Rudolph M. Baptiste Esq
RUDOLPH M. BAPTISTE
Rudolph M. Baptiste is an experienced litigator who joined the firm in January 2023. Before joining the firm, Mr. Baptiste served as the Senior Principal Law Clerk to a Justice of the Appellate Division, Second Department, where he assisted in the preparation for oral argument on appeals, conducted legal research and briefed a variety of issues, and otherwise assisted with the disposition of appeals involving civil and criminal matters to the busiest intermediate appeals court in New York in civil and criminal matters before the court. Immediately prior to his time at the Appellate Division, Mr. Baptiste served for 5 ½ years as the principal law clerk to a Justice of the Supreme Court, who presided over a general civil IAS caseload in Suffolk County. There, he conducted legal research and prepared draft decisions and orders, conferenced civil actions presenting both pre-trial discovery and dispositive issues concerning Labor Law claims, personal injury, real property and foreclosure, land use and zoning matters pursuant to CPLR Article 78, and otherwise assisted with trial jury charge conferences.
Prior to his judicial clerkships, Mr. Baptiste served as an Assistant County Attorney in the General Federal Litigation Bureau of the Suffolk County Attorney’s Office for over 6 years. There, he handled a wide variety of cases on behalf of the County, its employees and officials, including defense of employment discrimination claims in both state and federal litigation arising under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983, Title VII to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, and assorted claims of First Amendment retaliation and deprivation of both substantive and procedural due process brought pursuant to the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. He also prosecuted public employee discipline cases pursuant to New York Civil Service Law Section 75 and public employee union collective bargaining agreements in hearings and arbitrations.
Mr. Baptiste also advised officials in various County departments on numerous points of law and policy, in addition to his handling complex motions and appeals. His practice entailed participation in all phases of civil litigation from inception, through pre-trial discovery, and trial, administrative hearings and appeals, when necessary, in matters before the state and federal trial and appellate courts, the New York State Division of Human Rights and the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Mr. Baptiste also has extensive experience both briefing and arguing appeals before the Appellate Division, Second Department and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.
Mr. Baptiste received his Juris Doctor from the Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center, where he was a teaching assistant and later student co-director for the Legal Education Access Program and a student member of the law school’s Curriculum Committee. Mr. Baptiste received a Bachelor’s of Arts in History, summa cum laude from Adelphi University. He is admitted to practice law in the state courts in New York and New Jersey, as well as before the U.S. District Courts for New Jersey and the Eastern, Southern and Western Districts of New York, and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Mr. Baptiste is a member of the New York State Bar Association and the Suffolk County Bar Association.