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About Rick Pakola

Rick is a litigation and appellate counsel, with over twenty years of experience.

He has been rated “superb” (the highest rating) by AVVO, the neutral and objective website for the rating of attorneys and law offices.

Rick served in the U.S. Air Force, as a Judge Advocate General (JAG), was appointed a Special Assistant United States Attorney (SAUSA), and ran the Edwards Air Force Base Magistrate Court. 

He was also appointed an Area Defense Counsel (ADC), in which position he was responsible for representing active duty members facing criminal charges, and he later ran one of the busiest criminal justice offices in the Air Force, at Yokota Air Base, Japan.

After leaving the Air Force in 2006, Rick moved to and has practiced law in Rockland County, New York, where he has had the pleasure to work with some of the most experienced and respected attorneys in the County and state.

Since 2015, Rick is proud to be working with Bill Smith, specializing in Elder Law, Surrogate’s practice and Guardianships.

In his career, he has litigated hundreds of matters in criminal courts, Surrogate’s Court, New York Supreme Court, New York Appellate Courts, U.S. District Court, Southern and Eastern Districts, and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

Rick is also the elected judge for the Village of West Haverstraw, New York, and is a Deputy Town Attorney for the Town of Orangetown.


  • 1995, New York Courts

  • 1995, Pennsylvania Courts

  • 2007, U.S. District Court; Southern and Eastern Districts of New York

  • 2013, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Law School

  • George Washington University School of Law, LL.M. (Environmental Law), 2004

  • Fordham University School of Law, J.D., 1994


  • University of Pennsylvania, B.A., 1989


  • Judge, Village of West Haverstraw

  • Town of Orangetown, Deputy Town Attorney