James M. Wadsworth

Retired Partner

Jim is Chairman Emeritus of the firm, and has retired from practice after serving firm clients in our Trusts & Estate practice, and the Buffalo community, in a number of roles.


Princeton University, A.B.

Stanford University Law School, L.L.B.


  • New York
  • Florida

Bar Associations

  • New York State Bar Association
  • The Florida Bar
  • Bar Association of Erie County

Representative Work

Jim has represented numerous clients in connection with estate planning and estate administration and accounting matters in Surrogate's Courts. He has also provided advice and representation regarding estate tax matters with the IRS. In addition, he has served as executor of many estates and is trustee of numerous trusts for clients and charitable organizations.


  • Buffalo Renaissance Foundation Man of the Year, 2013
  • Listed, "Lawyer of the Year" in Best Lawyers in America (Trusts and Estates) 2020
  • Listed, Best Lawyers in America (Trusts and Estates) 2012 - 2022
  • Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society Red Jacket Award, 2005

News & Insights


Jim is the chairman of one of the largest foundations in the Buffalo area, the John R. Oishei Foundation, the chairman of the Board of Forest Lawn Cemetery, and chairman of the Shaw Festival Foundation. He is also a member of the board of directors of Launch NY, Calspan-University of Buffalo Research Center (CUBRC), the Niagara Community Center, and the Sabah Foundation. Formerly, Jim was a member of the board of governors of the Shaw Festival Theatre and a trustee of Nichols School and the Elmwood Franklin School. He was also a director of the Albright Knox Art Gallery, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Society, the Boys and Girls Club of Buffalo and Erie County, the Western New York Public Broadcasting Association, the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County, the Institute for Arts in Education of Western New York, and the Stanford University Law School Board of Visitors.He is also former president and a member of the board of the Buffalo Club, the Buffalo Tennis and Squash Club, and Cherry Hill Club.


  • Trustee, Robert and Patricia Colby Foundation
  • Trustee, Mulroy Family Foundation
  • Trustee, the Carlos and Elizabeth Heath Foundation
  • Waste Technology Services advisory board
  • Society of the Buffalo board of directors
  • Buffalo Sabres Foundation board of directors
  • Chair, Buffalo Tennis and Squash Preservation Foundation
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James M. Wadsworth / News & Insights