Sylvan J. Schaffer

Of Counsel
New York Metro
New York City

P 212-545-4000 F 212-972-3213


Sylvan J. Schaffer


Sylvan J. Schaffer is of counsel to the New York City, New York, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He focuses on behavioral science in workplace issues.

In addition to being an attorney, Sylvan is also a licensed psychologist and applies his behavioral science training to litigation support, jury consultation, employment testing matters, workplace violence and wellness consultation with an emphasis on reducing workplace stress and hostile environments.

As part of Sylvan’s work in the area of litigation, he has provided Jackson Lewis with the unique ability to deal with the emotional damages and disability issues characteristic of employment litigation and in which malingering is common and easily accomplished. He also provides particular behavioral science insight into medical records, validity of claims, discovery, qualifications of experts and special skills for deposing psychiatric witnesses and cost containment for expert witness independent medical examination fees. In addition, his research background in jury persuasion and selection enables him to consult with Jackson Lewis attorneys and clients on jury litigation strategy.

As part of Sylvan’s work relating to workplace environments he has counseled clients on issues of workplace violence, crisis intervention, post- crisis strategies, risk management, hostile work environments, developing stress reduction management strategies and wellness programs. Sylvan has also consulted with clients on assessing emotional disability claims and accommodations and on effective methods to diffuse difficult termination situations.

Sylvan has also advised clients on the appropriate use of pre-employment and promotion screening and testing. He assists clients in evaluating the necessary statistical validity and reliability issues critical in avoiding and defending discrimination claims.

Sylvan serves on the faculties of Hofstra Medical School and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. For many years, he taught a course in Psychiatry and the Law at Hofstra Law School. He lectures regularly on the nexus of psychology and law and has published in professional journals and textbooks such as the Encyclopedia of Clinical Assessment, the Family Law Review, the Queens Bar Journal, the National Psychologist, the A.D.R. Practice Book and the Nassau Lawyer.

Professional Associations and Activities

  • Nassau County Bar Association
  • New York State Bar Association

Published Works

  • Legal and Ethical Issues in Use of Telephone in Psychotherapy. NJ: J. Aronson, 2000. [Author]
  • Helping Families Deal With Learning Disabilities. NY: 1993. [Author]
  • Challenging Your Adversary's Mental Health Expert. Bender, 1990. [Author]
  • Psychological & Practical Aspects of Mediator's Role. NY: Wiley ADR Practice Book Law Publications, 1990. [Author]
  • Encyclopedia of Clinical Assessment. Jossey - Bass, 1980. [Co-Author]
  • "The Mind of a Juror in a Negligence Case," Nassau Lawyer 52.4 (January 2002) [Co-Author]
  • "Dealing With the Potentially Dangerous Patient," NY.S. Psychological Association Notebook 6.4 (January 1994) [Author]
  • "Effective Use of Mental Health Experts in Custody & Abuse Cases," Family Law Review (January 1989) [Co-Author]
  • "Duty to Warn: An Uncertain Danger," Hastings Center Report (January 1985) [Author]
  • "Stress Management in Law Firms," Legal Times (January 1985) [Author]
  • "Stress Related to Learning Disabilities," Children & Stress (January 1981) [Co-Author]
  • "Employment of Mentally Retarded Ex-Patients," Journal of Hospital & Community Psychiatry 24 (January 1973) [Co-Author]