Office: BC 106
Margaret Phillips, J.D., Associate Professor, Director of Paralegal Studies, has been named co-chair of the New York State Bar Association Task Force on Paralegals, a state-wide committee that will be examining the evolving role of paralegals in today's legal practice, including an update of ethical guidelines, the issue of limited licensure, and access to justice issues.
Florina Altshiler is the managing attorney for the Buffalo, NY, office of Russo & Toner LLP, a New York City-based litigation firm. She also teaches two trial advocacy courses at Columbia University, School of Professional Studies. In Buffalo, Florina teaches Continuing Legal Education courses through the Erie County Bar Association on topics including litigation and trial technique and has been published in the Buffalo Law Journal on topics including criminal and civil litigation.
Ms. Altshiler has offered legal commentary throughout the country and has been quoted by the Chicago Tribune, Sports Illustrated, NBC Sports and the Miami Herald. She appears regularly on the ABC affiliate-WKBW, Channel 7, to offer legal commentary on the evening news. She has also appeared on the NBC affiliate-WGRZ, Channel 2, CBS affiliate News 8 Rochester, and Time Warner Cable News. She is also routinely quoted by the Buffalo News and has been interviewed by Dr. Drew for KABC Los Angeles.
Prior to relocating to Buffalo, Ms. Altshiler served as a prosecutor for the State of Alaska, where she handled the prosecution of all levels of crime through jury trial. Florina has served as an adjunct professor of trial advocacy, both civil and criminal, at St. John's School of Law, where she was a Rosenberg Scholar and an Institutional Merit Scholar. She has received the Dr. Thomas C. Beneventano Award for Legal Medicine and an Excellence for the Future Award in Criminal Trial Advocacy, as well as the U.S. President's Student Service Award for Outstanding Service to America and United Hospital Fund's Student Achievement Award.
Marco Cercone, Esq., a partner at Rupp Baase Pfalzgraf Cunningham LLC is a trial attorney who concentrates his practice in first-party insurance coverage, claim investigation, and the litigation of first-party property insurance claims including arson, fraud, material misrepresentation, and property valuation claims. Mr. Cercone also handles subrogation and commercial matters, the defense of housing code violation cases, and the litigation of contested foreclosure cases. Mr. Cercone also has served as appellate counsel in matters involving commercial and first-party property insurance cases. He has lectured to numerous organizations and insurance professionals on various topics including arson claims, bad-faith, appraisal under the standard fire insurance policy, and mortgagee claims. Mr. Cercone has worked closely with municipal and federal authorities to assist in the successful prosecution of arson cases.
Mr. Cercone received his B.A. degree summa cum laude from Duquesne University in 1997. He received his M.P.A. degree from The George Washington University in 1999, and he was awarded his J.D. degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo law school in 2002. He also is an adjunct instructor in the Paralegal Studies program at Daemen College, and he serves as Chair of the Operations and Infrastructure Committee at Rupp Baase.
Kyle DiDone is an attorney with the law firm Rupp Baase Pfalzgraf Cunningham LLC. His practice focuses on creditors’ rights, commercial litigation, and bankruptcy. Mr. DiDone represents a wide range of clients throughout the state, including individuals, corporations, private financial organizations, national and local banking institutions, and credit unions. Mr. DiDone is a graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School and Canisius College.
Richard F. DiGiacomo, Esq. is a partner in the law firm of Nesper, Ferber, DiGiacomo, Johnson & Grimm LLP, Amherst, NY and practices in the areas of real property law and finance related law. Concentrating on commercial loan closings, purchases, sales, leases, Industrial Development Agency transactions, U.S. Small Business Administration and other quasi-governmental transactions, title insurance and residential real estate closings.
He was named as Real Estate Law Lawyer of the Year for 2012 for Buffalo, New York in the "Best Lawyers in America" Woodward/White Inc. publication. He also has been named one of the "Best Lawyers in America" for over fifteen consecutive years in the area of Real Estate Law in Woodward/White, Inc. publication.
Brittany Jones is an associate attorney with Mental Hygiene Legal Service. Prior to her current position, Brittany served as an associate at the law firm Webster Szanyi LLP and as an appellate court attorney for the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Fourth Department in Rochester, NY. While living in Rochester, Brittany served as treasurer on the Rochester Black Bar Association. She also coached a high school mock trial team for the Boy Scouts of America’s Law Exploring program. She spent time serving in VLSP’s family law clinic and landlord-tenant program where she represented clients in and around the Rochester area. Brittany holds a bachelor of science from Emerson College, a master of science in telecommunications and network management from the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University, and a juris doctor from Syracuse University College of Law.
Jeremiah (Jerry) Lenihan is an Assistant United States Attorney in the Western District of New York, working out of the Buffalo Office. He is assigned to the Narcotics and Organized Crime Section where he focuses on prosecuting high-level narcotics trafficking, criminal street gang activity, and violent crimes. He handles cases from the investigative stage through trial. Before moving to Buffalo, Jerry served as an Assistant Prosecutor with the Union County Prosecutor's Office in New Jersey. There, he worked in various units, including Juvenile, Trial Team, Special Prosecutions, and spending the majority of his time in the Narcotics Strike Force, where he focused on narcotics trafficking and violent gang activity. Before joining the Daemen staff, he previously taught as an Adjunct Professor at Montclair State in the Paralegal Studies Program. His teaching centered around popular cases in the media, such as the Adnan Syed case, as made popular on the Serial podcast, as well as the Aaron Hernandez murder trial. At Montclair State, he received the Paralegal Studies Distinguished Teacher Award. Jerry started his legal career clerking for the Honorable Joseph P. Donohue, Presiding Criminal Judge in Union County. He graduated from Quinnipiac University with a B.A. in Criminal Justice and received his J.D. from Seton Hall University School of Law.
Gary Muldoon has been teaching law courses for 20 years. He is a partner at the Rochester firm of Kaman Berlove Marafioti Jacobstein & Goldman, LLP. He is also the author of several books, including Handling a Criminal Case in New York, Handling a Family Law Case in New York, and The Education of a Lawyer. His areas of practice emphasize litigation and appeals. He is a graduate of Skidmore College and SUNY Buffalo Law School.
Ms. Plants earned her Bachelor of Arts in English, Summa Cum Laude, from Hartwick College and her Juris Doctor, Magna Cum Laude, from Valparaiso University School of Law. After graduating from law school, Ms. Plants spent the next 10 years practicing in the litigation department of a major Buffalo law firm and teaching Legal Research and Writing at a local law school. Thereafter, Ms. Plants returned to school herself, earning her Master of Science in Education, Adolescent, with a 4.0 GPA, from Medaille College. Ms. Plants currently teaches English Language Arts at a local school district.
Judge E. Jeannette Ogden was appointed to the Buffalo City Court in June of 1995 by the Mayor of Buffalo, NY. Her broad based experience in the law was cited as the basis for her appointment. In November of 1995, Judge Ogden was elected to serve a ten (10) year term on the Buffalo City Court and re-elected to serve another (10) year term in 2005. In January 2001, Judge Ogden was appointed as an Acting County Court Judge. The appointment was expanded to Acting Family Court Judge in January, 2003. Judge Ogden currently serves on all three (3) Courts and has presided over thousands of criminal and civil cases.
Judge Ogden has regularly received and reviewed the work product of attorneys and paralegals for over twenty (20) years.
Prior to her judicial appointment, Judge Ogden worked as a Trial Lawyer for CIGNA Insurance Companies defending corporations, school districts, hospitals and municipalities, while at the same time operating her own private general law practice. She personally employed and supervised paralegals on a regular basis during this time period.
Judge Ogden is also a former Prosecutor with the Erie County District Attorneys Office and a former Assistant Erie County Attorney. She consistently worked with the nurse paralegal in the Erie County Attorneys Office.
Judge Ogden is a graduate of Buffalo Public Schools and Buffalo State College, where she earned a degree in Criminal Justice and periodically returns to teach. She received her Juris Doctorate Degree from the University of New York at Buffalo Law School where she presently instructs courses in Trial Technique and Mental Health Issues in Criminal Law. Judge Ogden has worked as an adjunct instructor with the University at Buffalo Law School for 16 years/
Her professional affiliations include memberships on the New York State Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics; Vice Chair of the Gender and Racial Fairness Committee for NY Courts in the 8th Judicial District; the Character & Fitness Committee of the NYS Supreme Court Appellate Division 4th Dept.; the Erie Community College Criminal Justice Advisory Committee; the Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, International; the Women's Bar Association of WNY; the American, New York State and Erie County Bar Associations and the National Associations of Women Judges. She is Vice President of the NYS Women Judges Association and a Past President of the University of Buffalo Law Alumni Association, the Erie County Bar Foundation, the Women Lawyers of WNY and the Minority Bar Association of WNY, Inc.
Judge Ogden presently serves as a mentor to high school, college and law students. She supervises paralegal studies students from Erie Community and Monroe College Colleges.
Judge Ogden also offers internship experiences to Buffalo Public High School, Tapestry Charter High School and Buffalo State College Students.
Judge Ogden is the recipient of many awards and acknowledgments for her long standing community involvement. She exemplifies the product of hard work, perseverance and commitment. Judge Ogden attributes all of her accomplishments to the support of a loving family and a strong belief in God.
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Robert P. Simpson, a registered patent attorney and founding partner of Simpson & Simpson, PLLC, has been practicing intellectual property law since 1987. Mr. Simpson represents individual clients, small and large corporations, and universities, concentrating primarily in patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret, and unfair competition law. His patent and trademark practice includes counseling, searching and opinions, and the preparation and prosecution of patent and trademark applications, foreign and domestic. He has handled a number of trademark oppositions and cancellation proceedings, patent interference proceedings, patent and trademark ex parte appeals, re-examination and reissue proceedings, and has served as co-counsel in patent and trademark litigation. Mr. Simpson has prepared and prosecuted patent applications in a variety of technical art areas, including the mechanical, electrical, and electronic arts. He specializes in computer software and business method patent applications, and is a frequent speaker on the patentability of software related inventions. He has been privileged to represent some of the world's leading companies during his career, including General Electric, Eastman Kodak, Xerox, Lockheed Martin, Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC, KLA-Tencor, and Schaeffler Technologies.
Mr. Simpson received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering with honors from Rochester Institute of Technology, where he was elected to Tau Beta Pi, a national engineering honor society. Upon graduation, Mr. Simpson worked as an electrical design engineer for Westinghouse Electric Corporation and Siemens- Allis, designing polyphase induction motors. He received a Juris Doctor Degree from The University at Buffalo School of Law, where he served as Note and Comment Editor of the Buffalo Law Review, was a member of the Moot Court Board, and was elected to The Order of Barristers for excellence in the art of courtroom advocacy. He is presently an adjunct professor of Patent Law at the University at Buffalo School of Law, and an adjunct professor of Law Office Technology at Daemen College. Mr. Simpson is a former adjunct professor of Intellectual Property Law at Hilbert College. He has lectured at Niagara University, Palm Beach Atlantic University, and SBA-U (a service of the U.S. Small Business Administration.)
Mr. Simpson holds an AV® rating from Martindale-Hubbell. An AV® rating signifies that a lawyer has reached the heights of professional excellence, and has been recognized for the highest levels of skill and integrity. He also holds Board Certification* in Intellectual Property Law from the Florida Bar. This certification identifies Mr. Simpson as a lawyer with special knowledge, skills, and proficiency in intellectual property law and distinguishes him as a specialist in this practice area. Mr. Simpson has been recognized many times by his peers for inclusion in Business First's Who's Who in Law, recognizing outstanding lawyers in Western New York. He has also been honored many times by Super Lawyers, a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high- degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations, and peer evaluations.
Mr. Simpson is admitted to practice in New York, Florida, Connecticut, and before The United States Patent and Trademark Office. He is admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York. Mr. Simpson is a member of the American Intellectual Property Law Association, the International Trademark Association, the New York State Bar Association, the Florida State Bar, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He is a member and former co-Chair of the Intellectual Property Law Committee of the Bar Association of Erie County. He is a Past President of the Niagara Frontier Intellectual Property Law Association. Mr. Simpson is a life member of the United States Chess Federation. He is also a patented inventor and entrepreneur. Finally, Mr. Simpson is a published author of a humorous book of short stories, entitled, "Bumblebees & Dandelions," (www.bumblebeesanddandelions.com.)
Jennifer is a community activist and multiple-award recipient with extensive trial and international public speaking experience. This experience has included: an invited speaker the United States Congressional Committee on Veterans Affairs, speaking engagements throughout the United States and Europe, a frequent speaker at the University at Buffalo School of Law, developer and lecturer for CLE programs in Erie and Monroe County, an adjunct professor at Trocaire College as well as a frequent judge for the Law School’s moot court and oral argument programs. Having been active in the court system in addition to running a busy litigation practice, Jennifer was a member of an ad hoc committee headed by Justice Janice M. Rosa, J.S.C. for the development of a veteran’s civil docket for matrimonial and family court matters.
Prior to her current role as an Administrative Law Judge, Jennifer served as a Small Claims Hearing Officer for Buffalo City Court, presiding over small claims matters brought by attorneys and pro se litigants. Additionally, Jennifer is a leader in her Bar Association’s activities including three committee chairmanships, as well as an author of several Bar Association articles. She is a board member of both Aid to Indigent Prisoners, Inc. and Judges and Police Conference of Western New York Board Member, in addition to being the past President of Women Lawyers of Western New York.
In 2013, Jennifer ran in the general election for Erie County Legislature. Currently, she is an author, adjunct professor at Daemen College and an Administrative Law Judge with the Department of Corrections and Community Services. Jennifer’s research interests include international law and ethics, recidivism and treatment courts, sex offender treatment efficacy, and gender parity in politics and law.
Prof. Walsh is a long-time tenured faculty member at Daemen College and is a licensed physical therapist in addition to being an attorney. She attended SUNY at Buffalo where she received her BS in physical therapy and her law degree. She also received a BA in political science from SUNY College at Buffalo and an MS in Executive Leadership & Change from Daemen College. She was an associate in the litigation department at Damon & Morey before coming to Daemen College in 1993. In addition to teaching in the Paralegal Studies program, Prof. Walsh also teaches courses in the Physical Therapy and History & Political Science Departments.