Joel H. Sachs, our esteemed Partner, Senior Counsel and friend, died on January 24, 2021. A consummate professional, Joel served his clients with vigor and flair. He was wise, witty, and gregarious – traits that endeared him to colleagues and adversaries alike.
Joel joined Keane & Beane, P.C. in 1993. He established the firm’s environmental practice and greatly enhanced its representation of municipal and land use clients. Joel was a recognized authority in the fields of environmental, real property, land use and municipal law. He served in multiple leadership capacities with the New York State Bar Association, including as Chair of the Real Property Section and Chair of the Environmental & Energy Section. He also served as the President of the White Plains Bar Association. He was a frequent lecturer at programs sponsored by bar and professional organizations and enjoyed sharing his rich knowledge with others.
Joel actively mentored young lawyers and law students in both our office and the classroom. He served as an Adjunct Professor at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University for more than forty years teaching environmental and municipal law. Joel inspired many students, including several Keane & Beane, P.C. attorneys, to pursue a career in these legal fields.
Joel was on the forefront of environmental law in New York State. He was first Deputy Chief upon the formation of the Environmental Protection Bureau at the New York State Attorney General’s Office. He often joked about being a charter member of the “Green Mafia” – a collection of early environmental practitioners in what was then an emerging legal field. Joel’s commitment to the Hudson Valley community he loved was evident in his long-standing representation of municipalities throughout the region. He served as the Town Attorney of the Town of Greenburgh before entering private practice. Thereafter, he was engaged as counsel by multiple municipalities within New York State, including serving as Town Attorney of the Town of Bedford. Joel was repeatedly called upon to guide local governments through complex zoning initiatives, environmental disputes, land development applications and eminent domain issues. He also lent his talents in these areas to private sector clients.
Joel was a graduate of Cornell University, University of Pennsylvania Law School and received an LLM from New York University. He took pride in having served as a law clerk to the Honorable Charles H. Tenney of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Joel’s two beloved daughters, Lori and Beth, followed in his footsteps to Cornell and into the practice of law.
Joel is survived by his loving wife, Roslyn, daughters Beth and Lori, his grandchildren David, Sarah and Talia Zoller and Maxwell and Lily Harrison, as well as his sons-in law, Ron Zoller and Alexander Harrison.
Joel will be greatly missed by his Keane & Beane “family” and the legal community at large.