Shannon O’Connor focuses her practice on municipal and governmental liability, professional liability, general liability, and matters involving employment and labor. She defends clients in a range of matters in both federal and state court, and has taken nearly 10 trials to verdict in the Northern District of New York on Section 1983 civil rights matters and Title VII employment discrimination cases. She also has significant appellate experience, and has submitted several briefs to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Shannon has extensive experience representing both public and private clients before state and federal administrative agencies, and counsels and represents a wide variety of employers on matters including age discrimination, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and New York State Human Rights Law, and other state and federal statutes. She has handled numerous claims before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the New York State Division of Human Rights (DHR), securing findings of no probable cause of discrimination. She has also represented property owners and municipal housing authorities before DHR and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in claims alleging violations of the Fair Housing Act, securing findings of no probable cause.

Shannon also counsels governments and municipal entities on a wide variety of employment and labor and other liability matters. Her experience here includes drafting a body camera policy for the police department of the city of Troy, New York. In 2016 and after a rigorous application process that included peer review and a written examination, Shannon was named a Local Government Fellow of the prestigious International Municipal Lawyers Association (IMLA), a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C. that serves as a legal resource for local government attorneys. The IMLA Fellows program recognizes highly skilled attorneys practicing in the field of local government law. Shannon has further been the recipient of the IMLA Amicus Service Award, an honor that recognizes lawyers who are actively involved in legal advocacy for and on behalf of local governments, and the IMLA Marvin J. Glink Award, an honor that recognizes the top remarkable lawyers working in the private sector on behalf of public clients. She also serves as IMLA's New York State Co-Chair. 

In 2018, Shannon was named to the Irish Legal 100, an annual compilation of the most distinguished American legal professionals of Irish heritage. Recognition on the list, which was founded in 2008 by the Irish Voice newspaper in New York, is a highly selective process, and its members include U.S. ambassadors, attorneys, legal scholars, U.S. Supreme Court justices, and other members of the judiciary.

Shannon currently serves as vice president of the Judicial Steering Committee of the Central New York Women's Bar Association, where she participates in the screening process of judicial candidates seeking commendation from association, conducts personal interviews, and provides rating to the committee based on candidate’s qualifications, background, and experience.

Shannon's community involvement includes serving as president and chair of the Board of Directors of ACR Health, an organization that began at the forefront of the fight against the HIV/AIDS epidemic and which now provides a network of health services to individuals suffering from a variety of long-term conditions throughout Central New York. ACR provides case management services, substance abuse treatment, housing services, a center for LGBTQ youth, and is on the front lines of the opioid epidemic with a syringe and needle exchange program. In addition, Shannon serves on the Board of Directors of the Hiscock Legal Aid Society, an organization that provides comprehensive and quality legal services to low-income and marginalized communities to ensure equal access to the courts.

Before entering private practice, Shannon served for several years as Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Syracuse, where she represented the city and its officials in a wide variety of litigation, in administrative proceedings before New York State agencies such as the Department of Environmental Conservation, and in nuisance abatement proceedings for problem properties. She also provided advice and recommendations to the City of Syracuse Police Department on its policies and procedures related to officer training and the use of force, including drafting a new taser use policy, and drafted legal opinions on various issues for city departments, including the mayor’s office. Shannon was the recipient of the 2011 appreciation award from the City of Syracuse Neighborhood Watch Association for pursuing slumlords and improving the city's legal enforcement of persistent problem property owners. 

As a law clerk for Onondaga County’s District Attorney’s office, Shannon conducted research in preparation for the Assistant DA’s upcoming trials and researched and drafted a detailed response brief to be submitted to the Fourth Department. Shannon was an Executive Board Member of the Moot Court Honor Society at Syracuse University College of Law, where she earned her J.D. in 2010. She was also a semi-finalist in the Spring 2009 Mackenzie-Lewis Appellate Advocacy Competition.

Honors
  • Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating: AV Preeminent
  • Irish Legal 100, 2018
  • IMLA Amicus Service Award, 2019
  • IMLA Marvin J. Glink Award, 2018
  • Upstate New York Super Lawyers, Rising Stars 2016–18
Professional Affiliations
  • International Municipal Lawyers Association (IMLA)
  •         Fellow, 2016 to present
  •         New York State Co-Chair, 2016–17
  • Central New York Women’s Bar Association
  •         Executive Committee: Vice President, 2018–19; Secretary, 2017–18
  •         Judicial Screening Committee
  • New York State Bar Association
  • New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers
  • Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York
  • Northern District of New York Federal Court Bar Association
Admitted to Practice
  • New York 
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York 
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York 
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit 
Community Involvement
  • ACR Health
  •         President and Chair, Board of Directors
  •         Member, Board of Directors
  • Board Member, Hiscock Legal Aid Society, 2018 to present
  • Board Member, Family Tapestry, Inc.
  • Member, St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee
Education
  • Syracuse University College of Law, J.D., 2010
  • State University of New York at Buffalo, B.A., 2001 
Publications
Presentations
  • "Human Resource Law Boot Camp," National Business Institute Seminar, November 2018
  • "Preparing Witnesses for Depositions and Trial" (Co-Presenter), International Municipal Lawyers Association, Houston, TX, October 18, 2018
  • "Significant Changes for New York State Employers: Sexual Harassment Policies and Training Required," Associated Builders and Contractors Webinar, October 2018
  • "Significant Changes for New York Employers on the Horizon" (Co-Presenter), Associated Builders and Contractors Webinar, September 18, 2018
  • "The Evolving Landscape of Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals" (Co-Presenter), Western New York Institute of Real Estate Managers, Buffalo, NY, August 30, 2018
  • "Administrative Search Warrants for Code and Zoning Enforcement Officials," International Municipal Lawyers Association Webinar, August 28, 2018
  • "De-Coding the Visual Landscape: Municipal Sign Ordinances, Murals, and the First Amendment," IMLA Annual Conference, Niagara Falls, NY, October 14, 2017
  • "Preventing Unlawful Harassment and Discrimination in the Workplace," New York State Association of Counties, 2017
  • "Preventing Discrimination in the Workplace: A Primer for Municipal Supervisors" (Co-Presenter), Town of Skaneateles and Town of Cicero Seminar, March 2017
  • "Police Body-Worn Cameras: Is Your Police Department Ready to Implement Body Cameras?" (Co-Presenter), New York Sheriff's Association, Albany, NY, January 24, 2017
  • "Administrative Search Warrants," IMLA Annual Conference, San Diego, CA, September 28, 2016
  • "Taser Policies," HCC Public Risk Claim Seminar, September 2015