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.
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.
Ms. Eyre is an experienced litigator, focusing her current practice on the defense of general and commercial liability matters, including premises liability, transportation negligence, medical malpractice, and nursing home negligence. Prior to joining Hurwitz & Fine, Ms. Eyre spent many years as a defense attorney representing physicians, hospitals, and medical institutions in complex matters involving medical malpractice and nursing home negligence. Ms. Eyre has extensive experience managing the defense of cases through all phases of litigation and has successfully argued appeals before the Fourth Department Appellate Division.
Ms. Eyre is a member of the Erie County and New York State Bar Associations, as well as the Western New York Chapter of the Women’s Bar Association of New York (WBASNY). Ms. Eyre serves as both a Local Director and as a Co-Chair of the Working Parents’ Committee for WBASNY. She is also President of the Board of Directors for Lawyers for Learning, a local tutoring organization that pairs elementary school students in Buffalo with tutors from the legal community. Ms. Eyre is an Adjunct Professor for the Paralegal Studies Program at Daemen College, where she teaches Introduction to Medical Malpractice Litigation and Administrative Law.
Ms. Eyre has been recognized as a 2020 “Up and Coming Attorney” by The Daily Record and as a “Rising Star” for her work in personal injury and medical malpractice defense by Super Lawyers.
Ms. Eyre earned her Juris Doctor from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York, New York. She is also a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Ms. Eyre lives in Snyder, New York with her husband and three young children. She is also the Secretary of the Board of the Smallwood Drive Elementary Parent Teacher Association.
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.
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.
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.