- Managing Partner
Charlie Russo is the senior partner of the firm of Russo, Karl, Widmaier & Cordano, PLLC. Charlie is a graduate of the University of Vermont, received a Master’s Degree from C.W. Post in 1974 and his Juris Doctorate from Hofstra Law School in 1978. Following law school, Charlie spent several years as an assistant district attorney prosecuting major felonies in Suffolk County and he continues to be active in the practice of criminal law.
Charlie has embraced a lifelong dedication to young people, especially those facing the crisis of addiction. For the past 38 years he has served as both Chairman of the Board of Directors and legal counsel to Hope House Ministries in Port Jefferson which provides family services, counseling and residential facilities for young men, the homeless, and families in need. His roots in this area of service stem from his days at Melville House, a residential home for young men where he lived for six years. He credits that experience, combined with his employment as a social worker at the Nassau County Children's Shelter, as being a significant influence in shaping his sensitivity and commitment to the homeless and youth in crisis.
For the past 34 years Charlie has been the founder, fundraiser, and "man in the red suit" for a project known as Christmas Magic, which seeks to enhance the holiday spirit for families in crisis and for children within those families who seek only to experience the magic of Christmas. During the Fall and early Winter each year, Charlie works incessantly, to raise the funds necessary to provide Christmas to thousands of underprivileged kids and their families living in various shelters and programs throughout Suffolk and Nassau Counties. He has touched the lives of so many children by etching in their memory, a positive and loving picture of Christmas despite the problems that plague them and their families during the holidays. Last year Christmas Magic reached over 12,000 deserving children.
Charlie is proud to serve as Board Chair for the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless and enjoys the synergy between the Coalition, Hope House, and Christmas Magic which has been created and has helped to enhance the lives of so many.
Through his charitable activities, Charlie has developed an area of legal expertise unique to Long Island. He has vast experience in New York State Not-For-Profit Corporate Law- guiding corporations through the legal and bureaucratic maze of complicated financing, which is necessary for providing millions of dollars in revenue to create housing for the disabled and homeless.
He is also a Founder and Board Member of the Empire National Bank in Islandia, New York.
As a result of his efforts, he has been recognized by numerous community service agencies and most recently was presented with the prestigious New York State Bar Association Root/Stimson Award.
Areas of Practice
- Business and Commercial 20%
- Business Organizations 10%
- Litigation and Appeals 10%
- Mergers and Acquisitions 10%
- Real Estate 10%
- Land Use and Zoning 10%
- Criminal Defense 10%
- Banking and Finance 10%
- Contracts 10%
- Hofstra University School of Law, Hempstead, New York
- J.D. - 1978
- C.W. Post
- M.S. - 1974
- University Of Vermont
- B.A. - 1972
- Adjunct Professor, Criminal Justice, Suffolk County Community College
- Adjunct Professor, Criminal Justice, C.W. Post
Honors and Awards
- Root Stimson Award, New York State Bar Association
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Suffolk County Bar Association, Member
- Empire National Bank, Founder
- Empire National Bank, Board Member
Past Employment Positions
- Suffolk County, Assistant District Attorney
- Village of Belle Terre, Village Justice
- New York State Not for Profit Corporate Law
Pro Bono Activities
- Chairman, Board, Hope House Ministries
- Chair, Long Island Coalition for the Homeless
- Founder, Christmas Magic
- Founder, Giving Tree Camp
- Founder, Every Child's Dream