Meet The Team
Attorney Joseph C. Maya
Mr. Maya grew up in Brooklyn, New York. He attended New York University. While at NYU, he worked as a paralegal for Brown, Wood, Ivey, Mitchell & Petty (now Sidley Austin Brown Wood). He also interned for the Legal Aid Society of New York and Legal Services of New York City. Upon graduating from NYU, Mr. Maya worked full-time as a paralegal prior to attending law school at the University of Michigan. Upon graduating from Michigan Law School, Mr. Maya began his legal career at Rogers & Wells (now Clifford Chance) as an Associate Attorney. In order to pursue his passion for employment law, Mr. Maya joined the NYC Human Rights Commission, Law Enforcement Bureau, where he prosecuted claims alleging employment discrimination against employers. After five years at the Commission, Mr. Maya started his own firm practicing exclusively in the area of employment law. Over the years, many clients asked Mr. Maya to represent them in other matters involving various practice areas.
Eventually, Mr. Maya expanded the firm, adding lawyers with expertise in other practice areas. Today, Mr. Maya represents both individuals and corporations in employment contracts, severance negotiations, non-competition agreements, and in complex commercial contract disputes. Several decades ago, Mr. Maya began practicing in the area of education law. Today, he represents children and families in educational matters related to Special Education (IEP/504) and accommodations, discipline, expulsion, and suspension.
Mr. Maya is licensed to practice law in New York and Connecticut. He is also admitted to the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York and the District of Connecticut. Mr. Maya also has extensive experience in arbitrations and dispute mediations.
Mr. Maya lives in Westport, CT, with his wife (and law partner, Susan). He enjoys playing racquetball. He has finished the NYC Marathon three times and dozens of half marathons.
Mr. Maya can be reached in the New York office at (212) 682-5700 ext. 110. He can be reached in the Connecticut office at (203) 221-3100 ext. 110. His email address is JMaya@Mayalaw.com. He is available to consult evenings and weekends.
Managing partner and attorney Joseph Maya handles cases in the areas of employment and labor law, complex commercial litigation, and civil litigation. Mr. Maya received his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School, and his B.A., Cum Laude, from New York University.
He began his legal career at Clifford Chance in New York City, where he practiced in the state and federal courts of New York. For the better part of a decade, his legal and advocacy skills were honed and tested handling cases that ranged from workplace discrimination, harassment, and severance issues to negotiating the employment contracts for thousands of employees when major banks merged. Attorney Maya's success in these areas of the law has been documented by major news outlets such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post, and The Daily News.
Soon after his work with Clifford Chance, Attorney Maya joined the New York City Human Rights Commission where he supervised hundreds of investigations involving charges of employment discrimination and sexual harassment. As a result of his hard work, Attorney Maya was invited to participate in drafting amendments to the New York City Human Rights Laws, as well as to appear as an expert on sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace for a CBS special with Dan Rather.
This year, Attorney Maya has been recognized in the 24th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America for his high caliber of work in the practice area of employment law. He ranks among the top five percent of private practice attorneys nationwide, based on a rigorous peer-review survey comprising more than 7.4 million confidential evaluations by top attorneys.
Attorney Maya is admitted to practice law in the States of Connecticut and New York, as well as the Federal Districts of Connecticut and New York.
Attorney Susan M. Maya
Susan M. Maya graduated Magna Cum Laude from Quinnipiac University School of Law, where she attended as a Dean’s Scholar. While at Quinnipiac, she received seven outstanding academic achievement awards. Attorney Maya was an academic invitee on the Quinnipiac Law Review, where she held the position of Associate Editor. Attorney Maya graduated Magna Cum Laude from the State University of New York at Binghamton. Attorney Maya practices in the areas of trusts and estates, special education law, and executive compensation law.
She is admitted to practice in New York and Connecticut. She lives with her family in Westport, CT.
Attorney H. Daniel Murphy
Dan is a Partner and Chairman of the Litigation Practice Group. He is a graduate of both Fordham University (Fordham College at Rose Hill, Bronx, NY) and Fordham University School of Law, where he was a member of the Fordham Urban Law Journal and recipient of the Archibald R. Murray Public Service Award.
Before joining the firm, Attorney Murphy worked for the better part of a decade at a boutique litigation firm in downtown Manhattan, handling matters ranging from felony criminal defense to matrimonial law, complex civil litigation, personal injury, and immigration law, in courtrooms in all five boroughs of New York City — and many beyond.
Dan handles all levels of high-conflict litigation, including family law (dissolution of marriage, child custody, support proceedings, child protection matters, and mediation), employment law, complex civil litigation, and criminal defense in numerous state and federal district courts across the Tri-State area.
Dan has been repeatedly recognized by Super Lawyers Magazine, is a multi-year recipient of the “Client Champion” (Platinum) Award from Martindale-Hubbell, and holds a “Preeminent” Peer Rating for the Highest Level of Professional Excellence from that organization, having received accolades from clients, peers, and judges alike.
Attorney Murphy is admitted to practice law in the States of Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey, as well as the Federal Districts of Connecticut, New Jersey, and the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. He is President of the Greenwich, Connecticut, Chapter of BNI (Business Network International). For many years, Attorney Murphy has served as a mentor and academic coach for Bridgeport high school students as part of Horizons at Greens Farms Academy. He is President of the Fairfield County Chapter of Fordham University Alumni.
Attorney William B. Westcott
Attorney Westcott is a partner in the firm. He is a graduate of Northwestern University and the University of Connecticut School of Law, where he was a member of the International Law Journal and placed first in his class in the Alva P. Loiselle appellate advocacy competition. He was a member of UConn’s clinical programs, devoted to trial and appellate practice. In private practice since 1996, he has won acquittals in criminal trials of media interest and brought successful appeals resulting in the reversal of wrongful convictions and new trials ordered for his clients. He also dedicates a portion of his practice to personal injury cases, obtaining recoveries for clients suffering loss from the negligence of others. He is admitted in Connecticut state and federal courts.
Attorney Westcott’s representative experience includes the following:
- Briefed and argued more than 70 cases in Connecticut Supreme and Appellate Courts.
- Represented Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers Association with filings as Amicus in cases with issues of public interest.
- Admitted as an expert witness in the area of appellate practice in Connecticut legal proceedings.
- Obtained not guilty verdicts in high-profile criminal cases.
- Represented the largest federal internet case in the District of Connecticut.
- Represented victims of crime pursuant to Victims’ Rights provisions of the Connecticut Constitution.
- New trials ordered on appeal upon findings of error, including violation of state and federal constitutional rights, inappropriate use of evidence, and illegal jury instructions.
- Civil negligence litigation involving identity theft and allegations of mishandling of consumers’ personal information by state and national lending institutions.
- Counsel to members of the Connecticut Education Association, including issues implicating the impact of criminal proceedings on employment status.
- Administrative law practice with the Law Offices of Michael Corsello in DUI cases before the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, resulting in the restoration of suspended driving privileges.
Attorney Lauren Jacobson
Lauren Jacobson is admitted to practice in the Connecticut and New York state courts, as well as the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut and Southern District of New York. Lauren's primary areas of practice are litigation in complex employment matters, education law issues, commercial cases, trust and estate matters, and criminal defense. She works directly with clients and is personally involved in all aspects of representation from client intake through trial.
Lauren graduated from Quinnipiac University School of Law, Summa Cum Laude. While in law school, she served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Probate Law Journal. In law school, Lauren earned the Academic Excellence Award, ABA Award for Excellence in Land Use and State and Government Law, Service to the Law School, Excellence in Clinical Work, and Academic Achievement Award in Trial Practice. Lauren interned with the Child Protection Department of the Connecticut Attorney General’s Office, and the Quinnipiac University School of Law’s Civil Justice Clinic where she presented testimony to the Connecticut General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee.
Lauren graduated from American University in Washington, D.C., where she majored in political science, with a concentration in gender, race, and politics, and obtained a minor in public administration. While in college, she interned at The Equal Rights Center, a civil rights organization which seeks to eliminate unfair discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations.
Prior to joining Maya Murphy, Lauren was a civil litigation associate with a regional litigation firm, representing businesses and individuals in a variety of matters, including negligence, product liability, and professional liability matters in Connecticut and New York courts.
Super Lawyers Magazine has named Lauren to the Connecticut Rising Stars list as one of the top up-and-coming attorneys in Connecticut from 2018 through 2023. Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state receive this honor. The selection for this respected list is made by the research team at Super Lawyers (a Thomson Reuters business) which is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections are made using a rigorous multi-phased process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates, and peer reviews by practice area. The Rising Stars lists are published nationwide in Super Lawyers magazines, in leading city and regional magazines across the country.
Lauren is a member of the Fairfield County Bar Association, co-chair of the Women in the Law Committee, and is a member of the Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. She lives in Stamford, Connecticut with her family and is a member of the Stamford Democratic City Committee and Chair of the Fundraising and Events Committee and is a member of Stamford’s Zoning Board of Appeals.
Attorney Ruth Israely
A battle-tested attorney who has prevailed against top litigation firms, Ruth Israely is a seasoned attorney practicing in several areas of the law. Ruth is adept in every phase of litigation, including demands, negotiations, arbitration, mediation, and fierce advocacy in the courtroom during jury trials when relationships collapse. Ruth is also an experienced appellate brief writer, making her skilled at overseeing a case at every level.
Ruth’s experience in a range of forums, from administrative law matters to business disputes, equips her for battle in a wide variety of engagements. From traditional motion practice to e-discovery disputes, Ruth stays on the cutting edge of litigation and can make sense of it all for clients in easily digestible terms.
Ruth is a graduate of Brandeis University and obtained her law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, where she was a member of the nation’s top moot court team, and where she and a teammate were awarded Best Brief at the Whittier Juvenile Law Moot Court Competition.
Ruth is admitted to practice before the bars of California and Connecticut, as well as in federal court, and is a member of the Connecticut Bar Association. Before becoming an attorney, Ruth was a high school teacher. In addition to being a mother of two children, Ruth volunteers on the Town of Weston’s Board of Ethics, promoting a culture of transparency and candor in local government.
Tyler Balding is an attorney with Maya Murphy and is admitted to practice in both New York and Connecticut State Courts. He is a graduate of George Mason’s Antonin Scalia Law School. Tyler’s litigation experience has covered diverse matters in civil, criminal, family, juvenile, and administrative courts. He has a client-first approach and the determination to see an issue through all stages of negotiation, litigation, and resolution.
Tyler assists a broad spectrum of clients from individuals and small businesses to large insurers and Fortune 500 companies. His experience has covered litigation on both the plaintiff and defendant sides throughout New York and Connecticut.
During law school, Tyler was an editor for Documentary Credit World and was a secretary for the official commentary of the Uniform Customs & Practice for Documentary Credits (UCP600) issued by the International Chamber of Commerce. Tyler worked with the Institute of International Banking Law and Practice which provided expert witness work in criminal commercial fraud litigation, typically for the SEC, as well as legal advice and education on commercial transactions and papers.
During his undergraduate time at Western Connecticut State University, he formed an internationally competitive CEDA and Parliamentary debate team. Following Law School, he had the pleasure of working as an adjunct professor of politics and economics and as the debate coach for WCSU.
As a work of passion, Tyler has assisted humanitarian projects in places as far-flung as Haiti and Africa. He has counseled numerous non-profit organizations supporting the construction and operation of schools, orphanages, and hospitals. Notably, he was present and providing counsel and relief efforts in Sudan as the country was splitting to form the world’s youngest nation, South Sudan.
Attorney Susan Wakefield
Susan Wakefield, a native New Yorker, attended Bernard M. Baruch College (CUNY) and Yeshiva University’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. Cardozo, a renowned law school, ranks fifth by U.S. News and World Report for its dispute resolution program for top law schools. While at Cardozo, Susan’s area of concentration was alternative dispute resolution where she learned to handle clients’ conflicts through negotiation, mediation, and problem-saving. Susan was a law clerk for a New York matrimonial firm and became interested in family law. Susan received her Juris Doctor in 1988 and joined a firm where she gained hands-on litigation and courtroom experience. After four years, Susan relocated to Connecticut and joined a family law practice. In 1998, Susan launched her solo family law practice. Susan then attended intensive divorce mediation training, and later collaborative law, incorporating both services in her practice.
In 2008, Susan saw a dramatic shift in the area of divorce law. Statistics showed fifty percent of divorcing individuals could not afford to hire an attorney to represent them in court. The following year Susan launched Connecticut Legal Coaching, a service offering legal advice to those navigating the daunting process of divorce on their own. Susan appeared in many local newspapers and on radio shows discussing this niche she created with legal coaching, Susan is a strong advocate for access to affordable legal services and an ally to the LGBTQ community. For over twenty years, Susan has represented many of her clients pro bono. Susan is an active lawyer volunteer with Connecticut Legal Services, Statewide Legal Services of Connecticut, Mercy Learning Center and the Center for Family Justice in Bridgeport, and the Center for Education and Empowerment in Danbury. Susan volunteers in the CBA’s free legal clinics advising clients in the areas of family and divorce law.
Susan is licensed to practice in Connecticut and retired from practice in New York. Susan is a member of the Connecticut Bar Association and the Academy of Professional Family Mediators. Today Susan’s practice is exclusively divorce mediation, marital mediation, and mediation of post-divorce family matters.
Susan can be reached at (203) 221-3100. Susan’s direct email is SWakefield@Mayalaw.com.
Harold R. Burke
Harold R. Burke joins Maya & Murphy with extensive civil litigation experience over his thirty-year legal career. His legal work has encompassed appellate litigation and novel matrimonial, business, and commercial matters involving federal and state claims. He is admitted to the state court of Connecticut and New York, as well as the United States District Courts for Connecticut, the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.
Harold is a graduate of Pace University School of Law and earlier earned an MBA degree from the University of Connecticut. Prior to practicing law, he managed a Connecticut-based export trading company acquiring extensive experience in international business transactions and U.S. export regulations.
He has a broad base of litigation experience covering a wide variety of issues and claims. These matters include employment discrimination and whistleblower protections; False Claims Act advocacy involving the Medicare and Medicaid programs; interspousal wiretapping and electronic privacy violations; custodial interference; protection of free speech on college campuses; and the preservation of due process rights for family court litigants.
He served as lead appellate counsel in the case of S.L. v. J.R., a seminal New York Court of Appeals decision guaranteeing parents the right to a full evidentiary hearing in child custody and visitation-related matters. As trial and appellate counsel in the case of United States ex rel. Mikes v. Straus, a False Claims Act proceeding, advocated for recognition that material non-compliance with federal contract participation requirements constitutes fraud, a position later adopted by the United States Supreme Court. In Zaratzian v. Abadir, a case of first impression involving inter-spousal eavesdropping, he successfully argued that the non-consensual auto-forwarding of messages from a former spouse’s e-mail account constituted an “interception of electronic communications,” thereby violating the federal Wiretap Act.
He has served as a guest lecturer on employment and discrimination-related issues at the University of Connecticut, including the use of statistics to prove discrimination. In addition to speaking on the application of the False Claims Act to employment matters, his testimony before the Connecticut state legislature aided in the adoption of Connecticut’s False Claims Act, a measure intended to combat fraud and abuse in government-funded programs.
He holds Scouting’s highest award, Eagle, and has served on the boards of several charitable organizations.