John H. Gross Presented The New York Bar Foundation President’s Award

The New York Bar Foundation recently presented John H. Gross with its President’s Award at its Annual Meeting and Assembly of the Fellows.

The President’s Award is presented to someone who has made an indelible impact on the law and served as a significant role model in New York and the broader legal community.  Foundation President, Carla M. Palumbo, President & CEO The Legal Aid Society of Rochester, said, “I had the pleasure of meeting John when we served on the Foundation’s Board together. John served as president from 2015 to 2018 and made it his goal to significantly increase funds available for our grant program. His support of the Foundation was instrumental then and continues to be to this day.  He has mentored many and is a passionate advocate for the Foundation.  He was helpful to me as I was about to become President of the Foundation, offering much welcome support and sage advice. I will always appreciate his confidence in me and his continued commitment to the Foundation.”

Gross has been a Fellow of the Foundation since 1985 and is a Life Fellow in the Thurgood Marshall Circle of Giving.

Gross, a graduate from the Cornell School of Industrial Labor Relations and the Cornell Law School,  is a partner of the Long Island Ingerman Smith law firm.  He has been actively involved in representing school districts, colleges, non-profit organizations, and municipalities in matters involving municipal law, education law, public sector labor law, employment law, and corporate matters as general and labor counsel for over fifty years. Gross frequently litigates before the Commissioner of Education, teacher tenure discharge tribunals, the State Division of Human Rights, labor, commercial and construction arbitration tribunals, state and federal court, and the New York State Public Employment Relations Board. He has negotiated scores of labor contracts during the past forty years.

“I’m very proud to be a lawyer. The privilege to practice law carries with it the obligation to fulfill our nation’s promise that every American obtains justice under the law,” he said. “Likewise, the Foundation aspires to that same goal, including for those without means to hire legal assistance. It is the promise of our nation to ensure a free society for all which is grounded in the rule of law.”

Gross has addressed numerous organizations and participated in several seminars and instructional programs concerning municipal law, public sector labor relations, labor negotiations, and education law. In addition, he has taught courses on education law, collective bargaining, and labor law. Gross has served as an adjunct professor at New York University and as a member of the Cornell University Industrial and Labor Relations Program faculty in New York City.

Gross has been a member of the New York State Bar Association House of Delegates, its statewide Nominating Committee, and has served as Suffolk County Bar Association’s delegate to the American Bar Association. He is a member of the Suffolk, Nassau, and Westchester County Bar Association, and the American Bar Association. He served as a member of the Executive Committee of the State Bar Association in his role as Vice President for the 10th Judicial District, as chair of the New York Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee, and chair of the State Bar Award Committee. Recently he served in leadership roles in both the Task Force on the Post-pandemic Future of the Legal Profession and the School to Prison Pipeline Task Force.

Gross served as the President of the New York Bar Foundation, President of the Suffolk County Bar Association, and as its delegate to the American Bar Association.

In 1999, New York State Chief Judge Judith Kaye appointed him a founding member of the New York State Judicial Institute on Professionalism in the Law. He continues as a board member of that organization and was recently appointed Chair of the Institute by Chief Judge Rowan Wilson.

Gross also served as an officer in the United States Army Military Police Corps.

One of his colleagues shared that, “John has been a tireless supporter of the Foundation, and he is responsible for significant increases to its membership. I have never met a person so proud to be a lawyer, nor anyone as capable of articulating how important lawyers are to the survival of the republic. On many occasions, I have shared a podium with John while the profession has come under attack. Each and every time, John responded forcefully but respectfully with an inspiring dignity that brought the lawyers and others in the crowd to their feet. John’s devotion to the profession is inspirational.”