James F. Gesualdi, Esq.
Special Professor of Law
B.A., St. Lawrence University
M.A., State University of New York at Stony Brook
J.D., Hofstra University
James F. Gesualdi, Esq., is a sole practitioner in Islip, New York, on Long Island. Mr. Gesualdi’s practice is concentrated on animal welfare, land-use, planning and zoning matters. He earned his B.A. degree from St. Lawrence University, where he graduated magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in government; his M.A. in political science (public affairs) from the State University of New York at Stony Brook; and his J.D. degree from the Maurice A. Deane School of Law, from which he graduated with distinction and where he served as a notes and comments editor of the Law Review.
Mr. Gesualdi has advised and represented clients in the United States and a number of other countries (including a number of preeminent international professional trade associations for which he serves as counsel) on legal, regulatory and related matters relating to animals, particularly dolphins. Mr. Gesualdi served three years as chair of the New York State Bar Association Committee on Animals and the Law, and has served on the committee since its inception, including two years as Vice Chair. He also served as Founding Co-Chair of the Suffolk County Bar Association’s Animal Law Committee. He is a past vice chair of the American Bar Association Young Lawyers’ Division Animal Protection Committee, and he serves on the ABA Tort and Insurance Practice Section Animal Law Committee. He is an adjunct special professor of law at Hofstra Law, where he co-teaches Animal Law. He has served on the faculty of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association’s “Zoo School” for zoological professionals, where he taught courses on ethical considerations relating to animals, and on the Dolphin Research Center’s Scientific Advisory Committee. He also served as special counsel to the marine mammal community’s working group on the reintroduction of marine mammals to the wild. He participated in the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service’s Marine Mammal Negotiated Rulemaking (which was charged with developing new marine mammal exhibition and display regulations by consensus), and completed a voluminous “Analysis and Commentary” on this subject. Mr. Gesualdi has also served on the Suffolk County Department of Health Services Petting Zoo Advisory Committee.
Mr. Gesualdi has also represented property owners, developers, citizens groups and municipalities in a variety of land use and environmental matters, including subdivisions, site plans, special permits, variances and zone changes. He has been actively involved in the Long Island planning community, having worked in the Town of Islip Planning Department, served on the American Planning Association Long Island Chapter Steering Committee (including as deputy director), and as a frequent panelist in a number of American Planning Association and Suffolk County Planning Federation training programs for planning and zoning officials. Mr. Gesualdi also served on the Long Island Regional Planning Board Calverton Airport Advisory Committee. He has assisted Suffolk County with its Smart Growth Policy Plan and Smart Growth Advisory Committee. In addition, he served as village attorney to the incorporated villages of Huntington Bay and Head-of-the-Harbor, and as the village attorney to the Incorporated Village of Nissequogue Planning Board. He has also served as special counsel to the Towns of Brookhaven, Riverhead and Southold on land use and environmental review matters, including smart growth initiatives. He has championed training of planning and zoning board members and mediation of land use disputes.
Mr. Gesualdi has authored numerous published articles and book reviews concerning animal law, land use and not-for-profit matters. These items have been published in American Animal Trainer, Animal People, Communique, Encyclopedia of the World’s Zoos, Hofstra Law Review, Journal of the Elephant Managers Association, Laws & Paws, Long Island Business News, Metro Planner, New York Law Journal, New York State Bar Journal, NYCOM Bulletin, Soundings, Suffolk Lawyer, and Today’s Aquarist. He also authored a solo and small firm practice column in the New York Law Journal. His practice in the area of animal law has received recognition in various publications, including the Journal of the American Bar Association, the New York Law Journal, The New York Times, Newsday and Long Island Business News. Mr. Gesualdi is among several Animal Law practitioners profiled in Texas-based attorney Yolanda Eisenstein’s book Careers in Animal Law, published by the American Bar Association.
Mr. Gesualdi’s community, leadership and pro bono activities have been recognized in awards conferred by the Central American Refugee Center, the president of the New York State Bar Association, Suffolk County Bar Association, Suffolk County Bar Pro Bono Foundation and the Town of Islip. Mr. Gesualdi was recognized in the Long Island Business News’ 1999 “40 Under 40,” which noted Long Island’s “young, dynamic business leaders whose efforts, in the office and out, are helping shape our future,” and 2001’s first “Who's Who in Law” as one of the region’s top lawyers and the Leadership in Law Award (2011), in the Sole Practitioners category … recognizing “those individuals whose leadership, both in the legal profession and in the community, has had a positive impact on Long Island”. Mr. Gesualdi was given the Distinguished Alumnus Award by the State University of New York at Stony Brook Department of Political Science “for outstanding professional achievement and exemplary service to his alma mater and the community,” the Incorporated Village of Huntington Bay Citizenship Award and the Town of Islip Small Business Award for “positive impact on the local economy and entrepreneurial spirit in the community,” and the New York State Bar Association Committee on Animals and the Law Special Award of Recognition “with love and appreciation for exemplary service and commitment to making a difference for animals and people.”