BAEC Bulletin - January/February 2023

Volume 62, No. 4

Bar Association of Erie County Bulletin JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2023 | Volume 62 | No. 4

Say Yes Buffalo Student Spotlight: Alize Allen Building a Stronger and More Diverse Community Read on page 8

BAEC Commemorates Black History Month Read on page 14

ALIZE ALLEN University at Buffalo School of Law JD Candidate, Class of 2023

Michele Brown Retirement Announcemen t Read on page 30

2 | January/February 2023 | BAEC Bulletin

Bar Association of Erie County Bulletin Table of Contents Features

4 8 9

Letter from the President Highlighted Article: Say Yes Buffalo Student Spotlight President’s Party in the Palm Dome From the Erie Institute of Law 2023 Lawyers for the Arts Event Programs Commemorating Black History Month From the Erie County Bar Foundation In the Public Service: Center For Elder Law & Justice Jill K. Bond Naturalization Remarks WNYTLA Winter CLE and Party BAEC Strategic Planning Thank Your Arbitrators List BAEC President Jill K. Bond 2023 NCBP President’s Page Award Michele Brown Retirement Announcement Lawyers & Friends Ski Day

10 13 14 16 17 18 19 22 23 24 30 34

In Every Issue 3 7 11

BAEC Sponsors Member Assistance Program Upcoming CLE Programs Bench and Bar in The News BAEC New Members Contributions to the Foundation In Memoriam Western District Case Notes BAEC Life Members and Contributing Members Classifieds

12 15 26 29 31 34 3 6 3 8 3 8

Bulletin Advertisement Index Bulletin Submission Deadline

Bar Association of Erie County President Vice President Treasurer Jill K. Bond Timothy J. Graber Gayle T. Murphy Sarah M. Washington Anne M. Noble

Deputy Treasurer Executive Director Editor of the Bulletin

Chase A. Kalandia Board of Directors

Kara M. Addelman, Samuel A. Alba, Anne K. Bowling, Peter J. Crotty, Stephen C. Earnhart, Jennifer Kimura, Jamila A. Lee, Katie L. Kestel Martin, Sharon Nosenchuck, Maura O’Donnell, Kelly Barrett Sarama, Hon. Stephanie A. Saunders, Carmen L. Snell

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Bar Association of Erie County SPONSORS Proudly Announcing Our 2023 Sponsors! These organizations have partnered with the BAEC for 2023. We are tremendously grateful for their support and generosity!

Annual Law Firm Sponsors


Annual Corporate Sponsors

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Letter from the President

One privilege I have had as President is an invitation from Judge McCarthy to speak at a recent Naturalization Ceremony. It has been a highlight of my year and I am not overstating things to say it was one of the most meaningful things I have done in my career. This group of new citizens came to this country from 25 different countries. Some had risked their lives to get here. There was such pride and gratitude to be in that room and welcomed as citizens. It was such a beautiful reminder of unity, despite all the issues and divisiveness we may be experiencing as a nation right now. I am so grateful to my ancestors for taking the same steps as those in that room so that I could enjoy the rights and privileges of being American. Judge McCarthy asked if I would share my comments from that day and you will find them on page 18 . As I have with my previous letters, I dedicate this letter to someone who has been meaningful to my career. I have such admiration for the women who entered this profession in the generations before mine. I think of how difficult and lonely it must have been for them as they blazed the trails and broke barriers. I think of Maryann Saccomando Freedman who became this Association’s, and then the New York Bar Association’s first woman president. Mostly, I was personally and professionally impacted by Maureen Hurley. She was the first woman General Counsel and Executive Team Member at Rich Products. These women kicked the doors of our profession open to females, often at a great personal cost. They were not afforded the paid maternity leaves, flexible work arrangements and on-site day care centers some of us take for granted today. Spending most of my career working for Maureen, I experienced the generosity of spirit that fought to make things easier for the women that followed her. It would have been understandable for her to think those who came after her should have to earn their way to the table by overcoming the same obstacles she did. Instead, she worked tirelessly to make things easier for the women who followed her, removing barriers and supporting women every step of the way. She is a treasured role model, mentor and friend who impacted my career and my life in so many positive ways. I am forever grateful to her. With gratitude, Jill • Editor’s note: President Bond’s Thanksgving message on recovery has been recognized for a national award by the ABA’s National Council of Bar Presidents. This is the second year in a row that the NCBP has honored a BAEC President for their writing and impact. READ PRESIDENT JILL BOND’S REMARKS AT THE OCTOBER 27, 2022 NATURALIZATION CEREMONY FOR NEW AMERICANS ON PAGE 18

JILL K. BOND President Bar Association of Erie County

Dear Friends, As I write this message, I realize that I am more than halfway through my term as your President. The Board of Directors and Bar Association Staff have been working hard with me to deliver on my commitments to the membership. I told you I was committed to wellness, specifically the mental health of our attorney members. When I shared the story of my own struggles with my mental health and substance use disorder, I hoped that those struggling might be inspired to seek help, or at least know that they are not alone in their struggle. I am happy that the letter resonated with some of our members and our Member Assistance Program, Lawyers Helping Lawyers Committee and Bar Foundation have seen increased activity from our members. I am sad that we struggle, but so happy that we have resources in place to help and that our members are increasingly taking advantage of those resources. Life can be hard, and our profession grueling, even at the best of times. This past year has been especially tough for Western New Yorkers. Look out for each other. Sometimes people need someone to listen, sometimes they need to be pointed in the direction of help and this association can provide that help. As promised, we are in the midst of a strategic planning process. The Bar Association of Erie County was formed in 1887 and had never had a strategic plan or a vision for our future. To start this work, we did a comprehensive survey of our membership just as the pandemic started and acquired valuable information about what we did well and where we have room for improvement. We learned what our members would like to see from their bar association. As we started the planning process in 2022 , we completed additional interviews with many members representing each demographic group in terms of age, race, gender, practice areas, work environment, etc. and learned even more about what our members need from us. Now our team is engaging in a series of all day sessions to develop our vision for the future and our plans to best serve our members going forward. I am so thankful to the team of members dedicating their time and talent to helping me get this done for the association and our members.


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6 | January/February 2023 | BAEC Bulletin

Bar Association of Erie County Committees

Our Committee meetings are in full swing! Click the link below to view the calendar and request to join a new Committee!


The Erie Institute of Law offers a robust library of pre-recorded CLE programs that are easy to access and watch on your time! Get the CLE credits you need wherever, whenever!


Questions? Contact Alicia Quebral at or by telephone at 716.852.8687 x122 Watch for The Brief every Wednesday!

BAEC Bulletin | January/February 2023 | 7

8 | January/February 2023 | BAEC Bulletin Say Yes Buffalo Student Spotlight: Alize Allen

through resume and cover letter review and interview preparation; interns attend a professional skills training prior to their internship start date and professional development workshops during the summer, and are supported by Say Yes staff through mentoring and site visits. WHAT IS THE COST TO THE EMPLOYER? • Our employer partners commit to providing summer opportunities between 20 - 40 hours per week for a minimum of ten weeks. • Hourly wages should be no less than $13.20; So at minimum the commitment is $2,640 + payroll taxes. Spotlight: Alize Allen, Say Yes Buffalo Scholar & Law Student • What college did you attend and what intern placement did you have with the Say Yes program? I attended Canisius College and graduated in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History. In the summer of 2019, I was placed in the Tour of Courts internship program with the Honorable Susan Eagan. • How do you feel the internship prepared you for law school? The internship absolutely solidified my decision to attend law school. Prior to my internship, I had minimal exposure to what being an attorney really meant. Gaining actual exposure to the day-to-day practices of those in a legal profession was eye- opening, but the plethora of practice areas I was able to observe is really what pushed me to attend law school. Knowing that I could practice generally, or specialize, was very appealing to me. • What was your most memorable experience from the internship program? Having to choose one of the many memorable experiences is difficult, but I would say it was the opportunity to observe adoption proceedings in Surrogate’s Court. It was an amazing experience to be able to see families of all ages and sizes expand.

By Stephanie Calhoun & Maura O’Donnell Program Overview: Since 2018, the BAEC has been working with Say Yes Buffalo to place college age interns in legal workplaces. This partnership has resulted in many placements and an enduring collaboration between Say Yes Buffalo and the BAEC, representing our committment to pipeline programs that enhance diversity, equity and inclusion in our association and profession. The Say Yes Buffalo Internship and Career Pathways Program creates a pipeline of talent between partner colleges and Western New York employers. The program facilitates connecting undergraduate students with area businesses, institutions and organizations, to provide meaningful paid internships to qualified Say Yes scholars (Buffalo public or charter school graduates who are currently enrolled full - time in college). Over the past few years, the BAEC has successfully partnered with Say Yes in furthering pipeline initiatives — connecting students interested in the law with legal professionals who have provided them with experiences to expand their views of the law. We encourage our membership to participate in this rewarding program. Welcoming more Say Yes scholars to our legal community will enhance the pipeline of access to the legal profession, benefitting students, employers, and our community as a whole. For more information on the program, please contact Business Partnerships Manager, Stephanie Peete, at Program Details: HOW DOES IT WORK? • Employers complete a short internship description for posting on the Say Yes Buffalo website; the internship opportunities are promoted to Say Yes Buffalo scholars through targeted emails and communications. • Employers attend an orientation luncheon that includes racial equity training. • The employer contacts the candidate directly to arrange an interview. • Once an employer identifies the student they would like to hire, a contract is established. • Interns are supported and coached by Say Yes staff during the application and interview process

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• How did your internship prepare you for a future career in law? My internship prepared me for a future career in law by showing me the ins and outs of various legal professions. I was shown the different positions within the courts, as well as private and public practice. • Did your internship change your perception of lawyers or the legal profession? How? My internship expanded my perception of lawyers and the legal profession. The schedule that Judge Eagan provided fully encompassed all aspects of the legal profession, including observation of both the prosecution, defense bar and the bench. I also got to learn about alternatives to incarceration by touring a drug treatment facility. I learned that the legal profession is so much more than just attorneys and judges and my internship opened my eyes to how many people and how much hard work goes into every position in the legal profession. • Did the internship program help you develop legal mentors who you are still in contact with today? How meaningful do you think that will be to you when you start your legal career? My internship program absolutely helped me to develop legal mentors that I am still in contact with. One of Judge Eagan’s goals for the internship was to begin the development of interpersonal communication skills and networking. Say Yes provided Professional Development Workshops for all the interns to attend, including a workshop on networking. Using these skills and pushing myself out

of my comfort zone helped me to form lasting mentor relationships. As I begin my legal career, I have been able to consult my mentors on Bar Exam Prep strategies, receive their opinions on where I should pursue my practice areas of interest, and general work-life balance advice. • What suggestions do you have for lawyers and other employers considering participating in the Say Yes internship program in the future? For lawyers and other employers that may be considering participating in the Say Yes internship program in the future, please do so! The opportunities that an employer can provide to a burgeoning professional will have more of an impact than one would imagine. I saw first-hand how the Say Yes internship program was able to expose a diverse student population to a new field that they otherwise may not have had the opportunity to learn about. •

ALIZE ALLEN University at Buffalo School of Law JD Candidate, Class of 2023

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As we promised in our last newsletter, the Erie Institute of Law is working diligently to bring you new and different CLE programming in 2023, with an emphasis on my new favorite acronym, JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion). For example, we are currently crafting CLEs that address sentencing issues in federal court, implicit bias training, LBGTQ+ rights, Native American issues, and law firm culture and hiring. We are also planning on addressing wellbeing topics, including spirituality and the law, as well as substance abuse disorder/addiction. With a number of these projects, we are breaking the mold. I encourage you to fully participate in these programs. As I frequently advise prospective law students and even new lawyers, the more you put into it, the more you’ll get out of it. •

HUGH M. RUSS III Dean Erie Insititute of Law

Fastcase include case law, statutes, rules, codes, secondary materials, and more for all 50 states as well as the federal system. It’s easy to use in your office or on the go. As a member, you have full access to Fastcase. Easily access the platform via the BAEC website! Not a BAEC member? Visit to join the Bar Association and utilize Fastcase today!

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Erie Institute of Law CLE programs are either being held via Zoom web conferencing or in person. For virtual programs, registrants will receive course material and Zoom link via email 1-2 days in advance of a program. Please note that some program details are not final as of publication time. For additional program details and to register, visit our website at

UPCOMING LIVE PROGRAMS February 24 | [Tentative] Grieving Families Act CLE* March 10 | Put Your Best Face Forward: Media Training in a Post-Pandemic World of Law March 22 | The Practice of Matrimonial Law: For Beginners & Experienced Attorneys March 25 | 33rd Annual Real Estate Conference March 31 | Environmental Law Update 2023


Cybersecurity, Privacy & Data Protection for Lawyers 1.5 CLE credit: Cybersecurity, Privacy & Data Protection (1.0 Ethics, 0.5 General) OnDemand: $45 members (Promo Code: member2017) Effective July 1, 2023, New York Attorneys must complete 1.0 CLE credit hour in the new Cybersecurity, Privacy and Data Protection category of credit as part of their CLE requirement. This CLE will address: cybersecurity, privacy and data protections issues, including impact on the legal industry, ethical obligations, legal and threat landscape, controls, regulatory landscape, and other practical matters related to data security and privacy. Attendees will walk away with a better understanding of their legal and ethical obligations and the current threats facing the industry. Speakers: • Jennifer A. Beckage, Esq., CIPP/US, CIPP/E, Managing Director, The Beckage Firm • Randy Fahs, Esq., Assistant General Counsel, Business Operations, Moog Inc. • Christopher Hayes, Esq., Assistant General Counsel, Delaware North Companies


12 | January/February 2023 | BAEC Bulletin Bench and Bar In the News

Gabrielle D. Markle has joined Hurwitz Fine P.C. as a litigation associate, focusing her practice on general liability defense, including medical malpractice, products, premises, and automobile liability. She is a skilled litigator with substantial courtroom accomplishments, and is experienced in preparing pleadings, motion papers, arguments, and conducting hearings. Ms. Markle is well-versed in the civil litigation process, having handled numerous types of legal proceedings in her past roles. She received her Juris Doctor from The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law and received her Bachelor of Arts from Canisius College in political science. Kaitlin A. Sines has joined Hurwitz Fine P.C. as a litigation associate, focusing her practice on automobile liability and asbestos defense. She is experienced in many areas of personal injury, including automobile and trucking litigation, premises liability, products liability, and labor and employment disputes. Prior to joining Hurwitz Fine, she represented both plaintiffs and defendants, giving her a unique insight that helps her to better advocate on behalf of her clients. She received her Juris Doctor from the University at Buffalo School of Law, her Master of Public Administration from West Carolina University, and her Bachelor of Arts from the University of North Carolina at Asheville. Hurwitz Fine Insurance Coverage Member Brian D. Barnas received the New York State Bar Association’s Sheldon Hurwitz Young Lawyer Award. Presented by the Torts, Insurance, and Compensation Law Section, this award recognizes an attorney’s outstanding contributions to the practice of law in the field of insurance and was presented at the association’s annual meeting in New York on January 19th, 2023. The award, named for the co-founder of Hurwitz Fine P.C., is a distinct honor awarded to a lawyer admitted 10 years or less who has made a significant impact in the industry.

Evan D. Gestwick has joined Hurwitz Fine P.C. as an associate attorney, focusing his practice on insurance coverage. Evan received his Juris Doctor from the University at Buffalo School of Law and received his Bachelor of Arts from SUNY at Buffalo in psychology.

Richelle R. Kloch has joined Hurwitz Fine P.C. as an associate attorney focusing her practice on premises liability and automobile liability defense. Richelle received her Juris Doctor from the University at Buffalo School of Law and received a Bachelor of Science from Niagara University in Criminology.

Ryan P. O’Shea has joined Hurwitz Fine P.C. as an associate attorney, focusing his practice on insurance coverage. Ryan received his Juris Doctor from the University at Buffalo School of Law and received a Bachelor of Science from SUNY Brockport in political science.

Bennett Schechter Arcuri & Will LLP (BSAW) announces William A. Lorenz, Jr., senior associate, has joined BSAW’s Defense Litigation Department. His primary office location is 701 Seneca Street, Suite 609 Buffalo, NY 14210. Mr. Lorenz primarily concentrates his practice on trucking and transportation law, toxic torts, products liability, and insurance defense litigation. Outside of the office, Mr. Lorenz serves as an adjunct professor at Canisius College, where he teaches mock trial, a program he helped create as a student. A published author, Mr. Lorenz also volunteers with various nonprofits in the community. Bennett Schechter Arcuri & Will LLP (BSAW) announces Dominick F. Roa, associate, has joined BSAW’s Defense Litigation Department. His primary office location is 701 Seneca Street, Suite 609 Buffalo, NY 14210. Mr. Roa primarily concentrates his practice on toxic tort, strict product liability, premises liability, insurance litigation, transportation and trucking law, industrial, and municipal liability defense throughout New York State. Mr. Roa is a current member of the New York State Bar Association and was a semi-finalist in the ERISA Employee Benefits Moot Court Competition. The Coppola Firm, welcomes its third partner, David M. Goodman, Esq., to the law firm. “Dave Goodman is a lawyer’s lawyer and personifies how we approach the law – clients first, with a focus on practical, efficient, and exceptional results. We’re delighted to have him join our team,” said Lisa Coppola, the firm’s founder. Added Jennifer Scharf, a firm partner, “Dave brings his boundless energy and sophisticated insights to our litigation practice and has decades of experience working with people injured in accidents.” A proud women-owned law firm, among the largest one with 25 team members, The Coppola Firm provides litigation, personal injury, labor and employment, corporate compliance and general business services, assists charter schools and medical practices, and works with families on end-of-life planning. “I am honored to work with a team of Western New Yorkers where we measure everything we do to serve others by our core values: fierce, honorable, empathetic, meticulous, and responsive. We do what’s right, always,” said Goodman, a resident of Orchard Park.

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Bench and Bar In the News If you are a BAEC member in good standing and you’ve moved, been promoted, hired an associate, taken on a partner, or received an award, we’d like to hear from you. Notices must be submitted in writing and limited to 100 words. They are printed at no cost to members and are subject to editing. Email your notice and high resolution photo (300 dpi) to Chase Kalandia at ckalandia@eriebar. org. Talks, speeches (unless they are of international stature), CLE presentations, and political announcements are not accepted. HOW TO PLACE A BENCH & BAR ANNOUNCEMENT 2023 Lawyers for the Arts Event Saturday, March 25 | 1-5:30pm (Doors open at 12pm) The Stage | 8166 Main Street, Williamsville Join Arts Services Inc. (ASI) for the 2023 Lawyers for the Arts event at The Stage (8166 Main St., Williamsville). Legal professionals of WNY will take the stage to perform and celebrate the region’s thriving arts and cultural community. The Lawyers for the Arts fundraiser is a music-filled benefit for ASI’s Give for Greatness, where local attorneys and legal professionals across practices perform and celebrate the Western New York region’s arts and cultural community. The Give for Greatness program provides general operating grant funding for small to mid-sized arts and cultural organizations of WNY. In 2022, Lawyers for the Arts raised over $40,000 to be distributed in grant funding.

For more information visit: For sponsorship information:


Business | Employment | Personal Injury | Municipal | Insurance Coverage Litigation is a useful tool for solving disputes, but not the only one. Mediation and Arbitration can offer creative and cost-effective alternative methods to successfully bridge differences between parties. Our mediation attorneys possess the right skill, respect, and experience to serve as effective and impartial neutrals. Resolve your clients' differences in the Hurwitz Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution in the Liberty Building, offering multiple conference and caucus rooms for any size mediations, or virtually through an online meeting with our attorneys.

Ann E. Evanko, Esq. Dan D. Kohane, Esq. Michael F. Perley, Esq.

424 Main Street, Suite 1300, Buffalo, NY 14202 • 716-849-8900 •

Andrea Schillaci, Esq. Amber E. Storr, Esq.

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14 | January/February 2023 | BAEC Bulletin

BAEC’s 21 Day Challenge Presented by The Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee For more information please contact Stephanie Calhoun: LEROI: Living in Color Exhibit at the Burchfield Penney Open until March 26th For more information please contact S tephanie Calhoun : or visit A Conversation With The Descendants of Plessy v. Ferguson Presented by the Eighth Judicial District & Historical Society of the New York C o urts Tuesday, February 28 th Ceremonial Courtroom | 12 - 2:00pm For more information please contact Susan Kohlbacher: PLEASE WATCH OUR WEEKLY PUBLICATIONS FOR ADDITIONAL DETAILS ON OUR PROGRAMS

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Bar Association of Erie County NEW MEMBERS

The Bar Association of Erie County is pleased to welcome the following new members:

Abba Z. Abramovsky Michael C. Arena Nicholas A. Gengo Alxander C. Kaczmarek Axelle Lecomte-Mathewson Joan Merry

Franco A. Mirolo Gilbert A. Orsini Bianca M. Pavia Louis Q. Reynolds Tyler J. Skretny

Become a Contributing Member!

The BAEC bylaws confer “contributing member” status on any member who resides or maintains an office in Erie County and elects to pay an additional $50 in annual dues to help support Association programs. Contributing members have the same rights and privileges as regular members and “such additional rights and privileges as the board of directors shall bestow”, including special recognition in the Bulletin, annual dinner program, and other publications. Visit to apply today!

16 | January/February 2023 | BAEC Bulletin FROM THE Erie County Bar Foundation

Happy New Year!

After a very challenging end to 2022, I hope that 2023 has started off on a positive note for everyone.

Over six months into my term as President of the Bar Foundation, I am continually humbled by the generosity and support that our foundation provides on a daily basis. We are unique in the country as a foundation for attorneys in need, supported by donations primarily from attorneys. As you know, John Richmond is the Chair of this year’s campaign. He is doing a stellar job as we are running about $10,000 ahead of last year. As wonderful as that is, our job is far from done. Over the last year, requests for help from the Foundation have greatly increased and this trend is no t slowing down . I encourage you all to give what you are able. Only through your support are we able to continue to help our colleagues in need. For those of you who are unaware, we help those who are ill, challenged by substance abuse disorder or have hit a rough patch and need some help getting back on track. We are also there to help the families of our colleagues, most often in closing up a practice, but in other ways as well. We truly are here for you and to help you navigate what life hands you. We are grateful for the assistance of Kevin Walsh who chairs the BAEC Professional Continuity Committee . Through our newly instituted Member Assistance Program (MAP), you have access to many services that will help you cope with and maneuver the stresses of a practice and of a personal life.

JEFFREY PRIORE President Erie County Bar Foundation

As always, any request for help is confidential whether it’s through the Foundation directly or reaching out to the MAP.

None of this would be possible without your donations. Your generous support is truly what the “City of Good Neighbors “ is all about.

Thank you and may this be a marvelous 2023 for all.

Jeffrey M. Priore President, ECBF

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In the Public Service Medlaw Partnership of WNY and Western New York Alzheimer’s Disease Caregiver Support Initiative Medical-legal partnerships incorporate the skill of CENTER FOR ELDER LAW & JUSTICE

Through Center for Elder Law & Justice, The Medlaw Partnership of WNY’s latest project is assisting caregivers of persons living with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia to fulfill their duties of caretaking. Through the Western New York Alzheimer’s Disease Caregiver Support Initiative (“The Initiative”) funded by the New York State Department of Health, Center for Elder Law & Justice partners with Alzheimer’s Association of WNY and eight county Offices for the Aging to aid caregivers of people living with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Under The Initiative, Center for Elder Law & Justice attorneys provide free legal services and education to caregivers. The legal services offered spans a variety of legal matters, including such topics such as housing, health insurance, income maintenance, employment, consumer matters, and family issues. However, the most common legal issue referred has been assistance with advance planning and the preparation and execution of important legal documents such as Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy, Last Will and Testament, and Burial Directives. Such documents are vital to ensuring caregivers can fulfill their duty to take care of their loved ones who are facing dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and other cognitive impairments. Caregiver supports, like the Initiative, have shown proven success in keeping people living with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia at home, where they live longer and happier lives. Through the MedLaw Partnership of WNY, legal services are provided in-person, via phone, or virtually, depending on the client’s particular needs. Individuals who are interested in obtaining legal services or further information about the MedLaw Partnership programs may contact 1-844-700-1872. • “Social workers . . . are trained to identify healthharming social-legal issues affecting the family and to make referrals through the Partnership.”

attorneys into health care facilities to help clinicians, social workers, and other healthcare staff address fundamental problems creating the essence of health care inequities. Center for Elder Law & Justice implemented a Medical- legal partnership in 2017, entitled the MedLaw Partnership of WNY. Since that time, the MedLaw Partnership of WNY has grown into a robust collaboration that addresses health-harming civil legal issues facing patients. Legal issues involving housing, health insurance, income maintenance, employment rights, access to benefits, advanced planning, and consumer debt are common among the clients served, and at times may even be a barrier to receiving needed medical treatment. Under the MedLaw Partnership of WNY, Center for Elder Law & Justice partners with Erie County Medical Center, Kaleida Health, and Western New York Breast Health to assist patients with their legal needs. Attorneys are embedded at several area hospitals and health care facilities in Buffalo, New York, to provide free legal assistance on matters that may be impacting an individual’s overall health. In 2022, the Kaleida Medlaw Partnership expanded to include John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital. Through this expansion, the MedLaw Partnership serves not only the main in-patient hospital, but also the numerous Oishei children’s out-patient clinics situated throughout Erie County. Social workers, clinicians and other members of the patient’s health care team are trained to identify healthharming social-legal issues affecting the family and to make referrals through the Partnership. Studies have shown that having a medical legal partnership in a children’s health care setting can contribute to a decrease in hospitalization as it can help address acute legal needs such as securing paid time off from work to care for a child as well as possible causes of health issues like unhealthy housing conditions. Since its launch, the most common referrals through the MedLaw Partnership at Oishei have been housing insecurity, employment rights, and custodial or family stability issues.


Center for Elder Law & Justice JENNIFER HILBURGER, ESQ. Center for Elder Law & Justice RACHEL BALDASSARO, ESQ. Center for Elder Law & Justice NATALIE WEIL Alzheimer’s Association of WNY

18 | January/February 2023 | BAEC Bulletin Jill K. Bond 's Remarks from the October 27, 2022 Naturalization Ceremony for New Americans It is an honor and the privilege of my lifetime to be here today to welcome you as fellow citizens of the United States of America. The 35 of you come to us from 25 different countries, you practice different faiths, you have different education levels. Some came here alone, others with your family. You each have your own stories and reasons for immigrating to the United States. Some of you have witnessed and endured terrible things in your home country and you have found refuge here. Some have risked your lives in the process of leaving your countries and travelling here. All of you now have the opportunity to pursue what we call the American Dream. It means different things to different people. To me, it is the chance to own your own home and to have enough to keep your family safe, well cared for, and educated to pursue their own aspirations. While most countries admit immigrants, the United States is different. With the exception of our native Americans, we are a country of all immigrants and descendants of immigrants. Our nation was founded by immigrants who carefully created the government that reflected their ideals, better than what they came from. Not perfect, but striving to be a more perfect union. My father’s parents came to this country from Poland. My Mother’s grandparents from Germany and Ireland. They all came to this country and started lives here in Buffalo, NY with little more than the clothes on their backs. A few years back, I had the opportunity to take my family to Ellis Island. This was the main place of entry to the United States for immigrants in the first half of the 20th Century, when my ancestors arrived. You can not only tour the vast building, you can see videos and get a sense for the process that your loved ones went through when they got here. You can look up their names and dates of arrival in the records there. Being there made me feel such empathy for how frightening it would be to leave the life they knew and come here with little money to start anew in this country without even the ability to speak our language. I think you probably can relate to that. At the same time, I felt such pride in them for doing that not just for themselves, but also their yet to be born children and grandchildren. Mostly, I felt gratitude. Because of their bravery, I was born a citizen of this great country with all the opportunities this country affords to those who work hard and engage in their communities. As I look at you, I see the pride you have today. But I also see the same type of pride and gratitude I felt at Ellis Island—being experienced by your descendants generations from now. I have had the opportunity to work with immigrants as part of my job and part of living in Western New York which has a large immigrant population. I am moved and amazed by the texture and richness that

immigrants bring to this country. Like a beautiful quilt that gets stronger and more beautiful with addition of each patch, each of you brings your unique history, experience, personality, talent, wisdom, work, and dreams and make us collectively better. Not immigrants choose to become citizens. You took the extra step and did the hard work that you brings you here today. You chose to cut your ties with you home country and pledge your allegiance to your new home country. This country is stronger, better and more beautiful today because you are now our fellow Americans. I ask you to fully engage here. With citizenship comes rights and responsibilities. In a democracy, we have a say in shaping this country’s future. We are far from perfect, but it is you that get to decide who will lead us and represent our perspectives and values in governing this nation. I welcome you today and I thank you for choosing this country and the commitment you make today. I wish that you will experience all of the blessings this country has to offer. •


Since 2001, I have been honored to have been chosen to serve as a mediator or neutral arbitrator in over 3,000 claims which were pending in our court system. The vast majority of the non-binding mediations were successfully resolved. In addition to having over 30 years of experience in the litigation and trial of personal injury claims, I have lectured on behalf of the Bar Association of Erie County’s Erie Institute of Law and have given in-house presentations on

the topic of ADR. I am a past President of the Western New York Trial Lawyers Association, and a charter member of the NYSBA’s Dispute Resolution Section. I am also a Certified Federal Court Mediator. My fees are extremely reasonable, certainly a more cost effective alternative than a trial. I will be as flexible as possible in terms of scheduling and location, resulting in a quicker and more convenient resolution of your claim. MICHAEL MENARD 69 Delaware Ave., Suite 705, Buffalo, NY 14202 (716)842-6700 | FAX: (716) 842-6707

BAEC Bulletin | January/February 2023 | 19

WNYTLA Winter CLE and Party 4:30pm - 5:30pm CLE Topic: Cybersecurity 5:30pm - 8:00pm Party February 10, 2023 The Garrett Club 91 Cleveland Ave. Buffalo, NY

Registration/Check-In for CLE portion begins at 4:00pm CLE will begin at 4:30pm and end at 5:30pm Winter Party Begins Immediately Following the Conclusion of the CLE program If you are unable to attend, please contact the CLE department at 852-8687 as soon as possible. **Note: Refunds will not be given to registrants who fail to attend the program (no call/no show). In compliance with the BAEC Board of Directors’ directive to conserve paper, course materials are now offered electronically. Also, registration confirmation are sent electronically and we maintain a printed list of registrants. Please visit WNYLTA.COM to pay your annual dues.

20 | January/February 2023 | BAEC Bulletin


In 1962, the Bar Association of Erie County created the Assigned Counsel Program to help those who cannot help themselves, who face steep odds against the power of the State, and who struggle with poverty, mental issues, helplessness, and dread. The attorneys in the Program save lives and save families. Panel attorneys are the first line of defense for the freedoms granted to us by the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The Program provides training and support to the panel attorneys, including mentoring, case conferences, CLE, and social worker assistance for your client.

To join the panel, visit

Questions? Please call 716.856.8804 or email:

Michelle Parker Executive Director Chief Defender

Kevin M. Stadelmaier First Deputy Defender Family Court Division

Yvonne Vertlieb Second Deputy Defender Family Court Division

Erie County Bar Association Aid to Indigent Prisoners Society, Inc Assigned Counsel Program The Brisbane Building 403 Main Street, Suite 215 Buffalo, NY 14203 Phone: 716.856.8804 Fax: 716.856.0424 Website:

BAEC Bulletin | January/February 2023 | 21

Be intentional with your well-being this Winter. Join the challenge!

22 | January/February 2023 | BAEC Bulletin BAEC Strategic Planning 2023

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” -Abraham Lincoln

BAEC Bulletin | January/February 2023 | 23

Thank You Arbitrators!

Our arbitrators are an integral part of the Bar Association of Erie County. As volunteer mediators between clients and their attorneys during client fee disputes, our volunteer arbitrators dedicate significant time and effort to bring about amicable resolution.

Salvatore T. Sanfilippo John C. Spitzmiller Kristin L. Arcuri Timothy M. O’Mara David Neff Krista Gottlieb

Jeffrey P. Markello David H. Elibol Paul A. Vance Ayoka A. Tucker Christopher S. Mattingly Deborah DiMatteo John Kwiatkowski Warren E. Clark Sherry Sutton Kenneth Scigaj Kathleen B. Winter Lisa Kirisits, CPA Elizabeth Bakos

Lynn Murphy Joan Warren Susan S. Hogan

Sharon Nosenchuck William A. Gersten Steven R. Sugarman Catherine T.

Thank you all! •

Wettlaufer Eileen Katz

- MEDIATION - - ADR - - ARBITRATION - Resolve your cases in a cost effective, expedient manner through alternatives to the costly, time- consuming litigation process. I have litigated and tried personal injury and insurance cases throughout

Western New York for over 35 years. In addition, I have successfully resolved over 100 cases as a mediator, arbitrator, or counsel representing parties. Being certified as a mediator by the New York Unified Court System for the Eighth Judicial District, and with over 14 years in-house experience with a global insurance carrier, I bring a unique perspective to the successful resolution of matters.

Kevin D. Walsh, Esq. Osborn Reed & Burke LLP 300 International Drive, Suite 100 Williamsville, NY 14221 | (716) 250-9769

24 | January/February 2023 | BAEC Bulletin

Let Us Assist You With Your SSD & SSI Cases

• We have a winning track record & helped over 20,000 clients with their claims. • We pay referral fees as allowed by New York Rules of Professional Conduct. • Your client relationship is protected.

Please call us at 716-856-7091 , email Jeffrey Freedman Attorneys at .

Administrative Office: 424 Main St., Suite 622 Buffalo, NY 14202 | Prior results do not guarantee or predict a similar outcome with respect to any future matter.

The Bar Association of Erie County is currently accepting new members

Join the Bar Association!

Benefits of being a member include: • Networking and connection opportunities with your colleagues in the legal community • Discounted rates for CLE • Leadership development opportunities on committees • Invitation to special events • Unlimited access to Fastcase/Casemaker • Access to healthcare and other valuable benefits • Public service opportunities Learn more at

BAEC President Jill K. Bond Awarded Second Place for the 2023 National Conference for Bar President’s Page Award Congratulations to BAEC President Jill K. Bond for being honored by the 2023 National Council of Bar Presidents. She received Second Place for this years national President’s Page Award. The National Conference of Bar Presidents will be recognize BAEC Jill K. Bond’s Thanksgiving Message published in the November/December 2022 issue of the BAEC Bulletin at the NCBP Midyear in New Orleans during the slide presentation at the Awards Breakfast from 8:00 to 9:30 a.m. Central on Saturday, February 4, 2023. The column will also be shared in the NCBP Bar President e-newsletter and on •

BAEC Bulletin | January/February 2023 | 25




Learn More At:

26 | January/February 2023 | BAEC Bulletin

CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE FOUNDATION Contributions to the Erie County Bar Foundation provide an excellent vehicle for recognizing and honoring members of our profession. Memorial gifts to the Foundation become a lasting tribute to the entire legal profession, as funds are used exclusively to assist attorneys and promote understanding of our legal system. The Foundation gratefully acknowledges the following memorial contributions:

In Honor of the late Hon. Joseph D. Mintz, on the occasion of his death and the 60th Anniversary of the Erie County Bar Association’s Assigned Counsel Program, where he served as the first Administrator: Michelle Parker In Honor of the 2022 Fee Dispute Arbitrators: Bar Association of Erie County In Honor of Joel L. Daniels, Recipient of the 2022 Charles H. Dougherty Civility Award : Phillip & Judy Brothman In Honor of Hon. Michael E. Hudson (ret) for his Distinguished Legal and Judicial Career: Carmen J. Gentile In Honor of Jill K. Bond: Diane F. Bosse John Horn In Honor of Michael M. Blinkoff: Horace A. Gioia In Honor of Jennifer A. Runfola: Robert J. Cutting In Memory of Elaine L. Giallanza, John J. Carney, and Anne Carney: Hon. Mary & Mark Carney In Memory of James & Helen Sexton: Michael & Sandra Sexton In Memory of Peter T. Ruszczyk, Esq.: Kathleen M. Carmody In Memory of Moira Furlong (Mother of Hon. Daniel J. Furlong): Allan M. Lewis In Memory of Lisa Latona (Wife of Anthony J. Latona): Howard B. Frank In Memory of Martin P. Violante: John C. Murrett, Jr. In Memory of Dominic Priore: Michael & Mary Beth Cucinotta In Memory of Peter J. Fiorella, Jr.: Kenneth A. Manning In Memory of Floyd H. Hurst: Phillip & Judy Brothman In Memory of Craig Cwick: Thomas C. Farley, Jr. In Memory of Tom Drury: Daniel T. Cavarello In Memory of Irving C. Maghran, Jr.: Leo T. Fabrizi In Memory of James Walsh:

In Memory of My Husband, Kurt T. Sajda: Amy J. Goldstein In Memory of Mark G. Hirschorn: Brian R. Welsh In Memory of Eric T. Dadd: David H. Nelson In Memory of Hon. Hugh B. Scott: Giuseppe A. Ippolito

Hon. David L. Edmunds, Jr. (ret) Hon. H. Kenneth Schroeder, Jr. Robert D. Lonski In Memory of Hon. Michael A. Telesca: Hon. Michael J. Roemer In Memory of Hon. John P. Patti: John Wiencek In Memory of Ralph A. Boniello: Samuel J. Civiletto In Memory of James J. McLoughlin: Leslie Mark Greenbaum In Memory of Mike Semple: Howard B. Frank In Memory of Richard F. Griffin: Harry Brand John R. Drexelius, Jr. In Memory of William R. Brennan: Charles C. Martorana In Memory of Leigh Anderson: Eileen Katz In Memory of Gregory T. Miller: Elizabeth Adymy In Memory of James M. Kieffer: Kathleen M. Sweet In Memory of Andrew D. Yusick, Jr. (Father of Matthew Yusick): Phillip & Judy Brothman In Memory of W. Donn McCarthy: Leo T. Fabrizi In Memory of Janice Lahman (Law School Classmate and former Rochester Attorney) : Thomas C. Farley, Jr. In Memory of Sandra Friedfertig: Friedfertig Law Firm In Memory of Lawrence Regan: Michael J. Skoney In Memory of David Gerald Jay: Andrew Lipkind

Michael J. Skoney Steven P. Curvin

BAEC Bulletin | January/February 2023 | 27


In Memory of Thomas R. Cassano: Christopher & Fauzia Mattingly In Memory of Charles H. Dougherty: Deborah E. Nicosia Raymond H. Barr

In Memory of Hon. Ernest Colucci: Nicholas P. Amigone In Memory of Arthur Dobson: Walter L. Rooth In Memory of Carmen P. Tarantino: Kathleen M. Sweet In Memory of Paul V. Hurley:

In Memory of Hon. David J. Mahoney: Hon. Donna M. Siwek & Timothy G. McEvoy Hon. Gerald & Nora Whelan In Memory of Robert J. Feldman: Hon. William M. Skretny Kenneth A. Manning Mr. & Mrs. Daniel E. Brick Neil Weinberg Peggy Lillis Snajczuk In Memory of Kurt T. Sajda: Joseph A. Shifflett In Memory of My Father, Henry W. Jadd, Esq.: Robert I. Jadd In Memory of Joseph S. Bengart: Steven B. Bengart In Memory of Sybil Kennedy (Mother of James P. Kennedy, Jr.): Howard B. Frank In Memory of Peter J. Murrett, Jr. and Peter J. Murrett, III: John C. Murrett, Jr . In Memory of Susan McCarthy (Wife of Hon. Joseph P. McCarthy and Mother of Christopher M. McCarthy): Hon. Michael E. Hudson (ret) In Memory of Carl A. Green: Phillip & Judy Brothman In Memory of John J. Flynn: Leo T. Fabrizi In Memory of Brenda Moynihan: Thomas C. Farley, Jr. In Memory of Dennis J. Dee: John P. Dee In Memory of Jerry Gambino: Michael J. Skoney Thadeus J. Dziekonski, Jr. In Memory of Claire Thibodeau (Mother of Pamela H. Thibodeau): Anne M. Noble In Memory of Carmen Vacco (Father of Dennis Vacco): Daniel J. Henry, Jr . In Memory of Marvin R. Baum: Franklin W. Heller In Memory of Leonard Berkowitz: Hon. Edward A. Pace In Memory of Hon. John L. Michalski: Debra Ritz

Howard B. Frank John J. Murrett, Jr. Personius Melber LLP In Memory of Hon. James B. Kane: Harry Brand In Memory of Joseph F. Reina: Charles C. Martorana In Memory of Bernadette Hoppe: Eileen Katz In Memory of Gregory Hoelscher: Elizabeth Adymy In Memory of Richard Lipsitz, Sr. (Father of John Ned Lipsitz and Nan Lipsitz): Phillip & Judy Brothman In Memory of Charles G. DiPasquale: Leo T. Fabrizi In Memory of J. Grant Zajas: Thomas C. Farley, Jr. In Memory of De Cummings: Mary C. Baumgarten In Memory of Thomas E. Butler: Bar Association of Erie County David R. Pfalzgraf In Memory of Peter M. Cosgrove:

Daniel M. Killelea Frederic J. Marrano In Memory of Carol Condon: Frederick D. Turner In Memory of John T. Frizzell: Hon. Gerald & Nora Whelan In Memory of Bob Murphy: James W. Grable, Jr. In Memory of Hon. M. Dolores Denman: Karen E. Richardson Kathleen M. Sweet Leslie Mark Greenbaum In Memory of Julia Roberts: Nicole Graci In Memory of Robert B. “Bob” Sommerstein:

Howard B. Frank Walter P. Seegert In Memory of Philip Marks (Son of Christopher Marks): David R. Pfalzgraf In Memory of Marie Hart (Mother of Nancy M. Langer): Hon. Michael E. Hudson (ret)

James DeMatteo John G. Schmidt John J. Aman Personius Melber LLP In Memory of Laura LaTona: Joseph M. LaTona

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