Kristen Motel - Land Use Lawyer - New York Environmental Lawyer – Cannabis Business Attorney

Kristen M. Motel 914 761 1300

"There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” -Nelson Mandela

Awards + Recognitions
Professional Associations
Presentations + Publications
Community Service

Kristen is a partner in the firm’s Land Use, Zoning & Development, Energy & Environmental, Telecommunications groups. Additionally, she serves as Chair of the Cannabis Law group. Her practice includes federal, state and local environmental permitting and compliance, real estate development, and wireless telecommunications siting. She also serves as Chair of the firm’s Cannabis Law practice. Kristen regularly represents national developers, homeowners and small businesses before municipal and state land use and environmental agencies. Her background in environmental compliance allows her to integrate technical experience into her legal representation. Clients consult with Kristen on various aspects of development and seek her advice regarding New York’s State Environmental Quality Review Act, coastal redevelopment and numerous state and local land use laws.

Kristen’s practice also includes advising clients in the emerging field of cannabis law. An active member of the Westchester County Bar Association’s Cannabis Law Committee and the Hudson Valley Cannabis Industry Association, Kristen helps coordinate the progression of legal services needed to bring cannabis businesses from idea to reality.

Prior to joining Cuddy & Feder, Kristen clerked for the judges of the Connecticut Superior Court. While in law school, she interned at the Pace Environmental Litigation Clinic, the U.S. EPA Region 2’s Superfund Division, and with Hon. Judge Cathy Seibel of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Kristen has co-authored a paper on climate change adaptation that was presented at the 2014 Asia Pacific Center for Environmental Law Climate Change.

Kristen worked as an environmental consultant prior to becoming an attorney, serving as a compliance advisor for clients. The various projects she administered included wastewater, storm water, and air permitting, as well as hazardous materials operations and management.


  • Pace University School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude, Certificate in Environmental Law; 2015
  • University of Rhode Island, B.S., cum laude; 2008


  • New York
  • Connecticut

Awards + Recognitions

  • Recipient of the inaugural New Leader Trailblazer Award at WCA’s Annual Fall Leadership Event; 2023
  • Recipient of the Business Council of Westchester’s Rising Star: 40 Under 40 Award honoring young professionals in Westchester County demonstrating leadership, foresight and excellence in their profession; 2023
  • Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch; 2023, 2024
  • Westfair Communications Millennial & Gen Z Award; 2021
  • New York Metro – Top Women Super Lawyers; 2021
  • Super Lawyers® New York Metro Edition Rising Stars; 2018-2023
  • Westchester Women’s Bar Association Justice Sondra Miller Scholarship Recipient, 2015

Professional Associations

  • Executive Committee, New York State Bar Association, Local and State Government Law Section
  • Westchester County Association, Co-Chair of the Real Estate Sustainability Subcommittee
  • Westchester Women’s Bar Association, Past State Director, Past Vice President
  • New York Bar Association
  • Westchester County Bar Association
  • Hudson Valley Cannabis Industry Association

Presentations + Publications

“Resilient and Sustainable Energy Technologies and Systems”
22nd Annual Pace Land Use Law Center Sustainable Development Conference
December 8, 2023

“Sustainability & the Built Environment – Implications for the Real Estate Sector”
Westchester County Association Profit & Purpose Sustainable Business Conference
June 1, 2023

“Cannabis & Real Estate”
Westchester Women’s Bar Association
CLE Seminar
February 7, 2023

Encore: Local Regulation of Cannabis Now That the Regulations Are Out
NYSBA Annual Meeting, Local and State Government Law Section
January 24, 2023

Cannapreneurs: Business Opportunities in Cannabis
The New Grow Center
November 30, 2022

Cannabis in the Communities and Local Considerations
NYSBA Local and State Government Law Section Fall 2022 Meeting
October 15, 2022

Cannabis and Land Use and Zoning Regulation in New York
New York Zoning Law and Practice Report
March/April 2022

New York Adult Use Cannabis: What you Need to Know
January 27, 2022
CLE Seminar

New York Adult Use Marijuana: What You Need to Know
Westchester County Bar Association
May 24, 2021
CLE Seminar

Economic Forecast for Developing Communities in the Hudson Valley
Society for Professional Marketing Services
November 10, 2021

WATER: Conservation, Mitigation, Creation & Restoration
2019 Residential Design Expo
ASLA Connecticut
October 2019

Ancient Streets: Creation of the Implied Easement
Municipal Lawyer, September 2018

“Zoning and Land Use Principles for CT Vineyards & Wineries”
CT Vineyard and Winery Association’s Annual Meeting on Zoning and Land Use
February 2017

“Adaptation to Climate Change: ASEAN & Comparative Experiences”
World Scientific, September 2015

Community Service

  • Annual Volunteer for the NY Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) – Amphibian Migrations & Road Crossings Project
  • Westchester County Bar Association, Cannabis Law Committee
  • Westchester County Executive’s Climate Crisis Task Force, Land Use Initiative Co-Chair
  • Westchester Women’s Bar Association; Environmental & Land Use Committee, New Lawyers Committee, Membership Committee, and Networking Committee
  • University of Rhode Island, We’re Offering Women Wisdom, Founder & Board of Directors Member


  • Kristen enjoys hiking and helping out at her family’s vineyard.
  • She also loves flower gardening and is an avid runner.
New York Law Firm Cuddy Feder’s 2024 Litigation Practice Newsletter
Publications • Jan 17, 2024

2024 Litigation Newsletter

Client Successes • Jun 18, 2024

Landmark Victory: Defending Reputations Against Defamatory Billboards in Dutchess County

Cuddy & Feder, led by Special Counsel Michael Caruso, achieved a significant victory on May 31, 2024, when a jury returned a verdict in favor of our attorney clients after a weeklong trial, finding that the defendant had engaged in defamation.

News + Events • Jun 12, 2024

Article by Christopher B. Fisher and Brendan M. Goodhouse in Municipal Lawyer Explores Public Intervention in Telecommunications Act Cases

Cuddy & Feder partners, Christopher B. Fisher and Brendan M. Goodhouse, authored an insightful article for the New York State Bar Association and published in this month’s Municipal Lawyer magazine. Titled “Do Members of the Public Have a Right to Intervene in Telecommunications Act Cases Involving Municipal Defendants?”



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