Clinical Associate Professor
Faculty Advisor, Law Society/Mock Trial Team
Lubin School of Business
Legal Studies and Taxation
New York City
New York City
JD, New York University, New York, NY
MA, Columbia University, New York, NY
Communications, Technology and Computing
MA, New York University, New York, NY
BA, New York University, New York, NY
Academic and Professional Engagement Activities
As a litigation attorney, the bulk of Professor James Castagna's legal experience has been representing employees and employers in employment discrimination and union activity cases under anti-discrimination laws and the National Labor Relations Act. His work right out of law school as a trial attorney at the U.S. federal government agency, the National Labor Relations Board, gave him the experience to develop a private practice in that area. Professor Castagna also has served as an associate in a general practice international commercial law firm, at which he was involved in domestic and international commercial transactions, real estate, and contracts.
Professor Castagna is admitted to practice law in the State of New York, and in the Federal Court, the U.S. District Court, and Southern District of New York. In his private practice, Professor Castagna has been serving as a labor law consultant working with corporate management to develop employee manuals as well as training in the areas of sexual harassment and discrimination policies. Recently he has broadened his practice by representing twenty-seven claimants who suffered medical conditions related to smoking in a sick smokers' class action litigation against the major tobacco companies. Further, he has represented clients and provided consulting in the areas of negligence, medical malpractice, real property and entertainment law. In fact, he has served as co-counsel in significant wrongful death/medical malpractice cases involving major hospitals.
Regarding his pro bono work, Professor Castagna has spent countless hours providing legal and consulting services to small businesses including NYC yellow cab medallion owners who are suffering economic crisis due to increasing competition with private vendors. In addition, his public service work also has touched upon trusts and estates, criminal felonies, and students' rights claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Education for All Handicapped Children's Act.
Professor Castagna graduated from the New York University School of Law in the top 25% of his class. While at NYU Law, he studied in a joint J.D./MA Program in Sociology. More recently, he received from Columbia University's Teachers College, a Masters in Education/Communication, Technology and Computing. At Columbia University, his concentration was in active learning strategies, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Theory and Practice, and interdisciplinary curriculum development incorporating media. A documentary he produced and wrote dealing with the interface of free speech rights and anti-discrimination laws in the context of a parade was nominated for a Student Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (EMMY) Award. His work in Alternative Dispute Resolution has lent itself to Professor Castagna's extensive representation of clients in ADR mechanisms such as mediation and arbitration.
Professor Castagna's teaching at Pace has spanned all of its commercial law courses, including Contracts, Business Organizations, UCC Article II Sales, and Commercial Paper (Business Law I & II), Intellectual Property Law, Hotel and Restaurant Management Law, Advanced Business Law, as well as Introduction to the American Legal System. At Pace, he also has taught its labor relations curriculum, including Employment Law at the undergraduate and graduate business school level (including as part of the MBA and MS in the Human Resources curriculum). As part of the International Business concentration in Lubin's Graduate Management Department, the “Legal and Regulatory Aspects of International Business” has been taught by him.
In addition, at the law school level, Professor Castagna has taught an upper level course, Alternative Dispute Resolution, at Seton Hall Law School, and served as an Advocacy Coach for Pace University's School of Law American Bar Association Labor Law and Appellate Advocacy Teams, for which the students received academic credit. He and our former Chairperson Richard Kraus, developed and introduced into the curriculum a new experiential learning course, the Mock Trial Seminar.
For the past fifteen years, Professor Castagna has served as the Founder, Faculty Advisor, and Coach of the award-winning Pace University Law Society/Mock Trial Team. Under the auspices of AMTA, he has been very active as Pace University's Educational Representative to this nationally-recognized educational organization. In fact, last season the award-winning team qualified for the first time for the Opening Round to the National Championship, and was nationally ranked. Due to his and the team's dedication and accomplishments, the Pace University Student Development & Activities Association (SDACA) awarded the group “Most Outstanding Traditional Student Organization,” and Professor Castagna received the “Indelible Mark” Award, based on his long-term meaningful contributions to the university.
Professor James Castagna's areas of interest in scholarship include on-going research on an employer's “duty to reasonably accommodate” military employees who are returning from deployment, under the Uniform Services Employment and Re-employment Act of 1994 (USERRA), and its relationship to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. This issue is increasingly becoming the subject of litigation and heightened public policy concern, as the number of both physically and mentally injured veterans return to their civilian jobs, in the face of our on-going economic crisis. He also is critically examining the patent rules relating to the protection of private sector pharmaceutical development in the United States and internationally, and its impact upon public access to expensive life-sustaining medications.
Professor James Castagna is proud that he recently received the University Twenty-five Year Service Award.