Division Chief, Administrative Law Division, New York City Law Department
Gabriel Taussig has developed a distinguished reputation in the public and private sector as a renowned litigator and mentor. He joined the Law Department in 1974 and now heads the Administrative Law Division, overseeing a wide array of cases that are as diverse as the city. From the defense of approvals for the biggest private development projects to the enforcement of building and fire safety laws to the regulation of restaurants, nightclubs, taxicabs, commercial waste haulers, and street activities, his cases range from easily resolved small matters to major cases that make headlines.
He remembers early on, "several experienced lawyers advised me to work for the City for a few years and then move on." He came to the realization, however, that other career options could not compare. He says, "What other job could give me the chance to tackle the legal challenges of dealing with a TB outbreak, a building that was built twelve stories too high, whether bloggers on the internet are to be considered journalists entitled to NYPD press passes, or how to make sure that catastrophes like the Happyland Fire don't happen again?"
In his many years of service to the City, Mr. Taussig has demonstrated qualities that make him special—decency, experience, intelligence, adaptability to change, devotion to the public interest, respect for the law and for the rights of the regulated community and an appreciation for the need to balance creative thinking and risk-taking with caution. "He's everyone's favorite lawyer," says one attorney with the City.
Mr. Taussig's counsel has played a significant part in shaping countless programs and policies that yield better outcomes for every citizen of this city.