News

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

The New York State Division of Human Rights (“SDHR”) issued a “no probable cause” finding on a claim that a County employee was terminated based on her age.   Heather Dechert represented the County against allegations that the employee was denied proper training; issued counseling memos and negative performance evaluations; and, ultimately terminated, due to her age.  Based on its investigation, the SDHR determined that there was not sufficient evidence to conclude that the Complainant was subject to any adverse action because of her age.  The evidence instead supported the County’s legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons for terminating the...

Partner Jeremy Colby recently argued on appeal to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals

Partner Jeremy Colby recently argued on appeal to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of a former prosecutor accused of improperly questioning a child witness whose grand jury testimony was recorded via videotape.  The Court of Appeals affirmed the grant of summary judgment by Judge Siragusa of the Western District of New York dismissing the remaining claims (most claims were dismissed on an earlier motion to dismiss).  The decision is available at: Dieter v. Quintilone, 18-1377-cv (2d Cir. 2019)   Mr. Colby chairs the firm’s Appellate and Supreme Court Practice...

Peter Veech joins Webster Szanyi LLP

Webster Szanyi LLP is pleased to announce that Peter Veech has joined the firm and will be a member of the Litigation Practice Group. Mr. Veech is a graduate of University at Buffalo School of Law.

Webster Szanyi secures positive resolution of wage and hour claims against local municipality in Federal Court

Heather Dechert, Esq. and Michael McClaren, Esq. recently resolved wage and hour claims against the Town of Henrietta brought by former independent contractors asserting that they were denied overtime pay and benefits because they were misclassified as independent contractors.  Through successful motions to dismiss, the team was able to limit the case to a Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) claim for unpaid overtime, and eliminate ERISA and state law claims for other unpaid wages and benefits.  The parties agreed to a positive resolution of the FLSA claim with no admission of liability, and the agreement was recently approved by the Federal District Court for the Western District of New...

Western District of New York confirms summary judgment dismissing free speech claims against Chautauqua County

Heather Dechert, Esq. and Michael McClaren, Esq. represented the County of Chautauqua in a federal case alleging free speech retaliation against the County by a plaintiff who was terminated from his employment with a local not-for-profit.  The plaintiff alleged that he was terminated at the County’s direction for publicly criticizing that County’s response to the ongoing drug epidemic.  The Federal District Court for the Western District of New York granted summary judgment in favor of the County and dismissed plaintiff’s case, finding that plaintiff did not offer any admissible evidence upon which a reasonable jury could find state action with regard to his termination.  Plaintiff moved for reconsideration, but the Court recently confirmed summary judgment in favor of the...

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

Heather Dechert is a member of the Leadership Buffalo 2019 Class Experience.  Leadership Buffalo is a non-profit organization, uniting and developing leaders from local corporations, small /entrepreneurial businesses, civic and community organizations and non-profits through collaborations, community awareness, and civic...

Webster Szanyi LLP welcomes its newest partner, Marnie E. Smith

Webster Szanyi is pleased to announce that Marnie Smith has joined the firm.  Marnie comes to us from the Harris Beach law firm, having spent the past ten years representing management in all facets of labor and employment matters, with a focus on representing school districts throughout New York State.  Marnie was recently named a Legal Elite Rising Star in the Buffalo Law Journal, a peer-nominated distinction.  Marnie graduated magna cum laude from the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School.  She resides in East Aurora with her husband, Scott, and two children.  Marnie will join the firm’s education and labor and employment practice...

Partners Heather Dechert and Charlie Roberts present CLE on restrictive covenants to the Niagara Frontier Corporate Counsel Association

On March 5, 2019, Partners Heather Dechert and Charlie Roberts presented a CLE on restrictive covenants to the Niagara Frontier Corporate Counsel Association at the Buffalo Club. The presentation, Restrictive Covenants – Protecting Your Client in the Era of Employee Mobility, focused on non-compete and confidentiality covenants in employment agreements and included discussion on New York’s policy on such agreements, various issues and challenges in enforcing restrictive covenants, and recent court decisions and trends. The presentation was well received and prompted good discussion with the group regarding the practical aspects of the...

Ryan Smith Elected To The Board Of Directors For The Boys & Girls Clubs Of The Northtowns

The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Northtowns consists of twelve clubs located in Buffalo, Town of Tonawanda, City of Tonawanda and City of North Tonawanda.  It provides afterschool programming for over 3,000 youths that focuses on character and leadership development, educational enhancement, and health and life skills, among other things.  The organization runs a number of programs and summer camps.  Mr. Smith was elected to serve a three-year term on the...

Ryan Smith Gives Presentation On Internal Investigation Techniques Under New York State’s Sexual Harassment Legislation

On December 10, 2018, Partner Ryan G. Smith spoke at a UB Law GOLD Group seminar at the Buffalo Club concerning New York State’s sexual harassment legislation.  Mr. Smith’s presentation included practical tips for attorneys when advising their employer clients on issues related to receiving and handling complaints of harassment and discrimination, particularly with regard to the investigation process.  Mr. Smith is a labor and employment attorney (management-side) with specialized experience in litigation and education law, and provides general counsel as well as litigation representation to municipalities, school districts and private...

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Honda North America, Inc.

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

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Assistant General Counsel, Mott’s LLP