Cioffi • Slezak • Wildgrube P.C., is a Capital District (New York) law firm serving individual clients, their families and businesses.  The firm concentrates its work in the areas of Estate Planning and Administration, Elder Law, Commercial and Residential Real Estate and Business and Corporate Law.  The firm is consciously structured to provide generational continuity to clients, in the belief that forward-thinking estate and business plans are best executed when all generations of a family know the attorneys of the firm.



2015 News and Events

October 31, 2017 CSW raised funds for the Schenectady YWCA (a/k/a YWCA of Northeastern New York) to benefit the Domestic Violence Shelter. Our donations will be contributed through the Allstate Purple Purse Challenge. Allstate has weekly challenges going on during the month of October where the insurance company will match donations to the organization that raises the most money. The Purple Purse aspect relates to a purse designed by Serena Williams and the donations qualify for chances in the purse drawing. Those who donated wore purple and jeans!

October 27, 2017 CSW raised funds for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Those who donated wore pink and jeans!

June 4, 2017 CSW proudly supported Wildwoodstock 2017 to benefit Wildwood Schools.

May 18, 2017 CSW participated in the CDPHP Workforce Challenge in Albany. This is the second year the team has participated (who won this year???).

February 3, 2017 CSW participated in the “Go Red for Women”. For making a donation to the American Heart Association, staff could wear jeans to the office (and of course, RED!).

February 2, 2017 CSW celebrated moving to a new location, 1473 Erie Boulevard, First Floor, Schenectady, NY 12305, with the Schenectady Chamber of Commerce. The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony was attended by our colleagues, clients, family and friends. Thank you for the warm welcome Schenectady!

October 20, 2016 CSW staff wore purple and donated money to The Legal Project to support the "Shine the Light on Domestic Violence" campaign. Every year, the Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence provides free tools and resources to help them “Shine the Light on Domestic Violence” by turning something purple in October and talking about it. For more information, go to

July 1, 2016 Happy Retirement to Pat Roslund, our office manager! We wish you the best in your future endeavors. We will miss you!

May 10, 2016 Deb received the Women of Distinction Award from George Amadore's District! The Women of Distinction celebration is sponsored by the New York State Senate and showcases outstanding women living and working in New York whose contributions have greatly enriched the quality of life in their communities. Deb was recognized for her qualities of leadership, compassion, and diligence. Congratulations to Deb on her outstanding accomplishments and well-deserving recognition.

April 29, 2016 Cris and Lauren attended the 2016 Wildwood Spring Gala with their spouses (John and Patrick) to support the Wildwood Programs. Proceeds from the gala help provide support to nearly 3,400 people with developmental disabilities, complex learning disabilities and autism spectrum disorders.

March 31, 2016 The CSW Team wins the YWCA of Northeastern NY Susan Rosenthal Women in Business Award!

February 5, 2016 CSW participated in the “Go Red for Women” day at the office. For making a donation to the American Heart Association, staff could wear jeans to the office (and of course, RED!).

December 7, 2015 Cassandra was nominated and joined the working committee for the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame’s inaugural event, “The Triple Crown Luncheon:” in Recognition of Women in Racing.

November 23, 2015 CSW is participating in the 9th Annual Festival of Trees, hosted by the Schenectady County Historical Society and YWCA Northeastern NY. This year, our theme is “CSW 20th Anniversary” featuring emerald and platinum ornaments and decorations. Our tree will be on display at Schenectady County Historical Society Headquarters, 32 & 44 Washington Avenue from November 27th to December 13th. A raffle will be held for the donated trees. Proceeds from the raffle benefit SCHS and the YWCA. A special thank you goes out to Susan Bodak and Christina Vincent of CSW who were instrumental in coordinating the design and production of the tree.

November 10, 2015 Congratulations to Marge and Lynn! Marge has been with the firm for 10 years and Lynn is celebrating 5 years with the firm.

October 23, 2015 Crystal is a volunteer with Reading is Fun, and is currently working with two students at Central Park Magnet School. The program coordinates volunteers to help Schenectady City School District Pre-K through 3rd grade students with reading and conversational skills. There are more students in need and interested volunteers can find more information at to get involved.

October 20, 2015 Michelle presented on Elder Law and Estate Planning for the New York State Department of Health on October 20th. This seminar is coordinated by The Legal Project and part of their Legally Speaking outreach.

October 6, 2015 Michelle presented on Wills, Health Care Proxies/Living Wills, and MOLST at the Albany Guardian Society in Albany, NY. The Albany Guardian Society is hosted the event for older adults and their families, caregivers, and aging services providers.

October 1, 2015 Nicole helped to plan Women’s Night Out, Ellis’ annual event held in support of the Bellevue Woman’s Center. The new and exciting changes this year include a drastic venue change from the Albany Marriott to Proctors Theater here in Schenectady. The space at Proctors allows for more shopping, more mingling, and more fun! TV personality and chef, Sandra Lee, was the key note speaker. This past May, Sandra underwent a double mastectomy after being diagnosed with breast cancer. Women’s Night Out was her first speaking event after her diagnosis and surgery.

September 30, 2015 Cassandra became a mentor for first year law students at Vermont Law School. This new mentoring program is being implemented this fall to connect students and alumni to encourage productive conversations about academic and professional goals.

September 19, 2015 The CSW Team participated in the Fireplug 500 Walk for Animals, a day of fundraising fun to benefit animals at the Animal Protective Foundation. The event featured a walk (with pets!), local celebrities, adoptable pets, vendor booths, live music, and more!

September 9, 2015 The Schenectady County Bar Association’s Real Property Committee met on September 9th at 8:30 a.m. in the CSW Annex. They are looking forward to another great year of real estate and the committee will coordinate the 34th Annual Real Estate Practice Seminar as well as debate and discuss real estate issues. The committee is a great way for real estate practitioners to stay current on real estate issues. Michelle Wildgrube co-chairs the committee with Attorney Ann Casey. Coincidentally, Michelle’s mom and Ann’s dad are vice president and president of the Coburg Village Residents’ Association—apparently the Wildgrubes and Caseys work well together!

August 27, 2015 Cassandra helped coordinate and participated in a fashion show to benefit for Ronald McDonald House at the Saratoga Race Track.

August 24, 2015 Lynn spoke at Continuing Legal Education seminar entitled “Trusts 101” on August 24, 2015 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Albany, NY.

August 18, 2015 News 10 article warns about a scam targeting the elderly in Glenville

August 10, 2015 Nicole was accepted into the 2016 class for Leadership Tech Valley. This prestigious program is an initiative of the Capital Region Chamber and is intended to develop and inspire leaders to serve and strengthen the Capital region Community.

July 17, 2015 Michelle presented the 2015 Real Estate Update with Attorney Peter Coffey at the New York State Bar Association’s Real Property Law Section’s Summer Meeting in Vergennes, Vermont. This is the 7th year that Michelle has presented the Real Estate Update with Peter.

July 16, 2015 Deb and Lauren attended the Elder Law and Special Needs Planning Section’s Executive Committee Meeting and then the Section’s Summer Meeting in Newport, Rhode Island. While learning cutting edge elder law techniques, Deb and Lauren also got to attend a lobster cook-out, go sailing, and tour the famous Newport Mansions. Deb also brought two of her three children (Sam and Kate) to the summer event, which was a blast!

July 8, 2015 Michelle spoke with Aging Services Providers of Schenectady at Eddy Senior Care on the topic of Health Care Proxies, Powers of Attorney, Wills and Elder Law.

June 13, 2015 Congratulations to Cassandra on getting engaged!

June 7, 2015 CSW was thrilled to support Wildwoodstock 2015, a benefit for Wildwood Programs, held on June 7, 2015 at the Parting Glass Pub in Saratoga. This is the second year CSW has sponsored this event.

May 30, 2015 CSW sponsored a program called “Connecting Our Generations…Getting the Most of Our Lives,” which was put on by the Long Term Care Councils of Fulton and Montgomery Counties. The program was held on May 30, 2015 at the Fulton Montgomery Community College.

May 21, 2015 Michelle spoke at The Albany Guardian Society on the subject of Wills, Health Care Proxies and Medical Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (MOLST) on May 21st.

May 12, 2015 On May 12th, Michelle co-presented the “Umpteenth Annual Real Estate Update” with Peter Coffey at the Schenectady County Bar Association’s Real Estate Seminar, which was held at the Glen Sanders Mansion in Scotia, NY. The two hour presentation reviewed recent New York State decisions involving real estate transactions. This is the seventh year that Michelle and Peter have given this presentation together. Please visit for more information about the Seminar.

April 18, 2015 Cris attended the ALS 50th Anniversary Rugby Celebration with Kate Madigan. Kate founded the women's team in 1976, and Cris and Kate both played.

April 18, 2015 The 2015 Capital Region Homebuyer Fair was held on Saturday, April 18, 2015 from 10AM to 2PM at the Albany Public Library, 161 Washington Ave, Albany, NY. The Fair offered information about buying a home, including seminars on how to build your credit score and on-site pre-qualification for mortgage financing. For details, visit or call 518-434-1730.

April 17, 2015 Deb, Cassandra, and Crystal attended the Wildwood Foundation's Spring Gala at the Hall of Springs in Saratoga Springs to benefit the Wildwood Programs.

April 17, 2015 Lauren and her husband, Pat, attended the Ellis Foundation and Visiting Nurses Service Foundation Care Choices Celebration event. Cris’s daughter, Sara, also attended and brought her friend and co-worker, Beth. The event celebrated two visionary physicians who have established palliative care in our region: Dr. George Giokas and Dr. Carolyn Jones-Assini. All funds raised from the event went to support the Care Choices program, specifically, training physicians and nurses, along with building awareness about palliative care choices.

April 14, 2015 We hosted a Baby Shower for Cyndy today, where we showered her with diapers and baby wipes! Congratulations Cyndy, we are so happy for you!

March 30, 2015 Cris participated in the Albany Business Review's BIZWOMEN MENTORING MONDAY EVENT, which was hosted at the Hilton Garden Inn in Troy, NY. The event offered attendees the opportunity to choose from mentors who are the most influential women in the community for quick one-on-one coaching sessions.

March 26, 2015 Several attorneys from the firm attended the annual YWCA Women in Achievement Awards Dinner at the Glen Sanders Mansion. The Women in Achievement Award is presented to at least five outstanding women who have demonstrated achievement in their careers or in the community, having made a difference in the elimination of discrimination on the basis of race, gender or creed.

March 12, 2015 Deb, Cassandra, and Laurie presented on various Elder Law topics at the 19th Annual Trusts, Estates and Elder Law Seminar on March 12, 2015. Laurie spoke about Asset Protection from Creditors and Predators; Cassandra presented on the proposed legislation related to Digital Assets and estate planning in the digital world; and Deb, who is also the Trusts, Estates and Elder Law Committee Chair, provided an update on Medicaid law and relevant new cases related to Medicaid planning.

March 4, 2015 The NYS Attorney General released a report today entitled “Pennies for Charity” revealing that the majority of funds solicited by for-profit charity telemarketers go into the pockets of fundraisers, not to charitable causes (more than $156 million in 2013; approximately 52% of the funds collected). The AG offered key tips for those who donate via phone solicitations in the report, including resisting pressure to give on the spot and asking the telemarketer what programs are conducted by the charity and how much your donation will be used for those programs. For more tips, the report can be accessed at:

March 4, 2015 Facebook recently announced that it will now allow account holders to name a “Legacy Contact” who will be permitted to manage the Facebook page after the user’s death. This Facebook “executor” will have limited privileges to the deceased user’s account, including making one final post, updating the user’s profile, or archiving photos. The private message feature will not be accessible. You can also choose to have your account deleted upon your death instead of having a Legacy Contact. If a Legacy Contact is not named or you do not elect for your account to be deleted upon death, Facebook will freeze the user’s account as it has routinely done up to this point.

To choose a Legacy Contact or elect to have your account deleted upon death, log on to Facebook and go to the Security Settings. You will then have the option of choosing a Legacy Contact, with the option of providing them with Data Archive Permission (allowing the Legacy Contact to download a copy of what you have shared on Facebook, not including private messages). At this point, it appears that only an existing Facebook user may be named as a Legacy Contact. Once a Legacy Contact is selected, Facebook will then give you the option of sending an automated message to your chosen Legacy Contact alerting that person of your selection (this is optional).

February 23, 2015 Lynn, as a member of the Capital District Women’s Bar Association Board and Co-Chair of the CLE Committee, organized the upcoming FREE Continuing Legal Education seminar entitled “Diversity - How to Acknowledge Our Bias, Address Our Differences and Avoid Discrimination in the Workplace to Enable Us to Become Better Attorneys” scheduled to take place on February 23, 2015 at Albany Law School from 2:00 p.m. to 4:55 p.m. The program will touch on how our unknown bias and inadvertent discrimination impacts our ability to zealously represent our clients and how to overcome such obstacles. Presenters include: Lillian Moy, Esq., Laurie Shanks, Esq. and Joseph C. Berger, Esq.

February 20, 2015 Brrrrr! It’s cold out there. Preparation is important, as severe winter weather can be very dangerous due to power outages, increased traffic accidents and hypothermia. For some tips on how to prepare before, during and after winter storms, you can visit:

February 6, 2015 “Women are strong. Women are smart. Women solve problems. Women can do anything men can do. And, there are some things we’re even better at – dying of heart disease and stroke. Like breaking barriers? Go Red! And help break the one against heart disease.” From the Go Red for Women website:

The CSW team proudly wore red for National Wear Red Day® to show their support for the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women movement that brings awareness and education to women in an effort to prevent a majority of cardiac events. This movement has helped nearly 90% of women make at least one healthy behavior change, one-third lose weight, and perhaps most telling is that nearly 300 fewer women die from heart disease and stroke each day. Despite this success, 1 in 3 women die of heart disease and stroke each year, yet it is 80% preventable. We have come far, but more work needs to be done. Let’s all Go Red!

February 2, 2015 The New York State Attorney General's Office released a notice warning consumers that a scammer is threatening consumers across the State with false claims of lawsuit and arrest. The scammer poses as a representative of the Attorney General’s Office and instructs the consumers to call 347-779-0198, a number that is associated with other phone scams nationwide. The Attorney General urges consumers to remain vigilant against unsolicited phone calls and reminds consumers that they should never provide sensitive personal information to individuals they do not know. The notice states: “Government agencies will never solicit personal information over the phone and consumers should report suspicious phone calls in order to hold these scammers accountable.” Individuals should contact the Federal Trade Commission to report such solicitations at (877) FTC-HELP or To report any type of telemarketing fraud, consumers can contact the Attorney General’s Office at (800) 771-7755.

Remember that creditors must also send written notice about the debt within 5 days of contacting a debtor, and creditors cannot call a debtor before 8am or after 9pm. For more helpful tips about how creditors are legally able to contact a consumer, check out the pamphlet on “Debts You Owe and Debts You Don’t”

January 29, 2015 Cris Cioffi serves as the President of the New York Bar Foundation Board, which was recently selected by VCG Governance Matters as one of the five finalists for the Brooke W. Mahoney Award for Outstanding Board Leadership. This award is given to a non-profit organization of any size from the tri-state communities of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. The Foundation makes grants to worthy law-related projects across New York State.

January 29, 2015 Michelle participated in a Continuing Legal Education seminar on Law Practice Management Issues for the New York State Bar Association’s Annual Meeting on January 29, 2015.

January 26, 2015 Michelle was appointed to the Membership Committee for the New York Bar Association. Michelle currently serves as the co-chair for the Section Membership Committee of the Section Delegates Caucus for the New York Bar Association’s House of Delegates.

January 26, 2015 Cris, Michelle, Lauren, and Nicole attended Executive Committee Meetings for the Trusts and Estates, Real Property, and Young Lawyers sections at the New York State Bar Association’s Annual Meeting during the week of January 26th.