Joseph G. Shields

Joseph G. Shields



Joe is the Managing Partner at Ferrara Fiorenza PC with more than 30 years of experience representing school districts and private sector clients in matters including:

Representation of school districts encompasses human resources, negotiations with unions, grievance and arbitration proceedings, disciplinary proceedings and counseling to boards of education and administrators on planning and policy matters. He also assists districts in developing and implementing preventative practices, facilities construction, leasing, purchase contracts, vending agreements and school financing matters.

Providing school districts with practical solutions to daily inquiries from school administrators and Boards Members.

Assisting school districts with business and procurement issues and negotiating collective bargaining agreements.

Guiding districts through to successful completion of capital construction projects from pre-referendum to closeout.

Protecting school district revenue by defending tax certiorari proceedings, Payment in Lieu of Tax Agreements (PILOT) negotiations. Joe successfully represented twenty-two school districts in Monroe County in their challenge of that county’s sales tax intercept option, which resulted in the school districts retaining $29.5 million dollars from the sales tax sharing agreement. Joe appeared before the New York State of Appeals to successfully represent the West Genesee Central School District with respect to properly classifying earthen waste beds as a specialty property for taxation purposes. This allowed for the successful defense of the pending tax certiorari proceedings and the collection of real property taxes from the property’s owner.

Lecturing on a broad range of education law issues for New York State Association of School Business Officials, New York State School Boards Association, Monroe County School Boards Association and New York State Association of School Superintendents.


New York State Supreme Court

United States District Court for the Northern District of New York

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York


New York State Bar Association

Onondaga County Bar Association

Past President of the New York State Association of School Attorneys and is a current member


State University of New York College at Cortland

Ohio Northern University College of Law