NY AG files lawsuit against Buffalo concert promoter

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has filed a lawsuit against a Buffalo-based concert promoter after the promoter canceled an event over the summer and did not refund tickets. The lawsuit was filed against Cody Conway and his company, Buffalove Music Festival LLC. According to the Attorney General’s office, Conway promoted the Buffalove Music Festival 2017, which was to take place from July 20 to July 23 in Franklinville, in Cattaraugus County. Conway allegedly canceled the festival several weeks…

BLJ: Students revel in feedback at ADR competition

Several weeks ago, I had the chance to sit in at the University at Buffalo School of Law’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Mediation Intramural Competition. Buffalo attorney Steven Sugarman, who runs the competition, was kind enough to invite me and I’m glad he did. First, let me say that I’ve never been through a mediation, and it was interesting to see how the process plays out (obviously, real life is different. These were students with a time limit).  The back-and-forth was fascinating,…

BLJ: Five questions — with Linda Stravalaci-Grear

You recently joined Pfalzgraf Beinhauer & Menzies. Why the change in law firms? I have been practicing law for 23 years and most of that time has been spent practicing in estate planning and elder law. I was at HoganWillig for 17 years and had been chairperson of the estate department there. About a month ago I made the change. It was a personal decision for myself, and I went from a larger firm to a smaller firm but knew that I did want to continue doing elder law practice. The split from HoganWillig…

BLJ: Mediation — Learning the tools of the trade

Second- and third-year students at the University of Buffalo School of Law got a chance to learn from pillars of mediation Nov. 18 as part of the 18th annual Alternative Dispute Resolution Mediation Intramural Competition. Attorneys and judges provided feedback to participants, who presented their cases over a fictional fact scenario and worked to reach a compromise. The two winning teams will move on to the regional competition in late February at either New York University School of Law or Quinnipiac…

BLJ: Arbitration association sets up shop

The American Arbitration Association recently opened an office in Buffalo to offer a variety of dispute resolution services to the region.  The office is at 250 Delaware Ave. in the Delaware North building. The AAA plans to hold an open house in early 2018.  Maureen Kurdziel, vice president of the AAA New York Insurance Case Management Center, said Buffalo was at the top of the list for a new location because of the economic growth and the potential workforce. “We’re very excited about the…

Bar Association of Erie County names new executive director

Anne Noble, a graduate from the University at Buffalo School of Law who spent over 20 years in private and public practice in Connecticut, is the next executive director of the Bar Association of Erie County. Bar Association President Melinda Disare announced the appointment Tuesday. Disare said Noble brings “outstanding" experience to the position. “Our board is excited about the future direction of the BAEC with her involvement,” she said in a statement announcing the hire.  Noble will…

BLJ: Barclay Damon sees future in renewable energy

Barclay Damon sees a future in renewable energy.  In recent months, four attorneys from boutique firm McCauley Lyman in Massachusetts were added to the workforce, bringing more than three decades of combined experience in wind and solar energy projects. Don McCauley, Frank Lyman, Jill Winans and Michael Blasik will remain partners at McCauley Lyman while joining Barclay Damon as of counsel. Barclay Damon also acquired Gilberti Stinziano Heintz & Smith P.C., an environmental energy firm in Syracuse. It’s…

BLJ: Insurance companies — Staff counsel or outside firm?

While some insurance companies may determine that having in-house counsel is the way to go, others decide to bring in outside firms to help with for cases and claims. It often boils down to how many cases a company sees and the financial impact of bringing in an outside firm as opposed to having attorneys on staff.  Robert Lippman of Lippman & O’Connor is the head of staff counsel for Selective Insurance. He previously worked in private firms so he’s been on both sides of the issue. At Selective…

BLJ: Title insurance protects homeowners

Land title insurance has been on the rise in Western New York over the last 15 years, with several factors playing into why homeowners increasingly purchase such policies.  At its root, land title insurance protects people against claims on the property they own, as well as things such as easements and unresolved liens on a property. While it’s unlikely that a claim will be made against a property, it’s better to have protection just in case. When Michael Piette, a member at Bond Schoeneck…

BLJ: Law firms take notice of cyber threats

Traditionally, attorneys and firms invested in professional liability insurance to protect against lawsuits involving mistakes an attorney may have made. While mistakes are still made, cyber-security has become an issue firms are wrangling with, often by turning to extra protection against threats.  Reggie DeJean, specialty insurance director at Lawley Insurance, said the issue comes up more and more with law firms because of the nature of the information they have regarding clients. For instance,…