Attorney Bio


Michael D. Zarin


Mr. Zarin has extensive experience representing municipalities and private interests in the areas of environmental and general litigation, land use, urban renewal and public private redevelopment, multi-party environmental litigation, site remediation and all aspects of environmental due diligence, counseling and general administrative law. He is currently a member of the Executive Committee of the New York State Bar Association’s Environmental Section and Co-Chair of the Land Use Committee.

Mr. Zarin taught a course at the New York University Real Estate Institute entitled Dealing with Environmental Problems in Real Estate Transactions, and was a guest lecturer at the Pace University School of Law Environmental Master’s Program. He also assisted the Chief Administrative Judge for the Ninth Judicial District in the formation of a Special Environmental Part for the District. Mr. Zarin also serves on a number of Board of Directors, including, TCI, Inc., the largest PCB decommissioning and recycling company in North America.

Mr. Zarin received his Juris Doctor from Hofstra University School of Law in 1985, where he served as Articles Editor for the Hofstra Law Review. He also received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1976. Prior to forming Zarin & Steinmetz in 1997, he was a partner at Sive, Paget & Riesel, one of the most prominent environmental and land use law firms in the country, and manager of its White Plains office (1990-1997). He began his legal career as an associate at Weil, Gotshal & Manges in its Business Reorganization Department (1985-1987). Mr. Zarin also served as an urban development consultant and lobbyist for a Washington D.C. consulting firm, and consultant for the Wisconsin Governor’s Manpower Planning Office.

Speaking Experience (Partial List)

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  • Speaker, International Transportation Engineers 2012 Technical Conference (July 2012).
  • Speaker, Land Use Training Institute, Westchester Municipal Planning Federation (March 2012).
  • Speaker, Ethical Problems in Everyday Environmental and Municipal Practice, New York State Bar Association, Environmental and Municipal Law Sections (Fall 2011).
  • Speaker, Using Vesting Strategies to Protect Approvals, ALI-ABA Teleconference Seminar (June 14, 2011).
  • Panelist, SEQRA: Practical Issues and Strategies, Lorman Educational Services (February 2009).
  • Panelist, SEQRA and Public-Private Partnerships, Lorman Educational Services (February 2005-2012).
  • Panelist, Eminent Domain, Lorman Educational Services (June 30, 2006).
  • Panelist, The Many Faces of SEQRA (February 2006).
  • Panelist, SEQRA in New York (February 2005).
  • Speaker, Environmental Issues for Residential Real Estate Attorneys, Westchester County Bar Association (June 2004).
  • Panelist, The Use of Eminent Domain in Public-Private Development Partnerships, Lorman Educational Services (November 2003).
  • Speaker, Common Concerns in Commercial Real Estate, Pace Center For Continuing Legal Education (September 2002).
  • Panelist, SEQRA, Albany Law School Institute of Legal Studies, SEQRA 25th Anniversary Conference, Albany, New York (2001).
  • Speaker, Condemnation and Urban Renewal: The Public Purpose, Westchester County Bar Association, White Plains, New York (2000).
  • Speaker, New York Environmental Law Practical Skills, New York State Bar Association, New York, New York (1999).
  • Panelist, Debate: Taking and The New York City Watershed Regulations, New York City Bar Association Environmental Committee, New York, New York (1999).
  • Co-Chair, Seminar on New York City Watershed Regulations, Brewster, New York (1997).
  • Chair, Market Based Trading for Watersheds and Wetlands, Washington, D.C. (1996).
  • Panelist, Environmental Insurance, Pace Law School Continuing Education Seminar (1995).
  • Speaker, Seminar on Appraising Contaminated Properties, Long Island Appraisal Institute (1994).
  • Speaker, “Changing Environmental Trends in TSCA PCB Regulations,” Electric Power Research Institute Conference (1997 & 1993).
  • Speaker, “The Impact of the Amendment to the Mined Land Reclamation Law,” Association of Towns (1992).
  • Panelist, “Bankruptcy and Environmental Issues,” Practicing Law Institute (1991).
  • Guest Lecturer, Environmental LMS Program, Pace Law School (1989 – present).
  • Adjunct Professor, Environmental Problems and Real Estate Transactions, New York University Real Estate School (1989 – present).
  • Lecturer, “Indoor Air Pollution” (1989).

Publications (Partial List)

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  • “Ethical Problems in Everyday Environmental and Municipal Practice,” The Municipal Lawyer, Fall 2011.
  • “Vested Rights and Public-Private Redevelopment Projects,” New York Zoning Law and Practice Report, September/October 2009.
  • “The ‘Public Purpose’ Test Becomes Reality in New York:  What Does This Mean For Public-Private Economic Development Partnerships in New York?”, Spring 2009.
  • “Border Wars and SEQRA,” Environmental Law in New York, May 2006.
  • “Border Wars: A Case of Economic Disparity, Not A Flaw In SEQRA,” SEQRA 25th Anniversary Conference and Training Institute, March 2001.
  • “Public Purpose Doctrine In Public/Private Eminent Domain Transactions, Westchester County Bar Association Municipal Law Section, June 2000.
  • “Dealing With The A Word/A Primer on Asbestos Removal,” Construction News, Summer 1994.
  • “Who Pays to Clean Up the Property?/Managing the Risk with Insurance,” New York Law Journal, June 6, 1994.
  • “Land Use Conflict between City and Watershed Area Heats Up,” New York Law Journal, June 14, 1993.
  • “Reporting Ancient Spills,” Real Estate Reporter, 1992.
  • “Protecting Environmental Claims in Bankruptcy Proceedings,” Practicing Law Institute, Summer 1991.
  • “Environmental Action Program Model,” 12 Cardozo Law Review, April 1991.


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  • New York (1985)
  • United States District Court, Southern District of New York (1986)
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of New York (1986)