photo of justice building.

Ethically & Inclusively Advocating for Those Who Appeal

A Pro Bono Appeals Program CLE

A presentation and discussion of challenges and legal issues faced by those who advocate for those that appeal.

Friday, March 1, 2019
212 O’Brian Hall, North Campus

Several years ago, the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Courts of Appellate Jurisdiction created the Pro Bono Appeals Program to help meet the needs of the many litigants who need legal representation in state appellate courts, but cannot afford to hire an appellate attorney and are not eligible for assigned counsel. This CLE Program will explore the importance of Appellate Advocacy, the Statewide Appellate Rule Changes for those handling appeals that are both local and statewide, along with a presentation by Ethics expert, Professor Kim Diana Connolly, including important information regarding diversity & inclusion.

The Pro Bono Appeals Program was made possible by the generous support from the The New York Bar Foundation and the New York State Bar Association.

Earn 2.0 NYS CLE credits in the area of Skills (transitional or non-transitional); 0.5 NYS CLE credits in the area of Ethics and Professionalism (transitional or non-transitional) and 0.5 NYS CLE credits in the area of Diversity, Inclusion and Elimination of Bias (non-transitional only) - for a total of 3.0 NYS CLE credits for experienced attorneys, and 2.5 NYS CLE credits for newly admitted attorneys.


8:30 a.m. - Registration Begins
9:00 a.m. - Introductions
9:10 a.m. - CLE Presentations
10:50 a.m. - BREAK
11:00 a.m. - CLE Presentation
11:50 a.m. - Closing Remarks

CLE Presenters:

  • Robert Brucato, Esq., Counsel Press
  • Timothy P. Murphy, Esq., Co-Chair, New York State Bar Association Committee on Courts of Appellate Jurisdiction
  • Kim Diana Connolly, Professor of Law, University at Buffalo School of Law

On this page:

CLE Materials



Robert C. Brucato, Esq. ’90 opened Counsel Press’s Buffalo Office in 1992 and has managed it continuously since then. During his more than 25 year career, he has been personally involved with several thousand appeals, primarily to the N.Y.S. Appellate Courts and the U.S.C.A. for the Second Circuit. Prior to joining Counsel Press, Brucato worked for a short time with the U.S. Small Business Administration and was also in private practice. Brucato is a member of the Board of Directors of the MedLaw Cancer Partnership of Western New York.

Brucato is actively involved with multiple legal organizations and associations in the upstate NY region. He has presented CLEs on appellate topics to the Bar Association of Erie County, the Monroe County Bar Association, the Western New York Chapter of the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York (WBASNY), the Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorneys (GRAWA), University at Buffalo School of Law Alumni GOLD Group, the Western New York Paralegal Association and the Paralegal Association of Rochester. Brucato is a member of the Bar Association of Erie County, the Monroe County Bar Association, the WNY Chapter of WBASNY and GRAWA.


Professor and Vice Dean Kim Diana Connolly directs the experiential learning program here at UB School of Law, along with work on access to justice issues through teaching additional clinics, including: the Animal Law Clinic, the Environmental Advocacy Clinic, and the Puerto Rico Recovery Assistance Program. She also co-directs the Veterans Legal Practicum. She helps teach the experiential components of that course,

She served as a VISTA volunteer after graduating with an undergraduate chemistry degree from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, and received her certification in non-profit management from Duke University while doing anti-poverty work for three years. She then studied law at Georgetown, and went into private practice in Washington, DC. She thereafter enrolled in a graduate law program at night while working so that she could apply to enter academic teaching. An inveterate student even after more than a dozen years with tenure, Professor Connolly recently completed her graduate certification in Restorative Practices.

Professor Connolly is extremely excited about the Clinical Program and School of Law hosting the Pro Bono Appeals Program for the 4th Department. “The University at Buffalo School of Law has a long history of providing access to justice with the help of our law students. It is an honor to add this pro bono service opportunity to our multi-faceted clinical programmatic offerings, and our other experiential learning options such as the Pro Bono Scholars Program. We look forward to working with the NYSBA and the excellent volunteer lawyers to provide service-learning for our students while simultaneously offering legal assistance to those who need access to justice.”


Timothy P. Murphy has been practicing law for 24 years.  He is the Chief Attorney for the Appeals and Post-Conviction Unit of the Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo, Inc., which is the largest assigned criminal appeals office in New York outside of New York City.  He was previously a member of the criminal department at Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria LLP in Buffalo, where he represented criminal and civil clients in state and federal courts across the country.  Murphy is a former prosecutor with the Niagara County District Attorney’s Office and is a former Town Justice in the Town of Pendleton.  

Murphy is Chair of the Appellate Practice Committee for the Bar Association of Erie County, is a Director of the New York Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and is co-chair of the New York State Bar Association Committee on Courts of Appellate Jurisdiction.  Murphy regularly lectures on criminal law throughout New York State for the New York State Defenders Association.  He is also a member of the Tri-County Bars Judicial Screening Committee, which interviews judicial candidates for the New York State Court of Appeals.  Murphy is licensed to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as the Second, Fourth, Sixth and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeals.  He has been chosen for Super Lawyers (Upstate NY edition) since 2014.

Register to Attend