John M. Flannery Partner




John Flannery is a member of Wilson Elser’s Executive Committee and the managing partner of the White Plains office. John is among the most successful attorneys in the lower Hudson Valley with a practice and reputation that extend statewide. Combining incisive legal strategy with flawless execution, John defends claims involving toxic torts, commercial disputes, civil rights, employment, and municipal and product liability. He also handles various commercial matters as evidenced by his representation of a well-known spirits manufacturer in its successful sale to a London-based multinational. 

John develops a clear understanding of his clients’ businesses and exhibits a deft and compassionate touch in providing valuable counsel. In the face of opposing counsel, he is unafraid to fight vigorously as the situation dictates. John is accustomed to prevailing on behalf of his clients – whether in local, state or federal court – on high-profile, high-stakes matters.

John gives freely of his time and talent to his local community. He served for 12 years on the board of trustees of the New York State Interest on Lawyer Account Fund (IOLA), which helps low-income people with civil legal problems, and is active in Legal Services of the Hudson Valley, a like-minded organization with similar objectives, where he served on the board for six years. He was recently named to the Board of Directors of the Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation, a public-private resource for businesses seeking to relocate or expand within the Hudson Valley, and, for several years, has sat on the Board of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network.

Areas of Focus

Toxic Tort
John’s position as Defendants’ Co-liaison Counsel in the aftermath of the World Trade Center terrorist attack has provided him with a wealth of knowledge about the law and the science surrounding toxic exposure. He has represented land owners, businesses and municipalities involving individual and mass tort claims for contamination of sites by toxic substances. He notably served as co-liaison counsel for 1,500 respiratory injury disputes arising out of the clean-up and was largely responsible for client Battery Park City Authority’s (BPCA’s) avoiding payment of a single claim through 15 years of litigation.  

Municipal Litigation
John handles municipal matters surrounding allegations of violations of the Civil Rights Act, charges of police brutality, false arrest and false imprisonment. In regular, ongoing government business matters, John has handled zoning and land use, claims involving tort liability, discrimination in employment, wrongful discharge, failure to provide adequate police protection, malicious prosecution, RICO and sexual harassment.

General Commercial
John counsels clients on matters involving business disputes, breach of contract and complex transactions.  He drafts appropriate land use ordinances and regulations and also represents clients before state and federal courts on zoning and land use controversies, as well as environmental and real estate matters.

John has successfully litigated cases defending companies and management against a variety of claims arising out of the employer/employee relationship. He has defended companies and governmental entities in the areas of discrimination for sex, age, race, disability, religious beliefs and sexual orientation. He has defended cases related to a hostile work environment and statistical discrimination. John has also advised his clients on employment counseling and has conducted investigations into employer/employee misconduct. John has tried cases in both state and federal court and handled administrative hearings before the EEOC and the New York State Human Rights Commission.