University at Buffalo Law School Alumni to Honor Six at Annual Dinner

By Ilene Fleischmann

Release Date: April 16, 2012

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Five University at Buffalo Law School alumni and one non-alumnus will receive Distinguished Alumni Awards on May 3 as the Law Alumni Association holds its annual dinner at the Hyatt Regency Buffalo.

This year's honorees reflect the varied reach of UB Law School and its alumni and friends:

For her conscientious and diligent performance in the judiciary, Hon. Cynthia M. Rufe '77, U.S. District Court judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. A Philadelphia native, Rufe joined the court in 2002 after being nominated by President George W. Bush. She began her legal career as a public defender and in private practice, before being elected to the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas, where she served for eight years.

For his leadership by example as a private practitioner, Mark K. Suzumoto '82, who practices corporate litigation as a partner in the Los Angeles law firm Van Etten Suzumoto & Sipprelle. Suzumoto focuses on consumer product counseling and regulatory compliance, including business and litigation advice on intellectual property, products liability, and trade regulation issues. Suzumoto is a longtime supporter of the Law School. Since 2004, he has been a member of the Dean's Advisory Council, which advises Dean Makau W. Mutua on curricular and other matters.

For his many contributions to the betterment of our community, Vincent E. Doyle III '89, partner in the Buffalo law firm Connors & Vilardo. Doyle has served as president of the New York State Bar Association since June 2011. He also served in the bar association's House of Delegates and on the Executive Committee, and chaired its Criminal Justice Section.

For his commitment to public service, William J. Hochul Jr. '84, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of New York, in Buffalo. Hochul has served with the U.S. Attorney's office since 1991. He has been chief of the office's anti-terrorism unit, as anti-terrorism advisory council coordinator, as chief of the national security division and as confidential human source coordinator. He also has prosecuted some of the biggest federal cases in Western New York.

For her exemplary performance in business, Jill M. Bond '85, senior vice president and general counsel for Rich Products Corp. in Buffalo. Rich Products is the founder of the non-dairy segment of the food industry with annual sales exceeding $2.8 billion. She is also a former member of the Law School Dean's Advisory Council.

For outstanding service to the university and community by a non-alumnus, Michael S. Taheri, partner in the Buffalo firm Taheri & Todoro. Taheri is a longtime adjunct instructor at the UB Law School, teaching courses in DWI law, white-collar crime and law firm management. He is the author of "The Student-Athlete's Guide to the Criminal Justice System."

The dinner and awards presentation ceremony will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. May 3. Tickets are available through the Office of Alumni Relations, (716) 645-2107 or

Since its founding in 1887, 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, wherever they choose to practice. A special emphasis on interdisciplinary studies, public service and opportunities for hands-on clinical education makes UB Law School unique among the nation's premier public law schools.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.