Home People Janet D. Callahan

Janet D. Callahan

P: 315.565.4511
F: 315.565.4600

Janet D. Callahan is a partner in the Firm’s Litigation and Appellate practices and has served as a member of the Firm’s Executive Committee. Ms. Callahan was the first female Managing Partner in the Firm’s 125-year history. As Managing Partner, Ms. Callahan led the Executive Committee and oversaw business operations, providing guidance to its nearly 60 attorneys and 130 employees. Under her leadership, the Firm opened the Ithaca office in 2015.

Ms. Callahan has more than 35 years of civil litigation experience and has been a partner at the Firm since 1989. She has represented clients in a number of significant appeals to the Appellate Division and the Court of Appeals. In addition to her appellate experience, she defends clients in lawsuits involving professional liability, commercial litigation, products liability, premises liability, motor vehicle accidents and veterinary malpractice.  She also represents veterinarians and other licensed professionals in disciplinary proceedings.

Prior to joining the Firm, Ms. Callahan served as Confidential Law Clerk to Hon. J. Robert Lynch, Supreme Court Justice and Associate Justice of the Appellate Division, First Department, and Hon. Thomas J. Lowery, New York Court of Claims.

Ms. Callahan is listed as a 2024 “Lawyer of the Year – Syracuse” by The Best Lawyers in America in the Appellate Practice and the Product Liability Litigation – Defendants areas.

Representative Matters

  • Successfully defended several area manufacturers in lawsuits brought in New York City to recover for personal injury and wrongful death arising from alleged exposure to asbestos-containing products.
  • Obtained jury verdict in favor of various homeowners in a case seeking to recover for injuries suffered by the plaintiff, who fell from their roof while performing repair work.
  • Obtained jury verdict in favor of a junior high school principal in a lawsuit brought by a teacher alleging discrimination and sexual harassment.
  • Obtained jury verdict in favor of a city police department in action where plaintiff alleged false arrest, false imprisonment and assault and battery.
  • Obtained summary judgment for various property owners in Jefferson County in a case brought by a group seeking to locate a water tank and water treatment plant on adjacent property.
  • Successfully defended a number of area veterinarians in disciplinary proceedings before the New York State Education Department Office of Professional Discipline.
  • Albany Law School of Union University, J.D, 1980
  • State University of New York at Geneseo, B.A., magna cum laude, 1976



  • Investigator, Grievance Committee, Onondaga County Bar Association
  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Member, Onondaga County Bar Association
  • Member, Central New York Women’s Bar Association
  • Member, New York State Bar Association, Torts, Insurance and Compensation Law Section
  • Member, New York State Bar Association, Trial Lawyers Section
  • Member, Women Presidents Organization
  • Participant, Onondaga County Volunteer Lawyers Project
  • Participant, Syracuse City Court Small Claims Arbitration Program
  • Member, Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central New York, Board of Trustees
  • Chair, Fayetteville Senior Center Board
  • Past Member, Village of Manlius Recreation Board
  • Past Member, Ronald McDonald House of Central New York Fundraising Committee
  • Past Member, RLS Career Center, Board of Directors and Executive Committee
  • Past President, Plymouth Day Care Center, Board of Trustees
  • Past Board Representative, King’s Kids Child Care Center

Honors & Recognitions:

  • Rated, AV Preeminent, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Selected, The Best Lawyers in America (2010-2024)
  • Selected, New York – Upstate, Super Lawyers (2007-2020, 2022)
  • Selected, Product Liability Litigation – Defendants, “Lawyer of the Year” in Syracuse, The Best Lawyers in America (2013, 2018, 2024)
  • Selected, Appellate Practice, “Lawyer of the Year” in Syracuse, The Best Lawyers in America (2018, 2023)
  • Selected, Top 25 Women in Upstate New York Lawyers, Super Lawyers (2011)
  • Recipient, Women Who Mean Business Award (2010)
  • Selected, CLE Presenter at Annual Conference of Association of Supreme Court Justices of New York State (2004, 2005, 2007)
  • Anderson v. Town of Chili Planning Bd., 12 N.Y.3d 901, 913 N.E.2d 407 N.Y., 2009 (Obtained reversal of judgment dismissing Article 78 proceeding seeking to vacate approval of application to install metal shredder near an airport.)
  • Zilliox v. Western New York Snowmobile Club of Boston, Inc., 79 A.D.3d 1782, 913 N.Y.S.2d 638, N.Y.A.D. 4 Dept. 2010 (Successful defense on appeal of a snowmobile club sued in a wrongful death action.)
  • Ontario Heights Homeowners Ass’n v. Town Of Oswego Planning Bd. and United Group Development Corp., 77 A.D.3d 1465, 908 N.Y.S.2d 514, N.Y.A.D. 4 Dept., 2010 (Obtained reversal on appeal of dismissal based on lack of standing of Article 78 proceeding brought by property owners seeking to challenge a proposed development.)
  • Village of Canajoharie v. Planning Bd. of Town of Florida, 63 A.D.3d 1498, 882 N.Y.S.2d 526, N.Y.A.D. 3 Dept., 2009 (Successfully defended on appeal the right of a manufacturer to consolidate its operations into a single facility and relocate within Montgomery County.)
  • Lesperance v. County of St. Lawrence, 25 Misc.3d 1244(A), 906 N.Y.S.2d 780 (Table) N.Y.Sup., 2009 (Successfully defended county in action seeking to recover for injuries inflicted by a person on probation based on a theory of negligent supervision by county’s probation department.)
  • Prievo v. Urbaniak, 64 A.D.3d 1240, 882 N.Y.S.2d 796, N.Y.A.D. 4 Dept., 2009 (Obtained reversal on appeal of jury verdict in will contest case where jury was charged that the decedent had a fiduciary relationship with the beneficiary as a matter of law.)
  • Simpson v. Ithaca Gun Co. LLC, 50 A.D.3d 1475, 856 N.Y.S.2d 397, N.Y.A.D. 4 Dept., 2008 (Successfully obtained on appeal the dismissal of a lawsuit brought by former employees of an insolvent company seeking to recover from a secured creditor of the company.)
  • Schirmer v. Board of Educ. of The Spencerport Cent. School Dist., 34 A.D.3d 1356, 824 N.Y.S.2d 697
  • N.Y.A.D. 4 Dept., 2006 (Successfully defended on appeal the dismissal of a lawsuit seeking to recover for an eye injury sustained by a student hit by an object thrown by another student in a study hall.)