William A. Hurst

phone (518) 438-9907 (Ext. 242)
fax (518) 438-9914
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With over two decades of experience in environmental, energy, land use, civil rights, and commercial litigation, Bill is a highly qualified attorney with a proven track record of success in representing corporate and individual clients in complex legal matters. He has conducted numerous bench and jury trials in New York state and federal courts, and has successfully argued several appeals before New York’s appellate courts and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on a wide range of matters.

Bill’s expertise includes contract disputes, boundary line issues, trespass and nuisance claims, and the defense of defamation, invasion of privacy, and other publication-related claims against individuals, print and broadcast journalists, and news organizations. Additionally, he has a wealth of experience appearing before a variety of administrative agencies, including the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Department of Public Service, on issues related to environmental enforcement, the siting of major energy generation and storage projects, and in connection with financial transactions by and among domestic and international corporations that own and operate electric generating facilities and participate in wholesale energy markets.

In addition to his professional work, Bill is deeply committed to pro bono service. He has represented displaced persons before the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and has been recognized by the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York for his work as pro bono trial counsel to indigent, and, at times, incarcerated civil rights plaintiffs proceeding in forma pauperis. He has also obtained dismissal of intellectual property, constructive trust, and other corporate control claims advanced in Washington state court by convicted felon Keith Raniere, a/k/a “Vanguard”, erstwhile leader of the NXIVM cult, against a former cult member/victim. Currently, Bill represents a Juvenile Life Without Parole (“JLWOP”) inmate in the State of Michigan seeking resentencing under the guidelines set forth by the United States Supreme Court in Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460 (2012) and Montgomery v. Louisiana, 577 U.S. 190 (2016).

Bill is also the former Director of Legal Services for, and currently a Trustee of, the Preservation League of New York State, New York’s only statewide non-governmental historic preservation organization.

Before joining Young/Sommer, Bill spent nearly a decade as a commercial litigator at an international law firm, with a particular emphasis on Media Defense/First Amendment Law.

Bar Admissions

New York 1998
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York


Albany Law School of Union University, 1997
Managing Editor for Business, Albany Law School Environmental Outlook Journal
State University College at New Paltz, cum laude, 1994 (Geography and Regional Planning)

Published Works

Contributing Editor, Media Law Resource Center (NYC), Media Privacy and Related Law – 50-State Survey (multiple editions)

Legal Assistant Information

Angeline Riccardi, 518-438-9907 x. 234