Harris Beach attorney A. Vincent Buzard Becomes Chair of ABA’s Council of Appellate Lawyers

A. Vincent Buzard, leader of the Harris Beach Appellate Litigation and Advocacy Practice Group, became chair of the American Bar Association’s Council of Appellate Lawyers at the Appellate Judges Education Institute Summit held in New Orleans November 16 - 18.  The Summit was attended by appellate lawyers from 38 states and eight countries.  Speakers included Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and other judges from federal circuit courts and state appellate courts.  Mr. Buzard is a member of the executive committee of the ABA Judicial Division’s Appellate Judges Conference and the executive committee of the Appellate Judges Education Institute.

The Council of Appellate Lawyers is part of the ABA’s Judicial Division and is the first and only group of appellate lawyers which includes both lawyers and appellate judges.  The council provides the opportunity to talk about appellate issues informally with the top appellate practitioners in the country, as well as appellate judges from state courts and from the federal circuit courts.  The council conducts a number of programs on appellate practice, the most significant of which is the Summit on Appellate Practice held every year.  During Mr. Buzard’s involvement with the Council of Appellate Lawyers he has chaired and moderated a number of programs on appellate practice at ABA meetings around the country.    

His initiatives as chair of the council include the appointment of the Solicitor General of Illinois to chair a committee to provide programming and further involvement in the council by state solicitors general.  He also pointed Cynthia Feathers, who is chair of the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Courts of Appellate Jurisdiction and a past director of pro bono affairs of the New York State Bar Association, to lead a committee to collect and analyze the appellate pro bono efforts of state bar associations throughout the country to develop a model plan for appellate pro bono efforts by state and local bar associations.  He will also appoint a committee to further involve and train military appellate lawyers.  Additionally, he will be involved in planning the 2013 Summit on Appellate Practice and other programs.  

Mr. Buzard is a partner at Harris Beach and the founder and leader of the Appellate Litigation and Advocacy Practice Group.  He has been a trial and appellate lawyer for over forty years and for the last several years has focused his practice on appeals in the state and federal courts of New York including several cases in the New York Court of Appeals.  He has  argued appeals involving a broad range of issues and his recent cases include successfully arguing in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in a seminal case for the constitutionality of a wage freeze on municipal employees, in the New York Court of Appeals for a new rule in tortious interference cases, for a rule regarding out of wedlock children in trusts and for the construction of a statute to prohibit the accrual of steps and increases during a wage freeze and in the Appellate Division 4th Department for a property tax assessment of zero of a large commercial property because of contamination which was the first such result in New York.   

Mr. Buzard is a member of the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association.  He served as the President of the New York State Bar Association from 2005-2006 and as President of the Monroe County Bar Association from 1993-1994 from which he received the Adolph J. Rodenbeck Award for outstanding contribution to the legal profession and community.

Mr. Buzard is a past Chair and current member of the State Bar Association Committee to Review Judicial Nominations which screens judges for appointment to the Court of Appeals, and serves by appointment on the Governor’s Screening Committee which screens judges for the Appellate Division, Fourth Department and chairs by appointment of the Chief Judge of New York the Seventh District Judicial Screening Commission which screens judicial candidates for election. 

He also served as Corporation Counsel of the City of Rochester.  Since the late 1970’s he has been a host, moderator and commentator on local radio and television programs on legal and political issues.  Mr. Buzard is a graduate of Wabash College and a cum laude graduate of the University of Michigan Law School.

Founded in 1856, Harris Beach is ranked by The National Law Journal as one of the country’s Top 250 law firms.  Harris Beach and its subsidiaries provide a full range of legal and professional services for clients across New York state as well as nationally and internationally.  Clients include Fortune 500 corporations, privately-held companies, emerging businesses and not-for-profit organizations.  Principal industries Harris Beach represents include education, energy, financial, food and beverage, health care, insurance, manufacturers, medical and life sciences, real estate developers, and state and local governments and authorities.  Harris Beach also provides personal services to individuals.  The firm’s over 200 lawyers practice among offices throughout New York state in Albany, Buffalo, Ithaca, New York City, Niagara Falls, Rochester, Saratoga Springs, Syracuse, Uniondale, White Plains and Yonkers, as well as Newark, New Jersey and New Haven, Connecticut. 

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