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Attorney Profiles

James M. McGahan
Criminal Law; Family Law

Personal Information:

Mr. McGahan graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and in 2012, graduated from New England Law School with a Juris Doctorate.  

He was admitted to the Bar in New York State and Massachusetts in June 2012.

Mr. McGahan joined the St. Lawrence County Public Defender's Office in June 2014.  Prior to that, he worked for the Greene County Public Defender's Office from September 2012 to June 2014.  

 

James T. Farrell
Family Law; Criminal Law

Personal Information:

Mr. Farrell graduated from St. Lawrence University, cum laude, with a Bachelor of Arts in History (with honors) and Government in 2007.  He then attended the University of Buffalo Law School, where he concentrated in International Law and graduated in 2010. 

While at Buffalo Law School, Mr. Farrell completed Human Rights and Rule of Law research in Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Kosovo.

He was admitted to the New York State Bar in December 2010.

Mr. Farrell joined the Public Defender's Office in November 2011.   

 

Steven G. Ballan
Criminal Law

Personal Information:

Mr. Ballan graduated from Cornell University in 1985 with a Bachelor's of Science and from Golden Gate University in San Francisco with a Juris Doctorate in 1993.

He was admitted to the New York and US Northern District of New York Bars in 1994.

Mr. Ballan joined the Public Defender's Office in May 2007 from a Private Practice in Potsdam.

"I do this work because in order for justice to be served, I believe that indigent defendants are entitled to have good attorneys."


Bethany R. Crowhurst
Family Law; Criminal Law

Personal Information:

Ms. Crowhurst graduated from the University of Sussex (UK) in 2010. She then attended the University of California, Hastings where she completed her LLM (Master of Laws) in 2013.

She was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2015.

Ms. Crowhurst joined the Public Defender's Office in May 2016. 

 

Laurie L. Paro
Family Law; Criminal Law

Personal Information:

Ms. Paro graduated from St. Lawrence University and went on to study at Western New England Law School. 

She was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1992.

Ms. Paro worked at a Private Practice focusing on Family and General Law until she was hired by the St. Lawrence County District Attorney’s office in 2000. 

Since then Ms. Paro has worked for St. Lawrence County at the District Attorney’s Office, Dept. of Social Services Attorney, and the Conflict Defender’s Office. She joined the Public Defender’s Office in September 2019.

 

David D. Willer
Criminal Law

Personal Information:

Mr. Willer graduated from John Marshall Law School in Chicago in 1986. Mr. Willer practiced there for three years.

He was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1990. He has experience practicing Criminal Law, Family Law, Plaintiff’s Personal Injury, and Appeals. 

Mr. Willer started at the Public Defender’s Office in December 2019.

 

Schyler M. Cothias
Criminal Law

Personal Information:

Ms. Cothias graduated from Golden Gate University, School of Law with a Juris Doctorate in 2019.

She was admitted to the New York State Bar in in April 2020.

Ms. Cothias joined the Public Defender’s Office in March 2020.

 

Daniel A. R. Santos
Criminal Law

Personal Information:

Mr. Santos graduated from California State University, Northridge with a BA in Political Science and Government in 2014. He then graduated from Golden Gate University, School of Law with a Juris Doctorate in 2019.

He was admitted to the New York State Bar in April 2020 and practices Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure.

Mr. Santos joined the Public Defender’s Office in March 2020.

 

Thomas C. Finnerty, Jr.
Criminal Law

Personal Information:

Mr. Finnerty graduated from St. Thomas University School of Law in Miami, FL in May of 1998. He started work as an Assistant DA in St. Lawrence County in August 1998.

He was admitted to the New York State Bar in January 1999.

Mr. Finnerty joined the Public Defender’s Office in September 2020.

 

Alison B. Appleby
Criminal Law

Personal Information:

Ms. Appleby graduated from Albany Law School.

She was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2007.

Ms. Appleby started at the Public Defender’s Office in June 2011. She has also worked at the St. Lawrence County Attorney’s Office as a Deputy County Attorney.

Ms. Appleby rejoined the Public Defender’s Office in May 2021.

 

***To find out the status of your case, your next scheduled court date, or to set up an office/telephone appointment, you can email the Attorney's Secretary.

If your Attorney is: James McGahan, Steven Ballan, David Willer, Schyler Cothias, Daniel Santos, Thomas Finnerty or Alison Appleby - Please email Kristen at krreed@stlawco.org or Whitney at wmiller@stlawco.org.

If your Attorney is: James Farrell, Bethany Crowhurst, or Laurie Paro - Please email Krista at kbalster@stlawco.org.

Please be advised that every effort is made to get back to you by email the same day, but depending on the day to day workload you may not get an email back until the next day. 

Thank you for your patience.