Dean Pillarella

Associate

Dean Pillarella is an associate in the New York office of Lewis Brisbois and a member of the Appellate Practice.

Mr. Pillarella primarily drafts and argues substantive motions and appeals in the New York trial and appellate courts.

Prior to joining Lewis Brisbois, Mr. Pillarella was an associate attorney and primary appellate counsel at a corporate and insurance defense firm in New York City, where he handled matters from inception through trial and appeal. Notably, his briefing and argument in Belfand v. Petosa, 196 A.D.3d 60 (1st Dep’t 2021), culminated in a signed opinion of the Appellate Division, First Department, effectively preventing private suits against the State of New Jersey in New York as a matter of constitutional law. The opinion was subsequently cited by the Supreme Court of Alabama and published in the New York Law Journal and the New York City Bar Association’s CPLR 2021 Update. In Belfand’s companion matter, Henry v. New Jersey Transit, Mr. Pillarella authored jurisdictional letter-briefs at the Court of Appeals stage that culminated in the Court’s acceptance of the matter of right on constitutional grounds.

Prior to joining the defense bar, Mr. Pillarella was an associate at a Brooklyn, NY, plaintiffs’ firm where he handled state and federal commercial, civil rights, and torts matters from inception through appeal.

Outside of the office, Mr. Pillarella is a proud member of the United States Coast Guard Reserve, where he serves as an officer and staff attorney.

Mr. Pillarella is also an avid writer and student of the law with a passion for New York civil practice. He has professionally published on topics ranging from New York civil practice, to constitutional and civil-rights law, to criminal law and procedure. His essay Utilizing CPLR 2001 to Cure Service Defects: 10 Years of Ruffin was featured in the New York Law Journal to commemorate the tenth anniversary of Ruffin v. Lion Corp., 15 N.Y.3d 578 (2010), and its increasing impact on New York service of process. His essay The Informal Appearance, Its Origins, Instances, and Impact, was recently cited by the New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers as providing a thorough discussion of the doctrine of the “informal appearance” in New York civil practice.

He is a member of the New York State Bar Association and New York City Bar Association, where he sits on the Legal History Committee.

Mr. Pillarella earned his Juris Doctor from the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University in 2018. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and history from the University of Scranton in 2015.

Publications

  • The Informal Appearance, Its Origins, Instances, and Impact, N.Y. Law Journal, February 7, 2022.
  • An Invisible Battle in a War Against an Invisible Enemy: The Fourth Amendment and the Right to Travel During the Age of COVID, N.Y. Law Journal, May 22, 2020.
  • Utilizing CPLR 2001 to Cure Service Defects: Ten Years of Ruffin, N.Y. Law Journal, April 6, 2020.
  • Hiding in Plain Sight: A Call for the Revitilization of Thirteenth Amendment Jurisprudence as a Means of Civil Rights Reform, N.Y. Law Journal, June 17, 2019.

Representative Matters

Belfand v. Petosa, 196 A.D.3d 60 (1st Dep't 2021)

Military Service

United States Coast Guard Reserve

Professional Presentations

Interstate Sovereign Immunity in the Wake of Franchise Tax Bd. of Cal. v. Hyatt, 139 S. Ct. 1485 (2019), New York City Bar Association (Legal History Committee), February 17, 2021.

Admissions

  • State Bar Admissions
    • New York
  • United States District Courts
    • United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
    • United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • United States Courts of Appeals
    • United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Associations

  • New York State Bar Association
  • New York City Bar Association

Education

Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University

Juris Doctor, 2018

University of Scranton

Bachelor of Arts, 2015

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