Release Date: February 27, 2019
BUFFALO, N.Y. – Five alumni who have gone on to succeed in widely varied types of practice will be honored as the UB Law Alumni Association confers Distinguished Alumni Awards at its annual dinner on May 9.
The 57th annual dinner, which also honors a non-alum, will be held at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Buffalo. Registration is available at www.law.buffalo.edu/AlumniEvent.
This year’s Distinguished Alumni Awards honorees include:
For the Judiciary: Hon. Alexander W. Hunter Jr. ’74, a United Nations Dispute Tribunal judge, was appointed by the General Assembly in 2016. He hears the appeals of former and current U.N. employees who contest administrative decisions. He previously served in the Bronx as a justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York from 1994 to 2016, when he retired from the Appellate Term, First Department. He also served for eight years as a judge of the Criminal Court of the City of New York. He teaches trial advocacy at Pace School of Law and co-authored a chapter on evidence in a book on practice for trial judges.
For Public Service: Caroline A. Wojtaszek ’97, is Niagara County’s District Attorney, the first woman to hold the position in Niagara County. Elected in 2017, Wojtaszek previously served for 12 years as assistant district attorney for Niagara County, and for six years was confidential law clerk to Niagara County Court Judge Sara Sheldon. She has long been a leader in the fight against domestic violence and helped develop Niagara County's domestic violence protocols that later served as a model for district attorneys statewide.
For Private Practice: Daniel C. Oliverio ’82, of the Buffalo law firm Hodgson Russ LLP. A partner and chairman emeritus of the firm, Oliverio has built a nationally recognized practice leading the firm’s false claims act and whistleblower representation, and business crimes, regulatory offenses and corporate investigations. He also is a member of the firm's business litigation practice, placing him as a leader in both civil business litigation and white-collar criminal and regulatory matters, including corporate investigations and compliance.
For Community Service: Lenora Foote Beavers ’97 is executive assistant to presiding Justice Gerald J. Whalen for the Appellate Division, Fourth Department. She previously served as support magistrate for Erie County Family Court for 10 years. Active in the community she gives back by serving on the following boards: Erie Community College Foundation, Western New York Women's Foundation, True Community Development Corporation, Minority Bar Foundation Inc., Western New York Chapter, Women's Bar Association of the State of New York, Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission, Canisius College Women's Leadership Council and the Diversity Steering Committee for the Eighth Judicial District. She is a past president of the UB Law Alumni Association.
For Business: Christopher A. Wightman ’99 is a partner at PJT Camberview, based in San Francisco. He advises clients on all aspects of corporate governance and shareholder engagement with a focus on shareholder activism, complex proxy voting and executive compensation matters. Previously, he led the global corporate governance and portfolio compliance oversight programs for Vanguard. He currently serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council.
For Outstanding Service to the University and the Community by a Non-Alumnus/a: Ilene R. Fleischmann, vice dean for alumni affairs at the School of Law and executive director of the UB Law Alumni Association. Hired as the Law Alumni Association’s first executive director in 1985, she has served under four UB presidents, eight law school deans and 33 alumni association presidents, following a career in journalism. She was a founder of many of the school’s signature publications and special events and helps more than 11,500 alumni connect with each other and their alma mater.
Since its founding in 1887, the University at Buffalo School of Law – 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. Counted among of the nation's premier public law schools, its cutting-edge curriculum provides both a strong theoretical foundation and the practical tools graduates need to succeed in a competitive global marketplace, wherever they choose to practice. A special emphasis on interdisciplinary studies, public service and opportunities for hands-on clinical education prepare UB alumni to balance the scales of justice throughout the world.