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John K. Gifford


John K. Gifford

Location: Poughkeepsie, New York
Phone: 845-452-5900
Fax: 845-452-5848
Email: Email Me

John Gifford’s experience in the planning and administration of estates and trusts extends over forty years. Having been the attorney for the Town of Washington and all of its boards for over twenty-five years, he is equally experienced in all areas of municipal law, from attending and advising the Town Board at its monthly meetings to giving legal advice to the Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Appeals. In addition, he has extensive experience in drafting local laws, environmental issues, and planning and zoning problems.

Having been involved in virtually every aspect of commercial and residential lending, Mr. Gifford has served as general counsel in the field of banking law for the past twenty-eight years. He has also served as general counsel to the Town of Carmel Industrial Development Agency.

A graduate of St. Lawrence University in 1967, Mr. Gifford earned his degree in law from New York Law School in 1970, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review. First associated with the prominent New York law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom from 1970 to 1973, he has been with Van DeWater and Van DeWater LLP since 1973.

Mr. Gifford lectures regularly on corporate law and estate planning for various organizations, including the New York State Bar Association.

He is admitted to practice in all the courts of the State of New York, the federal courts, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Areas of Practice

  • Estates and Trusts
  • Municipal Law
  • Corporate and Banking Law

Bar Admissions

  • New York, 1971
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court Western District of New York
  • U.S. Supreme Court


  • New York Law School, New York, New York
      LL.B. – 1970
  • St Lawrence University, Canton, New York
      A.B. – 1967

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • American Bar Association, Member
  • New York State Bar Association, Member
  • Dutchess County Bar Association, Former President, 1989 – 1990
  • Dutchess County Bar Association, Member
  • Town of Washington, Town Attorney

Past Employment Positions

  • Prominent New York Law Firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, Associate, 1970 – 1973
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