SUNY Buffalo Law Links - August 2013

Inside this issue

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Hon. Eugene F. Pigott Jr. '73 to receive SUNY Buffalo Law School's highest honor on Jan. 31

A state Court of Appeals judge with a long record of public service has been chosen to receive the 2014 Edwin F. Jaeckle award, the highest honor given by his alma mater, SUNY Buffalo Law School, and the SUNY Buffalo Law Alumni Association. Read More

(Note: Jan. 31 is Super Bowl Weekend, so please plan accordingly.)



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Who gets in? Immigration forum explores tough questions from different perspectives

Perhaps the most famous poem about coming to America – Emma Lazarus’ “The New Colossus,” etched on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty – was the springboard for a challenging Oct. 18 discussion at the Law School about what kind of welcome our nation should extend to potential immigrants. [Read More]

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Trial competitors learn from the best

Students from SUNY Buffalo Law and 36 other law schools who were in town for the Buffalo Niagara Trial Competition heard top area and national litigators share their hard-won wisdom about trial tactics. Panelists were Terrence M. Connors '71, Paul J. Cambria Jr., Judge Sheila A. DiTullio, Asst. U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross '92, and the two attorneys who won acquittal for defendant George Zimmerman, Mark O'Mara and Don West '80. [Read More / View Photos from this Event]

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Encouraging numbers on lawyers' satisfaction

Bryant Garth, a professor at the University of California Irvine School of Law, and his co-investigator, Joyce Sterling of the University of Denver's Sturm College of Law, were in Buffalo on Nov. 8 to update administrators, faculty and students on the “third wave” of their ambitious survey called the After the J.D. Project. [Read More]

New Publication

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SUNY Buffalo Law Forum – Fall 2013

The Law School has also published its latest Forum Magazine, featuring our incoming Class of 2016. [Download your copy (PDF) ]


Faculty News

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New York Times editorial joins Dean Mutua in defense of International Criminal Court

In a strongly worded Nov. 5 op-ed in The New York Times, Dean Makau W. Mutua defended the International Criminal Court and urged President Obama to continue U.S. support for the court amid pressure to defer a key case in Kenya. [Read More]

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Associate Professor Tara Melish sees an institution of violence and abuse in Guatemala

Associate Professor Tara J. Melish saw the problems firsthand, and even though she had worked on similar cases, she says what she found last summer when she visited Guatemala's national psychiatric hospital as part of an international fact-finding team was disturbing. [Read More]

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Murky legal status for same sex marriage

If you're looking for clarity on the legal status of same-sex marriage in the United States, don't look to the Supreme Court. That was the overarching message of a Nov. 14 panel discussion of the high court's recent ruling in the Windsor case, which invalidated a section of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. [Read More]


Events Calendar

December 6, 2013 - JLSA Hanukkah Dinner

January 31, 2014Edwin F. Jaeckle Luncheon in New York City

May 20, 2014 - The 52nd Annual Alumni Dinner & Presentation of the Distinguished Alumni Awards

Mark your calendar!

January 2014 (Date TBD) – CLE: Ethics (Topic TBD)

February 2014 (Date TBD) - CLE: Dignity for all Students Act (DASA)

April 3 (Details TBD) – Students of Color Dinner

April 24 (Details TBD) – Law Review Dinner

May 2014 (Date TBD) - CLE: Representing Vineyards and Breweries


Spotlight on Alumni

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Nicole Lee '02: A voice of experience on human rights work

Nicole Lee '02, president of TransAfrica and one of the Law School's most accomplished alumnae in the area of human rights advocacy, brought a message of inspiration – and some practical tips on working in the field – to the next generation of activists. [Read More]

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John Formichella '96 finds his niche in Southeast Asia

John Formichella '96 had never been outside the United States – indeed, hadn't traveled much outside of his native New York State – when, in his first year at SUNY Buffalo Law School, he inquired about study-abroad programs for law students and stumbled upon one in Thailand. [Read More]

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Dianne Bennett ’75 co-authors a new e-book that lures travelers off Rome’s beaten trails

Off the beaten track. Alternative. Rome with the Romans. All these descriptions apply to Modern Rome: 4 Great Walks for the Curious Traveler, a new e-book in the Curious Traveler Series by acclaimed travel writers Dianne Bennett and William Graebner. Modern Rome features more than 100 hyperlinks, 63 photos, and 4 detailed maps. Pack your bags. Bring your curiosity. [Read More]


Student Kudos

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Winners on appeal: The Desmond Moot Court Competition

The 2013 Desmond Competition problem concerned two hot-button issues: the scope of the president's power to make appointments to federal positions while Congress is in recess; and whether a corporation enjoys a Free Exercise Clause right to refuse to provide government-mandated health insurance that includes access to contraceptives. [Read More / View Photos from this Event]

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Students excel at the Peter James Johnson '49 Civil Rights Competition

Five third-year students advanced to the final round of the Peter James Johnson '49 Civil Rights Competition, hosted by St. John's University in New York City and concluding on Oct. 27.

They were arguing a fictitious case alleging a Fifth Amendment violation, saying the federal government failed to follow due process when it killed a 17-year-old boy – possibly a terrorist - in a military drone strike.

The students – Joseph Nicastro, Christina Saccocio, David Wolff, Jennifer Nunnery and Haley Ruh - were runners-up to the Hofstra University team. SUNY Buffalo Law's trial team was coached by Colleen Mattrey '04 of Damon & Morey, Len Zaccagnino of Shaw & Shaw and Justin Kloss '13 of Kloss, Stenger & LoTempio. [View Photos from this Event]



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Paying a debt of gratitude

Alumni who worked in the Law School's Women, Children, and Social Justice Clinic as students tend to be fiercely loyal to the clinic and its faculty. Now, with an ambitious fund-raising goal to endow student awards in honor of Clinical Professor Sue Tomkins '92 and Dr. Catherine Cerulli '92, organizers are hoping that their enthusiasm is catching. [Read More]

Make a Gift Today


Freeze Frame

Smiles from some of our recent events:

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11/12/13 - Minority Bar Association Practice Panel Series of Criminal and Family Law Attorneys
The Minority Bar Association held a Practice Panel Series featuring Criminal and Family Law Attorneys. Law students got an opportunity to meet with these practitioners and learn more about what they do.

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10/22/13 - SUNY Buffalo Law School celebrates Pro Bono Week
The Law School celebrates Pro Bono Week by inviting organizations to visit the school, talk about their work, and possibly recruit volunteers or interns.

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10/18/13 - GOLD Group Fall Social
The SUNY Buffalo Law Alumni Association's GOLD Group's held a Fall Social at Lagerhaus in downtown Buffalo.

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10/04/13 - Network the Nation
Alumni and friends donated their time to mentored students.

Class Reunion Photos

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Reunion Photos for the Classes of:
1973, 1983, 1988, 1993, 2003


Career Corner

Help current students and fellow alumni succeed:

  • Post a job opening for interns or graduates
  • Participate in Spring On-Campus Recruiting
  • Share market developments
  • Conduct mock interviews
  • Speak on a career panel
  • Mentor a student

Contact Marc Davies at


From the Alumni Office

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New Benefit for Law Alumni Association Members:
Borrowing Privileges at UB Libraries

Law Alumni Association members are entitled to a University at Buffalo Libraries' Blue Card (Courtesy Borrower / Library Research Station Access Card). A blue card is needed to gain in-library access to research materials, and for borrowing privileges. Blue cards can be issued at any UB Libraries Circulation Desk. All you need to do is present your valid SUNY Buffalo Law Alumni Association membership card along with your photo ID.

* Join the Law Alumni Association and take advantage of our many membership benefits

Contact Us

Law Links is published by the Alumni, Public Relations & Communications Office. For questions or comments, contact: Ilene Fleischmann, Vice Dean for Alumni, Public Relations & Communications at 716-645-7347 or

Visit Hotlinks - a list of names and web resources available to make communicating with the Law School's Alumni office more efficient.

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