Colleen Rappa has been an attorney at Bruno Gerbino & Soriano since November 2019. She is not only highly skilled in defending insurance companies and employers in worker’s compensation, but Ms. Rappa has also been a staunch advocate for education since 2004 as the mother of five. She educated herself in special education when it was discovered that one of her children was developmentally delayed.
Her professional legal experience includes as a defense attorney with a law firm in Jericho, NY, where she was involved in various aspects of litigating and defending workers’ compensation claims, including legal research, drafting of memoranda of law; assisting carriers in formulating defense strategies, negotiating settlement of claims and representing insurance carriers at administrative hearings. Ms. Rappa can also handle all aspects of civil litigation, including the drafting of motions, preparing and responding to discovery demands and preparing for trial.
For over a decade, while raising her children along with her husband, Ms. Rappa served in various volunteer leadership roles in education, starting as president of the special education PTA. In this role, she concentrated on special education laws, regulations and policies; assisted parents with Individualized Education Programs and preparation for Committee on Special Education meetings; developed awareness programs; and participated in a consortium of autism organizations in Albany to advocate for insurance reform resulting in N.Y. Ins. Law §32210)(17), which prohibits insurance companies from excluding coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorder.
She also served as president of the Council of PTAs, a role that included creating the workshop, “An Overview of the Laws that Affect our School Budgets and Curriculum: Race to the Top and No Child Left Behind as well as several others. Her most recent roles were for Harborfields Central School District as committee member and advisor of the District Advisory Committee, which included attending NYS Senate Hearings on the “Regents Reform Agenda” and “Tax Policy Review and Reform Initiative;” Nassau Suffolk Bar Association Education Law Conference in 2013 and a Take Action Long Island event, “Public Education at the Crossroads.”
Concurrently, for four years, she educated herself on the NYS Education Diploma Requirements, including those involving the Regents. These skills were successfully applied daily with her son, who has learning disabilities, during his high school years, resulting in the successful completion of a New York State Regents Diploma and Career Development and Occupational Studies certificate.
Ms. Rappa graduated with a Juris Doctor degree from Hofstra University School of Law in 1994. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Government and Politics in 1991 from St. John’s University.
When she is not practicing law, Ms. Rappa practices Reiki and guided meditation. She is also a voracious reader of books especially related to history and politics, such as “The Second Amendment – A Biography,” “Team of Rivals” and “Red Notice.” Her favorite movie? The Wizard of Oz. Ms. Rappa also loves Broadway shows like Wicked, Mama Mia and Jersey Boys. Favorite TV shows? Walking Dead and Handmaids Tale.
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