ABOUT US

james

James G. Yastion, Esq., Attorney
James represents both individuals, businesses, and not-for-profits in a wide range of legal disputes and transactions. Before starting his own firm in 2011, James worked in a multi-attorney firm located in Goshen, New York, in the areas of trusts and estates litigation, commercial litigation and landlord/tenant matters.  Prior to that, from 2001 to 2008, James worked in a boutique trusts and estates firm in White Plains where he handled probate and surrogate’s court matters, guardianships, and real estate transactions.

Bar Admissions

  • State of New York, Admitted 2002
  • U.S. Federal District Court, Southern District of New York, Admitted 2009
  • U.S. Federal District Court, Northern District of New York, Admitted 2009

Education

  • St. John’s University School of Law, Jamaica, New York
  • J.D., June, 2001
  • Fordham University, New York, New York
  • B.A., May, 1998 (Greek & Latin)

Publications and Presentations

James has presented frequently and authored numerous publications in the areas of trusts and estates and elder law, including the following:

  • Presenter: Six Secrets to a Successful Estate Plan, New Paltz, NY, September 26, 2015
  • Co-Presenter: Estate Planning Seminar, Elting Memorial Library, New Paltz, NY, September 17, 2015
  • Faculty, SUNY New Paltz Lifetime Learning Institute, Overview – Estate Planning and Elder Law, 2014
  • NYSBA CLE course book contributing author: “The Scope of Pre-Objection Discovery in Contested Probate Matters – A Legal Issue in Flux,” Successfully Handling an Examination under SCPA 1404, Summer, 2008
  • “Westchester Surrogate’s Court Cases Help Bar With Scope of Discovery in Contested Probate Matters,” Westchester County Bar Association Newsletter, April, 2008
  • “Estate Litigation Tidbits,” Westchester Bar Journal, Vol. 32, No. 1, Spring/Summer 2005
  • “Surrogate’s Court Discovery, Recent Cases Illustrate Changes Under Provisions of SCPA,” New York State Bar Association Journal, Vol. 76, No. 9, Nov./Dec. 2004
  • “Estate Litigation Tidbits,” Westchester Bar Journal, Vol. 31, No. 1, Spring/Summer 2004
  • “Estate Litigation Tidbits,” Westchester Bar Journal, Vol. 31, No. 2, Fall/Winter 2004
  • NYSBA CLE course book contributing author: Estate Litigation, Fall, 2004
  • “Estate Litigation Tidbits,” Westchester Bar Journal, Vol. 30, No. 2, Fall/Winter 2003
  • “Estate Litigation Tidbits,” Westchester Bar Journal, Vol. 29, No. 2, Fall 2002
  • Assisted in Preparation of: “How to Avoid Will Contests for Your Elderly Clients, Westchester Bar Journal, Vol. 31, No. 1, Spring/Summer 2004; “Estate Litigation Tidbits,” Westchester Bar Journal, Vol. 29, No. 1, Spring 2002

Memberships and Pro Bono

James is a member of the New York State Bar Association and the Elder Law and Special Needs Planning Section of the New York State Bar Association.

James has rendered legal services pro bono for various organizations including the Wallkill Valley Land Trust and School of Practical Philosophy.

James is currently a Board Member and is Legal Counsel for the New Paltz Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Debbi Ratchford, Paralegal

Debbi joined the Law Offices of James Yastion, PLLC in 2013. Debbi focuses her work in the area of Real Estate, however with over 20 years experience in the field of law, she is knowledgeable in the areas of Estate Planning, Elder Law, Family Law and Landlord/Tenants matters.

In her spare time, Debbi is the Fund Representative for Dutchess and Ulster Counties for the Fresh Air Fund. She also enjoys spending time with her husband and family.

Education

  • Dutchess Community College – Associates in Paralegal Studies – Phi Theta Kappa
  • Marymount College – Bachelors in Business Administration
  • The Berkeley School – Associates in Secretarial Sciences