Friday, October 27, 2006

The Annual Western District Federal Court Dinner

was a resounding success. We need to enact a Local Rule that mandates that venue (Terry Hills) for all future dinners. ABL never had such a good time in Batavia!

Terry Flynn made a great speech that made me proud to practice in WNY (not that I needed a speech for that, but it was motivational nonetheless). I think that half the lawyers sped home with thoughts of qui tam dancing in their heads. We learned that the new courthouse is coming, slowly but surely, and that we hope to cut a ribbon in 2010. The Rochester annex, however, may not come for some time. Judge Arcara provided statistics supporting what we already know -- that the WDNY is the busiest court (per judge) in the Circuit and one of the busiest in the nation (#9). Our civil filings are up 37%! Judge Skretny discussed the successful ADR program, which has an 80% resolution rate -- far better than the 60-65% rate hoped for. The program will continue by expanding to the chambers of Judges Arcara and Elfvin.

I got to see many old colleagues and friends -- and met a few new people as well. I heard that the Rochester judges hold a Town Hall meeting similar to the "District Court Speaks" program in D. Mass. I hope to one day get such a program started in Buffalo -- and perhaps a combined Buff./Roch. program.

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