Class Action - February '16

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 March 7. You can submit your news via our online form or send it to the Alumni Relations Office.

1960s | 1970s | 1980s | 1990s | 2000s | 2010s | Marriages | In Memoriam

’60s

Stuart A. Gellman ’61 was elected to the board of directors of Us TOO International, a national prostate cancer foundation in Chicago. Gellman practices and resides in Amherst, N.Y.

70s

Terrence M. Connors ’71 received the Edwin F. Jaeckle Award, the highest honor the Law School and the Law Alumni Association can bestow, at the SUNY Buffalo Law Alumni Luncheon in New York City on Jan. 29. Connors is founding member of Connors & Vilardo (now Connors LLP) in Buffalo. He 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.

Hon. Rose H. Sconiers ’73 received the 2016 Community Leaders Award in the legal category from the National Federation for Just Communities of Western New York, in Buffalo. Sconiers is an associate justice of the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, 4th Department, in Buffalo. She is a past president of the SUNY Buffalo Law Alumni Association, a past recipient of the association's Distinguished Alumna Award and an emerita member of the Dean's Advisory Council. Sconiers lives in Buffalo.

Christopher J. Belling ’74 has been appointed chief trial counsel with the Erie County District Attorney’s Office in Buffalo. He previously served as assistant district attorney, chief assistant district attorney, deputy district attorney and senior trial counsel in the office. Belling is a Buffalo resident.

Hon. Robert M. Shaddock ’78 was appointed town justice in Pittsford, N.Y., where he resides. Shaddock is a partner with Barclay Damon in the Buffalo office.

Terrence M. Connors ’71

Hon. Rose H. Sconiers ’73

80s

Martha Krisel ’80 of Rockville Centre, N.Y., was elected president of the Nassau County Bar Association in Mineola, N.Y. Krisel is a municipal consultant working with New York State on its expenditure of federal funds for post-Superstorm Sandy infrastructure rebuilding on Long Island.

Rick W. Kennedy ’82 has been named president and CEO of Hodgson Russ. He practices in the firm’s Buffalo office, concentrating on complex environmental matters. Kennedy is a Buffalo resident.

Carol G. Snider ’83 co-chaired the American Conference Institute’s 20th National Advanced Forum on Asbestos Claims & Litigation. Snider is a partner with Barclay Damon and chair of the firm’s mass & toxic torts practice area in Buffalo, where she resides.

Hon. Gerald J. Whalen ’83, an appellate justice, has been appointed presiding justice of the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court for Western and Central New York by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. Whalen is a resident of Hamburg, N.Y.

Cheryl Dinolfo ’86 was elected county executive of Monroe County, N.Y. Dinolfo was previously Monroe County clerk in Rochester, where she resides.

Dana Louttit ’86 has become litigation services supervising attorney with Latham & Watkins in Washington, D.C. She lives in Chevy Chase, Md.

Donna A. Milling ’86 of Williamsville, N.Y., was appointed first assistant district attorney with the Erie County District Attorney’s Office in Buffalo. Milling is the first woman of color to hold this position. She was previously chief of the appeals bureau.

Melinda R. Saran ’86 received the Sandy Kulick Memorial Award from the Bar Association of Erie County, in Buffalo. Saran is vice dean for student affairs at SUNY Buffalo Law School. She lives in Williamsville, N.Y.

Hon. Frank A. Sedita III ’86 was elected New York State Supreme Court justice, 8th Judicial District. He presides in Mayville, N.Y. Sedita previously served as Erie County district attorney in Buffalo, where he resides.

Hon. Brenda M. Freedman ’89 was elected Erie County Family Court judge in Buffalo. Freedman previously served as a referee with the New York State Supreme Court, 8th Judicial District, and Erie County Family Court in Buffalo. She is a resident of Williamsville, N.Y.

Karen L. Nicolson ’89 of Amherst, N.Y., has been appointed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to a three-year term on the New York State Advisory Committee for the Aging. Nicolson is chief executive officer of Legal Services for the Elderly, Disabled or Disadvantaged of Western New York, in Buffalo.

Elaine M. Spaull ’98 of Rochester, N.Y., received the 2016 Athena Award from the Women’s Council, an affiliate of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce. Spaull is executive director of the Center for Youth in Rochester and a city councilwoman.

Rick W. Kennedy ’82

Carol G. Snider ’83

Melinda R. Saran ’86

Hon. Brenda M. Freedman ’89

90s

Michael J. Flaherty Jr. ’90 was named acting district attorney with the Erie County District Attorney’s office in Buffalo. Flaherty previously served as first assistant district attorney. He is a Buffalo resident.

Joseline Peña-Melnyk ’91 of College Park, Md., is running for Maryland’s 4th Congressional District. She is currently a member of the Maryland House of Delegates, 21st District. 

Michael R. Moore ’93 of Williamsville, N.Y., has become a partner with Barclay Damon in Buffalo. Moore is a member of the firm’s corporate practice area.

Hon. James F. Bargnesi ’96 was elected an Erie County Court judge in Buffalo, where he resides. Bargnesi previously served as homicide bureau chief with the Erie County district attorney’s office in Buffalo.

Hon. Lenora B. Foote-Beavers ’97 received the Erie Community College Distinguished Alumna Award. She was also inducted into the Williamsville East High School Wall of Fame in Williamsville, N.Y. Foote-Beavers, Erie County Family Court support magistrate in Buffalo, is a past president of the SUNY Buffalo Law Alumni Association. She resides in Buffalo.

Phyliss A. Hafner ’97 has accepted a position as an associate with Burden Gulisano & Hansen in Buffalo. Hafner handles cases involving products liability, labor law, trucking/transportation negligence, motor vehicle accidents, premises liability, medical malpractice and municipal liability. She lives in Amherst, N.Y.

Molly Kocialski ’97 has been named director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Rocky Mountain Region, in Denver. She is a resident of Littleton, Colo.

Denis J. Uminski ’99 received the New York National Guard Gold Volunteer Award for 2015. Uminski has provided legal services to reserve and active service persons, veterans and their families since 1999. He is of counsel with the Law Office of Wallace C. Piotrowski in West Seneca, N.Y. Uminski lives in Kenmore, N.Y.

Michael J. Flaherty Jr. ’90

Michael R. Moore ’93

Denis J. Uminski ’99

'00s

Hon. Emilio Colaiacovo ’01 was elected a New York State Supreme Court justice, 8th Judicial District. He presides in Batavia, N.Y.  He was previously a partner with Bouvier Partnership in Buffalo, practicing matrimonial and family law. Colaiacovo lives in East Amherst, N.Y.

Asker A. Saeed ’01 will be a panelist at the North American Asian Law Students Association’s 18th annual International Conference, at New York University Law School on March 25-26. Saeed is director of diversity with Day Pitney in Hartford. He is responsible for leading the firm's diversity initiative in its New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Boston and Washington, D.C., offices. Saeed is a resident of Glastonbury, Conn.

Hon. William K. Taylor ’01 was elected New York State Supreme Court justice, 7th Judicial District, in Rochester, N.Y. Taylor previously served as acting Rochester City Court judge and town justice in Pittsford, N.Y., where he resides.

Justin T. Wallens ’02 was named chief of the Animal Cruelty Unit for the Erie County District Attorney’s Office in Buffalo. Wallens was previously assistant district attorney. He lives in Lancaster, N.Y.

Megan K. Dorritie ’03 has been promoted to partner with Harter Secrest & Emery in the Rochester, N.Y., office. Dorritie focuses her practice in commercial, employee benefits and tax certiorari litigation. She lives in Rochester.

Mara L. McCabe ’03 was named chief of the Buffalo City Court bureau with the Erie County District Attorney’s Office in Buffalo. She recently served as assistant district attorney. McCabe lives in Buffalo.

Stephanie Vettenburg-Shaffer ’03 has been elected district attorney of McKean County in Smethport, Pa. She was previously a partner with Clarke & Shaffer in Bradford, Pa., where she resides.

F. Michael Ostrander ’04 has been promoted to partner with Woods Oviatt Gilman in Rochester, N.Y., where he resides. Ostrander concentrates his practice in business litigation and employment law.

Elizabeth K. Buscaglia ’05 of Buffalo has been promoted to partner with Hodgson Russ in the Buffalo office. She practices immigration law.

Jessica Ortiz ’05 received the 2016 Hispanic National Bar Association “Top Lawyers Under 40” Award. Ortiz is an assistant U.S. Attorney in the criminal division with the U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York, in New York City. She lives in East Newark, N.J.

David M. Cost ’06 of Clifton Park, N.Y., was elected a partner with Barclay Damon in the Albany, N.Y., office. Cost is a member of the firm’s commercial litigation, health care controversies, and mass and toxic torts practice areas.

Alfonzo I. Cutaia ’07 has been promoted to partner with Hodgson Russ in the Buffalo office. He handles cases involving intellectual property and technology. Cutaia lives in Williamsville, N.Y.

John M. Godwin ’07 of Buffalo has become a partner with Hodgson Russ in the Buffalo office. Godwin concentrates his practice in management-side labor and employment law and employment tax law.

Paul J. Roman ’07 was promoted to partner with Hodgson Russ in Buffalo. He is a member of the firm’s intellectual property and technology practice. Roman lives in North Tonawanda, N.Y.

Jacia T. Smith ’07 has become chief policy adviser for the Department of Human Resources for the City of Baltimore. Smith was previously assistant general counsel with Montgomery College in Rockville, Md., where she resides.

Brendan S. Lillis ’09 has joined Phillips Lytle as an associate in the Buffalo office, practicing intellectual property law. He lives in Amherst, N.Y.

Hon. Danielle M. Restaino ’09 was elected Niagara Falls City Court judge in Niagara Falls, N.Y., where she resides. Restaino was previously a Niagara Falls solo practitioner.

Stephanie Vettenburg-Shaffer ’03 (center)

Elizabeth K. Buscaglia ’05

David M. Cost ’06

Alfonzo I. Cutaia ’07

John M. Godwin ’07

Paul J. Roman ’07

'10s

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

Courtney J. Donahue ’11 has become an associate with Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman in Buffalo. She counsels clients regarding trusts, estates and elder law. Donahue lives in North Tonawanda, N.Y.

F. Kenneth Graham ’11 has joined Phillips Lytle as an associate. Graham practices corporate law in the Buffalo office. He is a Buffalo resident.

Nicholas J. Narchus ’13 has accepted a position as an associate with Tully Rinckey. Narchus practices federal labor and employment law in Buffalo, where he resides.

Amat Fatimah ’15 has joined Hodgson Russ as an associate in the Buffalo office. She counsels clients regarding estate and trust matters. Fatimah lives in Getzville, N.Y.

Lauren Hojnacki ’15 is practicing as an associate with Hodgson Russ in the New York City office. Hojnacki handles cases involving business litigation and labor and employment law. She lives in New York City.

Anna S. McCarthy ’15 is an associate with Harter Secrest & Emery in the Buffalo office, practicing litigation and labor and employment law. McCarthy is a Buffalo resident.

Ryan M. Poplawski ’15 has become an associate with Hancock Estabrook in the Syracuse, N.Y., office, practicing in the litigation department.  He is a Syracuse resident.

Nicholas A. Pusateri ’15 is an associate with Hodgson Russ. He practices banking and finance, real estate development and real estate leasing in the Buffalo office. Pusateri lives in Niagara Falls, N.Y.

Joseph C. Smith ’15 has become associated with Phillips Lytle in the Buffalo office. He practices environmental law, including land use, environmental reviews and regulatory compliance. Smith lives in Hamburg, N.Y.

Richard J. Zielinski ’15 has joined Chelus Herdzik Speyer & Monte as an associate in the Buffalo and Cheektowaga, N.Y., offices, practicing litigation and handling general practice matters. He is a Buffalo resident.

Matthew K. Pelkey

Ryan M. Poplawski ’15

Joseph C. Smith ’15

Marriages

Congratulations to the following newlyweds:

  • Pietra G. Lettieri ’01 and Scott Zaffram, Jan. 2, 2016

In Memoriam

John R. Nuchereno

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

  • Joseph M. Ralabate ’49, Williamsville, N.Y.
  • John K. Jones ’59, Portland, Maine
  • Malcolm K. Buckley Jr. ’61, Hamburg, N.Y.
  • Joseph F. Biondolillo ’64, Buffalo
  • R. Peter Morrow III ’74, Buffalo
  • Hon. Kevin M. Dillon ’76, Orchard Park, N.Y.

John R. Nuchereno, trial attorney and a SUNY Buffalo Law School adjunct faculty member, passed away on Feb. 2. Nuchereno was the founding director of the Innocence and Justice Project, part of the Law School’s Advocacy Institute.