January 23, 2020: Dean of Buffalo Law School Among Those Honored by NYSBA's Torts, Insurance and Compensation Law Section

Aviva Abramovsky, dean of the University at Buffalo School of Law, will be honored by the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) Torts, Insurance and Compensation Law (TICL) Section with the Professor David D. Siegel Award in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the study of New York law.

“I am thrilled and honored to be recognized by the New York State Bar Association, and particularly by the TICL Section,” said Abramovsky.  “I have dedicated most of my academic career to the nuances of insurance law, and it is the ultimate compliment to have my work acknowledged by the leading insurance law practitioners and experts in our state.”

Abramovsky, the current chair of NYSBA’s Task Force on Autonomous Vehicles and the Law, is the law school's 19th permanent dean and the first woman to hold the position. Previously, she was the Kaufman Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation and an associate dean at Syracuse University College of Law, where she led the school’s internationalization efforts.

Abramovsky is an expert in insurance law, commercial law, regulation of financial entities and legal ethics. She has written numerous articles and legal treatises, including authoring McKinney’s Uniform Commercial Code forms for New York. She has twice served as an academic evaluator for the American Bar Association’s federal judiciary committees, once for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito and again for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor.

Timothy J. Fennell, of Amdursky, Pelky, Fennell & Wallen in Oswego, will receive the John E. Leach Memorial Award for his outstanding contributions to the TICL Section. Fennell, whose primary practice areas are civil litigation, residential and commercial real estate, wills and estates, small business and matrimonial/family law, has served on NYSBA’s House of Delegates and its Executive Committee, is the past chair of the Committee on Lawyer Referral Services, chair of the Veterans Committee and immediate past chair of the TICL Section.

Other award recipients are:

James T. Rellis, of Maroney O’Connor in New York City, will receive the Sheldon Hurwitz Young Lawyer Award. James is a graduate of the NYSBA Young Lawyers Section Trial Academy. With less than 10 years admitted to practice law, James has achieved many successful trial results on behalf of his clients.

Molly C. Casey, of Maguire Cardona in Albany, and Kathleen A. Barclay, of O’Connor First in Albany, will receive Outstanding District Representative awards for their efforts to promote new diverse members in the 3rd and 4th Judicial Districts. 

Honoring attorneys who render extraordinary service to the public and the profession is part of NYSBA’s Annual Meeting, which each January attracts thousands of lawyers from around the state, the nation and the world. They come to meet and connect with colleagues and to learn from experts in many areas of law.

A wide range of programs at NYSBA’s 143rd Annual Meeting Jan. 27-31 explores current issues for lawyers and legal practice. 

The Presidential Summit on Wednesday, Jan. 29, will look at White Nationalism and Domestic Terrorism in America. At Thursday evening’s sold-out Gala Dinner, U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Elena Kagan will receive the Gold Medal, NYSBA’s highest honor, and participate in a fireside-style chat with Professor John Barrett of St. John’s University School of Law. 

Other featured speakers at the Annual Meeting include New York State Attorney General Letitia James, the first African-American and the first woman elected to that office; Janet DiFiore, chief judge of the New York State Court of Appeals; and Craig Boise, dean of Syracuse University College of Law.

For more information on NYSBA’s Annual Meeting, visit nysba.org/am2020.

About the New York State Bar Association
The New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. Since 1876, NYSBA has helped shape the development of law, educated and informed the legal profession and the public, and championed the rights of New Yorkers through advocacy and guidance in our communities.

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Contact: Christian Nolan
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