BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Professor James A. Gardner has been named to a
new civil justice professorship in the University at Buffalo Law
School, created through the generosity of alumnus Joseph W. Belluck
and his wife, Laura L. Aswad.
Belluck, a 1994 UB Law School grad, and Aswad committed funds to
establish an endowed professorship to say "thank you" for the
"quality education that I received and to encourage others to
support the school."
Belluck added, "UB Law School is a very special place. It's an
educational gem for New Yorkers and New York State through its
commitment to strengthening communities."
Belluck, an experienced civil trial and appellate litigator, is
a partner with Belluck & Fox in New York City. He is an adjunct
lecturer in the UB Law School, where he teaches a course on mass
torts. He has lectured frequently on product liability, tort law
and tobacco control policy. He is considered an expert on consumer
law and tort litigation.
Belluck graduated magna cum laude from the UB Law School in
1994. He served as articles editor of the Buffalo Law Review and
received the New York State Bar Association's Legal Ethics
"This generous gift by Joe and Laura will allow an outstanding
full-time faculty member to continue to teach public-interest law
courses and to produce meaningful scholarship with distinction,"
said Nils Olsen, dean of the UB Law School. "The professorship will
allow the recipient to research, write, travel and publish. It's
exciting for me to see young alumni giving back to UB so early in
their careers. Joe Belluck is a shining example of
"I feel very honored to be recognized in this way by Dean
Olsen," said Gardner. "I find it particularly inspiring to know
that Joseph Belluck has done well by doing good, an example
well worth heeding."
The professorship will assist Gardner in continuing his research
into the legal institutions that structure the American political
process. He is working on a book examining the regulation of
Belluck focuses on asbestos, environmental and defective product
cases. He has handled hundreds of cases involving injuries from
asbestos, defective medical products, tobacco and lead paint.
Belluck previously served as counsel to the New York State
Attorney General, representing the state of New York in its
litigation against the tobacco industry. He was instrumental in
settling New York State's tobacco lawsuit for $25 billion. He also
served as director of attorney services for Trial Lawyers Care, an
organization dedicated to providing free legal assistance to
victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
"When I think back on my time at UB, I am thankful for the
education and mentoring I received from so many professors,
particularly Rob Steinfeld and Fred Konefsky. Lucinda Finley, Peter
Pitegoff and others were also tremendous influences," said
"I am thrilled that Professor Gardner has been selected because
he has the passion and intellect to enhance the learning experience
at Buffalo and most importantly, to promote an active democracy and
involved citizenry in New York through his work on electoral and
Since its founding in 1887, the UB Law School -- the State
University of New York system's only law school -- has established
an excellent reputation and is widely regarded as a leader in legal
education. Its cutting-edge curriculum provides both a strong
theoretical foundation and the practical tools graduates need to
succeed in a competitive marketplace. A special emphasis on
interdisciplinary studies, public service and opportunities for
hands-on clinical education has placed the UB Law School among the
nation's premier public law schools.
The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive
public university, the largest and most comprehensive campus in the
State University of New York.