IN A THREE-WAY PRIMARY RACE FOR TWO JUDICIAL POSITIONS, SHARI OSTER AND HER RUNNING MATE ADAM GROSSMAN ARE THE CLEAR CHOICES.
Why are we even talking about a Town Judge contest so far ahead of the November elections?  Because there’s a Democratic primary election on June 22.  There wouldn’t be a primary but for the trickery of Republican Barbara Wilson, the GOP-endorsed candidate for Town Judge, who wants to grab the Democratic nomination, too.
Shari Oster and Adam Grossman were unanimously chosen by the Southampton Town Democratic Committee to be our candidates.  Then Barbara Wilson, posing as a Democrat, circulated her own petitions to be the Dem candidate, and managed to get enough signatures under the lower COVID-relaxed standards to force a primary.
So that’s where we are.  But let me tell you about Shari.  One doesn’t usually get excited about a candidate for Town Judge, but Shari Oster is a newcomer to elective politics and she brings an exceptional package of background and skills to the contest.
At the Honors College of the University of Michigan, Shari started early in public service, as a member at large and eventually Vice-President of the Student Government.
Afterward, while studying at St. John’s Law School, she testified before Congress as a member of a community group called “Dump the Dump” questioning waste disposal practices in her home town of Islip.  Shari’s testimony resulted in an EPA investigation and ultimately in the establishment of Islip’s recycling program.  This is an awesome and near-unprecedented accomplishment for someone not yet out of law school.
As an attorney in private practice, Shari Oster represented clients in Suffolk County Criminal Court, Family Court, Traffic Court and New York State Supreme Court.  She handled real estate matters, motor vehicle cases, custody disputes, and all types of family law cases, plus general and matrimonial mediation.  She regularly served as Court-assigned counsel to indigent clients and was appointed to the Small Claims Court bench and the Smithtown Anti-Bias Task Force.
In 1990, Shari became an Associate Attorney with the Mental Hygiene Legal Service of the NY State Supreme Court, Appellate Division.  She represented clients confined to psychiatric facilities who sought to decline treatment or be discharged against institutional advice, and clients found not guilty by reason of insanity in criminal cases.    
Shari’s work during this period also involved representation and evaluation in Guardianship cases, i.e., where the appointment of a Guardian is sought for the person and property of one who is alleged to be incapacitated.  Her recommendations as a Court Evaluator in these matters were always followed by the judges who assigned her and were appealed only once – that appeal failed.  As an expert, Shari lectured on Guardianship procedure at the Suffolk County Bar Association.
These cases involve lawyers, doctors, social workers and family members, often in sharp dispute. Navigating them successfully demands expertise, insight, tact, and excellent communication skills.  With 27 years of litigation experience, Shari Oster possesses all of these qualities in abundance.  She will bring a new dimension of knowledge and experience to Southampton Justice Court.
In the June 22 Democratic primary, I’m voting for Shari Oster and Adam Grossman.

 

George Lynch
Treasurer
Southampton Town Democratic Committee

 

 


About Shari Oster
Shari Oster has almost 30 years of experience practicing law in Suffolk County. After being admitted to the Second Department of the State of New York in 1985, she practiced privately,  representing clients in Family Court and District Court and ruling on cases in Small Claims Court. Ms. Oster was then employed as an attorney for the Mental Hygiene Legal Service of the Appellate Division of the State of New York , where she worked for 22 years. As an Associate Attorney in that agency, she represented some of the most vulnerable and marginalized people in New York, providing legal representation in the Supreme, County and Surrogate’s courts in both Nassau and Suffolk County. Ultimately she became a lead counsel in Guardianship cases for the Agency, serving as Counsel or Court Evaluator in hundreds of cases in the Guardianship parts of the Supreme Court.
She has been a resident of Suffolk County for more than 50 years and has raised two daughters there, She has deep family roots in the Southampton community and has lived in Southampton for the last 20 years.