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John F. Corcoran

P: 315.565.4515
F: 315.565.4600

John F. Corcoran is the Leader of the Firm’s Education and Municipal Practices, and formerly served as Chair of the Labor & Employment Department. He has extensive experience representing management in labor and employment litigation with an emphasis on the public sector, collective bargaining as the employer’s chief negotiator, labor arbitrations, education law and municipal law, including fire service matters. Mr. Corcoran also serves frequently as the public employer’s advocate or designee on compulsory interest arbitration panels for police, fire and deputy sheriff negotiations. Some recent service in this regard has been on behalf of Broome County, Oneida County, Chenango County, Jefferson County, Madison County, City of Rensselaer, Town of Cicero, and the Village of Baldwinsville. He also serves as a neutral hearing officer in public sector employment matters, including disciplinary cases under Section 75 of the New York Civil Service Law.

Mr. Corcoran also serves as general counsel to school districts advising school boards, superintendents, and administrators with regard to school board policies, student disciplinary matters, student residency issues, school board elections and budget votes, teacher disciplinary cases and many other education law matters. He also represents individual executives in employment matters, including the negotiation of employment contracts and severance agreements.

Prior to joining the Firm, Mr. Corcoran served as human resources director for Madison County and for Oneida City Hospitals.

Representative Matters

  • Successfully negotiated hundreds of collective bargaining agreements as chief negotiator for public and private sector employers with demonstrated expertise in preserving management rights, health insurance cost containment, control of paid leave time, and effective labor/management relations.
  • Successfully arbitrated employee discharge and contract interpretation cases.
  • Successfully defended several municipalities on claims for overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
  • Received favorable outcomes for numerous public and private sector employers in the defense of statutory discrimination claims under Title VII, ADEA, ADA, and the New York State Human Rights Law.
  • Successfully defended many public employers before the New York State Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) on improper practice charges under the New York Taylor Law.
  • Received favorable results for various public and private sector employers in union representation matters.
  • Syracuse University College of Law, J.D., magna cum laude, 1993
    • Student Editor, Syracuse Law Review
    • Order of the Coif
    • Justinian Honorary Society
  • State University of New York at Cortland, B.S., cum laude, 1977



  • Former Executive Committee Member, New York State Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section
  • Member, New York State Public Employer Labor Relations Association, Board of Directors
  • Member, Onondaga County Bar Association
  • Member, National Public Employer Labor Relations Association
  • Member, Management Advocates for School Labor Affairs
  • Former Counsel, Toggenburg Junior Ski Racing Association
  • Past Board Member, New York State Blues Festival
  • Past Vice-Chair, Downtown Syracuse YMCA, Board of Managers
  • Past Co-Chair, New York State Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section, Public Sector Labor Relations Committee
  • Past President, New York State Public Employer Labor Relations Association, Board of Directors (position held twice)

Honors & Recognitions:

  • Selected, The Best Lawyers in America (2014-2024)
  • Selected, New York – Upstate, Super Lawyers (2013-2020)
  • Winner, NYSPERLA William L. Holcomb Award (2016)



Speaking Engagements