BLJ: Report finds women hold just 25% of lead counsel

A new report by the New York State Bar Association shines a light on gender disparity in courtrooms. Titled “If Not Now, When? Achieving Equality for Women Attorneys in the Courtroom and in ADR,” the report was released by the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section and the Bar’s Task Force on Women’s Initiatives. The study included nearly 2,800 questionnaires sent out to courts statewide. It found that women attorneys make up 25 percent of the lead counsel positions in courtrooms. “In…

BLJ: A passion for putting others first

In the 1950s when he was in fifth grade, Frank LoTempio Jr. asked his uncle what lawyers did for a living. They help people, he was told. “I’ve always remembered that,” he said. It sparked a lifelong passion for law and the energetic 75-year-old still works full time at LoTempio P.C. Law Group with his son, Frank III, although he indulges in a vacation now and then and thoughts of retirement have crept into his mind. “I always remember that famous saying from Marv Levy: When you think…

BLJ: Changing economics drive practice

When Elizabeth DiPirro of Rupp Baase Pfalzgraf Cunningham LLC started practicing matrimonial law nearly 30 years ago, women were primarily the caretakers who stayed home with the children, often putting their careers and education on the back burner. “The whole point of spousal maintenance was to get them to rehabilitate them to a point where they could be self-supportive and try to get them back on track with their careers educationally or in terms of experience,” she said. What changed over…

BLJ: What’s old in Buffalo is new again

A building at 496 Main St. in Buffalo used to be a Chinese restaurant. Before that, it was home to a shoe sales company. The building has been a lot of things over 167 years, and thanks to Kevin Ricotta and John Visco, it’s now a law office. “I used to tell my then-girlfriend – now my wife – that this was such a cool building and someone should rehab it,” Ricotta said. “I didn’t realize it was going to be me some 20 years later.” He and Visco purchased it in 2010 and spent three…

BLJ: ‘False Claims Act Today’ CLE attracts heavy hitters in law

Scott Oswald, managing principal of The Employment Law Group P.C. in Washington, D.C., will visit Buffalo next month to moderate a CLE titled “The False Claims Act Today” at the U.S. Courthouse in Niagara Square. The Sept. 19 event will run 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. and will feature a panel of local judges, attorneys and government officials. Oswald said the CLE is designed to be an overview on the ins and outs of the False Claims Act, based on how the various U.S. Attorney’ offices are set up. “What…

BLJ: Commercial real estate still abuzz

Commercial real estate in Buffalo is a hot commodity and it shows no signs of slowing down. That’s good news for Phillips Lytle LLP, which has 39 attorneys who focus on real estate matters. The Buffalo law firm is in the top spot on The List in this issue, which ranks area law firms by the number of attorneys specializing in commercial real estate. Second on the list is Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman LLP with 12 real estate attorneys. Several other firms that are ranked dedicate a large part…

BLJ: Disare embraces role, looks to the future of association

Life these days is busy for Melinda Disare. Along with being an equity member at Bond Schoeneck & King and specializing in labor and employment law, she’s president of the Bar Association of Erie County. She took the role more than a month early after the sudden death of former President Greg Miller. While the transition was both abrupt and emotional, Disare said serving as president is all about giving back to the association of which she’s been a member since 1981. “I finally felt like…

BLJ: Quinn finds new opportunity in law

When Jack Quinn stepped down in June as president of Erie County Community College, he said he wasn’t done working just yet. At 66, the former congressman and teacher announced last week that he has taken a job at Barclay Damon, serving as senior adviser for public and community relations. It’s a perfect fit, said Quinn, adding that he’s looking to spend more time with his family and cut back on 60- to 80-hourwork weeks. “The reputation of this firm and the work that it does, not only the…

BLJ: Condren makes it through 11 Day Power Play

Nearly a month after playing consecutive days of hockey as part of the 11 Day Power Play, Buffalo attorney John Condren said he’d do again in a heartbeat. “Absolutely,” said the partner at Rupp Baase Pfalzgraf Cunningham LLC. The event set the record for the longest consecutive hockey game, clocking in at 251 hours. The old record, set in Alberta, Canada, was 250 hours and three minutes. More important, Condren said, the players surpassed their goal of raising $1 million. A total of $1.2…

BLJ: Social media keeps companies on their toes

When Robert Carr started Carr Marketing Communications in the mid-1990s, he made sure the company was on the internet. In the nearly 25 years since then, he’s seen a lot of changes, but he’s been able to adapt with the changes to websites and social media. “I always felt that the next generation of communication was the internet,” he said. “That’s why we felt so strongly that our firm should be on the internet almost immediately.” His hunch was correct, and he’s seen the dialogue…