David R. Homer has been featured in the Albany Business Review and Albany Times Union on November 30, 2012 and December 10, 2012, respectively. The articles can be seen here:
Carter Conboy hires federal judge, creates mediation arm
Adam Sichko, Reporter- The Business Review, http://www.bizjournals.com/albany/print-edition/2012/11/30/carter-conboy-hires-federal-judge.html
One of the Capital Region’s larger law firms has hired former federal judge David Homer to lead a new mediation and arbitration business.
Homer, who sat on the bench at the federal courts in Albany for almost 17 years, has joined Carter Conboy Case Blackmore Maloney & Laird P.C. The firm is headquartered in Colonie’s Corporate Woods office park.
Carter Conboy added Homer on Nov. 20, and two associate attorneys on Nov. 26, giving the law firm close to 30 lawyers. That keeps Carter Conboy among the 10 largest firms in the Capital Region.
Carter Conboy created a business Nov. 21 called Capital District Mediation & Arbitration LLC. Such forms of “alternative dispute resolution” are becoming more popular as faster, more affordable and less contentious ways to handle issues, said Mike Catalfimo, chief operating officer.
These services “are playing an increasingly greater role in civil litigation today than ever before,” Catalfimo said. “We believe the demand for these services will continue to grow.”
Homer left the federal bench Aug. 31, and is now of counsel at Carter Conboy; typically, attorneys in that role do not own stakes in a firm.
Homer had been a U.S. magistrate judge, working at the federal courts in downtown Albany. Until he stepped down, Homer presided over the civil lawsuit filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission against former Albany investment brokers Timothy M. McGinn and David L. Smith.
Back from the bench
Retired judge to lead office of mediation and arbitration for Albany firm of Carter Conboy
firstname.lastname@example.org • 518-434-2403 • @RobertGavinTU http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Back-from-the-bench-4103778.php
Retired Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge David R. Homer‘s life might not be the basis for the big screen — but his work has already been there.
The Delmar lawyer helped prosecute a major 1970’s espionage case against two young friends who sold $70,000 worth of secrets to the Soviet Union before they were arrested.
The case of Christopher Boyce and Andrew Daulton Lee was the inspiration for the 1985 film, “The Falcon and the Snowman,” which helped launch the careers of actors Sean Penn and Timothy Hutton. Homer helped prosecute the case as a trial attorney with the Department of Justice based in Washington, D.C.
“It was just my good fortune to have an opportunity to work on it,” Homer, who left the bench Sept. 1, said this week in a phone interview.
In his 37-year career, the Syracuse-area native rose through the U.S. Attorney’s office in Albany to chief of the office’s criminal division and became a federal judge in 1995. He was appointed over 200 other attorneys to succeed retiring U.S. Magistrate Judge Daniel Scanlon Jr., who had been based in Watertown.
Now 65, Homer has joined the Albany firm of Carter Conboy to focus on civil and criminal litigation at the state and federal levels as well as alternative dispute resolution, including mediation and arbitration. Homer will head up a new business for the law firm — Capital District Mediation and Arbitration — which provides services to individual clients and businesses.
“The mediation and arbitration is exactly what judges do,” Homer explained.
It will be the first time Homer has worked in private practice, though he was a litigator before he was a judge.
“I’m looking forward to the change,” Homer said. “Advocacy as a private practitioner is different than decided cases and managing cases. It calls on different skills, different lawyer skills.”
Homer, a married father of two sons and a daughter, had seven years remaining on his term when he retired, but noted “This was an opportunity to do something that I’ve always wanted to try.”
When Carter Conboy announced Homer’s arrival, Homer stated that over the years he had come to know many of the attorneys at Carter Conboy and lauded them.
Michael J. Catalfimo, the firm’s CEO, stated: “Judge Homer’s intellect and integrity are well recognized throughout the bar. We understand that he had many options after his retirement from the bench, and we are honored that he decided to join our firm.”
In the “Falcon and the Snowman” case, Boyce worked at an aerospace firm outside Los Angeles. The future spy, who earned his nickname because he was enamored with falconry, was assigned to run an encrypted teletype system used to communicate with the CIA in Langley, Va. He had access to what was known as the Black Vault, which housed top secret information and codes.
Boyce and Lee, who earned his nickname from selling cocaine, conspired to sell the Russians classified information. Between 1975 and 1976, Lee sold the Russians “thousands of documents or photographs of documents provided by Boyce” in exchange for $70,000, $15,000 of which went to Boyce, court papers show.
Lee was trying to deliver photographs of a secret design for a communications satellite when he was arrested. Boyce and Lee were convicted in 1977. Boyce, now 59, was released from federal prison in 2003, while Lee, 60, was paroled in 1998.
Homer’s most recent cases as magistrate judge included the pending civil case of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission against McGinn, Smith & Co., whose founders are now defendants in a federal criminal case. He presided over a lawsuit by employees over age 40 who were downsized in 1996 from the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory in Niskayuna. They won a jury verdict and on appeal, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2008 ruled the employer has the burden of explaining whether there was a reasonable explanation other than age its action.
Early in his tenure as a judge, Homer sanctioned state Attorney General Dennis Vacco for failing to comply with a court order that he fully answer questions about hiring and firing practices in his agency.
As a federal prosecutor, he convicted the late Rensselaer County Democratic Party boss Edward F. McDonough in 1994 of a municipal insurance kickback scheme. McDonough’s son, Rensselaer County Democratic Elections Commissioner Edward McDonough, is now on trial in Troy for alleged ballot fraud.
Homer graduated from Brown University in 1969 with a degree in political science. He spent a year after college working with VISTA, Volunteers in Service to America, in St. Croix in the Caribbean, where he taught underprivileged preschool children and worked in a legal services office. When he returned home, he pursued a career in social work before going to Syracuse University College of Law. He graduated in 1975.
“A law degree offered independence,” he says on the website of Fayetteville-Manlius schools Hall of Distinction. “It was something I thought I could do under many different circumstances and in different places. The practice of law also offered an outlet for my competitive instinct and an intellectual challenge.”