There are two seats open on the Suffolk County Family Court bench, with four candidates, including Andrea Harum Schiavoni, a sitting Southampton Town justice and North Haven resident, and Michael P. Sendlenski, a former East Hampton Town attorney.
Justice Schiavoni is running on the Democratic, Conservative, Working Families, and Independence Party lines with Victoria Gumbs Moore, a Wheatley Heights resident and court attorney referee in Suffolk County Family Court. Mr. Sendlenski is running on the Republican and Libertarian lines, with Richard Hoffmann, a Hauppauge lawyer who specializes in matrimonial and family law and served as a family court judge from 2007 to 2016.
Justice Schiavoni, who lives on North Haven, is licensed with the state bars in New York and Florida, where she began her legal career, as well as in the District of Columbia. She is of counsel to Campolo, Middleton, and McCormick, a private firm with an office in Bridgehampton, where she focuses on commercial, family, and matrimonial mediation.
She earned her law degree from Whittier College School of Law in Los Angeles. During law school, she worked as an intern with the gang unit in the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s office and the abuse-and-neglect division of the Los Angeles County Dependency Court, and clerked for then-Florida State Attorney Janet Reno. When her father died in 1997, she became the president of his law firm, where she was working, and renamed it Harum & Harum. She opened an office in Sag Harbor in 2001, where she practiced exclusively as a mediator.
In 2008, she was elected a Southampton Town Justice, and has been re-elected twice since. Two years later, in 2010, she was appointed to establish the Sag Harbor Village Justice Court and serve as its judge. She also helped to start an East End Veterans Court, and presides over Southampton’s drug court.
Mr. Sendlenski, a Southampton resident, opened a private practice in Water Mill after leaving his position with the Town of East Hampton in May. He was named an assistant town attorney in 2014, then became the lead town attorney in 2016. During his time with the town, he helped draft the low-nitrogen septic system and rental registry laws.
He announced his departure in April amid a dispute over the town’s legal settlement with Marc Rowan, the billionaire who owns Duryea’s restaurant and fish market on Fort Pond Bay, but denied that the controversy had anything to do with his decision to resign. In a statement. he said he was leaving because he “felt the urge to explore opportunities in a more entrepreneurial setting.”
He had previously worked for the Town of Southampton from 2006 to 2013. He graduated from the Suffolk University Law School in Massachusetts in 2003.