Like most lawyers, I entered my profession field with idealism. I was ready to use the law to help others. After graduating from SUNY at BuffaloLawSchooland being admitted to practice law in 1985, I was not sure how I could best achieve this broad goal. I dabbled in several areas of law until I felt that I found my initial calling - helping people get through the divorce and separation process. During this deeply painful time, people are scared, distrustful and overwhelmed. I found that providing a listening ear and helping to craft a sound legal strategy to resolve issues calmed people and gave them confidence in the future.
Feeling limited by the tools that litigation gives a lawyer to help his or her client, I became trained as a mediator. Acting as a neutral mediator between two disputing parties gave me the opportunity to help people negotiate a settlement without having a war. It was more personally satisfying to me to help two people in a dispute talk it out and come up with a solution that both parties could live with.
Since 1995, I have obtained extensive training in mediation and have built a large mediation practice. I have conducted thousands of hours of mediations, which resulted in satisfying outcomes for the parties.
Taking what I have learned in mediating hundreds of emotionally charged divorces, I expanded my mediation services into areas where the emotions surrounding the dispute can be just as high and just as much an impediment to settlement—that is, disputes involving businesses, estates (such inheritance disputes), workplace issues (such as allegations of wrongful discharge) and organizations (such as infighting within organizations). I have also built a "collaborative law" practice, which is still further alternative way of helping individuals going through a divorce, business or other dispute.
When people in a legal dispute come to our firm, we offer them a menu of legal services from which to choose. We help clients select the approach that they will most benefit from-whether that is litigation, mediation or collaborative law. I am proud to be a part of a law firm that provides clients with these choices.
Juris Doctor Degree, SUNY atBuffaloLawSchool, 1985
Bachelor of Arts, St. Lawrence University, 1981
Selected repeatedly by peers for inclusion in Buffalo Business First 's “Top Lawyers in Western New York” and in the publication Best Lawyers in America; Advanced Practitioner Member in Association for Conflict Resolution; Adjunct Professor-basic and advanced mediation and mediation lawyer advocacy courses and director of Mediation Clinic at SUNY at Buffalo Law School; Selected to be on Federal, State and Community mediation panels in Western New York; Mediation Skills Trainer for NYS Judicial Institute, Bar Association of Erie County, Catholic Charities, Center for Resolution and Justice, and Cornell School for Labor and Industrial Relations; Chair of Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee, Bar Association of Erie County 2011-2013