Class Notes

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Shannon T. O'Connor


Goldberg Segalla is pleased to announce that Shannon T. O’Connor, an attorney in the firm’s Municipal and Governmental Liability Practice Group in Syracuse, has assumed multiple prominent roles within the prestigious International Municipal Lawyers Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the interests and education of local government lawyers. In addition to being named an IMLA Local Government Fellow — which recognizes highly skilled attorneys practicing in local government law — Ms. O’Connor has been tapped to serve as IMLA’s New York State Co-Chair. Both positions are regarded as critical to the success of the organization.

Ms. O’Connor stands as the only attorney in private practice in the current class of IMLA Fellows, and was selected for the fellowship after a lengthy application process that included the submission of a peer-reviewed paper and a written examination. She was tapped directly by the incoming IMLA President to assume the state co-chair role. According to the IMLA, the 2,500-member organization serves as an “international clearinghouse of legal information and cooperation on municipal legal matters” in order to “help governmental officials prepare for litigation and develop new local laws.”
Ms. O’Connor has extensive experience in the field of municipal law. Before entering private practice at Goldberg Segalla, she served for several years as Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Syracuse, where she represented the city and its officials in a wide variety of litigation and in administrative proceedings before various New York State agencies. She also provided advice and recommendations to the City of Syracuse Police Department on its policies and procedures related to officer training and the use of force, and drafted legal opinions on various issues for city departments, including the mayor’s office.
At Goldberg Segalla, in addition to her municipal law practice, Ms. O’Connor handles a variety of general liability matters as well as employment and labor litigation. She is an experienced trial lawyer, and has taken numerous trials to verdict on Section 1983 civil rights matters and on Title VII employment discrimination claims.

Linda Choe


Bean, Kinney & Korman announced today that Linda Choe has joined the firm as an associate. Linda represents individuals in divorce and other family law matters.  In addition, Linda also serves on the Board of Directors for the Asian/Pacific Islander Domestic Violence Resource Project.

Linda is an associate at the firm and has focused her practice exclusively on family law since graduating from law school. She is experienced in matters related to child and spousal support, divorce, custody and visitation, and negotiating settlement and litigating protective orders.

Katherine Felice


Barclay Damon is pleased to  announce Katherine Felice has joined the law firm’s Syracuse office as an associate in the Branding, Trademarks & Copyrights and Commercial Litigation Practice Areas.

Kate assists clients in protecting their intellectual property rights through trademark and copyright litigation, counseling, and prosecution. Her extensive research and writing background includes drafting appellate briefs and proposed court decisions and orders as well as editing content for the LexisNexis publication Technology Innovation Law and Practice. Kate authored "Fashioning a Solution to Design
Piracy: Considering Intellectual Property Law in the Global Context of Fast Fashion," published in the Syracuse University Journal of International Law and Commerce.

Olesya Vernyi-Kellogg


Schuyler County Attorney Steven Getman, is pleased to announcedhis appointment of Olesya Vernyi-Kellogg as an Assistant County Attorney.

Prior to joining the County Attorney’s office, Vernyi-Kellogg was a staff attorney with the Legal Resource Center for Public Health Policy at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law. Before that, Vernyi-Kellogg worked at the Maryland Attorney General's Office. In 2012, she worked with Baltimore City's Legislative Reference Department and Board of Ethics in reforming the city's financial disclosure process.

Kevin Belbey


Kevin is pleased to announce that he was just named to the Front Office Sports' Rising 25—the award honors 25 outstanding young professionals in the sports business industry. Kevin is currently working as an agent for sports broadcasters at IF Management/The Montag Group in New York City.

Stacy Marris


Barclay Damon is pleased to announce that Stacy A. Marris has joined the law firm’s Rochester office as an associate in the Insurance Coverage & Regulation Practice Area. 

During law school, Stacy was the lead articles editor for the Syracuse Journal of Science and Technology Law, for which she is also a published author. Stacy also worked as a policy intern for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration in Washington, D.C. and participated in the Children's Rights and Family Law Clinic. She is admitted to practice in New York State.



Thomas P. Aicher, Esq. L'90, a partner in the Rutland, Vermont law firm of Cleary, Shahi & Aicher, has recently been named Special Counsel for the National Ski Areas Association.  Mr. Aicher was assigned to this national ski industry role by Michael Berry, President of NSAA, at a recent
meeting in Squaw Valley California.  NSAA is the national trade association of U.S. ski area operators and industry support businesses headquartered in Englewood, Colorado.

Mr. Aicher's litigation and trial practice is based in Vermont and includes among other areas, defense and risk management for ski and summer resort operators as well as other recreational business landowners, operators and equipment suppliers. He regularly presents to ski industry audiences on risk management and sporting injury litigation. He has been a member of the Association of Ski Defense Attorneys since 1993, served two terms on the Board of Directors, and served as President in 2004-2005. 

Mr. Aicher lives in North Clarendon, Vermont with his wife Kelly and their son Jack.

Lee Holtzman


Lee Holtzman is pleased to announce that he has been promoted to partner at McCarter & English.

A member of the Tax, Employee Benefits & Private Clients group, Holtzman focuses on local property taxation issues across the country and has extensive experience in all aspects of property tax litigation, from initial counseling through post-trial appeals. He has litigated a variety of commercial property disputes, representing owners of industrial facilities, assisted living facilities, hotels, commercial properties, self-storage facilities, apartment complexes, office buildings, golf courses and residential/co-op developments. He is a member of the New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Taxation and a member of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the Gateway Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Derick C. VIllanueva


Derick C. Villanueva, Esq. L’03/Maxwell’03 took time off from private practice and volunteered for active duty in Korea where he served as a military advisor to the US Army and the Korean government. As a civilian, Mr. Villanueva is a private practice attorney in Atlanta, Georgia focusing on serious personal injuries, bankruptcy and other civil matters. Mr. Villanueva was selected as Georgia Super Lawyers “Rising Star” for 2016 and 2017. He was also selected as Top 40 Under 40 litigation lawyers in Georgia by the American Society of Legal Advocates and 10 Best Under 40 by the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys. Outside of the law, Mr. Villanueva is a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and volunteers his time supporting disabled military veterans and homeless animal shelters.

Noelle Valentine


Noelle Valentine, has been promoted to Vice President, Compliance, with responsibility for the leadership of a growing Compliance Audit, Investigation and Data Analytics team. Noelle joined the company in 2014, after serving as an outside litigation counsel to the company. During her time with FMCNA, she has expanded the scope and sophistication of our compliance-monitoring capabilities and added to the overall effectiveness of our compliance program.

Ethan D. Balsam


Ethan Balsam has been promoted to shareholder in the firm's Washington, D.C. office.

Ethan D. Balsam’s practice is primarily focused on advising and defending employers in a range of employment-related litigation, arbitration, and administrative agency proceedings. Prior to joining Littler Mendelson, Ethan represented education institutions, municipalities and health systems before federal and New York state courts, and various administrative agencies including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, New York State Division of Human Rights, New York State Public Employment Relations Board and the New York State Education Department. He also negotiated collective bargaining agreements.

Todd F. Wojtowicz


Todd F. Wojtowicz is Senior Corporate Counsel with SAP America, Inc. in Newtown Square, PA. He handles a variety of commercial transactions, including software and cloud licensing, in addition to data privacy matters. He and his wife Jodi reside in Berlin, NJ with their two children.

Nicole Gorham


 Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie is pleased to anounce that Nicole Gorham has been elected to partnership.

Nicole Gorham represents individuals and business entities of various sizes in commercial and complex civil litigation. Based in the firm’s Denver office, her practice focuses on real estate litigation and she also represents insurance ‎providers in breach of contract, bad faith breach of contract and coverage ‎disputes.

Antonio L. Diaz-Albertini


Antonio L. Diaz-Albertini is pleased to announce that he has been promoted to partnerat Schulte Roth & Zabel in the firm's Finance and M&A and Securities Groups.

Antonio L. Diaz-Albertini advises private equity funds, global investment banking firms, commercial banks and public and private corporations in finance transactions, including syndicated credit facilities, the issuance of secured and unsecured high-yield debt securities and the issuance of equity securities.

Andrew Bobrek


Bond, Schoeneck & King is pleased to announce that effective January 1, 2017, Andrew D. Bobrek has been elected as a member of the firm.

Andrew D. Bobrek exclusively represents employers in all areas of labor and employment relations. He works with a diverse group of private and public sector employers, including small family businesses, school districts, large public companies, municipalities, not-for-profit service organizations, and renowned institutions of higher education. In his practice, Andy defends employers against claims of employment discrimination, workplace harassment and unlawful retaliation. He has defended employers in both federal and state court litigation, and in administrative proceedings before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the New York State Division of Human Rights (NYSDHR).

Kerry Langhan


Bond, Schoeneck & King is pleased to announce that effective January 1, 2017,  Kerry W. Langan has been elected as a member of the firm.

Kerry W. Langan represents private and public sector employers in all aspects of labor and employment relations. She works closely with management and provides counsel on a variety of labor and employment-related matters, such as managing leaves of absence, compliance with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), compliance with federal and state wage and hour laws, workplace investigations, reductions-in-force, plant closings, policy development and review, employment agreements, separation agreements, labor arbitration, unfair labor practice charges and collective bargaining negotiations.

Kimberly C. Lau


 Kimberly C. Lau, a 2006 SUCOL alumna, became a Partner of Warshaw Burstein, LLP in July 2015. Ms. Lau practices commercial litigation and is the Chair of Warshaw Burstein’s Title IX and College Disciplinary Practice. Recently, Ms. Lau appeared in the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York to successfully argue her client’s right to amend his breach of contract cause of action under Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a), following on the heels of her previous victory in sustaining plaintiff’s claims under Title IX and New York State Human Rights Law in a lawsuit seeking redress for allegations of gender discrimination. While in Syracuse, NY, Ms. Lau returned to her alma mater and marveled in the expansion and modernization of the law school’s Dineen Hall

Ryan Kirkham


Ryan Kirkham is pleased to announce his second selection to the 2017 Texas Rising Stars list.

Having lived and worked abroad for several years, Ryan Kirkham brings a unique perspective to family law issues that require an understanding of how international cases are handled. When the additional questions presented by international law are a concern, this firsthand knowledge allows him to uniquely assist clients facing matters including divorce, jurisdictional disputes, asset tracing and complex property issues.

David Goldstein


David Goldstein (JD, ’91) and his law firm are serving as general counsel for a unique, award-winning alliance of New York City community-based nonprofit groups.

Goldstein Hall created the corporate structure for JOE (Joint Ownership Entity) NYC, a new nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving affordable housing for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers. For more than two years, he worked with more than a dozen community-based organizations to help create the new entity’s board and corporate structure, helped it gain nonprofit status, and spelled out its members’ roles and responsibilities.

Terri Roney


Bond, Schoeneck & King is pleased to announce Terri Roney has rejoined the firm in Syracuse.

Terri has a broad base of experience in real estate matters including sales and acquisitions, leasing and financing transactions. She has represented landlords and tenants in commercial leasing transactions throughout the country. Terri has experience with multi-state acquisition projects and sale/leaseback financing transactions. She has represented lenders and borrowers on a variety of commercial real estate loans, including construction loans, permanent loans and the modification of existing loans.

Prior to rejoining Bond, Terri was of counsel at Bousquet Holstein and for nine years was a sole practitioner in Skaneateles, New York. For four years, while managing her own law firm, Terri was Skaneateles town supervisor.

Jonathan M. Dunitz


Jonathan M. Dunitz


Jonathan Dunitz was recently recognized for completing 50 or more hours of pro bono service last year at the 2016 Maine Supreme Judicial Court Katahdin Council Recognition event at the Cumberland County Courthouse.

Jonathan’s law practice is composed of insurance coverage and litigation, commercial litigation, complex family law, and appeals. Jonathan has argued appeals before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court and the United States’ First Circuit Court of Appeals. He has also written numerous appellate briefs.

Jonathan M. Dunitz


Verill Dana is pleased to announce that Jonathan Dunitz is now an American Bar Foundation Fellow, joining the only 1% of lawyers licensed to practice in each jurisdiction who have been nominated.

Jonathan’s law practice is composed of insurance coverage and litigation, commercial litigation, complex family law, and appeals. Jonathan has argued appeals before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court and the United States’ First Circuit Court of Appeals. He has also written numerous appellate briefs.

Grant J. Garramone


Grant J. Garramone (SU Law '94) was awarded the DA Robert Morgenthau award at the NYS District Attorney's Association Winter Meeting on January 27, 2017 at the Manhattan Grand Hyatt.  Garramone is the Bureau Chief of Narcotics for the Oneida County District Attorney's Office and is a Special Assistant US Attorney.  Garramone is married to Laura Shea Garramone '95.

Ann Marie Buerkle


Ann Marie Buerkle is pleased to announce that she will serve as acting chair of the U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Prior to joining the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Ms. Buerkle served the people of Upstate New York’s 25th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. During her time in Congress, Ms. Buerkle served on the Oversight & Government Reform, Foreign Affairs, and Veterans’ Affairs Committees. She served as Chair of the Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Health. While in Congress, Ms. Buerkle was also appointed by President Obama to serve as a United States Representative to the 66th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations.

Timothy Green


Timothy J. Green, an author, former NFL defensive end, former Fox Sports broadcaster, and attorney with Barclay Damon, LLP, has co-authored the young-adult novel Baseball Genius with baseball legend Derek Jeter. The first in a trilogy of baseball novels to be co-authored by the pair, Baseball Genius will be released March 7.

At Barclay Damon, Tim is  a lead point of contact for the firm’s largest energy and utility clients with responsibility for all aspects of these relationships, he has represented electric power generators (renewable, fossil fuel and nuclear), Marcellus Shale oil and gas producers and pipelines, electric utilities and developers. In the transactional area, Tim has supervised the firm’s integration into deal matrices with national firms on acquisitions of power plants, including nuclear, hydro, coal, gas, and wind projects.

Bradford T. Hammock


Bradford T. Hammock has been named Office Managing Principal at Jackson Lewis’ Washington, D.C. Region Office. He focuses his practice on the safety and health area, and is co-leader of the firm’s Workplace Safety and Health Practice Group.

In addition, he represents employers throughout OSHA rulemaking proceedings, including OSHA’s informal public hearings on proposed rules. Mr. Hammock also defends employers against OSHA enforcement actions. For an employer that is the target of an OSHA inspection, Mr. Hammock offers representation from the start of the inspection through settlement or litigation.

Kristen Birmingham


Phillips Lytle is proud to announce that Kristen M. Birmingham was named to the Buffalo Law Journal “Legal Elite of Western New York 2016.”  Partner Kristen M. Birmingham was also named to the third annual Legal Elite Top 10.  Ms. Birmingham was selected through a peer-driven selection process that recognizes ten of the most well-respected attorneys in their areas of expertise, and is based solely on nominations by fellow Western New York attorneys.

Ms. Birmingham’s practice involves a comprehensive range of transactional corporate matters with a particular emphasis on private and public company merger and acquisition transactions for both domestic and international clients across numerous industry sectors. 

Joe Mancuso


M&T Bank announced it has appointed Joseph T. Mancuso (’97) to its Directors Advisory Council for the Central New York region. At its regular meetings throughout the year, the council provides M&T management with input on many matters related to its business and communities across Central New York. Mancuso is a partner and member of the five-person executive committee at the Syracuse–based law firm Hancock Estabrook, LLP.

Phyllis Widman


Phyllis is pleased to announce that she opened Widman Law Firm in Ocean City, NJ.

Phyllis Widman currently focuses on the areas of Vaccine Injury, Person Injury, andf Medical Malpractice. In addition to practicing law, Ms. Widman has expanded her expertise. She is a former professor at Rutgers University, where she taught criminal juistice for four years.

Jared Lusk


Nixon Peabody LLP is pleased to announce Jared C. Lusk has been named Managing Partner of the firm’s Rochester, NY, office. The primary focus of his practice is real estate development and municipal law, including planning and zoning.

Kerrie Beggs


Kerrie Beggs received her Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree in May 2016 from Wilkes University Nesbitt School of Pharmacy in Wilkes-Barre, PA. She is now working as a staff clinical pharmacist at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital in Wilkes-Barre, PA.

Louis A. Pellegrino


ouis A. Pellegrino ('99) has become a prosecutor with the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York. He previously served seven years as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Office's Civil Division.

Jill Emmons


Jill Emmons is pleased to announce that she has been appointed by Andrew Cuomo to the SUNY Geneseo College Council. The Council advises Geneseo's senior administration.

Joseph DiOrio


Joseph DiOrio is pleased to announce that he was named "2017 Lawyer of the Year" for Banking and Finance Law for Providence, RI.

Linda Walsh


Husch Blackwell is pleased to announce that Linda Walsh was named to the Washington, D.C Super Lawyers list in the practice areas  of Energy & Natural Resources and Utilities.

Linda focuses on regulatory issues affecting the electric utility industry. Her practice includes Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Order No. 1000 transmission planning and development, North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) reliability matters, administrative litigation, transmission rate proceedings, and interconnection and regulatory issues underlying corporate and financial transactions in the energy sector.

Amy Vigneron


Amy Vigneron is pleased to anounce that she has been named an equity member at Cohen & Lombardo P.C. in Buffalo. A partner at Cohen and Lombardo, P.C., since 2011, Ms. Vigneron focuses her practice in real estate, corporate and commercial lending law and litigation.

James McDonald


Katherine McDonald, PhD, Associate Professor at Falk College sent us notice of her Father's passing this past October. She thought his classmates would want to know.

James Patrick (Jim) McDonald passed away on October 3, 2015 in Fort Lauderdale. Jim was born on April 17, 1945 in Syracuse, NY to Agnes (Burkett) and John Sandfield McDonald. He graduated from Most Holy Rosary High School in 1963, the University of Detroit in 1968, and Syracuse University's College of Law in 1971. After a brief stint in the Air Force, Jim was an estates and trusts attorney in New York and Florida, first with the firm of Bond, Schoeneck & King, and later in his own practice in Boca Raton. Jim believed that kindnesses, small and great, made life worth living and leavened the days of those around him with equal measures of humor, optimism, and generosity. For many years after closing his law practice, he volunteered his time to Tuesday's Angels, the Stonewall National Archives and Museum, the AARP Tax Aide program, Meals on Wheels, and maintained community garden space in his beloved Victoria Park neighborhood.

James R. McKee


Colonel James R. McKee recently retired from the U.S. Army after 27 years of service. Jay began his career as an enlisted Infantry Soldier, serving in the New York Army National Guard while a student at Syracuse University and, after law school, was commissioned as an Attorney in the Judge Advocate General's Corps. Throughout his career Jay completed four combat tours, one in Afghanistan and three in Iraq, and two Peace-Keeping tours, one in Kosovo and one in Bosnia-Herzegovina & Croatia. Beyond the many deployments, working as a JAG attorney allowed COL McKee to contribute to meaningful projects such as working with the Red Cross to remove Child Soldiers from the battlefields in Kosovo, rebuilding the Iraqi judicial system, participating in the writing of the Bilateral Security Agreement with Afghanistan, acting as a legal advisor to Commanding Generals in Afghanistan, and building the Army's first Special Victims Counsel Program from the ground up, whose mission it is to represent victims of sexual assault during criminal trials and administrative actions under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Jay’s awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, 3 Bronze Stars, the Combat Action Badge, the Parachute Badge, the Army Staff Identification Badge, the German Armed Forces Badge, an Infantry Blue Cord, and numerous other awards and decorations. Jay recently joined the Department of Justice as a Special Master Attorney for the September 11th, Victim Compensation Fund in Washington D.C.

Andrew L. Bluestone


Andrew Lavoott Bluestone is pleased to announced that he has been recognized in Best Lawyers 2012-2017 for Legal Malpractice and is an Adjunct Professor of Law at St. John’s University Law School teaching Legal Malpractice.

He continues to litigate in the legal malpractice field in Manhattan.

Richard Waysdorf


Richard Waysdorf, Law 1978, retired last year after 19 years at the Starz programming networks in Englewood, Colorado, serving most recently as Senior Vice President, Business & Legal Affairs-Distribution. Prior to Starz, Richard worked in Washington DC as an attorney at the Federal Communications Commission and as a partner in the law firm of Wilner & Scheiner. Richard is now serving as volunteer General Counsel of the Global Down Syndrome Foundation and of the Anna and John J Sie Foundation, as well as working when he feels like it as a consultant in the cable/online video programming business. He continues to live in Denver, Colorado, with Julia Abramson Waysdorf, Law ’78.

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