Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor | Richard A. Ball, Commissioner
 Division of Counsel's Office
Counsel, (518) 457-1059

The Counsel’s Office provides high quality legal advice and representation to Department officers in the exercise of their powers and duties pursuant to the Agriculture and Markets Law and other applicable authority. Specifically, the Counsel’s Office:

  • Regulatory Agenda

  • Represents the Commissioner in litigation, including the prosecution of actions to enjoin the operation of food processing establishments under insanitary conditions; actions to recover civil penalties assessed for food adulteration and other types of violations of the Agriculture and Markets Law; the defense of Department actions and Commissioner determinations in judicial proceedings;

  • Advises Department officers on issues arising under the Agriculture and Markets Law, Soil and Water Conservation Districts Law, Cooperative Corporations Law, Public Officers Law, Executive Law and the State Administrative Procedure Act; responding to requests of regulated parties, other governmental entities and members of the public for interpretation of statutory provisions within the Department’s jurisdiction;

  • Assists in the development and coordination of the Department’s legislative program, including the drafting of proposals and support memoranda; and the tracking, research and analysis of bills which might impact on farmland protection, agricultural economic development, food processing, food safety and labeling, milk sanitation and producer security, animal and plant disease control, weights and measures and other Department program areas;

  • Represents the Department in administrative proceedings before the Commissioner and before other State or federal agencies; conducts of investigations into possible violations of the Agriculture and Markets Law; prepares adjudicatory determinations and orders, and represents the Department in disciplinary actions and arbitrations relating to human resource matters;

  • Assists program divisions in the development of regulations which are required or beneficial in implementing the Agriculture and Markets Law, and represents the Department in rulemaking proceedings commenced to receive public input in considering the adoption, amendment, or repeal of regulations;

  • Prepares, reviews, and negotiates memoranda of understanding and contracts to which the Department is a party; assists Department officers and program staff in the development of and evaluation of responses to requests for proposals issued under State assistance programs relative to agricultural research and development, farmland protection, and environmental goals;

  • Provides legal support services to the State Soil and Water Conservation Committee;

  • Responds to all requests for Department records in conformance with the Public Officers Law.

  • Laws and Regulations of Interest

  • New Maple Grading Regulations

  • Rule on Limits on Administrative Expenses and Executive Compensation

  • Executive Order 38