Feinman gets nod for appeals court

Paul Feinman, an associate justice in the Appellate Division of state Supreme Court and the first openly gay man to be nominated for New York’s highest court, was confirmed June 21 by the state Senate to serve as associate judge on the Court of Appeals. Feinman has served as a judge in the state for more than 20 years. He will fill the vacancy caused by the death in Arpil of Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam. Judge Gerald Whelan, presiding justice of the Appellate Division’s Fourth Judicial Department,…

Buffalo among 12 U.S. cities to join Public Safety Partnership

Buffalo is one of 12 cities nationwide joining the Justice Department’s new National Public Safety Partnership. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the program last week during a national summit organized by the Attorney General’s Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety. He cited the “troubling increase in violent crimes” across the nation as the reason for the program. “The Department of Justice will work with American cities suffering from serious violent crime problems,”…

‘Writing the Winning Brief’ CLE attracts judicial heavy hitters

Looking for tips on writing better briefs? “Writing the Winning Brief: Tips from the Bench and Bar” has you covered. Organized by Erin McCampbell of Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria LLP, the CLE runs from 4 to 5:30 p.m., June 27 with a cocktail reception to follow from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. The event will be held at the Robert H. Jackson U.S. Courthouse in Buffalo The idea for the event came from a CLE that McCampbell attended in New York City at the beginning of the year. “I wanted to get together…

Certification matters for disabled vets

For Anthony Kuhn, a Buffalo-based partner at Tully Rinckey PLLC, helping disabled veteran business owners is a way to give back. After all, he can relate. “I’m a disabled combat veteran,” Kuhn said, adding that he’s been in the Army for 21 years. “I’ve been a small-business owner in the past. I know where these guys are, I know what they’ve gone through and what it feels like to not know where the next check is coming from or where the next job will be lined up.” To that end, he…

Young attorneys speak up

For younger associates at Barclay Damon, voicing their opinion on what management could do better to suit their needs is part of the job. The firm set up an associates-only Next Generation Committee to listen to concerns and report back. The committee was consulted on several new policies rolled out last week aimed at younger associates. “One of our initial initiatives was to review the policies and provide our feedback,” said Megan Bahas, an associate at Barclay Damon who is on the Next Generation…

Making court less daunting for children

Children again have a safe place to go while their parents and guardians deal with legal issues at Buffalo City Court. A Children’s Center was opened there as a part of a statewide effort by the unified court system. Children’s Centers in the Courts started in the 1990s. However, Buffalo City Court lost its center due to budget cuts in 2010-11. The center was dedicated last week and renamed the Sharon A. Thomas Children’s Center. Thomas was chief clerk at Buffalo City Court from 1999 until…

State ethics commission settles with Uber

A state ethics committee announced Thursday that it reached a settlement with Uber Technologies Inc. after the ride-sharing company failed to disclose more than $6 million in lobbying expenses over the course of 2015 and 2016. Uber agreed to pay a fine of $98,000, the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics said. The settlement is the largest reached under the commission’s compliance program. The USA Today Network reported Thursday that Uber disclosed $3.1 million in expenses, when the…

NY Bar takes fresh look at social media

For the first time since 2015, the New York State Bar Association revised its social media guidelines for attorneys. Released May 11, they contain new guidance on attorney advertising, replying to online reviews and possible conflicts coming from an attorney’s social media posts. “Whether you are a litigator, transactional attorney, in-house counsel or attorney who uses social media to communicate, blog or solicit business, you should know the risks and benefits of social media use,” said…

Product liability practice is their passion

For Phillips Lytle partner Craig Leslie, defending product liability cases is a passion. He loves coming to work every day and learning something new. “I enjoy it tremendously,” he said, noting that he took lots of science classes in college. “One of the things that plays well is that I have a curious mind, and when you’re dealing with products cases, you have to have that.” Attorney James Scime also is passionate about his job. He represents plaintiffs in product liabilty cases. “Products…

County to develop plan to stay in climate pact

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz signed an executive order Friday afternoon directing the county to develop a plan to stay in compliance with the Paris Climate Agreement. The move comes one day after President Donald Trump announced the United States would be exiting the agreement. In remarks before the signing, Poloncarz said Erie County was joining municipalities around the country in honoring the pact. “The White House has abdicated its leadership position in America and across the globe,”…