Julie Apter, a partner of the firm, is a seasoned attorney with more than 30 years of experience, specializing in the practice of employment and general litigation. In the increasingly regulated and complex employment landscape, Julie provides guidance to clients with keen insight into the intricacies of successful employment litigation. 

An AV-rated attorney, Julie has practiced in-house for Nationwide Insurance Company, and with the Office of the Erie County Attorney representing the County of Erie in its self-insured litigation program. Prior to joining Goldberg Segalla, she had extensive trial experience representing insureds and self-insureds in civil matters in both New York and Connecticut state courts as well as federal courts, including numerous premises liability cases for the County of Erie and Nationwide Insurance. 

Julie has successfully defended many types of employers in New York State Supreme Court and various federal courts in litigation involving employment contract issues, Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) claims, and claims brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as well as harassment, discrimination, and civil rights claims. She frequently represents employers before the New York State Division of Human Rights and in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Julie also defends property owners against claims involving ADA compliance issues, and inspects premises to ensure compliance and to help avoid claims and litigation.

Co-chair of the firm's Municipal and Governmental Liability Practice Group and editor of the firm's Government Liability and Civil Rights newsletter, Julie represents numerous municipalities and school districts in a variety of claims, including sexual abuse litigation, sex discrimination, employment discrimination, and general personal injury defense matters. She also represents law enforcement agencies in civil rights claims in federal courts throughout New York State, and represents health care providers before the New York State Division of Human Rights and the EEOC. In addition, Julie handles the defense of nursing home matters involving claims of abuse of patients. She has obtained favorable early resolutions with the assistance of targeted expert review for numerous long-term health care facilities facing allegations due to multiple falls, pressure sores and death of residents.

Recent successes include:
  • Obtaining a dismissal of a federal court employment discrimination lawsuit brought against a New York State University and its Board of Trustees
  • Obtaining a dismissal of a civil rights lawsuit brought against a municipality and its police officers involving claims of free speech based on internet postings targeting a police captain
  • Prevailing at the New York State Division of Human Rights following a lengthy trial/hearing involving claims of employment discrimination brought against a skilled nursing facility
  • Negotiating settlements involving multiple shopping centers and retailers working out ADA compliance issues in exchange for the dismissal of Federal Court Title III ADA accessibility claims
  • Securing a favorable early resolution of an employment retaliation claim brought against a governmental entity, based on sexual orientation 
  • Obtaining a dismissal of a civil rights lawsuit brought against a municipality, based upon allegations of false arrest, malicious prosecution, and unnecessary force occurring during an anti-war protest
  • Prevailing at the New York State Division of Human Rights following a lengthy trial/hearing involving claims of employment discrimination brought against a skilled nursing facility

Julie utilizes her experience to counsel clients and offer practical information for avoiding potential liability, frequently preparing and delivering presentations tailored for insurers, municipalities, governmental entities, school districts, and groups such as the New York State Association of Towns. She has covered topics ranging from workplace harassment to Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests and media relations to the use of body cameras in law enforcement. Julie also addresses numerous issues that arise in the ERISA field and has represented many life, health, and disability insurers by providing counsel on ERISA claims and representing the insurers in federal court litigation. 

In addition, Julie has experience working with clients in the food and beverage industry, including the representation of the world's most recognizable restaurant chain in personal injury claims.

  • Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating: AV Preeminent
  • Defense Trial Lawyers Association of Western New York Civility Award, 2018
  • Top Rated Lawyer in Labor and Employment Law, American Lawyer Media and Martindale-Hubbell, 2013
  • Top 25: Women Upstate New York Super Lawyers, 2016–18
  • Upstate New York Super Lawyers, 2013–18
  • Business First's Legal Elite of Western New York (Labor and Employment), 2015–18
Professional Affiliations
  • Defense Research Institute: Employment Law, Governmental Liability, and Electronic Discovery Committees
  • Defense Trial Lawyers Association of Western New York
  • Western New York Trial Lawyers Association
  • National Employment Law Institute 
  • Organization of Public Employer Negotiators (OPEN)
Admitted to Practice
  • New York
  • Connecticut, 1986 
  • U.S. District Courts for the Western, Southern, Eastern, and Northern Districts of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Civic Activities
  • Girl Scouts of Buffalo and Erie County, past leader
  • St. Gregory the Great, ministry volunteer 
  • Ohio Northern University, J.D., 1984 (Moot Court Semifinalist, 1984;  Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, International-Chief Justice, 1983–84)
  • State University of New York at Buffalo, B.A., cum laude, 1981
  • "Internet Use and Free Speech Claims," Client Presentation, San Antonio, TX, January 29, 2019
  • "Preparing Witnesses for Depositions and Trial" (Co-Presenter), International Municipal Lawyers Association, Houston, TX, October 18, 2018
  • "The Evolving Landscape of Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals," Western New York Institute of Real Estate Management, Buffalo, NY, August 30, 2018
  • "Preventing Unlawful Harassment and Discrimination in the Workplace: A Primer for Supervisors" (Co-Presenter), March 29, 2017
  • "Trident Client Resource Workshop" (Co-Presenter), Trident Insurance, October 6, 2015
  • "Preventing Unlawful Harassment Within the Workforce: A Primer for Supervisors" (Co-Presenter), February 23, 2015
  • "Protecting the Attorney Client Privilege in Claims Handling and Litigation,” ICA Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA, September 21–23, 2014
  • "Administering the Family Medical Leave Act - Reinstatement and Termination,"  Lorman Education Services, January 2013
  • "Employment Law Update," Sterling Education Employment Law Seminar, October 2010
  • "Employment Issues in the Paperless Workplace," Sterling Education Employment Law Update Seminar, February 2009
  • "Sex, Race and Other Harassment in the Workplace," Sterling Education, January 2007
  • "Privacy in the Workplace and Conducting an Internal Investigation," Sterling Education, January 2007
  • "How to Define Legal Job Criteria and Legally Find and Qualify Applicants," Sterling Education Hiring and Firing Seminar, August 2006
  • "Trying the Uninsured, Underinsured Motorist Claim," Lorman Education Seminar, September 2004