Jason Foscolo Founder and Managing Partner
Jason Foscolo has been a practicing attorney in the State of New York since 2002. He is the principal attorney at The Food Law Firm, Jason Foscolo PLLC, where he provides legal counsel to food businesses and commercial farmers. The Firm provides general counsel legal services on topics like food labeling compliance, product recall management, commercial contracts, liability, trademarks and more
Jason is a former Judge Advocate in the United States Marine Corps, where he served his country for 5 years and honed his legal expertise in criminal law, installation law, government ethics, and contract law. After separating with an honorable discharge after five years of active duty, Jason decided to pursue a career in Food and Agriculture Law. He combined his love of food with his professional expertise and led the way as one of the first in his field to specialize as a solo practitioner in Food Law.
Jason earned his Bachelors of Arts degree from Fordham University in 1999, his JD from Pace Universtiy School of Law, in 2002 and an LL.M. in Agricultural and Food Law at the University of Arkansas School of Law, in 2011.
Jason has authored several legal articles, provides expert opinion on food policy for media outlets, and appears regularly as a panelist and speaker at seminars for food businesses and the legal field.
Jason currently serves as a Major in the New York Air National Guard. He also provides veterans with pro-bono business and food law guidance and donates his time to the growth of food start-ups everywhere.
Though he runs a nation-wide law practice, he lives in the Hudson Valley of New York with his wife and three kiddos. He spends his free time traveling, foraging for mushrooms (chanterelles are his favorite), cooking, hiking, gardening, and eating things across his home range of the Hudson Valley.
Lara Belkin Associate Attorney
Lara started out as a public defender in the Bronx for eight years. In 2015, she moved to the Hudson Valley to take a “break” and cook professionally, but after a few months, realized that she didn’t want to go back to a two-hour subway commute. Lara cooked for two years, meeting an incredible community of local farmers and producers along the way. Eventually, though, she had to admit that she didn’t want to run her own restaurant.
Lara is back in school getting a Masters of Food and Agriculture Law and Policy at Vermont Law School, looking to switch gears and represent food producers across the Hudson Valley. The beauty of this area and the resourcefulness of the people who live here continue to inspire her. She met Jason through one of her cooking jobs, and he has become her food law mentor.
In her non-lawyer time, Lara might be snowboarding, kickboxing, cooking experimental CSA dinners or sampling local spirits.
Moshe D. Lapin Of Counsel
After earning his law degree from The George Washington University Law School in Washington D.C., Mr. Lapin began his legal career at an international law firm in Washington, DC. Since leaving big law a decade ago to service small and mid-size businesses, more than 800 business owners and entrepreneurs have benefited from Mr. Lapin’s expertise.
Moshe Lapin focuses his legal practice on assisting businesses and entrepreneurs in the areas of intellectual property, business law and litigation. He has handled well over a thousand trademark and copyright matters, and has successfully litigated and negotiated settlements with some of the largest North American brands – including Time Inc., The Coca-Cola Company, Ford Motors, Apple Inc. and Blackberry.
On the business law side, Mr. Lapin assists companies in many areas of corporate practice, including entity formation and related contracts, partnership/shareholders’ agreements, service agreements and employment contracts. He also assists companies through liquidity events – such as business sales and acquisitions, including by way of asset and stock purchases.
Mr. Lapin litigates cases at the federal trial level and also handles federal appeals at the United States Courts of Appeal. He maintains a large Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) practice, through which he litigates trademark cases at the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Mr. Lapin received his BA in Talmudic Law from Yeshiva College of the Nation’s Capital and his Juris Doctor from The George Washington University Law School. He is admitted to the State Bars of California, Maryland and the United States Virgin Islands. Mr. Lapin is a repeat guest speaker at The George Washington University Law School (Business Law Clinic), where he has lectured on business law.
Brett Silverman Of Counsel
Brett began his legal career in private practice in New York, specializing in business and corporate law, as well as, bankruptcy and creditors’ rights. Brett counseled and represented several bankruptcy trustees and receivers, operated, liquidated and reorganized several businesses, represented both secured and unsecured creditors, bankruptcy proceedings, recovered assets through collection and judgment enforcement proceedings.
After eight years in private practice, Mr. Silverman took a position as Vice President of Operations and General Counsel to a small cosmetics manufacturer and distributor, helping usher them out of a bankruptcy and into rehabilitation of its brand and market share. As Vice President of Operations, Brett was in charge of the company’s human resources, payroll, manufacturing and distribution efforts. As General Counsel, he routinely advised the company’s Chief Executive Officer on proactive business and legal strategies and defenses, and reviewed, negotiated and drafted contracts.
Brett graduated from The George Washington University with a Bachelors of Business Administration in Corporate Finance, Hofstra University’s School of Law with concentrated studies in Business Law, Tax and Bankruptcy, and University of Miami’s Business School with a Masters of Business Administration in Finance. Brett is admitted to practice in the states of New York, New Jersey and Florida. He is also admitted to the Federal District and Bankruptcy Courts of: Eastern, Southern and Western Districts of New York and Southern District of Florida District of New Jersey.
Stella Angelakos Of Counsel
Stella Angelakos, is a NYC based attorney licensed to practice law in both New York and New Jersey. Ms. Angelakos provides counsel in the areas of Employment Law, Real Estate and Business Law. Prior to starting her own practice, Ms. Angelakos spent over a decade working in Human Resources where she advised client groups on issues related to Employee Relations, Recruitment, Employee Handbooks, Performance Evaluations, Compensation, Work Visas, Employee Retention, State and Federal Labor Law Compliance, Workplace Investigations, Health Benefits and Work/Life initiatives. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Ms. Angelakos holds a BA in Psychology from The George Washington University, an MA in Developmental Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University and a JD Degree from the City University of New York School of Law.
Dr. Michele Pfannenstiel Food Safety Specialist
Dr. Michele Pfannenstiel is a licensed Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and a service connected US Army veteran with nearly a decade of experience in food safety and regulatory medicine. As President and CEO of Dirigo Food Safety, she brings expertise in hazard analysis, GAP planning, food safety training, third party auditing, and is a certified HACCP auditor through ASQ.