Amy Lavine '07, a staff attorney with Albany Law's Government Law Center, recently provided pro bono assistance in preparing a brief of amicus curiae for the U.S. Supreme Court to support the petitioners in the case of Tuck-It-Away Storage, Inc., et al. v. New York State Urban Development Corporation d/b/a Empire State Development Corporation.
The amicus brief, filed by New York State Senator Bill Perkins, urges the Supreme Court to hear the case, which seeks to overturn the use of eminent domain to seize properties from the petitioners for an expansion of Columbia University in New York City. The expansion site is located in the West Harlem neighborhood of Manhattanville, which is in Senator Perkin's district.
Lavine has advised Senator Perkins more generally on eminent domain reform. He proposed legislation in 2010 that would clarify the definition of blight, making the use of eminent domain for urban redevelopment more transparent and accountable. Forty-three other states have reformed their eminent domain laws in the past five years, and Lavine believes that reforms are necessary in New York to make the redevelopment process more inclusive and equitable.
Lavine is the author or co-author of more than a dozen articles published in law reviews, journals and other legal publications. Among these publications are Urban Renewal and the Story of Berman v. Parker, 42 URB. LAW. 423 (Spring 2010) and Urban Redevelopment Policy, Judicial Deference to Unaccountable Agencies, and Reality in Brooklyn's Atlantic Yards Project (coauthored by Norman Oder), 42 URB. LAW. 287 (Spring 2010).
Last year, the American Bar Association's (ABA) State & Local Government Law Section selected Lavine to receive the Twelfth Annual Jefferson Fordham Up and Comers Award.