Co-Presenter, "Municipal Liability Update," The County Attorneys' Association of the State of New York, Cooperstown, NY, May 17, 2016
  • Speaker, "Dealing with eDiscovery Motions and Legal Holds on Electronic Records," CASSNY, April 7, 2015