A unique connection to Phillips Lytle history

The partners at Phillips Lytle strive to maintain a connection to a history that dates back nearly two centuries to 1834. That was apparent to attorney Patrick Fitzgerald from his first day at the Buffalo law firm in 2012. In addition to seeing artifacts around the office and hearing stories about how long-ago partners shaped the firm, Fitzgerald, then a new associate, received a copy of “Firm Beliefs,” a book published in 2009 about the history of Phillips Lytle. He didn’t take long to read…

Del Vecchio & Stadler brings World IP Day to Buffalo

In the seven years since she co-founded Del Vecchio & Stadler LLP, Rebecca Stadler has come to realize that local businesses don’t always understand the importance of intellectual property. So she looks for ways to help them better protect themselves and explain how IP contributes to the bottom line. Included in that effort was organizing a local event three years ago to celebrate World Intellectual Property Day, which was started in 2000 to raise awareness of how patents, copyright, trademarks…

IP practice, patent litigation essential for big firms

Robert Simpson knows what it’s like to practice intellectual property at both a full-service firm and a boutique law office. He started practicing IP law 30 years ago with a smaller Buffalo firm and then moved on to a larger firm before opening his own law office, which he and his wife, Ellen, have run since 1998. When he started in the late 1980s, there were a number of IP boutique firms here but a decade later, when large firms took notice of the need to provide this service to clients and…

Saying goodbye, and better for the experience

When I started at the Buffalo Law Journal and introduced myself to the people in the legal industry I would come to interact with on an almost daily basis, most were probably wondering to themselves what a local sportswriter was doing taking on the position of editor/reporter of a legal publication. In fact, a few people came right out and asked. Heck, I wondered the same thing myself for the first few weeks. Three years later, here I am happy and appreciative to have had this opportunity and taken…

Former car dealership comptroller pleads guilty to $4 million theft

The former comptroller for the Towne Auto Group admitted stealing more than $4.1 million dollars from the car dealership. Billie Becker of East Aurora pleaded guilty Tuesday to first degree grand larceny and third degree criminal tax fraud before Erie County Court Judge Kenneth Case. The 55-year-old, who remains free on bail, faces mandatory state prison with a maximum sentence of up to 25 years. She’ll be sentenced on June 13. Becker wrote company checks to pay for personal bills and wired money…

Near-death experience prompts attorney to run for judgeship

Two years ago, Buffalo civil rights attorney Steven Cohen had a life-changing moment. A rare nerve disease, Miller-Fisher Syndrome, nearly killed him. It’s a type of Guillain-Barré syndrome that mimics a stroke. The disease is often brought on by a minor infection, but then cells start to attack the body. Symptoms may be preceded by a viral illness. Cohen said as he lay paralyzed in Buffalo General Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit, unable to speak and facing his mortality, he came to a realization.…

Storied firm celebrates past while focusing on future

People often ask Hugh Russ III if he is part of the lineage behind Buffalo law firm Hodgson Russ LLP. His answer is yes, it is a family business — but not for the reason many think. His grandfather, Hugh, who was born in 1900 and admitted to the Bar 25 years later, is the Russ in Hodgson Russ. His name became part of the firm’s moniker in 1939. Hugh Russ III is a third-generation attorney there, following in the footsteps of his grandfather and father, Hugh Russ II, a partner from 1963-75.…

Law firm Bond Schoeneck & King has opened its 10th New York state office

The Syracuse-headquartered Bond Schoeneck & King firm, with a substantial Buffalo office, opened earlier this week in Saratoga Springs. The new office in downtown Saratoga Springs opened March 20. Bond joins a few Upstate firms that have expanded into the area, including Hodgson Russ and Harris Beach. Saratoga County is among the top five fastest growing counties in the state. Firm officials say Bond had already been active in the Saratoga Springs community for years and has a number of clients…

Bharara joins NYU Law as a distinguished scholar in residence

It didn’t take long for former United States Attorney and public corruption watchdog Preet Bharara to find work. A week after his final day as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Bharara will be joining the NYU School of Law as a distinguished scholar in residence. His appointment will begin April 1. Bharara was one of 46 U.S. attorneys appointed by President Barack Obama asked to resign by the new administration on March 10. After he refused, he was fired the next day by President…

Dealing with workplace fraud

How do you help establish businesses through your practice? I’m a business lawyer with a concentration in health, which means that many of my clients are professionals in the health sciences community. I’m not a malpractice lawyer so predominantly I work with my clients on business issues — formation to operation to mergers and acquisitions to employment law issues, to the buying and selling of businesses, to admitting and dismissing partners to even the odd cases of embezzlement. I also work…