News

Firm partner Tom Lane has been selected as a Top 100 Bet-The-Company Litigator

To be considered for selection, an attorney must have successfully litigated (for either plaintiff or defendant) a matter with the fate of a business and several million dollars at stake.  Qualifying candidates are screened and assessed based on a broad array of criteria, including the attorney’s lifetime legal achievements, professional experience, significant bet-the-company and/or business litigation settlements and/or verdicts, peer reputation, client satisfaction, other notable honors, media notoriety, and community impact, among other...

Tom Lane and Drew Miller recognized for obtaining $3,600,000 jury verdict

Webster Szanyi partners Tom Lane and Drew Miller have been recognized by Best of the Bar for winning a Top 100 Verdict in New York State for one of the Firm’s long time clients. Tom and Drew represented a WNY benevolent organization in a complex property loss case stemming from a catastrophic fire that destroyed the organization’s 20,000 square foot historic property and all of its contents. The historic property was located in North Tonawanda, NY at the foot of the Erie Canal. After a two week trial, a Niagara County jury returned a unanimous verdict and gross award of more than $3.6 million. The award was one of the largest in New York state in...

National Labor Relations Board certifies election results rejecting union and dismisses union-filed unfair labor practice charges

The National Labor Relations Board certified the results of an election rejecting the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers as the collective bargaining representative for a private company in Western New York.  A resounding 85% of the employees voted “no” when asked if they wanted to be represented by the IAM. In addition, the NLRB dismissed unfair labor practice charges filed by the IAM against the Company claiming that three employees were unlawfully discharged for supporting the Union.  Based on its investigation, the NLRB determined that there was insufficient evidence to support the Union’s contention that the Company discriminated against the employees for supporting the Union. Melanie Beardsley represented the Company throughout the campaign and election process and defended the Company against the unfair labor practice...

Melanie Beardsley presents on employee leave and the implications of COVID-19

Partner Melanie Beardsley was the sole presenter in Part I of the Labor Law Series presented by the Bar Association of Erie County and the Woman’s Bar Association of the State of New York this July. Ms. Beardsley presented on the most recent changes under state and federal law that provides employees with leave options due to the impacts of coronavirus. More information can be found at...

Andrew Miller Elected Board Chair of The Service Collaborative

Andrew Miller, a partner at the firm, has been elected as the Board Chair for The Service Collaborative of WNY, Inc. (“TSC”).  TSC is a local not-for-profit organization that focuses on poverty alleviation through the ABLE Early Childhood Program; Economic Development Corps.; Serve New York VISTA, and WNY Youthbuild.  TSC, along with the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County, operates VolunteerWNY, a platform that connects local volunteers with volunteer opportunities.  Lastly, through its ServicePlus program, TSC provides bookkeeping and human resources support to other local non-for-profits, allowing those organizations to spend more time and resources on fulfilling their core missions. Mr. Miller has served on TSC’s board for over six years and is honored to serve as its Board...

Heather Dechert is a graduate of the Leadership Buffalo Class of 2019

Heather Dechert, a partner at the firm, is a graduate of the Leadership Buffalo 2019 Class Experience.  Class Experience is a year-long program, uniting and developing leaders from diverse backgrounds and perspectives in order to increase their knowledge of community issues, broaden their vision and enhance their ability to lead....

Michael P. McClaren named Managing Partner

Webster Szanyi LLP is pleased to announce that Partner Michael P. McClaren has been elected Managing Partner of the firm.      Mr. McClaren, a resident of East Aurora, is a founding partner of Webster Szanyi LLP and is a full time litigator, handling Civil Rights, employment, construction, commercial and personal injury...

Webster Szanyi LLP obtains favorable decision in Capizzi v. Brown Chiari LLP, et al.

Kevin Szanyi recently obtained a favorable decision on behalf of Samuel Capizzi in the first phase of his lawsuit against Brown Chiari LLP and partners James Brown and Donald Chiari.  Mr. Capizzi was a partner in Brown Chiari LLP until he withdrew from the partnership in January 2016.  Pursuant to New York Partnership Law, Mr. Capizzi’s withdrawal from the firm results in a dissolution of the firm.  Mr. Brown and Mr. Chiari, however, denied that Mr. Capizzi was an equity partner and asserted that, as a result, the firm was not dissolved.  By his lawsuit, Mr. Capizzi requested an order declaring the firm Brown Chiari LLP was dissolved effective January 8, 2016 and that defendants are required to wind up the affairs of the firm and provide a complete accounting of firm assets, liabilities, income and expenses to Mr. Capizzi.  The case is pending before Honorable Timothy J. Walker, who bifurcated the trial and limited the first phase to the sole question of whether Mr. Capizzi was an equity partner in the firm at the time of his withdrawal.  Following a non-jury trial over the course of 20 days, Justice Walker ruled in favor of Mr. Capizzi and ordered and declared that as of the date of his resignation from Brown Chiari LLP, Mr. Capizzi was an equity partner in the...

Webster Szanyi obtains dismissal of False Claims Act action

Charlie Roberts recently obtained the dismissal of a False Claims Act lawsuit filed by the United States against Kenneth Carter.  The Government alleged Mr. Carter, who has since passed, was part of a fraudulent scheme with Lee Strock, Cynthia Ann Golde, and Strock Contracting to set up a company, Veteran Enterprises Company, Inc. (“VECO”), as a service-disabled veteran owned small business (“SDVOSB”) in order to obtain and profit from construction contracts set aside for SDVOSBs.  The Government alleged VECO was a sham and Mr. Strock, who is not a disabled veteran, controlled the day-to-day and long-term business operations.  Mr. Roberts filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit against Mr. Carter on the grounds that the Government failed to sufficiently allege a False Claim Act claim against Mr. Carter.  Judge Geraci, Chief Judge for the United States District Court for the Western District of New York, agreed and dismissed the claims against Mr. Carter.  Judge Geraci found the government’s general group allegations against the “defendants” were insufficient to show that Mr. Carter personally knew that any representations as to VECO’s SDVSOB status were false.  Judge Geraci also agreed the government did not allege Mr. Carter obtained any financial benefits from contracts performed by VECO – an allegation that might suggest a motive for committing...

Division of Human Rights Issues No Probable Cause Finding Dismissing Claim of Disability Discrimination

The New York State Division of Human Rights (“SDHR”) issued a “no probable cause” finding on a claim that a County employee was discriminated and retaliated against because he had a disability.  Heather Dechert represented the County against allegations that the employee was harassed, treated differently than similarly situated employees, and denied a reasonable accommodation for his disability.  The Complainant also claimed that he was retaliated against by being given unwanted or dangerous assignments, being subject to unwarranted disciplinary action and being constructively discharged.  Based on its investigation, the SDHR determined that the evidence did not support Complainant’s allegations of harassment, disparate treatment and denial of a reasonable accommodation.  The SDHR further found that the record did not support Complainant’s contention that he was constructively...

Webster Szanyi attorneys recognized by Best Lawyers

Webster Szanyi LLP congratulates Thomas S. Lane, Michael P. McClaren, and Kevin A. Szanyi on having been selected by their peers for inclusion in the 26th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America.  Mr. Lane was selected in the areas of Commercial Litigation and Product Liability Litigation – Defendants, Mr. McClaren in the area of Commercial Litigation, and Mr. Szanyi in the areas Commercial Litigation, Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants, Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs, and Product Liability Litigation – Defendants. We are also pleased to share that due to the extremely high feedback Best Lawyers received, Mr. Szanyi has also been recognized by his peers as one of the 2020 “Lawyer of the Year” award recipients for his work in Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants in Buffalo.  Only a single lawyer in each practice area and community is honored with a “Lawyer of the Year” award. For more information on this prestigious award, please visit...

Webster Szanyi LLP welcomes its newest partner, Melanie J. Beardsley

Webster Szanyi is pleased to announce that Melanie Beardsley has joined the firm.  Melanie has spent the majority of her career representing management in all facets of labor and employment matters, with a focus on representing school districts, and also has substantial experience in special education matters.  Melanie worked at Hodgson Russ LLP in its education and labor and employment practice for several years and, most recently, worked in-house for Cattaraugus-Allegany BOCES as an attorney and senior labor relations specialist.  She resides in East Aurora with her husband, Kevin, and three children.  Melanie will join the firm’s education and labor and employment practice...

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The team at Webster Szanyi routinely provides us with expert, practical and timely advice on a wide range of school law and labor relations matters.  Our relationship with Webster Szanyi has been a significant value add for the Hamburg Central School District.

Michael Cornell Superintendent of Hamburg Central School District

Webster Szanyi is our choice for national environmental matters as well as litigation in upstate New York.  Their high quality and efficient service coupled with their very reasonable rates is unrivaled compared to other firms we have worked with

Lisa Dalfonso
Vice President,
Assistant General Counsel, Mott’s LLP