Robert Coughlin, Jr., Albany Law Class of 1981, is the new chair of the 2,530–member Torts, Insurance and Compensation Law Section of the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA).
Coughlin is of counsel to Flink Smith, where he practices in the area of civil litigation with an emphasis on personal injury for injured persons as well as defendants, negligence, insurance law, fire and explosions, and commercial matters.
A 29-year member of NYSBA, Coughlin most recently was vice chair of the Torts, Insurance and Compensation Law Section. He previously chaired the section’s committees on Membership and Laws and Practices. He also is a member of the Dispute Resolution, Trial Lawyers and Senior Lawyers sections, as well as the Committee on the Tort System.
In addition to being active with the Torts, Insurance and Compensation Law Section and NYSBA in general, Coughlin has also stayed connected to the law school, visiting the Career Center to interview for law clerks and attending networking events to meet and counsel current law students. He also organized a panel through the Career Center for practicing attorneys to talk to students about how they could succeed in private practice.
Coughlin became of counsel to Flink Smith LLC in 2003 and merged his private practice with the firm in 2005. For nearly 30 years, he has represented insured defendants, injured plaintiffs and insurance companies, trying cases and using alternative dispute resolution techniques such as mediation and arbitration. He began his legal career as a confidential law clerk to a New York State Supreme Court Justice.
A Saratoga Springs resident, Coughlin serves on the Board of Directors of the Adirondack/Saratoga Chapter of the American Red Cross and is a member of the Disaster Assistance Team with multiple certifications including Front Line Supervisor, qualifying him to run Red Cross Shelters.
He also is the President of Saratoga Arts, a not-for-profit dedicated to making art in all its forms accessible to all members of the community, and he is on the Selection Advisory Group, which entails being a reader for Saratoga Reads!, an organization devoted to community reading.
Coughlin earned his undergraduate degree from Hamilton College prior to attending Albany Law.