Philip Damashek joined the NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service this summer 2020 as an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Urban Planning.
Philip Damashek served as General Counsel of the New York City Department of Transportation from February 2002 to June 2020. As the chief counsel for the Department, he was instrumental in designing and implementing the legal architecture for many of the Department’s major initiatives, such as the Coordinated Street Furniture Program, the Citibike Bike-Share Program, the Agency’s Public Plaza Program, and Vision Zero. He was integrally involved in scores of major contracts, regulatory and administrative issues, and complex litigation directly related to the Department’s core responsibilities which include: design and maintenance of the traffic patterns of the City together with the installation and maintenance of the City’s traffic lights, street lights and parking meters; the maintenance and renovation of over 700 bridges; the maintenance and repair of over 12,000 miles of roadway and 6000 miles of sidewalks; and the operation of the Staten Island Ferry.
Prior to his tenure at NYCDOT, he was the General Counsel of the Department of Citywide Administrative Services which performs the major purchasing and management of commercial real estate services for the City. Prior to his City service, he was in private practice for six years and in the 1970s held several positions with Community Action for Legal services, a federally funded civil legal services program for low income New Yorkers. He has served as chair of the Committee on Government Counsel of the New York County Lawyers Association. He also teaches in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Manhattan College and has taught metropolitan studies and urban legal courses at the undergraduate level at NYU and in the CUNY system.
He received his BA in History from NYU and his Juris Doctor from Columbia University School of Law.
This course will provide an understanding of core legal concepts and selected legal issues in advancing urban transportation and infrastructure projects. Reviewing cutting edge projects in NYC and in other cities, the course will seek to give students a better understanding of legal liability risks and litigation vulnerabilities attendant to innovative projects. While primarily focused on NYC, the course will also look at global and national trends and associated legal issues.The course is designed to help planners, engineers and lawyers learn how they can work together as a team to get to a legal contextual “yes” on their projects.