Class Action - April '14

What's new? Keep in touch with your former classmates, professors and friends by emailing us your news for publication in our e-newsletter, Law Links.

The deadline for submission for the next Law Links is June 12. You can submit your news via our online form or send it to the Alumni Relations Office.

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’50s

Thomas R. Beecher Jr. ’59, founder and chair emeritus of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus in Buffalo, was listed in the Buffalo Business First “Power 250: Influential People in 2014.” Beecher is a past recipient of the SUNY Buffalo Law Alumni Association's Distinguished Alumnus Award and the Edwin F. Jaeckle Award. He lives in Buffalo.

Thomas R. Beecher Jr. ’59

’60s

Alan S. Carrel ’67 is being honored at the 25th annual Buffalo Law Review Dinner on April 24. Carrel, a Law School vice dean, is a past recipient of the SUNY Buffalo Law Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumnus Award for public service. He lives in Williamsville, N.Y.   

Alan S. Carrel ’67

70s

Terrence M. Connors ’71 was listed in the Buffalo Business First “Power 250: Influential People in 2014.” Connors, a partner with Connors & Vilardo in Buffalo, is a past member of the Dean’s Advisory Council and a recipient of Law Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumnus Award. He lives in Buffalo.

Raymond F. Cianfrini ’72 of Oakfield, N.Y., was elected chairman of the Genesee County Legislature in Batavia, N.Y. Cianfrini, a former mayor of Oakfield, is in private practice.  

Thomas F. Segalla ’72 received the James W. Conway Award from the Defense Association of New York. A founding partner of Goldberg Segalla in Buffalo, he lives in Eggertsville, N.Y.

Hon. Eugene F. Pigott Jr. ’73 received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the New York State Trial Lawyers Association, Western New York. Pigott is an associate justice of the New York State Court of Appeals in Buffalo. He is a past recipient of the SUNY Buffalo Law Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumnus Award and Edwin F. Jaeckle Award. He is an emeritus member of the Dean’s Advisory Council. Pigott lives on Grand Island, N.Y.

Richard M. Tobe ’74 was listed in the Buffalo Business First “Power 250: Influential People in 2014.” Tobe is deputy Erie County executive in Buffalo, where he resides.

Robert N. Gottfried ’75 and his son, David M. Gottfried ’09, have started their own firm, Gottfried & Gottfried, in New York City, practicing immigration law. He was previously a partner with Hodgson Russ in the New York City office. Gottfried lives in Plainview, N.Y.

William F. Savino ’75 will receive the Distinguished Alumnus Award for business from the SUNY Buffalo Law Alumni Association at its 52nd annual dinner on May 20. Savino is a senior partner and chairman of the business litigation and insolvency department in the Buffalo office of Damon Morey. He is a bridge course lecturer at the Law School, a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council and a past president of the Law Alumni Association. He lives in Amherst, N.Y.

Brent L. Wilson ’76 was named to the Top 100 Georgia Super Lawyers list. He is a partner with Elarbee Thompson Sapp & Wilson in Atlanta, practicing labor and employment law. Wilson is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council. He lives in Lithonia, Ga.

David J. Colligan ’77 was listed in the Buffalo Business First “Power 250: Influential People in 2014.” He is a partner with Colligan Law in Buffalo, practicing corporate and business law, commercial real estate transactions, international law and cooperative apartment law. Colligan lives in Buffalo.

David F. Smith ’78 was listed in the Buffalo Business First “Power 250: Influential People in 2014.” He retired in April as executive chairman of National Fuel Gas Co. in Williamsville, N.Y. He is a past recipient of the Law Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumnus Award and a member of the Dean's Advisory Council. He resides in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Peter F. Brady ’79 has joined Faraci Lange as senior counsel in the Buffalo office, practicing plaintiffs’ personal injury law. Brady was previously a partner with Brady & Schaeffer in Amherst, N.Y. He lives in Williamsville, N.Y.

Ronald J. Tanski ’79 was listed in the Buffalo Business First “Power 250: Influential People in 2014.” He is president and CEO of National Fuel Gas Co. in Williamsville, N.Y. Tanski is a resident of Kenmore, N.Y. 

Thomas F. Segalla ’72

William F. Savino '75

Brent L. Wilson ’76

80s

Mary Joanne Dowd ’80 will be honored at the 25th annual Buffalo Law Review Dinner on April 24. Dowd is a partner in the bankruptcy and financial restructuring group of Arent Fox, in the Washington, D.C., office. She is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council. Dowd lives in Bethesda, Md.

Hon. Michael M. Mohun ’80 has become a judge of the Wyoming County Court, 8th Judicial District, in Warsaw, N.Y. Mohun was previously a partner with Mohun & Killelea in Cowlesville, N.Y. He is a past member of the board of directors of the SUNY Buffalo Law Alumni Association. Mohun lives in Cowlesville.

Dennis R. Black ’81 was listed in the Buffalo Business First “Power 250: Influential People in 2014.” Black is vice president for university life and services at UB. He lives in Buffalo.

Michael L. Ciminelli ’81 was appointed chief of the Rochester Police Department in Rochester, N.Y. He recently served as interim chief. Previously, Ciminelli was deputy chief in the administrative bureau. He is a former prosecutor in the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office in Rochester and deputy chief counsel for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in Washington, D.C. Ciminelli is a Rochester resident.

Hon. Paula L. Feroleto ’82, administrative judge of the New York State Supreme Court, 8th Judicial District, in Buffalo, was listed in the Business First “Power 250: Influential People in 2014.” She is a past recipient of the SUNY Buffalo Law Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumna Award. Feroleto is a Buffalo resident.

Daniel C. Oliverio ’82 was listed in the Buffalo Business First “Power 250: Influential People in 2014.” He is chair of Hodgson Russ and leader of the false claims act and business crimes practice groups in the Buffalo, New York City and Toronto offices. Oliverio lives in Buffalo.

Cheryl A. Possenti ’82, a founding partner of the Buffalo-based law firm Goldberg Segalla, was named a 2014 Client Choice Award winner by the International Law Office and Lexology. The award recognizes the excellent client service she provides in the area of product liability. Possenti specializes in product liability and professional malpractice actions. She lives in Clarence, N.Y.

Robert C. Schwenkel ’82 will be honored at the SUNY Buffalo Law Alumni Association's 52nd annual dinner on May 20 with the Distinguished Alumnus Award for private practice. He is a partner with Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson in New York City. Schwenkel resides in Huntington, N.Y.

Michael J. Surgalla ’82 will receive the Distinguished Alumnus Award for public service from the SUNY Buffalo Law Alumni Association at its 52nd annual dinner on May 20. He is an attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice Criminal Division/Human Rights & Special Prosecutions, in Washington, D.C. He is a member of the board of directors of the D.C. chapter of the Law Alumni Association. Surgalla lives in Silver Spring, Md.

Hon. Josephine V. Finn ’83 was elected a member of the New York State Board of Regents. She is a town justice and solo practitioner in Monticello, N.Y., where she resides.

Hon. Eugene M. Fahey ’84 will be honored at the SUNY Buffalo Law Alumni Association's 52nd annual dinner on May 20 with the Distinguished Alumnus Award for the judiciary. He was also named Jurist of the Year by the New York State Trial Lawyers Association Western Region Affiliate Group. Fahey is a New York State Supreme Court justice, Appellate Division, Fourth Department, in Buffalo. He lives in Buffalo.

William J. Hochul Jr. ’84 was listed in the Buffalo Business First “Power 250: Influential People in 2014.” Hochul is U.S. Attorney for the Western District of New York, in Buffalo, and a past recipient of the SUNY Buffalo Law Alumni Association's Distinguished Alumnus Award. He lives in Hamburg, N.Y.

Jennifer J. Parker ’84, founder and CEO of Black Capital Network in Buffalo, was listed in the Buffalo Business First “Power 250: Influential People in 2014.” She is also president of Jackson Parker Communications, a public relations consulting firm in Buffalo, where she resides.

Brian V. McAvoy ’85 has become a partner with Roetzel & Andress in the Naples, Fla., office. He counsels clients regarding estate planning, estate and trust administration, probate litigation, and general business and real estate law. McAvoy lives in Naples.

Hon. Lisa Bloch Rodwin ’85 will receive the Distinguished Alumna Award for community service from the SUNY Buffalo Law Alumni Association at its 52nd annual dinner on May 20. She is an Erie County Family Court judge in Buffalo. Rodwin is a resident of Amherst, N.Y.

Frank A. Sedita III ’86 was listed in the Buffalo Business First “Power 250: Influential People in 2014.” Sedita is Erie County district attorney in Buffalo, where he resides.

Donna L. Burden ’87 presented “Successful Strategies for Effective Defense of Mild TBI Claims With Major Settlement Demands” at the 2014 Midyear Meeting of the International Association of Defense Counsel in Carlsbad, Calif. She also presented “Compliance Safety Accountability: Planned Improvements, Keeping Scores Out of Litigation, and the Risks for Carriers and Brokers” at the American Conference Institute’s fourth National Forum on Defending and Managing Trucking Litigation, in Chicago. Burden is a founding member of Burden Gulisano & Hickey in Buffalo, focusing on defending catastrophic transportation accidents. She is a resident of Williamsville, N.Y.

Paul Karp ’87 performed at the Orange County Bar Association annual Lawyers Coffeehouse at the Hall of the Trotter Horse Racing Museum in Goshen, N.Y The event was organized by Hon. Forrest Strauss ’88 and Hon. John Goldsmith ’88. Karp is a partner with Wilson Elser in the New York City office.

G. Steven Pigeon ’87 was listed in the Buffalo Business First “Power 250: Influential People in 2014.” He is of counsel with Underberg & Kessler in the Buffalo office.

Hon. John Goldsmith ’88 of Middletown, N.Y., and Hon. Forrest Strauss ’88 organized the Orange County Bar Association annual Lawyers Coffeehouse at the Hall of the Trotter Horse Racing Museum in Goshen, N.Y. The program features members of the bar performing music, parlor magic and comedy. Goldsmith, Strauss and Paul Karp ’87 performed. Goldsmith is principal law clerk with the Orange County Court in Goshen and town justice with Mount Hope Town Court in Otisville, N.Y.  

Kenya Mann Faulkner ’89 of West Chester, Ohio, received the Distinguished Alumna Award from the SUNY Buffalo Law School Students of Color. She is vice president for legal affairs and general counsel for the University of Cincinnati, in Ohio. She previously served as inspector general for the State of Pennsylvania.

Kevin B. Quinn ’89 was listed in the Buffalo Business First “Power 250: Influential People in 2014.” He is senior vice president, managing director, Upstate New York, with HSBC Bank USA in Buffalo, where he resides.

Cheryl A. Possenti ’82

Brian V. McAvoy ’85

Kenya Mann Faulkner ’89

90s

Stephen J. Obie ’91 has accepted a position as a partner with Jones Day in the New York City office. He previously was acting director of the Division of Enforcement with the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission in the New York City office. Obie lives in Salisbury Mills, N.Y.

Charles C. Ritter Jr. ’93 has been promoted to senior partner with Duke Holzman Photiadis & Gresens in Buffalo. He practices business and commercial litigation. Ritter lives in Wiliamsville, N.Y.

Wendy A. Scott ’93 has joined HoganWillig as an associate in the Amherst, N.Y., office. Scott concentrates her practice on personal injury litigation and appeals. She lives in Williamsville, N.Y.

Michael S. Beckelman ’97 was promoted to deputy regional managing partner with Wilson Elser in the Houston office. Beckelman handles complex litigation matters in state and federal courts including general liability, product liability, professional and premises liability, construction and architect and engineer liability, trucking and transportation, and commercial litigation. He lives in Missouri City, Texas.

Randall F. Inniss ’97 received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the SUNY Buffalo Law School Students of Color. He is senior director of security with the National Basketball Association in New York City. Inniss lives in Monroe, N.Y.

Barbara B. Strzemski-Haase ’97 has been promoted to partner with Duke Holzman Photiadis & Gresens in Buffalo. She counsels clients regarding commercial and residential real estate, commercial leasing, corporate law, and estate planning and administration.

Christopher L. Jacobs ’99 was listed in the Buffalo Business First “Power 250: Influential People in 2014.” He is Erie County clerk in Buffalo, where he resides. Jacobs is a past recipient of the SUNY Buffalo Law Alumni Association's Distinguished Alumnus Award for community service.

Michael S. Beckelman ’97

'00s

Joel A. McMahon ’00 was appointed real estate attorney with Uniland Development Co. in Amherst, N.Y. Previously, he served as in-house counsel with Benderson Development Co. in Buffalo, where he resides.

Daniel G. Caserto ’01 was promoted to partner with Morris Hardwick Schneider in the Duluth, Buford and Suwanee, Ga., offices. Caserto practices real estate law. He is a resident of Flowery Branch, Ga.

Gretchen M. Nichols ’01 has joined Benderson Development Co. in Buffalo. She is a real estate attorney supporting the legal leasing department in retail lease negotiations. Nichols was previously a partner with Nesper Ferber & DiGiacomo in Amherst, N.Y. She is chair of the National Association of Women Business Owners Buffalo Niagara’s Women in Leadership Program. Nichols lives in Williamsville, N.Y.

Elizabeth de Leon Bhargava ’03 of New York City was named first deputy chief of staff of the New York City Council. She previously served as deputy commissioner of the Neighborhood Development Division of the city’s Department of Small Business Services.

Nicholas J. DiCesare ’04 was promoted to partner with Hiscock & Barclay in the Buffalo office. He practices commercial litigation, labor and employment law, and real property tax condemnation. DiCesare lives in Orchard Park, N.Y.

Sarah K. Ranni ’04 was promoted to special counsel with Phillips Lytle in the Buffalo office. She practices corporate, employee benefits, not-for-profit, tax and telecommunications law in Buffalo, where she resides.

Joseph M. Hanna ’05 was elected president of the Minority Bar Association of Western New York Foundation, in Buffalo. Hanna is a partner with Goldberg Segalla in Buffalo. He is a past president of the Minority Bar Association of Western New York and a member of the board of directors of the SUNY Buffalo Law Alumni Association. Hanna resides in Amherst, N.Y.

Anne E. Joynt ’05 was promoted to junior partner with Lipsitz & Ponterio in Buffalo. She practices childhood lead paint litigation and personal injury. Joynt is a member of the board of directors of the SUNY Buffalo Law Alumni Association and a past president of the Law School's GOLD Group. She lives in East Amherst, N.Y.

Jessica Ortiz ’05 received the Trailblazer Award from the SUNY Buffalo Law School Students of Color. She is an assistant U.S. attorney with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of New York, in New York City. Ortiz resides in East Newark, N.J.

Shauna L. Strom ’05 has joined William Mattar Law Offices in Williamsville, N.Y., practicing personal injury. Strom previously practiced with the Law Offices of Daniel Archilla in Buffalo, where she resides.

Keith R. Vona ’05 was promoted to junior partner with Lipsitz & Ponterio in Buffalo. Vona practices asbestos and mesothelioma litigation and lead paint poisoning. He lives in East Aurora, N.Y. 

Meghann N. Roehl ’06 was promoted to partner with Damon Morey in the Buffalo office. She focuses her practice on medical, dental and podiatric malpractice. Roehl lives in Depew, N.Y.  

Jennifer L. Fay ’07 has joined Faraci Lange as an associate in the Buffalo office, practicing plaintiffs’ personal injury law. She previously practiced with HoganWillig in Amherst, N.Y. Fay is a resident of Tonawanda, N.Y.

Randolph V. Clower ’09 was named an intellectual property mentor by MakerStaker.com. Clower is an associate with Phillips Lytle in the Buffalo office, practicing intellectual property. He lives in Lancaster, N.Y.

David M. Gottfried ’09 and his father, Robert N. Gottfried ’75, have started their own firm, Gottfried & Gottfried, in New York City. He practices immigration and naturalization, family immigration law and business litigation. Gottfried lives in Plainview, N.Y.

Karen Andolina Scott ’09 was honored at the City of Buffalo National Women’s History Month Celebration at City Hall in Buffalo on March 31. She was recognized for her character, courage and commitment. Scott is immigration legal services director for Journey’s End Refugee Services in Buffalo. She lives in Amherst, N.Y.

Mary E. Shepard ’09 has become associated with the Wolford Law Firm in Rochester, N.Y. She previously served as law clerk to Hon. Michael Telesca ’55, U.S. District Court, Western District of New York, in Rochester. Shepard lives in Pittsford, N.Y. 

Joel A. McMahon ’00

Joseph M. Hanna ’05

Anne E. Joynt ’05

Keith R. Vona ’05

'10s

Brian J. Alterio ’10 has joined the Small Law Firm as an associate in Buffalo, practicing personal injury. Alterio lives in Niagara Falls, N.Y.

Matthew K. Pelkey ’10 has become associated with Colligan Law in Buffalo. Pelkey concentrates his practice on business and real estate transactions, Buffalo start-ups, public and private financing, community economic development and litigation. He lives in Buffalo.

Zachary G. Schurkman ’10 has joined Furman Kornfeld & Brennan as an associate in the New York City office. He practices in the areas of professional liability, legal malpractice and insurance coverage and litigation. Schurkman is a resident of New York City.

Marissa J. Sweet ’11 has become an associate with Bennett Schechter Arcuri & Will in Buffalo, practicing transportation and trucking litigation, insurance defense litigation and toxic tort litigation. Sweet lives in Lancaster, N.Y.

Amy K. Boyd ’12 is practicing as an associate with Harris Beach in the Buffalo and Rochester, N.Y., offices. Boyd counsels clients regarding life and asset planning. She lives in Fairport, N.Y.

Justin D. KIoss ’13 has joined Kloss Stenger & LoTempio as an associate in the Clarence, N.Y., office.  Kloss practices general business litigation, corporate law, administrative law, intellectual property litigation and strategic business management. He lives in Clarence Center, N.Y.

Kinsey A. O’Brien ’13 is an associate with Hurwitz & Fine in the Buffalo office. She concentrates her practice on employment counseling and litigation matters. O’Brien lives in Buffalo.  

Justin D. KIoss ’13

Marriages

Congratulations to the following newlyweds:

  • Anthony M. Rossi ’10 and Amanda Schieber ’10, Nov. 23, 2013 

Eli Jacob Grossman

Births

To Kevin Grossman ’04 and Melanie Grossman ’05, a son, Eli Jacob, on March 3, 2014, in Delmar, N.Y.

 To Jenna A. Moran ’10 and Christopher R. Moran ’11, a son, Timothy Robert, on March 4, 2014, in Rockville, Md.   

In Memoriam

The Law School extends its deepest condolences to the family and friends of the following alumni:

  • Gerald L. Radin ’55, Hampstead, N.C.
  • Edmund W. Burke ’68, Buffalo
  • Mark A. Moreau ’75, New Orleans, La.
  • William J. Bozzuffi II ’81, Nevada City, Calif.
  • Robert J. Williams ’97, Amherst, N.Y.