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James F. Barna

Special Counsel
P 315-422-1152    |    F 315-422-1139    |    Send Email
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Syracuse lawyer Jim Barna performs legal work on behalf of clients in matters involving labor law, employment law and discrimination law. Mr. Barna attended Syracuse University and Stony Brook University (B.A. 1992), and received his Juris Doctorate from Washington University in St. Louis in 1996.


Mr. Barna is a member of Costello, Cooney & Fearon, PLLC’s labor and employment law practice group. He has a broad range of experience advising clients in both the private and public sectors. In addition to his employment litigation experience, he advises clients in improper and unfair labor practice hearings and representation proceedings before the NLRB and PERB. He counsels clients on wage and hour law and benefits law issues. He advises clients on how to avoid expensive and lengthy employment litigation by drafting human resource policies and procedures, including documentation of employee performance problems.


Mr. Barna is admitted to the Bars of New York, Maine, Tennessee, and Mississippi. Mr. Barna has handled employment law matters in 22 states, and the District of Columbia. He is a member of the Bar of the United States Supreme Court. He frequently litigates in the state and federal courts of New York, as well as state and federal administrative agencies.  In New York he frequently handles matters in Syracuse, Utica, Albany, Binghamton, Rochester and Buffalo.


In 2002, Mr. Barna was Associate Counsel and Coauthor of the victorious Merits Brief to the United States Supreme Court in Ragsdale v. Wolverine World Wide, Inc., 535 U.S. 81 (2002), the first Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) case heard by the Supreme Court.


Mr. Barna frequently represents corporate clients with insured employment claims (EPLI representation). He also represents executives, physicians, medical residents and professionals in their employment law claims.


Mr. Barna had two scholarly articles published while he was in law school.  One article dealt with an employment law topic: Keeping the Boss at Bay – Post-Termination Retaliation Under Title VII: Charlton v. Paramus Board of Education, 25 F.3d 194 (3d Cir. 1994), 47 WASH. U. J. URB. & CONTEMP. L. 259 (1995). He was Articles Editor of the law review.

Practice Areas


Washington University in St. Louis, Juris Doctorate 1996

Stony Brook University, B.A. 1992

Syracuse University



New York




Federal Courts

United States Supreme Court

Speaking / Publications / Awards


Adjunct Professor at University of Maine – Business Law  

Speaker on a variety of labor law and employment law issues - employment law, discrimination law, employee handbooks, privacy in the workplace, wrongful termination, FMLA, ADA, employment termination, OSHA, wage law.  

Articles Editor, Washington University Journal of Urban & Contemporary Law  

Government Contractors Beware, Recent Changes to Federal Affirmative Action Requirements, Tennessee Bar Journal, Sept. 2001  

New Rules Burden Government Contractors, Memphis Business Journal, June 8, 2001  

Reforming the Fourth Amendment Katz Reasonable Expectation of Privacy Test: the Case of Infrared Surveillance of Homes, 49 Wash. U.J. Urb. & Contemp. L. 247 (1995)  

Keeping the Boss at Bay – Post-Termination Retaliation Under Title VII: Charlton v. Paramus Board of Education, 25 F.3d 194 (3d Cir. 1994), 47 Wash. U. J. Urb. & Contemp. L. 259 (1995).


Onondaga County Bar Association, Syracuse, New York 

New York State Bar Association

American Bar Association