Client-Recommended Attorneys, Adjusters, Experts and TPAs
Client-Recommended Attorneys, Adjusters, Experts and TPAs



Best's Recommended Insurance Attorneys

General Defense


438 Main Street, Tenth Floor, Buffalo, New York 14202

Established: 1896

Practice Areas

  • Insurance Defense
  • Trial Practice
  • Fire
  • Casualty
  • Life Insurance
  • Accident and Health
  • Malpractice
  • Insurance Law
  • Product Liability
  • Workers' Compensation

Cases Gone to Trial: 310


Additional Locations

  • Cheektowaga, New York
  • 2448 Union Road
  • Cheektowaga, New York 14227
    • Telephone: 716-608-7664

Client Information

Insurance Clients

Non-Insurance Clients

  • Chesterfield Services, Inc.
  • Diocese of Buffalo
  • Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA)
  • Town of Cheektowaga
  • Toys "R" Us, Inc.

Personnel Information

Of Counsel


Michael F. Chelus — (Retired)


Arthur A. Herdzik — (Retired)


Members


Thomas J. Speyer

Buffalo, NY

Years of Experience: 30

Admitted
  • New York, 1986
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court, 1987
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of New York, 1991
Additional Biographical Details:

Classes/Seminars Taught: Adjunct Professor, University of Buffalo School of Law and Jurisprudence, Trial Technique Program

Memberships:
  • New York State and Erie County Bar Associations
  • Western New York Trial Lawyers Association
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Claims and Litigation Management Alliance
Publications:
  • Author: "Federal Preemption of Vehicle and Traffic Law §388...and the Questions Remaining," Erie County Bar Journal, November 2005
Education:
  • State University of New York at Buffalo, B.A., 1982
  • Detroit College of Law, J.D., 1985

Born: 1960


Rebecca E. Monte

Buffalo, NY

Years of Experience: 30

Admitted
  • Virginia, 1985
  • New York, 1986
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of New York, 1991
  • U.S. Federal Court
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of New York
Additional Biographical Details:

Fourth Judicial Department, Law Guardian Panel; Stewart Title Examing Counsel, Chicago Title Insurance Company; Classes/Seminars Taught: Speaker, "Elder Law Practice Post DRA," Erie Institute of Law, 2008; Course Book Contributor and Speaker, "Practicing Elder Law - Now that the Dust of the DRA has Settled," 2009; Speaker, "Practical Skills - Basic Elder Law Practice," New York State Bar Association CLE, 2009; Speaker, New York State Bar Association sponsored "Annual Decision-Making Day," 2005, 2006, 2010; Course Book Contributor and Speaker, "Elder Law and Middle Class Clients," Erie Institute of Law, 2004; Course Book Contributor and Speaker, "Estate Planning and Taxation," National Business Institute, 1995

Memberships:
  • New York State and Erie County Bar Associations
  • Annual Glaucoma Symposium (Member, Board of Directors)
  • Cheektowaga Chamber of Commerce (Board of Directors, Chair)
Education:
  • Rochester Institute of Technology, B.A., 1982
  • Washington and Lee University, J.D., 1985

Born: 1960


Thomas P. Kawalec

Buffalo, NY

Years of Experience: 18

Admitted
  • New York, 1998
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of New York
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court, 2001
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 2006
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, 2007
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York, 2013
Additional Biographical Details:

Cheektowaga Chamber of Commerce; Charles Desmond Inns of Court (Director)

Memberships:
  • American, New York State and Erie County Bar Association
  • Western New York Defense Trial Lawyers Association (Treasurer)
  • Claims and Litigation Management Alliance
Publications:
  • Author: Chapter 29 - "Fire Insurance and Property Insurance," in Insurance Law Practice, Second Edition, published by the New York State Bar Association, 2006
Education:
  • State University of New York at Buffalo, B.A., 1995
  • State University of New York at Buffalo, J.D., 1998
Language:
  • Polish

Born: 1970


Kevin E. Loftus, Jr.

Buffalo, NY

Years of Experience: 14

Admitted
  • New York, 2003
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of New York
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Additional Biographical Details:

Town of Lancaster Prosecutor 2013-2015; Town of Lancaster Town Attorney 2016-Present

Memberships:
  • New York State and Erie County (Negligence Committee, Young Lawyers Committee; Municipal Law Committee) Bar Associations
  • Defense Trial Lawyers of Western New York
  • Buffalo Claims Association
  • Western New York Trial Lawyers Association
Publications:
  • Co-Authored: "Not for the Faint of Heart: Additional Personal Injury Protection (APIP) Benefits," New York State Bar Association Journal, Volume 78, 2006
  • "Conducting an Effective Cross-Examination in New York," Lorman Education Services, June, 2007
Education:
  • Canisius College, B.A., 1998
  • State University of New York at Buffalo, J.D., 2002

Born: 1976


Michael J. Chmiel

Buffalo, NY

Years of Experience: 16

Admitted
  • New York, 2000
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of New York, 2002
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court, 2003
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 2005
Additional Biographical Details:

Classes/Seminars Taught: "New Developments in Personal Injury Litigation - Healthcare Insurers' Right of Subrogation and Medicare Repayment Issues," for the Erie Institute of Law (Erie County Bar Association), May 26, 2010; Amherst Democratic Committee

Memberships:
  • New York State and Erie County (Civil Litigation and Criminal Law Committee) Bar Associations
  • Western New York Trial Lawyers Association
  • Defense Trial Lawyers Association
  • UB Law Alumni Association
Education:
  • State University of New York at Buffalo, B.A., 1995
  • State University of New York at Buffalo, J.D. (cum laude), 1999

Born: 1972


Michael M. Chelus

Buffalo, NY

Years of Experience: 12

Admitted
  • New York, 2004
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of New York
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, 2007
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York, 2011
Additional Biographical Details:

Orchard Park High School Academy of Finance Advisory Board; Adjunct Professor, Bryant & Stratton College

Memberships:
  • American, New York State and Erie County Bar Associations
  • Defense Trial Lawyers Association
  • Penn State Alumni Association (Alumni Recruitment Volunteer; Secretary, Western New York Chapter)
  • Western New York Trial Lawyers Association
Publications:
  • Author: Chapter 19, "Exceeding the No-Fault Threshold: Serious Injury," Insurance Law Practice, Second Edition, 2006
Education:
  • The Pennsylvania State University, B.S., 2000
  • State University of New York at Buffalo, J.D., 2003
Language:
  • Italian

Born: 1978


Associates


Katy M. Hedges

Buffalo, NY

Years of Experience: 10

Admitted
  • New York, 2006
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of New York, 2008
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of New York, 2009
Memberships:
  • New York State and Erie County Bar Associations
  • Western New York Defense Trial Lawyers Association
  • Women's Bar Association of the State of New York
  • Western New York Trial Lawyers Association
Education:
  • The University of Western Ontario, B.H.Sc., 2002
  • State University of New York at Buffalo, J.D., 2005

Born: 1980


Katie L. Renda

Buffalo, NY

Years of Experience: 4

Admitted
  • New York, 2012
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of New York, 2013
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York, 2015
Memberships:
  • New York State and Erie County Bar Associations
Education:
  • Niagara University, B.A. (Dean's List), 2003
  • University at Buffalo, J.D., 2011

Born: 1981


Nicholas M. Hriczko

Buffalo, NY

Years of Experience: 2

Admitted
  • New York, 2014
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of New York
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of New York, 2016
Memberships:
  • New York State (Elder Law Committee, Federal Practice Committee) and Erie County Bar Associations
  • Charles S. Desmond Inn of Court
  • Defense Trial Lawyers Association of Western New York
Education:
  • University at Buffalo, B.A. (cum laude), 2010
  • Thomas M. Cooley Law School, J.D. (cum laude), 2013

Born: 1988


Eric W. Marriott

Buffalo, NY

Admitted
  • New York, 2017
Memberships:
  • American and Erie County Bar Associations
Education:
  • State University of New York at Buffalo, B.A. (magna cum laude), 2012
  • William & Mary School of Law, J.D., 2016
Language:
  • Spanish

Born: 1992


Jonathan A. Emdin

Buffalo, NY

Years of Experience: 1

Admitted
  • New York, 2017
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of New York, 2018
Memberships:
  • New York State Bar Association
Education:
  • John Jay College, B.A. (Dean's List), 2010
  • Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, J.D., 2015

Born: 1988


Benjamin M. Jackson

Buffalo, NY

Admitted
  • New York, 2019
Education:
  • University at Buffalo, B.A., 2014
  • Duquesne University School of Law, J.D. (magna cum laude), 2018

Born: 1992

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