Nathaniel V. Riley

Nathaniel V. Riley



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Practice Areas
  • Federal Employment Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Appellate Law
Practice Locations
  • Syracuse, NY

Nate is as an Associate in Tully Rinckey’s Federal Employment Law Practice Group.  He will also continue to focus his practice on appeals. As a strong believer in public service, he spent the past three years representing indigent parties on appeal before New York’s Appellate Division, Fourth Department. His advocacy resulted in several reversals of convictions and sentence modifications. He also litigated post-conviction motions seeking to overturn felony convictions with new evidence and argued local appeals of misdemeanor convictions before the Supreme Court in Onondaga County. While his work as a Senior Attorney within Hiscock Legal Aid Society’s Appeals Group focused primarily on criminal matters, he also successfully represented clients appealing family court matters.

Nate’s expansive experience in appeals also extends to civil matters in federal court where he successfully represented disabled clients seeking social security disability benefits. As an Associate at Olinsky Law Group, he appealed hundreds of his client’s disability claims to federal district courts around the country. His advocacy resulted in judges overturning erroneous Social Security Administration decisions and either granting new hearings or outright awarding his clients their much-needed disability benefits. He also represented clients before the Agency by cross-examining medical and vocational experts.

Prior to relocating his family to the Syracuse area, he clerked for the Honorable Judge Randye Kogan in the Circuit Court of Cook County. He helped manage her honor’s formidable caseload deciding dispositive motions in a wide array of litigation from professional malpractice and personal injury to civil rights and whistleblower lawsuits. He further served the people of Chicago by working to uproot political patronage as a Staff Attorney to the Shakman Compliance Administrators. His work involved investigating and adjudicating claims of employment discrimination from government employees alleging discrimination on the basis of political ideology.

Nate has stepped in when clients were at their worst: disabled, destitute, accused or convicted of crimes, and in desperate need of help. He deftly explains the issues to his clients, investigates and researches their cases to uncover the evidence and arguments to change the narrative, and consistently displays the assiduous work ethic needed to achieve favorable results for them.

In his spare time in the fall, Nate officiates college and his school football games throughout New York. He is actively involved in his community as the Town Chair of the Cicero Democratic Committee. He lives with his wife, Ellyn, an associate professor at Syracuse University, and their daughter, Keira.

Nate is admitted to the bar in the states of New York, Illinois, and Michigan. He is also admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and numerous federal district courts around the country.

Representative Matters

  • Cappetta v Comm’r of Soc. Sec., 904 F3d 158 (2d Cir. 2018): reversed $201,167.20 civil monetary penalty and assessment the Social Security Administration assessed against a client wrongfully accused of social security fraud.
  • People v Valerio, 176 AD3d 1625 (4th Dept 2019): appeal of post-conviction motion resulting in Appellate Division vacating the client’s conviction for drug offenses and resulting in client’s immediate release from prison.
  • People v Flagg, 167 AD3d 165 (4th Dept 2018): reducing the client’s felony conviction to a misdemeanor.
  • People v Lundy, 162 AD3d 1535 (4th Dept 2018): reducing the client’s sentence for felony convictions by more than half.
  • People v Kerce, 177 AD3d 1384 (4th Dept 2019): reversing and dismissing felony charges against the client.
  • Matter of Kowalewski v Rushing, 185 AD3d 1449 (4th Dept 2020): reversing finding that the client committed a family offense and dismissing the petition against the client.

Court and Bar Admissions

  • New York
  • Illinois
  • Michigan
  • Second Circuit Court of Appeals


  • JD: UIC John Marshall Law School (Chicago, IL)
  • BA: University of New Mexico (Albuquerque, NM)

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