Two well-known lawyers in Capital Region legal community die

ALBANY — The Capital Region’s legal community has lost two longtime prominent figures whose combined experience spanned more than a century.

James Long, 71, an Albany attorney for 44 years who specialized in criminal defense, election law and labor law and had a stint as Albany County’s public defender, died in Mount Pleasant, S.C. on March 7. Six days earlier, James M. Conboy, 94, who spent six decades at Carter Conboy, the former Albany law firm co-founded by his father in 1920 and which closed in 2020, passed away.

The loss of the attorneys, both known as “Jim,” were noted in obituaries that said both men were surrounded by family at the time of their deaths. Conboy was a great-grandfather, Long a grandfather.

Long, an Albany native and orphan by 17 left to raise his younger brother, graduated from the Vincentian Institute, University at Albany and eventually the University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law. He became an attorney in 1979.

“I’ve been an underdog my whole life,” Long said in 2016 as he launched a campaign for Albany City Court.

While unsuccessful in that bid, Long experienced no shortage of success in the courtroom, where he took more than 100 cases to verdict, and in the state Capitol, where he was commissioner of the New York State Bill Drafting Commission. Long also served as a law clerk for late state Supreme Court Justices Paul Cheeseman and Daniel Prior and Albany County Surrogate Raymond Marinelli.

Long’s obituary recalled his love for the law, New York politics and the community that it provided him. It described Long as a brilliant legal mind, eloquent writer and outstanding storyteller who helped countless people get back on track from “rock bottom.”

Long was an election attorney for Albany County District Attorney David

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