Deborah A. Scalise is a principal of SCALISE & HAMILTON, P.C., in Scarsdale, New York, and a founding member of its predecessor, Scalise & Hamilton LLP. The firm continues to focus its practice on the representation of lawyers, judges, and accountants in professional responsibility and ethics matters. Before entering private practice, Ms. Scalise was Deputy Attorney General in Charge of Public Advocacy for the Westchester Region. Prior to that, she was the Deputy Chief Counsel to the Departmental Disciplinary Committee for the First Judicial Department where she litigated complex disciplinary matters. In addition, she served as an Assistant District Attorney in Kings County where she prosecuted economic crimes and arson cases.
Ms. Scalise received a Juris Doctor from Brooklyn Law School and a B.A. from John Jay College of the City University of New York. Ms. Scalise also earned a Master of Arts Degree in Forensic Psychology from the John Jay College of the City University of New York.
In 2016 Ms. Scalise was appointed to the NYS Office of Court Administration CLE Board by Chief Judge Janet DiFiore serving as a member for three years until 2019. She also testified before the 2015 OCA State Commission on Professional Discipline regarding attorney mental health issues. Her materials, entitled “Ethically Dealing with Clients, Witnesses and Attorneys with Diminished Capacity,” were annexed to the Commission’s Report that issued recommendations as to the unification of the New York State disciplinary process.
Ms. Scalise is active in several bar associations, coordinating and lecturing for Continuing Legal Education Programs and actively plans Community Outreach events for local students, including: Career Day, Law Day and Take Your Children to Work Day. She also volunteers as a Legal Advisor/Coach for Rye Neck High School, Westchester County/New York State Bar Association Mock Trial Competition. In 2016, Ms. Scalise coached Pace Law School’s Team in the National Ethics Trial Competition Team at the Pacific McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, California.
Ms. Scalise has authored numerous articles on ethics and professional responsibility. Notably, she coauthored a recent article entitled “Changes to State CLE Requirements Now Include Diversity, Inclusion and Elimination of Bias”, Hon. Betty Weinberg Ellerin, Deborah A. Scalise and Gina Bucciero, New York Law Journal, March 23, 2018; she was a contributing author in “The Dementia Crisis” written by Robert Abrams, Esq., Editor, NYS Bar Association Journal, January 2017 and contributed a chapter to Oxford University Press’s The New York Rules of Professional Conduct: Opinions, Commentary, and Case Law, a treatise discussing ethical conduct.
Recently, Ms. Scalise received the NYSBA’s 2019 Ruth G. Shapiro Memorial Award for her noteworthy contribution to the concerns of women through pro bono services, writing, service to bar associations or community organizations. In October 2018, the Legal Services of the Hudson Valley also recognized her during National Pro Bono Week for her legal counsel and mentorship in the area of ethics and professionalism to the organization. In 2015 Ms. Scalise and her partner, Sarah Jo Hamilton were honored by NYCBA Lawyers Assistance Program (LAP) for their continued support and contributions to LAP. In 2014, the firm received the WWBA’s Family Friendly Award. In 2012, Ms. Scalise received WBASNY’s Marilyn Menge Award, and in 2009 she received the Westchester County Above the Bar Pace Setter Award.
- Top 25 Attorneys: (2012-2020) Westchester County Super Lawyers
- New York Metro Super Lawyers (2020)
- Top 50 Women New York Times Metro Section – Super Lawyers 2014-2015
- Super Lawyers 2009-2020
- Best Lawyer in America since 2012
- Named Top 100 Largest Women Owned Law Firms by the New York Law Journal (2014-2015)
- AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell since 2002