Welcome To Bergstein & Ullrich, LLP
Bergstein & Ullrich, LLP law is a small but aggressive litigation firm concentrating in the areas of civil rights, employment rights and benefits, workplace harassment and appellate practice.We work closely with clients, combining personal attention with professional service and legal expertise.
Bergstein & Ullrich, LLP was formed in 2001, bringing together the expertise of partners Stephen Bergstein and Helen G. Ullrich. Along with Christopher D.Watkins, we have extensive experience in plaintiffs’ litigation. We have won jury awards and negotiated settlements vindicating clients and upholding their constitutional and civil rights. Many of our victories have become important precedents in New York, and in jurisdictions around the country.
The Bergstein & Ullrich, LLP law firm represents plaintiffs and employees whose rights were violated and need vigorous representation in court or other venues. There are laws to protect you in these situations. We help plaintiffs take legal action, often a last resort for many who have tried and failed to resolve the matter. With our legal knowledge and experience in hundreds of cases, we can help get the relief you seek – such as lost wages, compensation for pain and suffering, coverage for medical expenses and other damages.
Bergstein & Ullrich LLP is based in Chester, in Orange County, New York, (about 60 miles northwest of New York City) and practices in State and Federal courts.
If you have a legal matter for us to consider, please see the Contact Us page, which should answer most of your questions. Please fill out the questionnaires below and fax them to us at 845-469-1277 for a consultation.
Civil Rights Blog - We maintain the only law blog that covers the civil rights decisions of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Please click HERE to view some of our success stories.
This website is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.Lawyer biographies/ Who we are:
STEPHEN BERGSTEIN received his B.A. from SUNY New Paltz in 1989 and graduated from CUNY Law School in 1993, where he served on the editorial board of the school's law journal. Bergstein is admitted to practice in the courts of the State of New York, the Southern, Eastern and Northern Districts of New York, the Second and Third Circuit Courts of Appeal and the United States Supreme Court.
Mr. Bergstein has represented scores of plaintiffs in civil rights and employment cases in the State and Federal Courts, helping to set important case precedents involving the First Amendment, employment discrimination, sexual and racial harassment, housing discrimination, search and seizure, false arrest, municipal liability and whistleblower protection. He has significant trial and appellate experience. Several of Mr. Bergstein's precedents have attained widespread attention, including Back v. Hastings-on-Hudson, 365 F.3d 107 (2d Cir. 2004), which established for the first time that caregiver stereotyping in the workplace violates civil rights laws. As outlined on our "success stories" page, he has successfully litigated a variety of civil rights matters covering disabilities discrimination, gender discrimination and sexual harassment, whistleblower protection and government misconduct.
Mr. Bergstein is an active member of the New York chapter of National Employment Lawyers' Association, a bar association that represents the interests of plaintiffs' civil rights lawyers. In 2009, Mr. Bergstein was elected to the board of directors of NELA/NY, and he co-edits that organization's newsletter. In addition, he maintains a law blog which covers civil rights developments in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and other courts. (www.secondcircuitcivilrights.blogspot.com).
Mr. Bergstein also lectures on civil rights matters and has been quoted in local and national media on civil rights topics ranging from law blogging to case law developments. He regularly provides updates on the civil rights decisions of the U.S. Court of Appeals at conferences sponsored by NELA/NY and has also lectured on workplace stereotyping. He has also lectured before human resources professionals, advising them on the basics of employment law in New York and outlining appropriate ways to comply with the legal requirements governing public and private employees. In addition, Mr. Bergstein is a faculty member at Lawline.com, an organization that provides continuing legal education to attorneys. In that capacity, he has lectured on employment discrimination in the Second Circuit.
HELEN G. ULLRICH is a 1996 magna cum laude graduate of New York Law School where she was a Notes and Comments Editor on Law Review and Moot Court member. She is admitted to practice in New York State courts and in federal courts in New York and New Jersey.
Ms. Ullrich is a highly skilled litigator and negotiator on behalf of employees and has litigated scores of civil rights cases. She is experienced in representing individuals who were fired or mistreated on account of race, gender, national origin, disability, religion, sexual orientation and marital status and has significant victories in all these areas. Her most recent trial victories include jury awards on behalf of persons with disabilities, a student subjected to racial harassment, public employees who blew the whistle on misconduct and victims of sexual harassment. As most cases end in settlement rather than trial, Ms. Ullrich has settled most of her cases on terms that were satisfactory to her clients. Ms. Ullrich has frequently represented women, in both the public and private sectors, who were subjected to sexual harassment and other forms of gender discrimination and routinely brought those cases to a satisfactory conclusion.
In addition, Ms. Ullrich represents employees in negotiations concerning employment contracts, severance packages and termination agreements.
Ms. Ullrich is a member and past Board member of both the Orange County Bar Association and the Women's Bar Association of Orange and Sullivan Counties. She is a 2009 recipient of the Women's Bar Association's Liberty Bell Award, the Orange County Human Rights Commission Award and the 2009 Orange County Tribute to Women of Achievement.
Ms. Ullrich is also active in her community. She was the first woman elected to the Town Board of the Town of Hamptonburgh and served in that capacity from 1991 to 1994. She served as Co-Chair of the Orange County Democratic Committee from 2004 to 2006 and as a member of the New York State Democratic Committee from 2002 to 2008. With the exception of 2011, she has served as a member of the Board of Directors of Planned Parenthood MidHudson Valley since 2001. Ms. Ullrich is also one of the founders and past president of Orange County Democratic Women, Inc. Ms. Ullrich is a trustee of Orange County Community College - SUNY Orange and serves on the Board of Directors of the SUNY Orange Foundation.
CHRISTOPHER D. WATKINS graduated from Yale University in 1986 with a B.A. degree and earned his law degree from the University of California at Berkeley in 1996. While in law school, he was an Associate Editor of the California Law Review and published an article on the Americans with Disabilities Act. He is of-counsel to Bergstein &Ullrich, LLP.
After law school, Mr. Watkins was an associate at Pillsbury Madison &Sutro LLP in San Francisco. Since 1999, Mr. Watkins has vigorously represented employees and other plaintiffs in well over a hundred civil rights cases, including:
Paolontonio v. Pellegrino: Female police officer was subjected to sexual harassment and retaliation. Plaintiff’s verdict in federal court for $2.35 million.
Williams v. Essex County: Several public employees were subjected to First Amendment retaliation. Substantial settlement after partial plaintiffs’ verdict in federal court.
Roe v. Valentine: Female customer was sexually assaulted by her tailor. Plaintiff's verdict for $750,000 in state court.
Pelella v. Local Union 38: Union member was wrongfully disciplined by union. U.S. Court of Appeals upheld award of punitive damages against union.
Tucker v. Westchester County: Female corrections officer was subjected to discriminatory job conditions. Plaintiff's verdict for $142,000 in federal court.
Edwards v. Pretsch: Mother was coerced into giving false confession when police threatened to remove her child. Case settled after plaintiff’s verdict in federal court.
In addition to federal and state court litigation, Mr. Watkins represents individuals in administrative and arbitration proceedings. He is currently admitted to practice in New York and California.