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UB School Of Law, Hodgson Russ Host Conversation with Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr.

Press Release
October 21, 2016

Supreme Court Justice Begins Visit at Hodgson Russ Breakfast Reception

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. made a visit to Buffalo under the auspices of the University at Buffalo School of Law and Hodgson Russ LLP, culminating in a conversation onstage at Shea’s Performing Arts Center. Before an invitation-only audience of approximately 750, the justice responded to questions from the UB School of Law’s interim dean, SUNY Distinguished Professor James A. Gardner, and Hodgson Russ Chairman Daniel C. Oliverio.

The audience’s rousing standing ovation conveyed the appreciation felt for the insights given during the discussion.  The evening culminated in a post-conversation reception held at Shea’s, where invited guests mingled with the Justice and his wife as well as with members of the firm and the university. 

Justice Alito began the day at a morning breakfast reception in the firm’s Interpretive Center.  Accompanied by his wife, Martha-Ann, they enjoyed meeting with attorneys and were given a special tour of the Guaranty Building.  Appreciative of Buffalo’s impressive array of architecture, they also toured the Darwin Martin House prior to the evening’s special event.  On Wednesday, the Alito’s were impressed by their excursion to Niagara Falls, where they rode the iconic Maid of the Mist and experienced a double rainbow, according to Mrs. Alito.

“We’re glad to have this opportunity for dialogue with Justice Alito,” Gardner said. “For us as lawyers and legal educators, it’s important to be in touch with the workings of the Supreme Court, the most closely watched judicial body in the United States.”

“Hodgson Russ has a long-standing tradition of supporting UB’s School of Law, and values the opportunity to partner with this distinguished institution in bringing Justice Alito to Buffalo,” said Oliverio.  “This was a rare opportunity for our community, and we’re pleased to have played a part.”

Alito has served on the nation’s high court since 2006. He was a Third Circuit Court of Appeals judge when nominated by President George W. Bush, following a distinguished career that included positions in the Department of Justice and as a U.S. Attorney in his native New Jersey. A graduate of Yale Law School, he fills the position vacated by the retirement of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

Alito is generally considered to be part of the Court’s conservative wing, along with Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Clarence Thomas. However, his opinions in several key cases have diverged from those of his conservative colleagues. He is also known as a fierce critic of reliance on legislative history in statutory interpretation.

Hodgson Russ attorneys facilitate the U.S. legal aspects of transactions around the world. The firm practices in every major area of law and uses multidisciplinary work teams to serve the specific, often complex, needs of clients, which include public and privately held businesses, governmental entities, nonprofit institutions and individuals. Hodgson Russ has offices in Buffalo, New York City, Albany and Saratoga Springs, N.Y.; Toronto; and Palm Beach, Fla.

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. 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 makes UB School of Law 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.