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People Of Counsel


Columbia College, A.B., 1986; Rutgers School of Law, J.D., 1992

Ralph specializes in advising not-for-profit corporations, including charter schools, on all aspects of formation, governance, facilities, operations, merger, and dissolution, as well as general education-related legal matters.  Ralph served over 18 years as General Counsel to the State University of New York’s Charter Schools Institute.  As the former Counsel to the New York State Inspector General, Ralph has an extensive background in government and corporate investigations, compliance and ethics programs, risk analysis, governing board fiduciary obligations under case law and statutory standards, and white collar defense.  Ralph has handled many matters related to tax-exempt and taxable bond financing when he served as Director of Industrial Finance at the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation.

Prior to joining New York State government, Ralph was an attorney with Chadbourne & Parke, a full-service business law firm in New York City where he focused on complex commercial litigation, corporate matters, and white collar criminal defense.

Ralph speaks and writes on charter school-related issues at national and New York State conferences and other events.


  • New York State Courts
  • United States District Court for the Northern, Southern and Eastern Districts of New York

Professional Experience

  • Advising charter schools and other not-for-profit entities on corporate structure and governance; compliance with applicable state and federal laws, rules, and regulations including the New York Not-For-Profit Corporation Law, Freedom of Information Law, and Open Meetings Law; contracting including the handling of conflicts of interest; labor and employment matters; policies, procedures, and internal controls; real estate; bond and other financing; and litigation defense.
  • Extensive experience in K-12 education-related legal matters including issues related to New York Education Law, students with disabilities and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, English language learners, discrimination and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
  • Civil litigation, including includes commercial disputes, products liability defense, trusts and estates, representation of clients against governmental entities, firearms matters, and employment discrimination.
  • Representation of clients in corporate transactions including intellectual property licensing, purchase and sale, and real estate.
  • Tax-exempt bond financing for charter school facilities, private drinking water facilities, and pollution control facilities.
  • Representation of clients at hearings before legislative and other governmental bodies.
  • Drafting of legislation and amendments including first draft of New York Executive Law article 4-A and New York Criminal Procedure Law § 2.10(68).
  • Representation of white collar criminal defendants (including civil asset forfeiture) charged with securities and mail/wire fraud, insider trading, tax evasion, money laundering/structuring, and false statements.


  • Alliance of Public Charter School Attorneys