Shannon T. O'Connor
Shannon T. 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.
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 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.
Honors & Awards
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 2016–20
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, 2011
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 peer-review IMLA Fellows program recognizes highly skilled attorneys practicing in the field of local government law.
- New York
- U.S. District Court for the Northern, Southern, and Western Districts of New York
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
- Syracuse University College of Law, J.D., 2010
- 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.
- State University of New York at Buffalo, B.A., 2001
- International Municipal Lawyers Association (IMLA)
- Fellow, 2016—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
- President-Elect, 2019
- Northern District of New York Federal Court Bar Association
- 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
Publications & Events
- Quoted in “Rules Are On the Way as Erie Revels in Mural Mania,” Erie Times-News, November 10, 2019
- “The Winning Edge: Preparing Witnesses for Depositions and Trial” (Co-Author), IMLA Municipal Lawyer, January/February 2019
- “Federal Laws Applying to Opioid Use and Addiction,” Construction Executive, February 2, 2018
- “De-‘Coding’ the Visual Landscape: Municipal Sign Ordinances, Murals, and the First Amendment,” IMLA Municipal Lawyer, January / February 2018
- “Data Breach Notification Statutes,” American City & County, July 26, 2017
- “Guideposts for Assessing Excessive Force” (Co-Author), Defense Research Institute For the Defense, June 2017
- “What’s at Stake When Government’s Data Is Stolen,” Governing, May 23, 2017
- “Is Your Police Department Ready to Implement Body Cameras?” (Co-Author), DRI For the Defense, July 2016
- “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
- “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
- “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
- “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
- “Administrative Search Warrants for Code and Zoning Enforcement Officials,” International Municipal Lawyers Association Webinar, August 28, 2018
January 16, 2020
August 13, 2019
January 24, 2019