BAEC’s 136th Annual Awards Celebration

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Committee participation is one of the most important benefits of membership in the Bar Association of Erie County. Many of our active committees provide the clearest, fastest way to keep current with changes in your practice area. Joining a BAEC committee comes at no additional cost to members. To request joining a committee, fill out the form at the link below. Contact Celeste Walsh, at 716.852.8687 or by email for additional information or questions.

Upcoming Committee Meetings

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Our Committees

The By-Laws Committee provides interpretations of the By-Laws of the Association and drafts proposed amendments at the request of the Board of Directors.
Chair: Michael A. de Freitas

The Elder Law Committee shares information among members and the public regarding issues of major concern to the elderly and practitioners representing them. Such issues include access to health care, Medicaid, asset planning, housing, community resources and institutional placement, pension benefits, health care decision making, private and Medicare health insurance, administrative proceedings, attorneys’ fees, veterans’ benefits, and exploitation of the elderly.
Chair: Kelly Barrett Sarama Vice-Chair: Elizabeth A. Ingold
Board Liaison: Sharon Nosenchuck

The International Law Committee promotes the practice and study of international law. In today’s global environment, crossborder, and international issues impact nearly all areas of the law, including business transactions, litigation, intellectual property, tax, employment, estate planning, and family law. This is especially true in Erie County given the area’s close proximity to Canada. The committee brings together local attorneys spanning various practice areas to learn about and discuss a broad range of international topics, including cross-border investment transactions, international arbitration, foreign judgment enforcement, trade and immigration. The committee also collaborates with attorneys and bar associations in Canada.
Chairs: Jeffrey D. Coren and Jill A. Apa
Board Liaison: Peter J. Crotty

The Judges’ Committee promotes discussion and interchange of ideas in connection with issues of interest and concern to the judiciary.
Chair: Hon. Deborah A. Chimes Board Liaison: Hon. Stephanie A. Saunders

The Judiciary Committee investigates and evaluates the qualifications of candidates for judicial office in Erie County. The ratings are made public to assist voters in selecting their choices in the general election each November.
Chair: Daniel M. Killelea
Board Liaison: Jill K. Bond

Click to view Judicial Ratings

The Justice Courts Committee offers members the opportunity to discuss current Justice Courts issues with attorneys practicing in the towns and villages, as well as with many of the judges who are members of this committee.
Chair: Michael H. Kooshoian
Board Liaison: Samuel A. Alba

The Labor Law Committee consists of attorneys involved in all aspects of labor and employment law. This includes employment discrimination law and private and public sector labor and management relations. The monthly meetings tend to be educational, usually featuring a presentation by a committee member or an outside guest speaker.
Chair: Kinsey A. O’Brien
Board Liaison: Maura O’Donnell

The Lawyer Referral & Information Service Committee monitors and reviews the operation of the LRIS and recommends improvements in service or modifications in policies and procedures to staff and the Board of Directors.
Chair: Robert A. Fiordaliso

The Matrimonial and Family Law Committee is one of the largest and most active committees of the Bar Association.  Committee activities include monthly meetings featuring discussions of new substantive law, court rules and guest speakers on topics relevant to the practice. Seminars featuring presentations by experts on issues important to matrimonial practitioners are held annually.
Chairs: Daniel J. Schuller and Michael J. Colletta
Board Liaison: Katie Kestel Martin

The Mock Trial Committee is tasked with organizing and facilitating the Erie County High School Mock Trial Competition. Each year, mock trial teams from many local high schools compete in mock trials. The local champion then goes on to compete on the state level. The Committee is always looking for attorneys to volunteer as judges and coaches! Click the button below to learn more and volunteer,
Chair: Matthew J. Fitzgerald

Chair Emeritus: Craig R. Bucki

Click here to learn more about Mock Trial

The Negligence Committee fosters cooperation between the plaintiff and defense bar in order to encourage the efficient administration of justice; updates and educates the general bar about recent developments in the field of negligence law through CLE seminars; and considers, and makes recommendations about  proposed legislation affecting the practice of negligence law.
Co-Chairs: David M. Goodman & Stephanie R. Messina

Board Liaison: Kara M. Addelman

The Practice and Procedure in Family Court Committee serves as a communication link between the Bar Association and the bench, striving to better the quality of the practice of lawyers before the Family Court bench. The Committee features guest speakers at its meetings and produces Noonday lectures and CLE seminars. The Forum, the monthly newsletter of the committee, is now available online.
Chairs:  Todd J. Potter, Jr. and Yvonne Vertlieb
Board Liaison: Katie Kestel Martin

The Professional Continuity Committee assists clients in obtaining other counsel when that attorney’s practice is interrupted without an appropriate successor.
Chair: Kevin D. Walsh

The Professional Ethics Committee investigates and answers inquiries concerning the Rules of  Professional Conduct. The results of the investigations and a proposed opinion are reported to the Board of Directors, who make the final decision. Opinions are published on the website to provide guidance to the legal community.
Chair: Craig R. Bucki
Board Liaison: Jamila A. Lee

Click to view Opinions

The Real Property Law Committee considers the development and practical workings of the law relating to real property, conveyancing, mortgages, foreclosures, receiverships and other related subjects.
Chair: Glenn J. Speller
Board Liaison: Samuel A. Alba

Click here for Real Property Forms

The corporate regulatory environment has undergone unprecedented growth in recent years. Small businesses and large corporations are subjected to more governmental oversight than ever before. Currently, massive statutes such as Dodd Frank are written in a vague manner, which results in many uncertainties and challenges in connection with their implementation. As a result, administrative regulations play a larger role, as they are supposed to provide the rules that were not addressed in the enabling legislation. The Regulatory Compliance Committee’s goal is to address and explore the pressing regulatory issues and uncertainties of the current business environment. The Committee will provide a forum for compliance attorneys to effectively strategize and solve these complex legal and regulatory issues.
Chair: Anne K. Bowling
Board Liaison: Anne K. Bowling

The solo and small law firm practice committee is designed to provide sole practitioners and those in small law firms with a forum to discuss their practice, to discuss the day to day challenges facing today’s solo/small law firm practitioners, and to address how other solo/small firms are meeting current challenges.  Topics include business development, law practice management, technology, practice area focus/specialization, human resources, and CLE programming – among others.  Members of the committee enjoy a unique opportunity to network and to build and develop their practice. 
Chairs: Kara M. Addelman and Jessica Kulpit
Board Liaison: Kara M. Addelman

The Surrogate’s Court Committee meets monthly to discuss topics of interest that affect Surrogate’s practice. The Committee provides educational seminars on trust and estate issues as well as an annual Noonday Lecture. In addition, the Liaison subcommittee meets with Erie County Surrogate Acea Mosey and her court staff throughout the year to address issues of importance in Surrogate’s practice.
Chair: Linda S. Grear
Board Liaison: Gayle T. Murphy

The Unlawful Practice of Law Committee seeks to protect the public against the unlawful practice of law by investigating allegations of unlawful practice. It may receive complaints, take evidence, and upon Board approval, present complaints to the State Attorney General and have charge of actions instituted by the Association for the unlawful practice of law.
Chair: Oliver C. Young  Board Liaison: Jamila A. Lee

The Workers’ Compensation Committee meets periodically to discuss issues affecting practice before the Workers’ Compensation Board. The Committee takes an active role in working with the Board’s administration by presenting ideas and concerns of the bar as well as responding to proposed legislation and Board rules.
Chair: Samuel S. Feuerstein
Board Liaison: Hon. Stephanie Saunders

The Young Lawyers Committee consists of lawyers who have been practicing for 10 years or less. The Committee provides leadership, networking and social opportunities and periodically produces educational programs on topics of interest to young lawyers. 
Chairs: Cat McCulle and Carolyn L. DeVaughn
Board Liaison: Sarah M. Washington