BLJ: City In Rem auction set for Oct. 24-26

In this week’s issue, we take an in-depth look at Erie County’s in-rem process. While the county auction was held several weeks ago, the city of Buffalo auction will be held Oct. 24-26. For me, it was interesting to see the lengths that the county goes to in order for a homeowner to keep their home. It’s clear that the preferred outcome is for people to remain in their home while paying the taxes that are owed. Obviously that’s not always what happens, for a variety of reasons. The in-rem…

Missing Buffalo Police Officer recovered near Strawberry Island

The body of Buffalo Police Officer Craig Lehner was found in the Niagara River Tuesday afternoon. Five days after he went missing during a Buffalo Police Underwater Recovery Team training exercise. Lehner, 34, was a nine-year member of the Buffalo Police force. He served in the K-9 Unit with his dog, Shield, named after Buffalo Police Officer James Shields, who was killed in a car accident while responding to a burglary call in 2002. According to the United States Coast Guard, Lehner went missing…

BLJ: Viral posts can lead to issues for lawyers

A day after the mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas, a lawyer for CBS took to Facebook and wrote a disparaging comment about victims of the shooting.  “If they wouldn’t do anything when children were murdered I have no hope that Repugs will ever do the right thing,” Hayley Geftman-Gold wrote in a now-deleted comment. “I’m actually not even sympathetic bc country music fans often are Republican gun toters.”  Reaction to the comment was immediate. The comment…

BLJ: County In-Rem auction a win-win

Erie County’s In-Rem foreclosure proceeding has been a boon to the county, recouping owed taxes and putting properties back on the tax rolls. It also provides investors and prospective homeowners a chance that might not have existed otherwise to purchase property. Property owners who owe at least two years of back taxes to the county may have the property foreclosed on through the In-Rem process, said Jennifer Persico, a partner at Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman who works with the county on In-Rem…

BLJ: County deputies volunteer to test body cams for 60 days

The Erie County Sheriff’s Office has entered into an agreement with the Axon Network for 12 body cameras. The cameras will be tested by 12 deputies working in area substations and districts. They volunteered to be part of the evaluation period. The Sheriff’s Office will evaluate the equipment, technical support and data storage requirements of the devices. The test period will provide an opportunity for the Sheriff’s Office and the Erie County District Attorney’s Office to look at the process…

BLJ: Skretny hands down sentence in investment fraud case

A retired Boston, Mass., police detective was sentenced to three months of home confinement by U.S. Senior District Judge William Skretny last week after the man was convicted of helping Michael Wilson defraud investors. Daniel Rice, 53, of Stoughton, Mass., also was given two years of supervised release after the home confinement. He was convicted of wire fraud in March.  Wilson, 30, formerly of Hamburg, was convicted in July of wire fraud for deals entered into by his fraudulent companies between…

BLJ: Old County Hall goes purple for domestic violence awareness

Old Erie County Hall will be lit up in purple for the remainder of the month in order to “shine the light on domestic violence,” says the Erie County District Attorney’s Office. DA John Flynn flicked the switch during a ceremony last week that spotlighted efforts to combat domestic violence at the state, county and local levels. Law enforcement ranging from the Buffalo Police Department and New York State Police to the Erie County Sheriff’s Office and Orchard Park Police Department attended…

BLJ: ‘Green’ office is goal of Adams

Stephanie Adams took a risk. She left her position as general counsel at Niagara University and in September she opened a law office in the Siano Building on Grant Street. “Grant Street is an incredible collection of what I think makes our country and region strong, which is small businesses,” she said, explaining why she wanted to open an office there. “In the last few years we’ve had huge growth in businesses started by immigrants and refugees here.” Adams, who lives in the neighborhood,…

BLJ: Move to Liberty Building energizes Lipsitz & Ponterio LLC

After being in the same location for 22 years, Lipsitz & Ponterio LLC completed a move from 135 Delaware Ave. to the Liberty Building. The move offers clients a central location downtown, said John Lipsitz, a founding partner. “It’s greater convenience in terms of access to our clients,” he said. Staff was split on two floors in the Delaware Avenue offices but the new space puts everyone on the same floor, he said. “Frankly, we needed a change to re-energize and refocus everybody in a…

BLJ: New digs, new start for Meyers Buth

Cheryl Meyers Buth and Laurie Baker have worked together for a decade. At the end of last year, they decided to branch off together and in September they opened Meyers Buth Law Group PLLC in Orchard Park. “It just made sense,” said Baker, who lives in the area. So does Meyers Buth. The Southtowns base is a renovated office in the historic New York Telephone Building at 21 Princeton Place. The location also made sense for their clients, they said. “Both of us had been downtown for many years,”…