Thursday, November 30, 2006


Here is ABL with the recently unveiled portrait of his favorite federal jurist. Despite the numerous illuminati of the WDNY bench and bar ABL had to dash out into the rain to make sure that a set of briefs was delivered on time. ABL is grateful to colleague Jacob Herstek who heroically ran through a block of Main Street traffic to deliver the package on time.

Desmond IOC Holiday Party

Last night's IOC holiday party was a fine affair at the Buffalo Club.

The "Founder's Award" was posthumously awarded to Judge Doyle (his sons accepting the award are pictured above). Also pictured above are Judges Pigott, Pietruszka, O'Donnell, and Peradotto. Also pictured above is David Brock accepting a "Past Presdident Award." ABL has always had great respect for Dave Brock -- even more so after learning that he has ABL bookmarked on his treo.

Many thanks are owed to Fran Letro for graciously hosting. Mirth and war stories were abundant. Judge Pigott shared a fond memory of Judge Doyle. When Judge Pigott first became a judge, Judge Doyle told him that he would learn that judges "get bored" and sometimes lose track of things at trial. To that end, Judge Doyle would, if an objection was made, ask counsel to "rephrase" because it was a safe way to deal with the problem. Judge Pigott recalled that his reaction at the time was "are you kidding me, you do not hear a question and then say "rephrase" when there is an objection. Well, Judge Pigott conceded that Judge Doyle's advice was sage and time-tested because judges are people too.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Buffalo Christmas Wishes

ABL supports Brian Biggie and his Buffalo Christmas Wishes ( Please consider doing so as well. Looking to purchase holiday cards that support a good cause, then check out - a site hosted by mother of a little girl with special medical needs (see the attached Buffalo News article) see also

Thursday, November 09, 2006

ABL on Main Street

Business First did a nice piece on NY blawgs. ABL is pictured here pretending to blog -- just before some aggressive panhandlers chased me back into the office.

See also

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Jerry McCarthy the new WDNY Magistrate

Jerry McCarthy will be named the next magistrate for the WDNY. Next to ABL, I cannot think of a better Magistrate candidate (well, at least not one named Jerry). Congratulations Jerry. Good luck with the background check.

An unconfirmed report suggests that the person in the forefront with the coonskin cap is Jerry visiting a friend at BUSL. ABL will seek to confirm. Note the Black's third edition on the desk.

PS Lynn Gates told me that she was impressed with the fact that I posted something at 4AM. Although up early, I am not up that early (or at least not often). The time for the postings is 3 hours earlier (sometimes 4 hours where is that, the Johnson Atoll?).

Desmond Inn Of Court - pending format change

The Desmond IOC met tonight at the Mid-Day Club. We discussed a proposed organizational restructuring. It was suggested that we meet a few evenings (as we do now) and for a few lunch meetings. Some of the points raised were as follows: (1) lunch meetings would be less formal (not a presentation as much as a group discussion based on a topic or recent development), but would still provide CLE; (2) several members indicated that CLE was important to their continued membership, but that the most important aspect of the Inn was the ability to meet with judges and experienced practitioners to discuss legal devleopments and practical issues for practicing in WNY; (3) the Inn system dates back centuries and there is a reason for that: it works; a system that encourages members to mentor young members and learn from each other helps promote networking and professional development; (4) judicial membership needs to increase and is one of the areas in which our Inn needs improvement; and (5) some of the monthly meetings might be done in chambers for brown bag discussions. The Board will meet again to discuss the points raised by the membership. Some members have said that the "homework" aspect of the monthly CLE meeting is a deterrent. Others have indicated that the "end of the day" (i.e., time away from family) is a deterrent. We also raised the possibility of changing the name of the Inn to honor Judge Doyle. No motion was made and the matter was tabled for future consideration. It was mentioned that, while alive, Judge Doyle was adamantly opposed to naming the Inn in his honor and that he chose Judge Desmond as our namesake. The issue will be debated further.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

How to Select an Attorney

In the spirit of election day (a day on which a Skadden alumnus will be elected governor), I am announcing a new link that provides people with information that will help them choose an attorney. I was asked by Nicole Black ( to announce an initiative by the Monroe County Bar Association at The website notes that:

"How To Choose A Lawyer" is an unbiased resource for the public provided by the Monroe County Bar Association. This website provides guidance in finding and choosing the right lawyer for your legal matter and also provides general information regarding attorney fees, legal costs, and your rights as a client. It also provides a list of questions to ask attorneys that you are considering hiring, as well as links to other helpful sites.

Similar information may also be found at the Bar Association of Erie County's website (, which includes information about the Lawyer Referral Service and other resources.


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Wisconsin Court rejects "not cool" argument

Yesterday, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals dismissed a pro se appeal in noteworthy fashion.( Pro se pleadings are often good fun. Apparently, this one was no exception. The appellant filed a "twenty-six page litany of purported facts and unsupported allegations that the trial court overlooked . . . " Although this finding has a familiar ring to it, the court went on to note in fn 4 that the document contained no legal issues: "For example, [appellant] states, '[Appellee] stated that I, [appellant] broke a window and the bench for his picnic table--not cool!' 'Not cool' is not a legal argument." Well there goes Point III in the brief that I am working on!

Thank you to Prof. Laura Reilly for sending me this opinion of interest. I encourage others to send materials worth posting.