Upstate News

February 12, 2008
Doretta Royer 315 464-4833

Karen Richards and Winthrop Thurlow join University Counsel at SUNY Upstate Medical University

SYRACUSE, N.Y.— Syracuse residents Karen M. Richards, J.D., and Winthrop H. Thurlow, J.D., have joined the Office of University Counsel at SUNY Upstate Medical University as associates. Richards serves as counsel for University Hospital, focusing on transactional matters. Thurlow is counsel for the campus.

In addition to a broad legal background, Richards has experience in representing health care facilities, serving as legal counsel for St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Utica prior to joining SUNY Upstate. She was an attorney at Smith, Sovik, Kendrick & Sugnet, P.C. (2002-2006), a medical malpractice defense firm, where she defended hospitals, physicians and nurses in both state and federal courts; a litigator for the Office of the Corporation Counsel for the City of Syracuse (1999-2002); and an attorney at Bond, Schoeneck & King, LLP (1995-1999), where she practiced in the areas of contracts and real estate. Before becoming an attorney, Richards was the communications coordinator for the Village of Skaneateles (1975 to 1994) where she supervised a union-represented municipal emergency communications center and was a volunteer emergency medical technician.

She received her Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, from the Syracuse University College of Law in 1995 and a bachelor’s degree in personnel and industrial relations and law and public policy, cum laude, from Syracuse University in 1984. While at law school, Richards was admitted to the Justinian Honorary Law Society, was a member of the Moot Court Board and the National Appellate Team.

She is a member of the American Health Lawyers Association, the New York State Bar Association, the Onondaga County Bar Association and serves on the Surrogate Decision-Making Committee, an alternative to court for obtaining informed consent for major medical treatment on behalf of mentally disabled persons. Richards is a resident of the Syracuse’s valley section.

Thurlow served with the New York State Office of the Attorney General as the assistant attorney general-in-charge of the Syracuse Regional Office from 1999 to 2007, directing the activities of the attorney general’s office in the Central New York, Eastern Finger Lakes and Western Adirondacks regions. In this position, he supervised a staff of 30 lawyers, legal professionals and investigators and gained considerable experience in management, budgeting, policy formulation and implementation, government relations and communications.

Thurlow also has served as special counsel for Program and Policy and as counsel to the Industrial Exhibit Authority for the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets, where, among many responsibilities, he served as a liaison between the Governor’s Office and the agency. He was a partner (1996-1998) and associate (1991-1996) at Martin, Martin & Woodard, LLP; and as an associate for Hancock & Estabrook, LLP, (1987-1991). He received his Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. in 1987 and a bachelor’s degree, cum laude, graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Union College in 1984.

Thurlow is a member of the Syracuse YMCA Housing Development Fund Corporation; Liberty Resources Inc., a non-profit, consumer driven organization that advocates and promotes independent living for persons with disabilities; and has held leadership positions for the Syracuse Planning Commission, Legal Services of Central New York, and the Syracuse-O.C. Planning Agency.

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