The Buffalo Law Review is a dispassionate place for legal scholarship, but at the journal’s year-end dinner, there was high emotion.
First at the April 30 dinner, held at the Park Country Club in Williamsville, was a tone of celebration. Outgoing editor in chief Ryan G. Ganzenmuller ’15 touched on the year’s highlights, including two articles in particular that were reported in The New York Times. The Review also doubled the size of its office space and revamped its constitution. “We will remember two things: the work that people did and the people we met,” Ganzenmuller said. “Many of us have made extraordinary friends through the Law Review. Long after the work is gone, the people are what we’ll remember.”
The emotions continued in remarks by the evening’s two honorees, Vincent E. Doyle III ’89 and John R. Nuchereno.
A partner in the Buffalo firm Connors & Vilardo, Doyle is a commercial litigator whose practice includes civil and white-collar criminal litigation and representation of professionals in disciplinary proceedings. He is a past president of the New York State Bar Association
Doyle noted that his 9-year-old daughter, Isabella, was present, and said he didn’t want to bore her. “When I was on the Buffalo Law Review, we worked hard we worked together we took pride in what we published,” he said. “But often we would pass the time looking for distractions and conversation topics.” In a pre-Internet age, they debated: pizza vs. wings. Mary Ann vs. Ginger. The definition of a natural hat trick. “If there was ever a group that was suited to passionately debate trivial matters, it was the members of the Buffalo Law Review,” Doyle said.
And then there was the debate about Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Santa’s elf who wanted to be a dentist. Herbie, wasn’t it? Or was it Hermie?
“What always struck me was the passion, the effort, the ingenuity people brought to the debate,” Doyle said. “Polls were taken, source materials were considered. Someone had a boxed doll that had the name Hermie on it; someone else had a TV Guide that listed Herbie.” The matter was finally settled, he said, at a holiday party when they played the video. It was Hermie.
“I remember the feeling of accomplishment,” Doyle said, “the feeling that we were part of a team. Forget the publication of the Law Review; we were several issues behind. But we had solved the puzzle.”
Nuchereno, a partner in the boutique Western New York firm Nuchereno & Nagel, has tried hundreds of cases as a litigator, including more than 50 jury homicide trials. But it is his engaging teaching at the Law School that has endeared him to students – and shocked them when he announced he had been diagnosed with leukemia.
Nuchereno talked about that surprising journey and about the encouraging emails he got from students – including those he hadn’t taught – as he prepared to undergo a bone marrow transplant. When he was past that, he said, “the first place I went was to the Law School to see about resuming my teaching.” And when he did return to the classroom “without a hair on my head, I walked down the aisle to a standing ovation. It was at that point I knew my career as a lawyer was a success.”
He concluded with a litany of thanks to his family, colleagues, friends, his medical team and the students “who encouraged me when I could no longer encourage them.” And one more: to the unknown young man who donated the bone marrow to save his life.
Pieces by four associates on the Law Review staff were chosen for publication next year: Kelsey Till, M. Alexandra Verdi, Steven Maffucci and Brandon R. White. Both the dinner’s major student awards – the Justice Philip Halpern Award, for excellence in writing, and the Carlos C. Alden Award, for the senior making the greatest contribution to the Law Review – went to Ganzenmuller.