Hon. Eugene M. Fahey ’84, recently retired from New York’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, will take the podium as keynote speaker for UB School of Law’s 133rd Commencement ceremony.
The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. on May 14 in the Center for the Arts, on the University at Buffalo’s North Campus. A Student Awards Convocation will precede the ceremony at 12:30 p.m. in Slee Hall, also on the North Campus.
Judge Fahey, a former member of Buffalo’s Common Council, was confirmed to the high court in 2015 and retired at the end of 2021. His judicial career began with his election to Buffalo City Court in 1994, then State Supreme Court in 1996. He was appointed to the Supreme Court’s Appellate Division, Fourth Department, in 2006.
At the law school, he has been co-teaching a course in the current spring semester on drafting an effective amicus curiae brief. The judge holds bachelor’s, master’s and juris doctor degrees from UB.
“As a 1984 graduate of the law school, I consider it a great honor to speak at Commencement,” Judge Fahey says. “I’m going to discuss our current situation as legal professionals, in that the law is relied upon as the final arbiter of almost every issue in society today. That places an enormous responsibility on all of us who practice law.
“One of the themes that keeps coming up in my course is liberty and equality, and how the law provides solutions—solutions that are generally imperfect. What I want the students to leave with is the sense that the law offers a path to justice, not justice in and of itself.”
Judge Fahey’s keynote address will follow remarks by Dean Aviva Abramovsky.
Two alumni of the law school will receive significant honors as part of the ceremony. The Dean’s Medal, which recognizes an individual “distinguished by commitment to justice and the rule of law,” will be presented to Hon. E. Jeannette Ogden ’83, a State Supreme Court justice in the Eighth Judicial District. She was elected to that post in 2014 following service on Buffalo City Court, Erie County Court and Erie County Family Court. Justice Ogden currently teaches a UB Law course on mental health issues in the law. A former president of the Law Alumni Association, she has mentored numerous law students during the course of her career.
The Ken Joyce Excellence in Teaching Award, designated for “a member of the adjunct faculty for excellent teaching and longstanding service to the School of Law,” will be given to Dan D. Kohane ’79. A senior member of the law firm Hurwitz & Fine, P.C., where he specializes in insurance coverage cases, Kohane has taught insurance law at UB for 34 years. He also conducts extensive training, consultation and in-house seminars in this area of the law.
Jeffrey C. Stravino '97, UB Law Alumni Association President, will welcome the graduates to the alumni community.