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Kevin M. Kearney

General Counsel, Partner

Kevin serves as the firm's general counsel.  Previously, his practice focused on federal court litigation, defending clients in securities and antitrust class actions, and a wide variety of corporate governance disputes. He continues to devote a substantial portion of his practice to advising other lawyers on professional responsibility and malpractice issues, and on state and federal appellate issues.

Kevin clerked for Judge James L. Oakes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and for Associate Justice Harry A. Blackmun of the U.S. Supreme Court during the October 1988 term. After his federal clerkships, Kevin served as a confidential advisor to Judge Howard M. Holzmann of the Iran/U.S. Claims Tribunal at The Hague, which addressed a variety of public and private international law issues.

Clerkships

  • Associate Justice Harry A. Blackmun, U.S. Supreme Court (October 1988 term)
  • Judge James L. Oakes, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • Judge Harold Holtzmann, Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal, The Hague, Netherlands

Education

Boston College, B.A., summa cum laude

Boston College, M.A.

Emory University School of Law (Woodruff Fellow in Law), J.D., with distinction

Admissions

  • New York
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Representative Work

Kevin has represented clients in complex federal litigation for over twenty-five years, including criminal and civil antitrust, class-action defense, and corporate governance matters. He also serves as the Firm's General Counsel and often counsels other lawyers on legal ethics and professional obligations.

Recognitions

  • Listed, Best Lawyers in America (Commercial Litigation) 2007 - 2020, 2022 - 2024
  • Listed, Upstate New York Super Lawyers, (Business Litigation) 2020 - 2023
  • ECBA Volunteer Lawyers Project Immigration Award Recipient, 2020
  • Fr. Bissonette Pro Bono Award, Erie County Bar Association, 2017
  • Buffalo Business First/Buffalo Law Journal's Legal Elite of Western New York, 2014
  • New York Bar Association Pro Bono Award for the Eighth Judicial District, 2001
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Rating
  • Former editor-in-chief, Emory Law Journal

Civic

  • President, Erie County Volunteer Lawyers Project, 2010 – 2023
  • Director, Erie County Volunteer Lawyers Project, 2004 – 2023
  • Local Rules Committee for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York, 2002

 

Professional

  • American Bar Association
  • Bar Association of Erie County

Multimedia & Podcasts

Podcasts

  • Insider view on how the Supreme Court works these days: Q&A with Hodgson Russ General Counsel

    Insider view on how the Supreme Court works these days: Q&A with Hodgson Russ General Counsel

    Like most institutions, the U.S. Supreme Court is evolving, and the decisions being made these days have gained a lot of attention among business leaders and the public. Recently it has reinstated voting maps, struck down pandemic measures and reinstated relaxed environmental rules. In addition, the Supreme Court’s majority appears to have eliminated “irreparable harm” from the stay analysis, and instead it’s simply staying decisions the majority does not like.

    In this episode of the Thought Leaders in Law and Business podcast, presented by Hodgson Russ and The Business Journals, Buffalo Business First Publisher John Tebeau interviews Hodgson Russ Partner and General Counsel Kevin Kearney on how the highest court in the land works these days.

    Kearney has defended clients in securities and antitrust class actions, litigated a wide variety of corporate governance disputes and has real-world experience with the Supreme Court. He clerked for Judge James L. Oakes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and for Associate Justice Harry A. Blackmun of the U.S. Supreme Court during the October 1988 term. After his federal clerkships, he served as a confidential advisor to Judge Howard M. Holzmann of the Iran/U.S. Claims Tribunal at The Hague, which dealt with a variety of public and private international law issues.

    “It's important for folks to recognize the Supreme Court doesn't view its role as correcting error,” Kearney said. “The fact that a court below got it wrong is interesting, but it's not going to be a basis for the court to take a question. What the court's going to be doing is resolving conflicts and to deal with important federal questions.”

    Listen to this episode to learn more about:

    How the Supreme Court decides what issues and what cases it will hear.How the cert pool works in dividing up responsibilities amongst clerks of the court.The influence law clerks have, which is a controversial subject.The standards the Supreme Court applies when deciding to grant cert. What the “shadow docket” is and the court’s ability to enter extraordinary orders.

Thought Leaders in Law and Business Podcast
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Kevin M. Kearney / News & Insights