News

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...

Division of Human Rights issues finding of No Probable Cause on claim of disability discrimination by former employee

Webster Szanyi LLP recently obtained a “No Probable Cause” finding from the New York State Division of Human Rights (“SDHR”) on a claim of disability discrimination against a local school district.  Heather Dechert represented the district against a claim by an employee alleging that she was terminated due to disability discrimination.  In October, 2018, the firm received a favorable finding from the SDHR.  Based on its investigation, the Division determined that there was not sufficient evidence to conclude that the Complainant was terminated due to her disability and the evidence supported the district’s legitimate non-discriminatory reason for terminating the Complainant.  Additionally, there was no evidence that the Complainant was denied any accommodation she...

Partners Jeremy Colby and Andrew Miller recognized as among the Legal Elite of Western New York

Webster Szanyi is pleased to announce that two of the firm’s partners, Jeremy Colby and Andrew Miller, were recognized in Buffalo Business First’s 2018 Legal Elite of Western New York.  Mr. Colby’s practice focuses on federal appeals, municipal law, and complex commercial litigation.  Mr. Miller focuses his practice on construction litigation, business dissolution litigation, and complex commercial...

Michael P. McClaren has been elected to a 3-year term on the Boys and Girls Clubs of Buffalo Board of Directors

Webster Szanyi, LLP is pleased to announce that Partner Michael P. McClaren has been elected to a 3-year term on the Boys and Girls Clubs of Buffalo Board of Directors. Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo provides diversified activities that meet the interest of all youth in 5 Core Areas: Character & Leadership Development, Education & Career Development, Health & Life Skills, Sports, Fitness & Recreation and The Arts.  Boys and Girls Clubs of Buffalo operates 11 sites throughout the City of Buffalo, each of which provides a safe, structured environment for socializing and play, learning and growing and fostering positive character values and attitudes.  Mr. McClaren, a resident of East Aurora, is a founding partner of Webster Szanyi, LLP and litigates construction, commercial and personal injury...

New York State Sexual Harassment Legislation To Go Into Effect October 9, 2018

According to the legislation and its most recent guidance, employers will be required to provide mandatory, interactive training on sexual harassment prevention to all employees by January 1, 2019, and annually thereafter, and to adopt a written sexual harassment prevention policy by October 9, 2018.  Both the training and written policy must meet or exceed specified standards, which are in the process of being finalized.  The guidance issued thus far also requires employers to train new employees within 30 days of starting their employment.   Webster Szanyi is available and prepared to assist employers in complying with these new requirements.   Please contact Ryan Smith (rsmith@ws-llp.com) or Heather Dechert (hdechert@ws-llp.com) for additional...

Webster Szanyi Obtains Summary Judgment Dismissing Claims Against Local School District

Michael McClaren and Heather Dechert recently obtained summary judgment dismissing claims of malicious prosecution and negligence brought against the Niagara Wheatfield Central School District by a former substitute teacher.  The Honorable Daniel Furlong, Niagara County Supreme Court Judge ordered that the Plaintiff’s claims against the District, District administrators individually, the Town of Lewiston and a Lewiston Police Officer be dismissed in their...

Jeremy Colby represents voters asserting First Amendment challenges in New York and Massachusetts

Partner Jeremy A. Colby represents voters who filed lawsuits in federal courts in Syracuse and Boston challenging state statutes prohibiting voters from wearing “political” buttons or related apparel when voting.  These challenges come in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in June in Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky, which struck down a Minnesota statute that included the “unmoored” use of the word “political” to discuss the types of buttons and apparel that could not be worn when voting at the polls.  The DeRosier lawsuit filed in the NDNY was reported by the Courthouse News and can be found here:  https://www.courthousenews.com/new-yorker-takes-on-electioneering-ban-at-polling-places In addition to the suit in the NDNY, Webster Szanyi LLP also represents two voters who filed a First Amendment challenge against the election law in Massachusetts.  This suit was featured in an article that recently appeared in the Boston Herald: ...

Webster Szanyi Obtains Dismissal of Product Liability Lawsuit in Federal Court.

Kevin Szanyi, Charlie Roberts and Steven Hamlin recently obtained dismissal of a product liability action brought against Isowa Corporation and Isowa America, Inc.  In Albino v. Global Equipment USA, LTD., et al. (14-cv-06519), Honorable Michael A. Telesca, United States District Judge, Western District of New York, granted motions to dismiss a third-party complaint against Isowa Corporation and Isowa America based on a lack of personal jurisdiction.  The Court concluded that the underlying failure to warn and strict product liability claims do not “arise from” Isowa America’s limited pre-accident sales of unrelated parts in New York, and found that post-accident sales and post-accident service visits were irrelevant to the analysis.  The Court also found the revenue Isowa America earned from its limited New York parts sales and service visits was insufficient to establish that it “does or solicits business” or “derives substantial revenue from goods used … or services rendered in the state.”  Stated differently, the Court found that Isowa America’s contacts with New York were insufficient to support personal jurisdiction over Isowa America under New York law.  Because jurisdiction over Isowa Corporation depended on jurisdiction over Isowa America — its alleged agent — the Court found that Isowa Corporation is also not subject to jurisdiction in New...

Webster Szanyi names Heather Dechert Partner

Webster Szanyi LLP is pleased to announce that Heather Dechert has become a partner of the firm.  Since joining Webster Szanyi LLP in 2016, Ms. Dechert’s practice has focused on representing employers in both the private and public sectors, on a variety of issues, ranging from litigating employment claims to counseling clients on a wide range of labor and employment laws to avoid and defend against potential litigation.  Ms. Dechert is involved in all phases of representation before state and federal courts and agencies, including the federal and state Departments of Labor,  the New York State Division of Human Rights, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and the New York State Public Employment Relations Board (PERB).  Ms. Dechert graduated cum laude from John Carroll University in 2006 and magna cum laude from the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School in 2010.  Prior to joining Webster Szanyi LLP, Ms. Dechert worked at Jones Day Cleveland, representing and counseling management clients in a wide range of labor and employment matters.  Ms. Dechert is admitted to practice in New York and Ohio, and she resides in East...

Section 3020-a Decision Terminating Tenured Teacher Receives Media Attention

As reported previously, Webster Szanyi (Ryan G. Smith, Esq.) recently represented a school district in a Section 3020-a proceeding against a tenured teacher and successfully obtained a termination award.  On May 28, 2018, The Buffalo News published an extensive article discussing the case, as well as the limited number of disciplinary cases against tenured teachers that have actually proceeded to a hearing and resulted in termination. A copy of the article can be viewed here:  “>lew-port-teacher-fired-for-de...

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Kevin Szanyi has handled cases for Suzuki for nearly twenty years.  From small cases to those involving catastrophic injury or death, he can do it all.   Kevin’s advice is always timely, on-point, and well thought out, and the strategy he helps us develop in defending these cases has resulted in outstanding outcomes and well below estimated budgets.  I cannot think of a case he could not handle for our company.  Kevin has my complete confidence and trust.

Jerry Hashimura
Department Manager,
Legal Division, Suzuki Motor of America, Inc.

Webster Szanyi has been doing consistently excellent work for Niagara County for the past 15 years. They have handled a variety of litigation matters from negligence cases to civil rights claims and we know we can count on them to get the job done for us.

Claude Joerg
County Attorney,
Niagara County