The 2017 edition of The Best Lawyers in America list named three alumni: Judith D. Levine K’72 of Roetzel & Andress, LPA., Cora Alsante '85 and John Murad '80, both of whom work at Hancock Estabrook, LLP. This marks Levine's sixth year and Murad's seventh year on the list.
The Best Lawyers in America is a peer-reviewed list published in almost 70 countries around the world. The lists are compiled by conducting confidential surveys. The methodology, in place for over three decades, is meant to capture “as accurately as possible the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues,” according to the Best Lawyers website. After lawyers are nominated, they endure a rigorous peer review from current “best lawyers.” Then, the organization calculates and analyzes the feedback from the reviews before a final eligibility check. Once a lawyer is acknowledged as a best lawyer, positive votes and feedback in subsequent years must be maintained or exceeded in order to remain on the list.
Levine, who earned a spot on the list for her work in both real estate and corporate law, has focused her practice on corporate and business law and real estate transactions across a broad range of industries, particularly financial services. She has a wide range of experience in counseling clients in mergers and acquisitions, financing, real estate transactions and property development, among other matters.
After more than 40 years, Levine retired from the full-time practice of law at the end of 2015. She remains as Of Counsel with Roetzel & Andress, LPA, continuing to practice law on a part-time basis. With two former bank professionals with whom she had worked during her legal career, Levine formed a business consulting firm, 2SJ Consulting, LLC. 2SJ Consulting is focused on assisting small businesses, non-profits and companies in stress situations with their banking relationships.
Levine majored in literature at Kirkland College. She then received her J.D. from the University of Denver College of Law, where she was editor of the Denver Law Journal.
Beyond inclusion on The Best Lawyers in America list, “Lawyer of the Year” recognitions are awarded to individual attorneys with the highest overall peer-feedback for a specific practice area and geographic location. Only one lawyer can achieve this recognition for each specialty and location. Alsante was recognized this year as "Lawyer of the Year" in Syracuse for her work in trusts and estates litigation.
Alsante focuses her practice on estate planning, trusts and planning for the elderly and disabled. At Hancock Estabrook, she is the leader of the Elder Law & Special Needs Practice, as well as a partner in the Tax and Trusts & Estates Practices. She is also a member of the firm’s executive committee.
At Hamilton, Alsante was a philosophy major. She received her J.D. from the University at Buffalo Law School.
As another Hamilton alumnus at Hancock and Estabrook, Murad has tried cases in state and federal court for over 25 years, obtaining jury verdicts in favor of healthcare institutions and practitioners, product manufacturers, petroleum distributors and municipalities. He also has served as the chair of the litigation department and served as a member of the firm’s executive committee.
Murad majored in government and history and was a member of the Chi Psi fraternity. He then received his J.D. from Georgetown University in 1983.