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Genesee County Bar Association

May 18, 2021 - 8:55am

Press release:

The Kiwanis Club of Batavia and Genesee County Bar Association's 2021 Law Day Observance and Criminal Justice Award ceremony is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Old County Courthouse.

Due to current COVID-19 restrictions in place, the typical annual awards dinner was unable to be held this year, however, Kiwanis Club President Bob Conrad and Genesee County Bar Association President Jake Whiting will be announcing the awards at a Zoom presentation. Everyone is welcome to join the Zoom meeting.

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88912737332?pwd=K3d5NjNXd1Y5YjBISkdqYlRNZmdSZz09

Meeting ID: 889 1273 7332

Passcode: 640375

The following awards will be presented:

Kiwanis Criminal Justice Award

The Kiwanis Club of Batavia Criminal Justice Award is presented to a member or members of the community, law enforcement, or a criminal justice agency serving the citizens of Genesee County whose exceptional career achievements and conscientiousness to citizenship have demonstrated a spirit of selfless public service or demonstrated an act of exceptional valor or heroism.

The 2021 Award Recipients are:

Genesee County Sheriff’s Office -- Sgt. Andrew B. Hale; Deputies David D. Moore, Kyle D. Krzemien, Howard O. Wilson, V., Andrew Z. Mullen, Joshua A. Brabon; Brock D. Cummins; and Investigator Christopher A. Parker.

Le Roy Police Department Sgt. Gregory Kellogg and Officers Jordan Wolcott and Austin Steinbrenner.

On May 27, 2020, at about 2037 hours (8:37 p.m.), what began as a typical traffic stop in Le Roy, turned into a multiagency pursuit of a tractor trailer through multiple counties at speeds up to 70+ mph. The tractor trailer recklessly swerved into oncoming traffic, putting innocent drivers at risk; made multiple U-turns; attempted to strike patrol vehicles, and shot at officers several times. Four different patrol vehicles were struck by bullets, one vehicle with at least eight rounds. One of the bullets went through the windshield and struck the rear partition over a Deputy’s head rest. Fortunately, the Deputy had been leaning to his right at the time. The pursuit came to an end when the tractor trailer, heading toward the Village of Geneseo, was fired upon by officers and it exited the roadway. The driver was pronounced deceased at the scene and the reign of terror ended. 

The ensuing investigation revealed that the driver was on the FBI watch list. Searches at his residence and rental property revealed bomb-making instructions, improvised explosive devices, multiple weapons and large amounts of ammunition. These findings, along with his social media posts, revealed that he was an anti-police extremist and was planning violence on a larger scale.

The pursuit that night lasted approximately an hour and 15 minutes. The amount of lives that were endangered is countless. Patrols from multiple jurisdictions placed themselves in danger to protect the public for the entire duration of the incident. They cleared roadways and intersections while their patrol cars were in danger of being rammed by the tractor trailer and in the line of fire while the driver was shooting at them. They coordinated over jurisdictional lines to remove a threat to the public, not only for that night, but certainly for a future time. 

These officers were nominated for this award by Sheriff William A. Sheron Jr. and Le Roy Police Chief Gregory Kellogg.

City of Batavia Retired Police Officer Jason Davis

Police Officer Jason Davis has served many roles within the department during his nearly 22 years of service to the community. He has served as an Officer-in-Charge, Instructor, Field Training Officer and Emergency Response Team member, to name a few. Officer Davis served as the department's de-escalation instructor and, most recently, he was assigned as the School Resource Officer to the Batavia City School District where he immediately made an impact in the lives of students and staff in the District. He was able to successfully de-escalate incidents with students, act as a role model and mentor to many, and served as an invaluable resource to the staff. Throughout his career, Officer Davis handled all of his duties with professionalism and pride for the uniform he wears and the department he represents.

Officer Davis was nominated for this award by City of Batavia Police Chief Shawn Heubusch.

Village of Le Roy Retired Chief of Police Christopher Hayward

Retired Chief of Police Christopher Hayward has served the Village of Le Roy since his teenage years. He began his career as an Officer and rose to the position of Chief of Police through years of dedication, commitment, and compassion to all of the members of the community. Chris was instrumental in the consolidation of the local village and town courts, seeking to provide an efficient and effective court operation. He is a man of high integrity and fostered many relationships with community members of all ages. He supported and worked hard to partner in the County’s shared E-9-1-1 Emergency Services Dispatch Center.

Chief Hayward was nominated for this award by Genesee County Legislator (District #5, Le Roy) Rochelle Stein. 

Charles L. Mancuso Mock Trial Award

The “Charles L. Mancuso Award” was presented to the members of the Alexander High School Mock Trial Team as winners of the 2021 GLOW (Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, and Wyoming counties) District Competition in the New York State Bar Association High School Mock Trial Tournament. The award reads “Dedicated to the Memory of an Outstanding Attorney-Citizen,” Mr. Mancuso, a Batavia lawyer, served as coordinator of the local competition until his untimely death 14 years ago.

The Alexander High School team members honored include: Erin Hess, Annie Slenker, Shawn Calmes, Katarina Luker, Imogene Plitt, Dana Morelli, Olivia Burkhardt, Holly Bykowski, Maia Saile, and teacher coach Johnny Lucas. Coordinator of the local Mock Trial Program, Kristie DeFreze, presented the award.

Genesee County Bar Association Special Honors

The Genesee County Bar Association is honoring the lives of two longstanding attorneys who passed away in 2020.

Theron “Ted” Howard passed away on June 11, 2020, after practicing law in Genesee County since 1978. Ted spent most of his legal career in his own private practice but fulfilled several public roles as well. Ted worked as an Assistant District Attorney, served the Town of Pavilion as Town Justice and Town Supervisor, and prosecuted traffic matters in the towns of Pavilion and Batavia. Ted also volunteered generously in the community – on the Pavilion School Board, the Le Roy Historical Society Board, and the Genesee Community College Foundation Board.

David Saleh passed away on Oct. 29, 2020. Dave spent many years in private practice before becoming in-house counsel at Enlighten. Dave is a past president of the Genesee County Bar Association and acted as a delegate to the State Judicial Nominating Committee for more than 35 years. During the year leading up to his death, Dave served as a part-time City Court Judge in Batavia. Beyond his professional endeavors, Dave donated his time and energy to his community – at his church, as a volunteer firefighter, as a member of the Lions Club, and as a board member of the Corfu Free Library and St. Jerome Hospital Foundation.

April 25, 2017 - 9:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee County Bar Association, news.

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The Genesee County Bar Association made a $2,500 donation -- $500 each to Genesee Justice, the YWCA, Justice for Children Child Advocacy Center, Youth Court and CASA. The funds come from membership dues paid by association members.

June 17, 2015 - 6:48pm
posted by Traci Turner in Genesee County Bar Association, legal.

Press release:

The Genesee County Bar Association is in the process of establishing a repository for memorabilia on the Bar Association and its members. They are seeking photographs of Bar Association gatherings and members of the Bar, minutes from past Bar Association meetings, newspaper articles and other items of interest relating to local attorneys and judges, as well as the Association itself.

It is believed that many practicing attorneys, retired attorneys and relatives and acquaintances of former attorneys may have such items of interest and the Association is seeking donations of these items for the purpose of establishing a location in Batavia where anyone who is interested will be able to view the collection of memorabilia.

If you have such items that you would like to donate for this purpose, please bring them to Deputy County Clerk and Bar Association member Mike Cianfrini at the County Clerk’s Office or contact him by phone (585-344-2550 x2316), fax (585-345-3076) or e-mail ([email protected]).

If you know of anyone who may have such memorabilia, please contact Mike with the name and contact information for that person, so that the individual can then be contacted to see whether they might want to donate any such items.

May 1, 2015 - 10:20am

The Kiwanis Club of Batavia and the Genesee County Bar Association hosted their annual Law Day Criminal Justice Awards dinner at Batavia Country Club on Thursday evening.

Among the winners, Det. Kevin Czora and Det. Richard Schauf, Batavia PD, for their work in the successful apprehension and conviction of child molester Sean Vickers. Vickers received more than 100 years in prison as a result of the work of the two detectives, who also assisted the victims in the case. 

Other awards went to:

William Zipfel, jail superintendent, for his more than 32 years of service in law enforcement and what Undersheriff Bill Sheron said is the outstanding work he's done as head of the Genesee County Jail.

Susan Gagne, executive director of the Mental Health Association of Genesee County, for the services she provides to the criminal justice community. Her efforts have assisted in criminal justice professionals gaining knowledge of people dealing with mental illness. She's also helped arrange events and speakers that have raised awareness and knowledge of mental health and criminal behavior.

The Batavia High School Mock Trial Team received the Charles L. Mancuso Award for winning this year's competition.

Judge Robert C. Noonan, who is likely to retire within the next year, received an exceptional jurist award. A graduate of Batavia HS, Noonan attended St. Lawrence University and Fordham Law School. He worked in the District Attorney's Office for 19 years, eventually becoming District Attorney. He was elected to the bench in 1996. The award recognized his years of dedicated service to the community and his "great intelligence, fairness and knowledge of the law" while working as a jurist.

Judge Michael DelPlato, who has retired as a City Court justice. A graduate of Notre Dame High School, he attended Canisius College and SUNY Buffalo School of Law. He's been practicing law since 1973. He's been a teacher in Alexander and substitute with Batavia City Schools. He's been a director and president of the Bar Association. He served as a City Court judge from 2003 to 2015. He was honored for his lifelong commitment to the people of Genesee County.

Deputy Brian Thompson was honored by GCASA for exceptional service for his work with the DWI/Victim Impact Panel. On a monthly basis, Thompson meets with panel members to discuss his own experience as a victim of a drunken driver. He also helps keep panel gatherings civil and respectful. 

Batavia High School Mock Trial Team

Judge Robert C. Noonan

To purchase prints, click here.

September 21, 2012 - 11:09am

Genesee County lawyers gathered for a photo shoot on the Old Courthouse steps Thursday. This was to conclude the ceremony celebrating the Genesee County Bar Association's 100th Anniversary.

In attendance were Sen. Michael Ranzenhofer (who joined the lawyers in the photo), Assemblyman Stephen Hawley, Genesee County Legislature Chairperson Mary Pat Hancock and professionals from the justice system at the state level.

Hawley and Ranzenhofer presented the proclamation to GCBA President Durin B. Rogers (middle).

Here are some closer views of the lawyers who attended:

For more information on GCBA, visit their Web site: www.gcbany.com.

September 18, 2012 - 9:16am

The steps of the Old County Courthouse will be the site of gathering for local lawyers, judges and legal professionals, along with several dignitaries, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Genesee County Bar Association (GCBA) on Thursday.

Thursday's ceremony will last from 4 to 6 p.m. at 7 Main St. in Batavia.

GCBA President Durin Rogers said it is free and open to the public, and that "everyone is encouraged to attend" (a gala event at Terry Hill's will follow, but according to Rogers, and it's already sold out).

Notables scheduled to attend include:

  • Hon. Eugene F. Pigott Jr. (keynote speaker), Court of Appeals justice
  • Hon. Paula L. Feroleto, Eighth Judicial District administrative judge;

  • David M. Schraver, president-elect of the New York State Bar Association;

  • Michael Ranzenhofer, New York State senator;

  • Stephen Hawley, New York State assemblyman; and

  • Mary Pat Hancock, Genesee County Legislature chairperson and New York State Association of Counties president.

GCBA is a voluntary association of professionals in the justice system working together to benefit Genesee County and to improve the practice of law locally.

According to a press release, the association was founded in 1912 and quickly got to work to address "a widespread feeling of discontent with the judicial system and the manner in which justice was being administered."

"We are very proud of where we have been, and even more excited about where the GCBA will go over the next several years," Rogers said.

According to Rogers, GCBA has grown tremendously over the past several years, making new initiatives possible for both members and the community.

Some of the association's offerings include continuing legal education (CLE) seminars for members, philanthropic efforts with local agencies, and the "People's Law Series," which Rogers described as "a forum for local residents to become more knowledgeable on particular areas of law."

"GCBA intends to continue its present offerings and is always looking for new ways to benefit its members and the public," he said. "My time is limited; however, having spoken with the president-elect of the association, Mary Kay Yanik, esquire, I know that she intends to focus on several civic functions that give back to the community during her presidency."

Here are some past GCBA members (photos courtesy of Lisa Scott, of the Batavia law firm Bonarigo & McCutcheon):

Barber B. Conable Jr. would go on to become a New York State senator and congressman, serve as a confidante to three U.S. presidents (Nixon, Reagan and Bush), and be appointed president of the World Bank, a position he held for five years.

Honorable Robert E. Noonan Sr. who served on the Supreme Court in the Eighth Judicial District from 1949 until the early 1960s. Afterwards, he was permanently appointed (after two temporary appointments) by Nelson Rockefeller, then-governor of New York State, to the Fourth Department of the Appellate Division.

Alice Day Gardner was the first woman to practice law in Genesee County. She graduated from the University of Buffalo Law Department in 1901, being the fourth woman in history to do so and the only woman in her class. As a female lawyer in the early part of the 20th Century, she was a pioneer. The article about her above was published in the Batavia Daily News in 1985.

For more information on Thursday's ceremony, call Rogers at 345-1205 or visit www.gcbany.com.

August 1, 2012 - 4:41pm
posted by Billie Owens in Genesee County Bar Association, durin roger.

Press release:

The Genesee County Bar Association, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation formed for the benefit of the legal community, announced this afternoon the launching of its first-ever Web site.

GCBA President Durin Rogers, Esq., said he thinks this type of Web site is the first of its kind in the GLOW region.

The association tinkered with the idea of developing a Web site for several years, but recently pursued the endeavor due to increased member interest. According to Rogers, the newly developed site offers its members a robust platform to access legal information including GCBA directories, associated legal Web sites, and a Members Only section.

Rogers is extremely proud of the site and noted that it also provides the community with information as well, including information about the bar association, its members, and where to go for legal help.

While the GCBA does not make direct referral to clients, the new member directory will give the community a starting point when searching for competent legal counsel.  

The site was developed by Rockhopper Technologies, Inc., a full-service technology firm headquartered in Livonia. Professional photographer Amanda Earl spent many volunteer hours taking and producing the Web site photography.

For more information on the GCBA, please contact Rogers via email at:

[email protected]

Or visit the association Web site at http://www.gcbany.com

April 13, 2011 - 1:40pm

The Kiwanis Club of Batavia and the Genesee County Bar Association will hold their annual Law Day Observance and dinner on Thursday, April 28 at Bohn's Restaurant.

The speaker for the evening is Victor I. Vieth, JD, director of the National Child Protection Training Center at Winona State University in Minnesota.

The Genesee County Bar Association will present the Charles L. Mancuso Mock Trial Award to this year's winning Mock Trial Team.

The Kiwanis Club will present its annual Law Enforcement Recognition Awards.

Cost is $20 per person for a buffet-style dinner, which begins at 6:30 p.m. One hour prior, at 5:30 p.m., there will be a social hour. Please make reservations prior to April 22.

Make checks payable to "The Kiwanis Club of Batavia" and return to Lawrence Friedman, County Courts Facility, One Main St., Batavia, NY 14020.

Phone is 585-344-2550, ext. 2250.

The public is welcome.

Bohn's Restaurant is located at 5256 Clinton St. Road (Route 33) in Batavia.

November 5, 2010 - 1:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee County Bar Association.

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The Genesee County Bar Association recognized four local organizations today for their commitment to improving the lives of those in need in Genesee County.

Each group received a donation from the bar association:

  • CASA for Children (Court Appointed Special Advocates — providing volunteers to advocate for the needs of neglected and abused children in the county): $1,250
  • Genesee County Youth Court (Provides a peer-review system for local troubled youth as an alternative to our adult justice system.): $500
  • “People Realizing Potential” (A campaign of the Genesee ARC to assist local people with special needs.): $1,000
  • Genesee County Child Advocacy Center (Provides services for local children in need.): $1,250

Pictured, from left, front, are: Donna Feary, Justice for Children/GLOW Foundation; Shelley Faltico, Genesee ARC; Deborah Kerr-Rosenbeck, Youth Court; Tara Pariso, CASA; Attorney Charles Graney (back left), Durin Roger, president-elect of the bar association; District Attorney Lawrence Friedman; Colleen Marvel, Coordinated Justice for Children; David Saleh, bar president; and, Thomas Burggman, CASA.

October 22, 2010 - 3:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, Genesee County Bar Association.

The Genesee County Bar Association is recognizing four local organizations for their commitment to improving the lives of those in need in Genesee County.

A recognition ceremony is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 5 in the Grand Jury Room on the second floor of the Genesee County Courts Facility. That's also when the organizations will get monetary donations from the bar association to support their efforts.

The public is invited to attend.

Local attorneys makes countless individual contributions of funds and hours in support of local charities and community organizations. The bar members believe the four organizations listed below have made substantial efforts to support those in need. As a result, they deserve special recognition and support.

  • CASA for Children (Court Appointed Special Advocates — providing volunteers to advocate for the needs of neglected and abused children in the county): $1,250

 

  • Genesee County Youth Court (Provides a peer-review system for local troubled youth as an alternative to our adult justice system.): $500

 

  • “People Realizing Potential” (A campaign of the Genesee ARC to assist local people with special needs.): $1,000

 

  • Genesee County Child Advocacy Center (Provides services for local children in need.): $1,250
April 30, 2010 - 12:11pm

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Top Photo, from left: Miller, Camp, Dibble, Harmon.

Four local cops were honored Thursday night by the Genesee County Bar Association and the Batavia Kiwanis Club for their dedication and good work during the past year.

Recognized in the annual awards ceremony at Bohn's Restaurant were:

  • Officer Eric Miller, Village of Le Roy Police Department;
  • Patrolman Christopher Camp, the Batavia Police Department;
  • Chief Deputy Gordon Dibble, Genesee County Sherriff's Office;
  • Sgt. Cory Harmon, New York State Police.

Also honored during the annual Law Day celebration was Daniel A. Rybak, who was named Attorney of the Year.

The mock trial team of Batavia High School received the Charles L. Mancuso Award. The team won the 2010 GLOW region Mock Trial Tournament.

William J. Hochul Jr., United States Attorney for the Western District of New York, served as the keynote speaker. 

lawawards02.jpgThe WNY native was promoted to his current post about a month ago. Previously, he served as a counter-terrorism attorney for the U.S. Attorney's Office. Hochul spoke about the role that all members of the legal community -- law enforcement, prosecutors and defense attorneys -- play in helping the United States fight terrorism, especially within our borders.

"Each of us in this room – men, women, children, high school students -- have a critical role to ensure that the American legal system remains as a tool to us to fight terrorism," Hochul said.

Hochul said local law enforcement plays is the first-line of defense against domestic terrorism.

"The federal government can’t be everywhere domestic terrorists might be living," Hochul said. "Nationwide, worldwide, really, there’s only 10,000 or so FBI agents."

Without local law enforcement, he said, "we wouldn’t be able to even see the domestic terrorism threat, much less address it.”

Because maintaining the rule of law is vital to keeping our justice system working, Hochul said, defense attorneys who challenge prosecutions' theories and assertions help keep the necessary balance to the system.

"My message to you all is let’s follow the rule of law," Hochul said. "Let’s use the system we have, and where appropriate, my office, the Western New York Office of United States Attorney, stands ready to help."

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Inset, Hochul. Above, members of the Batavia High mock trial team.

After the jump are pictures and information on each of the award winners:

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