Steve Modica

This article was published in the Daily Record on June 30, 2020.


Steven V. Modica, principal attorney with the Modica Law Firm, is the recipient of the Monroe County Bar Association’s Adolph J. Rodenbeck Award for 2020.

The award “recognizes a legal professional who lives and works by the Hon. Adolph J. Rodenbeck’s exemplary example of professionalism and community service.” The award has been given each year since 1977 and honors someone who has made an outstanding contribution by working toward the improvement of the administration of justice; encouraging the preservation and public understanding of the history and tradition of the law, the courts and the legal profession; promoting the responsiveness of legal institutions and the legal profession to the needs of the community; and exemplifying Justice Rodenbeck’s commitment to community service and the profession.

Modica graduated from SUNY Albany and received his law degree from the Syracuse College of Law. He went on to also obtain a master of public administration from Syracuse University.

Before entering private practice in 1990, he worked as a judicial law clerk for the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Fourth Department and as an attorney for the United States Federal Trade Commission.

He founded the Modica Law Firm in 1995 and has worked in private practice for over 30 years. He handles labor and employment (including whistleblower), civil rights, disability benefit (including Social Security Disability and New York State Retirement System Disability Pension), workers’ compensation, and personal injury cases.

He also serves in an impartial capacity (arbitrator, mediator, hearing officer, referee, special master, and guardian ad litem) in many legal matters.

Modica served on the board of the Foundation of the Monroe County Bar from 2013-15. He also served on the MCBA board and is a former bar president.

His other professional and personal affiliations include the Injured Workers Bar Association; Seventh Judicial District Attorney Grievance Committee (2017-date; chairperson 2018-date); National Employment Lawyers Association; National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Upstate NY Chapter (board of directors 2006-13; president, 2009-11); National Organization of Social Security Claimant Representatives; New York State Bar Association (member of Labor & Employment Law and Dispute Resolution Sections); Volunteer Legal Service Project (board member, 2013-14).

Modica lives in Greece with his wife Lorrie and their dog. Their only daughter, Anne, joined the firm in 2020. Steve enjoys golfing and rooting for the New York Mets and New York Rangers. In 2015, he was the co-executive producer of a short film, “Dedicated to Justice: Hon. Michael A. Telesca.”

“My work is inspired by the people we serve and a simple daily goal — that is, do something to lighten the burden for each person we serve. We represent people who are injured, ill or who have employment problems,” Modica says. “As Charles Dickens once noted: ‘No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of it for anyone else.’ I am inspired by the opportunity to lighten the burden for each client we serve.”

Past winners of the Rodenbeck Award include the Hon. Richard D. Rosenbloom, Hon. Evelyn Frazee, and Hon. Michael A. Telesca.