Donald O. Chesworth
Practice Areas
  • Business Law
  • Real Estate Law & Litigation
  • Municipal Liability
Practice Locations
  • Rochester, NY

Donald O. Chesworth, a Partner in the Rochester office of Tully Rinckey PLLC, focuses his practice on governmental compliance, business law, municipal liability, commercial law, employment law and management issues.

Donald was admitted to the bar in Connecticut in 1966 and in New York in 1972. He is no longer active in the Connecticut bar. He is admitted to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Donald graduated from Graceland College, magnum cum laude in 1963 and from Yale Law School with a Juris Doctor’s degree in 1966. He is a member of the Monroe County Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association.

Donald served in the FBI after graduation from law school in 1966 and began his private practice with the law firm of Goldstein, Goldman, Kessler and Underberg, now known as Underberg & Kessler in 1972. In 1976, Donald became the Second Assistant District Attorney of Monroe County. In 1977 he was promoted to First Assistant District Attorney and was appointed District Attorney in 1981 by Governor Hugh Carey. He ran for office as District Attorney in 1981 and was elected to a full term. In 1983 Governor Mario Cuomo appointed Donald Superintendent of the New York State Police.

In January of 1987, Donald returned to private practice and became the Managing Partner of Goldstein, Goldman, Kessler & Underberg. In 1990 Donald joined the law firm of Harris, Evans, Fox & Chesworth. That same year he was appointed Chairman of the Temporary State Commission of Investigation (State Crime Commission) which he chaired until 1996. In 1993 he founded the firm of Harris & Chesworth with Wayne Harris, which was the predecessor firm to Harris, Chesworth, Johnstone & Welch, LLP.

While actively involved in law practice, Donald has been involved in many charitable civic organizations including The Humane Society of Rochester and Monroe County, The Rochester Community Boating Foundation, Rochester Area Crimestoppers, , The New York State Trooper Foundation and Lifespan. Donald is a member of the Board of Directors of the Upstate National Bank where he has served since 1996 and he has served as a Commissioner of the Monroe County New York Civil Service Commission since 2011.

Donald has maintained his relationship with Law Enforcement and is counsel to the Monroe County Chiefs of Police Association  and he was the Legal Advisor to the State and Provincial Division of the International Association of Chiefs of Police from 1989 until 2022.

Court & Bar Admissions

  • New York
  • U.S. District Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals
  • U.S. Supreme Court


  • JD: Yale Law School
  • BA: Graceland College, magna cum laude


  • Recipient of the New York State District Attorneys Association Frank S. Hogan Award, 1985, in recognition of a significant contribution to the Criminal Justice System.
  • Recipient of the Outstanding Citizen Award, 1998, presented by the Monroe County Law Enforcement Council in recognition of many years of service to law enforcement in Monroe County.
  • Recipient of the 2020 Rochester Business Journal’s ICON Success and Leadership Award

  • Recipient of the Rochester Business Journal and The Western New York Daily Record’s Legal Excellence Lifetime Achievement Award for 2022.

  • Recognized as one of the Power 20 Lawyers for Labor and Employment Law by the New York Daily Record in April of 2022.

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