Rest In Peace, Doug Ward and Bill Sarbello

This is a very sad week. Today there will be two memorial services, for two great guys.

Doug Ward is a former APA lawyer, Assistant Attorney General, who formed his own law firm upon leaving state service. I worked with Doug while at NYSDEC, and his firm later represented me on all my land purchases in the Adirondacks. Interestingly, Doug had been the APA attorney involved in the original plans to develop the Loon Lake area back in the 1970’s. He was an avid outdoorsman. We hiked, skied, and paddled together. We had a lot of common interests and he remains among the top 5 lawyers I have had the pleasure of working with over the years.

Bill Sarbello was a jailhouse lawyer. He worked in the Bureau of Environmental Protection of the Fish and Wildlife Division of NYSDEC. His passion was contagious. I loved working with him, even when he drove me crazy. Bill could not take no for an answer. He had no problem finding justification for his passion through researching the Environmental Conservation Law and regulations. He proclaimed that “Not one Fish shall die,” and set about to protect them. I once saw him argue over the intent of a particular section of the ECL, proclaiming what the drafter must have meant. At the time, he was unknowingly arguing with the lawyer who had drafted that particular section. Bill laughed, lost that battle, and then began the fight anew the next day. We need more Bill Sarbello. He remains the best jailhouse lawyer I have ever had the pleasure of encountering.

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