Michael has been a staple in real estate development and litigation throughout the Hudson Valley and in New York City for more than three decades, advising his clients on all aspects of land use and environmental law. His innovative and collaborative approach to many of the most challenging land use development and real estate matters has made him a well respected leader in the field, and sought after in bringing these matters to successful resolutions.
Michael co-founded Zarin & Steinmetz in 1997, and has overseen the firm’s rise as a recognized leader in the region. Michael’s practice encompasses land use/zoning, complex real estate transactions and financing, environmental law, site remediation, public-private partnerships, SEQRA/NEPA, urban renewal, administrative law, eminent domain, due diligence, and environmental and general litigation. He has helped private and municipal clients achieve their goals for transformational projects that have breathed new life into downtowns, waterfronts, and brownfield sites throughout the state. Michael specializes in developing pro-active and creative financing models, which take advantage of the latest tools in pursuing successful public-private development projects. Michael has also represented clients in numerous federal, state and administrative proceedings through-out the nation, as well as intensive arbitration and mediation proceedings.
Michael is also frequently retained by municipalities as Special Land Use and Environmental Counsel on large, complex development projects. His municipal work also includes serving as an eminent domain expert, including as an expert witness for the New York City Law Department in connection with its comprehensive blue-belt condemnation program on Staten Island.
Michael is an Adjunct Professor at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University, and previously taught a “Land Use Regulation” seminar at Hofstra Law School. He has lectured at the New York University Real Estate Institute, and at the Pace Law School’s Environmental Master’s Program. He is a former member of the Executive Committee of the New York State Bar Association’s Environmental Section, and Co-Chair of the Land Use Committee. He also assisted the Chief Administrative Judge for the Ninth Judicial District in the formation of a Special Environmental Claims Part for the District.
Prior to forming Zarin & Steinmetz, Michael was a partner with the law firm of Sive, Paget & Riesel. He began his legal career as an associate at Weil, Gotshal & Manges in its Business Reorganization Department. Michael received his Juris Doctor from Hofstra University School of Law in 1985, where he served as Articles Editor for the Hofstra Law Review. He also received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1976.