Who We Are
Alan J. Friedlander, founder of Friedlander, Friedlander, & Arcesi, P.C., originated the law firm in 1948 after graduation from Harvard Law School. Founded in Waverly, New York and located on the New York/Pennsylvania border, the firm continues to maintain an office in that locale, as well as in Ithaca, New York. The firm specializes in personal injury, wrongful death, nursing home litigation, medical negligence, and Marcellus Shale gas litigation. With the firm's long-standing commitment to the New York Academy of Trial Lawyers and the Pennsylvania Association of Justice, and the firm's extended and active involvement in the American Association of Justice, the firm has developed a reputation for excellence, leading to affiliation in cases throughout New York, Pennsylvania as well as the nation.
The law firm is comprised of men and women who have achieved leadership and distinction in their respective professional fields as lawyers, investigators, insurance claim analysts, paralegals, nursing home assessment specialists, and support staff.
From its inception, Friedlander, Friedlander, & Arcesi, P.C. has dedicated its practice to the representation of clients who have been the unfortunate victims of diverse types of negligence and injuries. Through this dedication, the firm's lawyers have handled precedent-setting lawsuits, including complex and unique birth trauma cases, gas/water contamination cases, nursing home lawsuits, medical malpractice, lead paint poisoning and other complex litigation. Their careers and reputations are distinguished by excellence and compassion.
Although the firm continues to evolve, it remains steadfast in its purpose to vigorously represent and protect clients who have encountered tragedy and sudden trauma in their lives.
Betty D. Friedlander specializes in birth injury cases, trial litigation, divorce, custody, and criminal law. She joined the firm in 1993 following her tenure as Judge of the Family and County Court for Tompkins County where she presided over felony criminal trials as well as surrogate and family court matters for 17 years. During her tenure as Family and County Court Judge she lectured at the Office of Court Administration Judicial Legal Education programs and she was a member of the Office of Court Administration Committee on Judicial Skills which prepared the programs for the Office of Court Administration Continuing Legal Education Programs for judges.
Attorney Friedlander graduated from Cornell Law School (class of 1959). She was the first Director of the Cornell Law School Legal Aid Clinic from 1959 to 1972. During this period, she also taught legal research at the law school for several years. From 1972 to 1978, she was in private practice specializing in trial litigation, matrimonial and criminal law. In 1972, she was elected the first woman Chairperson of the New York State Bar Criminal Justice Section. In 1984 she was appointed by Governor Mario Cuomo to membership on the first New York State Commission on Child Support. She has lectured and prepared materials for the New York State Bar Association, Continuing Legal Education Programs including Matrimonial Law, and prepared a manual for the State Bar on Stipulations in Family Court.
She is a member of the Executive Committee of the Matrimonial Section of the New York State Bar. She is also a member of the American Association for Justice and is active in the Birth Trauma Litigation Group of AAJ. She has been admitted to practice in the United States Supreme Court and the Federal District Courts for the Northern, Southern, and Western Districts of New York.
William S. Friedlander concentrates his practice in Marcellus Shale water contamination cases, nursing home abuse, birth injury cases, and crime victim litigation. He joined the firm in 1974 after graduating from Boston University and Stetson University College of Law. He is admitted to practice in the states of New York, Pennsylvania, and Florida, and many United States District Courts throughout the United States. He is also admitted in numerous United States Courts of Appeals in the Second, Third, Fifth, and Eleventh Circuits, and the United States Supreme Court. He is a charter member of the American Association for Justice President’s Club, and has served as past Chair of the Small Firm Solo Practitioner and Family Law sections of the American Association for Justice. He has Chaired the Firearms and Ammunition Litigation Group and is a co-founder of the School Safety Violence and Misconduct Litigation Group that represents victims of violence on schools and University campuses. He is a current member of the Board of Directors of the New York Academy of Trial Lawyers and a former Board Member of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice and is a past President of his local Bar Association. He has been named to the Top 100 Best Trial Lawyers by the American Trial Lawyers Association and is a co-founder of the Northern Tier Gas and Exploration Counsel, a litigation group formed to help landowners in the Marcellus Shale area to hold gas exploration companies liable for water contamination. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the New York Nursing Home Litigation Group, which he helped form in 2005. He has published many articles in national legal magazines and has lectured throughout the United States on numerous legal topics. He recently appeared at the New Jersey Trial Lawyers Boardwalk seminar Top 10 Lawyers of America program.
Michael Arcesi, a graduate of Ithaca College and the University at Buffalo School of Law, practices mainly in the areas of family, criminal, and personal injury law. He is a member of the New York State Bar Association, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Bar Association, the Tioga County Bar Association, the American Association for Justice where he served as the Vice President of the Family Law Section, and Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyers College. Mr. Arcesi is also admitted to practice in the Federal District Court for the Northern District of New York.
He and his wife, Nancy, own two Border Collies and two cats, and are avid supporters of animal rights. Mr. Arcesi spear heads the firm's pro bono representation of the area's Humane Society and S.P.C.A.
Formerly a professional actor and chef, he now cooks at home and is a member of several local professional and semi-professional theater companies with which he acts, directs and teaches.
Karen Kaufmann is a graduate of Cornell University and the Cornell Law School. She has been admitted to practice in New York since 1979 and served as Court Attorney in the Tompkins County Court for a dozen years before joining the Friedlander firm. She now specializes in legal research and writing.
Karen and her husband have two adult daughters and three cats. Karen is a lay speaker in the United Methodist Church and is active in several community service organizations.
Christa Frantz is an experienced Paralegal, having joined the Waverly, New York office of the Friedlander Firm in 1998 as a legal secretary. She has an Associate Degree in Specialized Business from Central Penn Business School, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. She has worked as a Paralegal for approximately 8 years and has worked in the legal field for over 12 years. She has experience in Family, Criminal, and Estate Law and specializes in Personal Injury, Medical Malpractice and Nursing Home Negligence in both New York and Pennsylvania. She is a paralegal affiliate of the American Association for Justice and the Nursing Home Litigation Group. Her knowledge, experience, motivation and devotion to her work makes her invaluable to the Friedlander Team. She has extensive experience in analysis of violations of Federal and State nursing home rules and regulations and has outlined the Nursing Home Surveyor Manual to aid in finding facility violations. Christa has been using medical database research for years and has developed a specialized skill-set to help prepare complex medical and nursing home cases for trial.
Billie Campbell is an Administrative Assistant, having joined the Waverly, New York office of the Friedlander Firm in 2003. She has a Certificate in Office Administration from Elmira Business Institute in Elmira, New York. Her knowledge and experience in medical record organization, trial notebook and document bank administration is critical in the management of our cases. She has over six years experience as a deposition videographer and is head of the firm’s video service and document bank group.
Ramona Cunningham joined the firm in 1999 as a Paralegal and Manager of the Ithaca office of Friedlander, Friedlander & Arcesi. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of California, San Diego, in Political Science and a Paralegal Certificate with honors from Johnson County Community College. She has worked as a paralegal for approximately 13 years and has worked in the legal field for over 27 years. She has worked in the legal field in California, Kansas, Missouri, and New York. She has extensive experience in Family Law and Negligence matters in New York. She is a paralegal affiliate of the American Association for Justice and the Nursing Home Litigation Group. She is active in the community and has served as a literacy volunteer, a volunteer at Watkins Glen International, and as past-President of the former Professional Legal Associates Network of Tompkins County. Her hobbies include reading, and playing the harp and piano.
Jeremy Goodrich is the most recent addition to the Friedlander team joining the firm in June of 2010. Jeremy began his schooling at Erie Community College for Criminal Justice before obtaining his degree in Political Science at the University at Buffalo in 2007. While in school he was an active member of his residence hall association as president of the council and has since been an active volunteer in our community. Jeremy has worked with disadvantaged youth as well as the Ithaca City School District before joining our organization. Jeremy has aspirations to work in the legal field and is a welcome addition to our firm.
Krisi VanTassel joined the Waverly, New York office of Friedlander, Friedlander & Arcesi, P.C., in 2010 as a Paralegal. She has an Associate of Science Degree in Paralegal Studies from Kaplan University, Chicago, Illinois, and is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Legal Studies with a concentration in mediation and alternative dispute resolution. She is a member of the National Federation of Paralegal Associations and the Golden Key International Honour Society. Krisi’s work is concentrated on the firm’s matrimonial and family law cases.