John T. Refermat
Chair of the Commercial Litigation and Real Property Tax/Eminent Domain Practice Group
Commercial and Civil Litigation; Real Property Tax Certiorari/Eminent Domain; Municipal/Land Use Litigation; Environmental Law; Labor and Employment Law
John Refermat is an experienced trial lawyer whose practice includes complex civil and commercial litigation, real property tax certiorari/condemnation/eminent domain, zoning and municipal/land use litigation, environmental matters, securities arbitration and construction litigation. An experienced appellate advocate, John has successfully prepared and argued appeals before various departments of the New York State Appellate Division and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
John’s commercial litigation practice includes a wide variety of shareholder/partner/limited liability entity disputes, contested dissolutions, trademark, licensing, unfair competition, warranty and Uniform Commercial Code issues, and restrictive covenants/non-compete/solicitation agreements; he also has experience with international trade/commerce. John has an expansive practice representing property owners, school districts and municipalities in a wide range of real property assessment matters, including energy generation and emissions credits, and issues involving tax exemptions and unique properties. He previously served as General Counsel to the Binghamton Housing Authority, Counsel to the Broome County Republican Committee, Special Counsel to New York State Senator Thomas W. Libous, and Treasurer of the Monroe County Republican Committee.
John handles numerous diverse matters in Federal and State court, including, e.g.: the Lanham Act, Truth In Lending Act, Credit Repair Organizations Act, Credit Services Business Law, Deceptive Practices Act, Fair Housing Act, Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), New York Labor Law, Navigation Law, and proceedings before the New York State Division of Human Rights (DHR) and the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). He also has experience with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA). Examples of illustrative cases include:
- Assoc. for Neighborhood Rehab., Inc. v. City of Ogdensburg & Ogdensburg City School Dist., 24 Misc.3d 1206(A), 889 N.Y.S.2d 504 (St. Lawrence Co. Sup. Ct. 2009), aff’d., 81 A.D.3d 1214, 917 N.Y.S.2d 734 (3d Dep’t 2011) – prevailed at trial on claims for exemption from real property taxes then successfully defended that victory on appeal;
- Hasbrouck v. Arrow Financial Svcs LLC, 2011 WL 1899250 (N.D.N.Y. 2011) – secured dismissal via motion of federal Fair Debt Collections Practices Act lawsuit;
- Christensen v. Fashion-Fain Homes Inc. et al., 10 Misc.3d 1060(A), 809 N.Y.S.2d 480 (Yates Co. Sup. Ct. 2005) – achieved pre-discovery dismissal of negligence and strict products liability claims;
- Paynter et al. v. State of New York et al., 100 N.Y.2d 434, 765 N.Y.S.2d 819 (2003) – achieved and successfully defended dismissal of constitutional claims against school districts;
- Donsky v. Dermatology Assocs. et al., 1 A.D.3d 1065, 767 N.Y.S.2d 383 (4th Dep’t 2003) – successfully argued defense of partial summary judgment before the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Fourth Department;
- Waste Mgt. of NY LLC v. Town of Frankfort et al., (Herkimer Co. Sup. Ct. 2002) – secured summary judgment for petitioner in special proceeding under the Real Property Tax Law regarding legal treatment of landfill waste to energy devices;
- Cox v. McClellan et al. 174 F.R.D. 32 (1997) - successful defense of constitutional civil rights claims, including subsequent achievement of affirmance before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Notre Dame Law School (J.D., 1996)
Hamilton College (B.A., 1991)
New York State Bar, 1997
United States District Court, Western District of New York, 1998
United States District Court, Northern District of New York, 1997
United States Court of Appeals, 1998
United States Bankruptcy Court, Western District of New York, 2000
United States Court of Federal Claims, 2005
United States Supreme Court, 2005
In 2004, John received the Special Service Award from the United States District Court for the Western District of New York. He is a frequent lecturer and author on a variety of litigation topics, including real property tax certiorari issues.
John has been rated as “AV” or “Preeminent” by Martindale Hubbell and Best Lawyers recognizing his legal ability and ethical standards.
John is a member of the Monroe County Bar Association and is a member of the Board of Directors for the Polish Heritage Society of Rochester. He serves as a member of the George Eastman Legacy Committee and the Eastman House Council. John is also the Deputy Leader of the Town of Penfield Republican Committee and a Trustee of Saint Thomas More Church in Rochester.
Monroe County Bar Association (MCBA) President Neil Rowe recently appointed John to serve as an alternate on the MCBA’s Judiciary Committee, which evaluates candidates for judicial office, issues candidate recommendations to MCBA Trustees, and provides annual evaluations of sitting judges.
John resides in Penfield, New York, with his wife Stacy and four children. He enjoys swimming, hiking, boating and doing almost anything else in the Adirondacks and Finger Lakes.