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Van Cott joins big Albany law firm

Paul Van Cott (Photo provided)

ALBANY — Attorney Paul Van Cott of Saranac Lake has joined Whiteman Osterman & Hanna LLP, the Capital Region’s largest law firm, from his former job at the state Adirondack Park Agency.

He also brings to his new role previous experience as an attorney for the state attorney general’s Environmental Protection Bureau and the state Department of Environmental Conservation. He also served as a regional director in Portland, Maine, for that state’s environmental agency. He has more than 30 years of environmental and land use law experience.

He also brings local government experience to his new role, having been elected twice to serve as a trustee for the village of Saranac Lake, where he focused on downtown revitalization and led the community’s local development corporation. During his time on the village board, he helped draft a new comprehensive plan, a new zoning and subdivision code, and many local laws and inter-municipal and other agreements, along with successful grant applications including a $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative award to the village.

“As a trustee Paul brought his superior legal skills to bear to help the village in much of its work,” Saranac Lake Mayor Clyde Rabideau said in a press release. “His knowledge and understanding of local government and perspective and skills as an attorney make him a formidable advocate and resource on local government issues.”

Van Cott received his Juris Doctor from Albany Law School. He is married with two adult children and lives in Saranac Lake.

“Over the course of his career in government service, Van Cott excelled as a negotiator, a strategic problem-solver and an advocate for efficient solutions to regulatory issues,” Whiteman Osterman & Hanna LLP wrote in a press release. “He appeared innumerable times before citizen boards and in administrative proceedings on permitting, enforcement, rulemaking and policy matters. Paul was also successful in bringing diverse interests together to resolve controversial issues. From his experience as a regional director and manager, he learned to effectively lead teams in the achievement of desired outcomes for the agencies he served.”

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