Stephen L. Kass

Stephen L. Kass

Stephen L. Kass

Senior Environmental Counsel
Co-Director, Environmental Practice Group

2 Wall Street, New York, NY 10005
212-238-8801, Fax: 212-732-3232
kass@clm.comDownload Vcard

Practice Description

Environmental practice encompasses all aspects of environmental and land-use law, including litigation, corporate transactions, project permitting, administrative proceedings, hazardous substances claims and regulations, environmental impact statements, landmarking, real property transfers, and international environmental claims and regulation.


  • 1964 New York
  • 1967 U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
  • 1996 U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
  • 1974 U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • 1986 U.S. Supreme Court


  • Association of the Bar of the City of New York: Vice President (1985-86); Chair, Task Force on Legal Problems ofClimate Adaptations (2012-present); Chair, Committee on International Human Rights (2009-2012); Chair, Special Committee on Consumer Affairs (1969-74); Chair, Committee on Inter-American Affairs (1978-81); Chair, Nominating Committee (1982); Chair, Council on International Affairs (1986-89); Chair, Special Committee on International Environmental Law (1991-94); Chair, Committee on Social Welfare Law (1995-98); Chair, Special Task Force on Downtown Redevelopment (2001-2002); Member: Executive Committee (1974-78), Committee on Legal Assistance (1969-72), Ad Hoc Anti-Poverty Committee (1970-75), Committee on Pro Bono Obligations (1978-80), Committee on Police Law and Policy (1981-82), Committee on Second Century (1984-86), Special Committee on Drug Laws (1986-97), Committee on International Human Rights (1990-93), Committee on International Law (1994-95), Council on International Affairs (1994-Present), Task Force on National Security and Rule of Law (2009-Present), Nominating Committee (1999), Committee on Civil Rights (2005-07)
  • New York State Bar Association: Chair, Committee on Environmental Litigation, Section on Commercial and Federal Litigation (1994-98); Member, Section on Environmental Law (since 1986); Member, Special Committee on Public Interest Law (1975-77); Chair, Special Committee on Legal Services Delivery (1974); Member, House of Delegates (1978-79)
  • American Bar Association: Member, Section on Housing and Urban Development; Member, Section on Natural Resources, Energy and Environment; Member, ABA Journal Advisory Board (1973-78)
  • Fellow at American College of Environmental Lawyers


Proficient in Spanish

Other Professional Activities

  • International Affairs:  Human Rights Watch (Board of Directors, 1985-2005; Emeritus Director, 2005-Present; Chair, Policy Committee; Chair, Americas Advisory Committee); Council on Foreign Relations (Latin America Study Group, Cuba Study Group, Energy and the Environment Study Group, Economic Integration in Americas Study Group); Americas Society
  • Legal Services:  Founder, Chair and Member of Board of Trustees, Community Law Offices (now the Volunteer Division of Legal Aid Society); Board of Directors, National Center for Law and Economic Justice (Chair, 1989-99); Board of Directors, Municipal Employees Legal Services Fund (Chair, 1974-76); Board of Directors, Community Action for Legal Services (1973-76); Board of Directors, The Legal Aid Society (1976-82)
  • New York Law Journal:  Regular Column on "Environmental Law" and "International Environmental Law" (1986-present)

Prior Professional Experience

  • 1965-69; 1971-72 Associate, Debevoise, Plimpton, Lyons & Gates, NY, NY
  • 1969-71 Executive Director, Community Law Offices, NY, NY
  • 1972-94 Partner, Berle, Kass & Case, NY, NY


  • Adjunct Professor (International Environmental Law), Brooklyn Law School (2004-Present)
  • Adjunct Professor (Climate Change and Human Rights), NYU/SCPS (Center on Global Affairs) (2012-present)
  • Adjunct Professor (Climate Change Policy) Columbia School of International and Public Affairs (2013)
  • Adjunct Professor (International Environmental Law), Pace University Law School (1998-2005)
  • Adjunct Professor (Historic Preservation Law), Pace University Law School (1990-92)
  • Lecturer, Environmental Law and Policy, State University of New York at Purchase (1978-80)


  •  B.A., 1961 Yale University (magna cum laude)
  •  LL.B., 1964 Harvard Law School (cum laude)

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