Andrew G. Celli, Jr. | Partner at Emery Celli Brinckerhoff Abady Ward & Maazel LLP

Andrew G. Celli, Jr.

Andrew G. Celli, Jr., a founding partner of the firm, maintains a diverse practice representing institutions and individuals in commercial, civil rights, and civil liberties matters in courts around the country. His clients include The Tribune Company and Newsday, Inc.; Penguin USA, a division of Pearson, the international publishing house; Ford Models, Inc.; EchoStar Corporation; Global Strategy Group, LLC, a public affairs, political consulting, and polling company; Atlantic Development Corp., a developer of affordable housing; The Doe Fund, a not-for-profit organization that provides housing and job training to the homeless; and a number of highly compensated professionals in the legal, financial services, entertainment, medical, and other sectors.

Mr. Celli’s civil rights practice principally involves representing individual plaintiffs in complex police misconduct, voting rights, and employment discrimination cases.

Mr. Celli also represents students and faculty in confidential administrative proceedings and litigation arising out of allegations of academic, research or social misconduct and violations of school policy and Title IX.

A regular feature of Mr. Celli’s practice over the years has been the representation of government bodies and officials, often in situations of intra-governmental conflict. Mr. Celli currently represents the New York City Council and the Council of the City of Rochester in cases where these bodies are not aligned with their respective mayors, and he provides ongoing advice on constitutional matters to the New York State Empire State Development Corporation. He also currently represents the former Superintendent of the New York State Department of Financial Services in a case brought by the National Rifle Association. In recent years, Mr. Celli has also represented former New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, former New York State Labor Commissioner Patricia Smith, then New York City Public Advocates Mark Green and Bill de Blasio, and individual members of the New York City Council. Finally, Mr. Celli also provides ethics and lobbying compliance advice and represents individuals and entities before the Joint Commission on Public Ethics and the New York City Conflicts of Interest Board.

From 1999 to 2003, Mr. Celli served as Chief of the Civil Rights Bureau in the office of New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. In that capacity, Mr. Celli was responsible for many successful cases and initiatives, including the Attorney General’s Report “The New York City Police Department’s ‘Stop & Frisk’ Practices,” People by Spitzer v. Town of Wallkill (systemic police misconduct), People by Spitzer v. Delta Funding, Inc. (mortgage lending discrimination), and People by Spitzer v. Nassau County (discriminatory tax assessment scheme).

Mr. Celli has written and lectured widely on civil rights and civil liberties issues, appearing at the National Association of Attorneys General, Harvard Law School, New York University School of Law, Albany Law School, the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, and as a legal commentator on Court TV.

Mr. Celli served as a commissioner and vice-chair of the New York State Temporary Commission on Lobbying from 2004 through 2007, and as a commissioner of the New York State Commission on Public Integrity from 2007 through 2011. In 2012, he was a Wasserstein Public Interest Fellow at the Harvard Law School. Andy has been a member of the board of directors of the Grand Street Settlement, a Lower East Side community organization, since 1993, and was Board President from 2009 through 2012.

Before joining Richard Emery in practice in 1993, Mr. Celli clerked for the Hon. Charles P. Sifton on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, and was a litigation associate at Cravath, Swaine & Moore.

Mr. Celli has been named a “Super Lawyer” since 2007.

Representative Cases:


  • Counsel to Avaaz Foundation, a global civic organization, in successful First-Amendment-based defense of subpoena issued by Monsanto Company (Avaaz Foundation v. Monsanto Company).
  • Counsel to Airbnb host in First Amendment retaliation case against NYC enforcement officials (Karol v. City of New York).
  • Counsel to the Hunts Points Produce Market Cooperative Association, the second-largest wholesale produce market in the world.
  • Counsel to world-renowned art collector in contract dispute with Sotheby’s involving a masterpiece by Jean-Michel Basquiat (Neumann v. Sotheby’s Inc.).
  • Counsel to The Tribune Company and Newsday, Inc. in litigation matters, including defamation and commercial cases.
  • Counsel to Connecticut-based manufacturing firm in Fifth Amendment Takings Clause challenge to federal assessment scheme (Swisher International Inc. v. Johanns).
  • Appellate counsel to EchoStar Corporation in multiple appellate matters (Bank One, N.A. v. Echo Acceptance Corp.; EchoStar Satellite Corp. v. ESPN).


  • Counsel to Ford Models, Inc. in unfair competition litigation against competitor (Ford Models, Inc. v. Next Management LLC; Ford Models, Inc. v. Spears).


  • “Outside general counsel” to Global Strategy Group, LLC, for regulatory, finance, and other business matters.
  • Counsel to two well-known New York City nightclubs in ongoing matters.


  • Successful defense of defamation cases (See, e.g., Galasso v. Saltzman; Sullivan v. Newsday, Inc.Silver v. Bernstein et al.).
  • Counsel to book publisher in dispute with on-line sales management vendor (Fosina Marketing v. Scholastic Inc.).


  • Counsel to Penguin USA for pre-publication manuscript review and defamation/ copyright vetting of non-fiction titles in all genres from investigative journalism and memoir, to biography, satire, true–crime and criticism.
  • Counsel to highly compensated executives and professionals in employment related matters, including severance agreements and contract and partnership disputes. Recent matters include: representation of the General Counsel of a public company in severance negotiations; successful arbitration of employment dispute on behalf of CEO and chief marketing officer of security company; representation of physicians in partnership, professional discipline, and related disputes; representation of professional wrestler in dispute with wrestling league; representation of auction house executive in separation matter.
  • Counsel to The Doe Fund in ongoing commercial matters.


  • Counsel to newsstand operators in constitutional challenge to new rules governing ownership of newsstands in New York City (Gasparo v. City of New York and Uhlfelder v. Weinshall).
  • Appellate counsel for a Canadian manufacturing firm in product labeling litigation brought by a competitor (The Pillsbury Company v. Upper Crust, Ltd.).
  • Counsel to decorated NYPD detective John Barry in wage and hour litigation.


  • Counsel to a class of inmates at Rikers Island in a challenge to the New York City Department of Corrections’s disciplinary practices (Ingles v. City of New York).


  • Counsel to four Mexican-American teenagers in false arrest and excessive force action arising out of an illegal police “sweep” (Peralta v. City of New York).


  • Counsel to two African-American brothers falsely arrested and held without cause in profiling incident (Williams and Williams v. City of New York).


  • Represented Larry Rockefeller and Republican presidential candidate Steve Forbes in a successful constitutional challenge to New York’s ballot access laws (Rockefeller v. Powers).


  • Represented the office of New York City Public Advocate Mark Green in litigation against the Police Commissioner concerning the powers of the Public Advocate under the City Charter to obtain records from the New York City Police Department (Office of the Public Advocate v. Safir).


  • Represented a not-for-profit organization seeking injunctive relief against the New York State Department of Correctional Services in a First Amendment retaliation matter (Correctional Association v. Goord).


  • Represented the City of Mount Vernon, N.Y., in successful defense of a constitutional challenge to local adult zoning legislation (MJ Entertainment v. City of Mount Vernon).


  • Represents the family and Estate of Jodie S. Lane, a young woman who was killed by stray electrical voltage in the East Village in January 2004.


  • Represented the family of Emil Mann, Sr., a member of the Ramapough Lenape Indian tribe, in a jury trial resulting in a $2.4 million verdict against the New Jersey Park Police officer who shot and killed Mr. Mann.


  • Served as co-counsel representing retailer class in In re Visa Check/MasterMoney Antitrust Litigation.


  • Represents authors and photographers in intellectual property disputes.


  • Successful representation of individuals, including at trial, in civil rights actions alleging police misconduct (e.g., Bender v. City of New York; Beal v. City of New York; Tiffany v. Village of Briarcliff Manor; Roche v. City of New York).



“Bull Run: How the Democrats Can Unleash the Free Market,” The New Republic, March 22, 2004 (with Eliot Spitzer)

“Postcards from the Edge: Surveying the Digital Divide,” 20 Cardozo Arts and Entertainment Law Journal (2002) (with K. Dreifach)

“A Conversation on Federalism and the States” (symposium), 64 Albany Law Review (2001)


“VAWA Is Valid and Needed,” National Law Journal, January 17, 2000 (with J. Brown)


“Disorderly Conduct and the First Amendment,” New York Law Journal, October 1997 (with R. Emery)


“Toward a Risk Contribution Approach to Tortfeasor Identification and Multiple Causation Cases,” 65 New York University Law Review (1990)


Attorney News


New York University School of Law, J.D., cum laude, 1990

Law Review
Libel Law Fellow
Order of the Coif
Judge Rose L. and Herbert Rubin Law Review Prize (for “the most outstanding Note for the Law Review in international, commercial, or public law”)

Hobart College, B.A., magna cum laude, 1987

Phi Beta Kappa


U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
U.S. District Court, Western District of New York
New York


Association of the Bar of the City of New York
Grand Street Settlement (board member since 1993)