Howard M. Stein, managing partner, Certilman Balin Adler & Hyman.

Howard M. Stein, managing partner, Certilman Balin Adler & Hyman. Credit: Christopher Appoldt

Howard M. Stein has been named managing partner at Certilman Balin Adler & Hyman, LLP, one of Long Island's largest law firms, as Bernard "Bunny" Hyman steps down after 34 years.

Stein, chair of the East Meadow firm's real estate practice group, will assume the new role on Jan. 1.

As managing partner, Stein will run meetings of the six-attorney executive committee that oversees the firm's operations.

"It's rare that we don't have unanimity on the decisions," said Stein, who has been on the committee for about two decades.

Certilman Balin's staff of more than 80 attorneys makes it Long Island's second largest full-service law firm behind only Uniondale-based Rifkin Radler LLP, a spokeswoman said.

Hyman's lengthy tenure in the role is "remarkably unusual," Stein said, reflecting partners' reluctance to seek change while the law firm enjoyed a "good run."

"He has a way of building consensus," Stein said. "That was part of his magic and one of the reasons why there was so much cohesiveness at the top. I was part of that culture. That's an important lesson I've learned. I hope to continue that tradition."

Certilman Balin's practice areas include real estate, tax certiorari and banking and finance. Stein said that cybersecurity and intellectual property are two areas under consideration as areas of possible expansion.

Hyman, who will continue to serve on the executive committee and advise clients on real estate valuation, said that the transition will be seamless.

Bernard Hyman, former managing partner.

Bernard Hyman, former managing partner. Credit: Christopher Appoldt

“Managing our firm was one of the greatest joys in my life," he said in a statement. "I know that Howie will continue to grow our firm, engage our people and provide the best services for our clients." 

In addition to East Meadow, Certilman Balin has offices in Hauppauge and Saddle Brook, New Jersey.

Stein, who advises developers and other real estate clients, earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Rochester and a law degree from Case Western Reserve University. He joined Certilman Balin in 1979 out of law school and remained at the firm for his entire career.

"It's pretty amazing in this world," he said. "One thing about our firm is we have an incredible retention level."

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