A state Court of Appeals judge with a long record of public service has been chosen to receive the 2014 Edwin F. Jaeckle award, the highest honor given by his alma mater, SUNY Buffalo Law School, and the SUNY Buffalo Law Alumni Association.
Hon. Eugene F. Pigott Jr., a member of the Class of 1973, will accept the Edwin F. Jaeckle Award at a luncheon meeting of the Law School held in conjunction with the State Bar meeting, on Friday, Jan.31. The award is given annually to a person who exemplifies the highest ideals of the Law School and the Law Alumni Association and has made significant contributions to the school and the legal profession. It is named for Edwin F. Jaeckle ’15, a founding partner of the Buffalo law firm Jaeckle, Fleischmann & Mugel and a major benefactor of the school.
Gov. George Pataki appointed Pigott in 2006 to the Court of Appeals, New York’s highest court. The jurist has maintained close ties with SUNY Buffalo Law, serving on the Dean’s Advisory Council, judging moot court competitions and serving as a guest speaker in several courses.
Born in Rochester, Pigott graduated from LeMoyne College in 1968, then served on active duty in the Army from 1968 to 1970. While in the service, he was stationed in Vietnam, serving as a Vietnamese interpreter.
After graduating from the Law School, Pigott practiced with the Buffalo firm Offermann, Fallon, Mahoney & Adner from 1974 to 1982. In 1982 he was appointed Erie County attorney, and he served in that position until 1986. In 1986 he became chief trial counsel for the firm of Offermann, Cassano, Pigott & Greco.
Pigott was appointed to the New York State Supreme Court in 1997 and thereafter was elected to a full 14-year term. In 1998 he was designated to the Appellate Division, Fourth Department, and was appointed presiding justice in 2000. His nomination to the Court of Appeals was confirmed by the state Senate in 2006.
Previous recipients of the Jaeckle Award have included Hon. Charles S. Desmond, Hon. Matthew J. Jasen, Manly Fleischmann, Jacob D. Hyman, Hon. M. Dolores Denman, William R. Greiner, Thomas E. Black Jr. and the 2013 honoree, Margaret W. Wong.