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The Wolford Law Firm LLP in Rochester has the experience you need with more than 80 years combined experience in providing exceptional legal counsel to individuals, small business owners, and Fortune 500 companies. We achieve results in the matters of commercial and business litigation; employment and ERISA; professional malpractice; personal injury; among many others. Our team vigorously protects the rights of our clients because we understand the seriousness of the situation for you, your family, and your business.

the Wolford Law Firm LLP, Rochester NY

Our Team


Michael R. Wolford, Partner

Email: mwolford@wolfordfirm.com
Phone: (585) 325-8008

Bio


Mr. Wolford has successfully represented clients throughout New York State in civil and criminal matters in both state and federal courts. He served as Assistant United States Attorney for three years in the 1970s before spending 21 years as an associate and partner at Nixon, Hargrave, Devans & Doyle. He established the predecessor firm of Michael R. Wolford & Associates in 1993.

Mr. Wolford was President of the Monroe County Bar Association for the 2004-2005 term. He is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and past chair of the College’s Upstate New York Committee, past president of the Rochester chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates, and past chairman of the Monroe County Board of Ethics.

He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America for “Bet-The-Company Litigation,” as well as Personal Injury Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Labor and Employment Litigation, Environmental Litigation and Municipal Litigation.

Mr. Wolford has served as an arbitrator and mediator of disputes submitted to him by judges and other attorneys and has lectured on trial practice to a number of community, business and professional groups.

Admissions


  • New York State Court

  • U.S. District Court, Western District of New York

  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York

  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

  • U.S. Supreme Court

  • U.S. Tax Court

     

Education


  • John Carroll University, B.S., 1963

  • University at Buffalo School of Management, M.B.A., 1965

  • University at Buffalo School of Law, J.D., 1968

Awards


  • The Daily Record Nathaniel Award – 1997

  • U.S. District Court Special Service Award – 2000

  • Monroe County Bar Association Adolph J. Rodenbeck Award – 2001

  • University at Buffalo Law School Distinguished Alumnus Award – 2003

  • Rochester Black Bar Association’s Award for Commitment to Diversity – 2005

  • University at Buffalo Law School Students of Color Trail Blazer Award – 2009

  • Monroe County Bar Association Humanitarian Award – 2014

  • Bridge Building Award ; Rochester Black Bar Association – 2018

  • Thurgood Marshall Award from the Federal Bar Council of the Second Circuit – 2018

Speaking Engagements


Moderator, The Economic Decline of Legal Market Place: What, if Anything, Can Lawyers and Law Firms do About it, CLE, June 2017

Moderator and Chair, General Counsel Round Table, included general counsel from Constellation Brands, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Rochester and Paychex, November 2017.

Speaker, Arbitrations, Employment Law, Ethics, and a View From the Bench: Practical Considerations for InHouse Counsel, CLE presented by The Wolford Law Firm, April 2015

Moderator and Speaker, Justice Robert H. Jackson: Chief Prosecutor at Nuremberg, the Connections to Rochester & Related Topics, CLE presented by the Monroe Country Bar Association, October 21, 2014

Moderator and Speaker, come Inequality: Fact or Fiction. If Fact, What, If Anything, Can We Do About It?, CLE presented by the Monroe County Bar Association, May 16, 2014

Speaker, To Draft or Not to Draft…That is the Capacity Question, CLE presented by the Monroe County Bar Association, May 8, 2014

Speaker, Evidence Institute Part V: Real & Demonstrative Evidence, CLE presented by the Monroe County Bar Association, November 14, 2013

Speaker, From Arbitrations to Investigations: Practical Considerations for In-House Counsel, CLE presented by The Wolford Law Firm LLP, June 12, 2013

Moderator and Speaker, Gun Violence in America – What can we do about it?, CLE presented by the Monroe County Bar Association, March 21, 2013

Speaker, Ethical Principles for the Practicing Attorney, CLE presented by The Wolford Law Firm LLP, December 2, 2011

Speaker, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Update, CLE presented by the American College of Trial Lawyers, March 9, 2011

Moderator and Speaker, The Critical State of Access to Justice, CLE presented by the Monroe County Bar Association, June 10, 2010

Speaker, Evidence Institute Part V: Real & Demonstrative Evidence, CLE presented by the Monroe County Bar Association, May 19, 2010

Moderator and Speaker, How to Reach Potential New Clients, CLE presented by the Monroe County Bar Association, October 22, 2009

Moderator and Speaker, Practice Development in a Down Economy, CLE presented by the UB Law Alumni Association, May 14, 2009

Speaker, Practical Skills – How to Commence a Civil Lawsuit, CLE presented by the New York State Bar Association, June 6, 2003

Speaker, How to Try Damages – Cross-Examination of the Economist, CLE presented by the New York Bar Association, December 6, 2002

Speaker, Practical Skills – How to Commence a Civil Lawsuit, CLE presented by the New York State Bar Association, November 14, 2001

Moderator and Speaker, New York Appellate Practice and Procedure, CLE presented by the University of Buffalo Law School and UB Law Alumni Association, October 19, 2000

Speaker, Jury Selection & Jury Impact – “How To Win With Juries” – Civil and Criminal Trials, CLE presented by the Monroe County Bar Association, March 10, 2000

Professional & Civic Activities


  • Monroe County Bar Association

  • American Bar Association

  • New York State Bar Association, Member

  • American Bar Foundation

  • New York State Bar Foundation

Publications


“Forced arbitration is under siege in U.S. like never before.” Rochester Business Journal. December 7, 2018.

“Is there an insurance investigation privilege?” The Daily Record. September 6, 2018

Donald Trump and his administration have generated a litigation explosion, The Daily Record, April 5, 2018

What law firms can do about a decade of decline for legal services, The Daily Record, June 9, 2017

Did election decide transgender restroom litigation?, The Daily Record, December 1, 2016

‘‘Deflategate’ may be pumped back to life, The Daily Record, March 5, 2015

Pre-action communications by attorneys are not cloaked with absolute immunity, The Daily Record, April 7, 2016

Hard cases may, indeed, make bad law, The Daily Record, April 7, 2014

NY Shield Law expanded geographically by COA, The Daily Record, January 2, 2014

Are attorneys for non-party witnesses ‘potted plants?’, The Daily Record, June 6, 2013

Can an attorney confer with his client during a deposition?, The Daily Record, November 1, 2012

Stand-your-ground or license to kill?, The Daily Record, April 5, 2012

When is a Contingent Legal Fee Unconscionable?, The Daily Record, October 6, 2011

Bright line rule on judge recusal about to be visible, The Daily Record, April 7, 2011

Work Product Doctrine Given New Life, The Daily Record, October 7, 2010

What’s Behind the ‘Citizens’ Brouhaha?, The Daily Record, February 4, 2010

Radical Activism from the Far Left, or Not?, The Daily Record, July 2, 2009

 Can Teachers be Banned from Wearing Campaign Buttons?, The Daily Record, November 6, 2008

The Hetenyi Murder Trial: A Case for the Ages, The Daily Record, April 3, 2008

Robert H. Jackson the Man from Jamestown, The Daily Record, October 4, 2007

New OCA Rules on the Conduct of Depositions, The Daily Record, September 7, 2006

The Vanishing Trial – Can We Do something about it?, Voir Dire, Summer 2006

Vanishing Trials in Federal, State Courts: What Should the Legal Community Do?, The Daily Record, November 3, 2005

Standards of Civility, The Daily Record, December 4, 2003

Effective Cross-Examination, The Daily Record, May 8, 2003

Victoria Schmidt Gleason, Partner

Email: vgleason@wolfordfirm.com
Phone: (585) 325-8003

Bio


Ms. Gleason was admitted to practice in New York in 2010. She earned her law degree, cum laude, from the University at Buffalo Law School, and a Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, from the University of Rochester. After law school, Ms. Gleason interned for two federal judges in the Western District of New York before joining The Wolford Law Firm.

Ms. Gleason represents clients in a broad range of litigation matters in both state and federal courts, including alternative dispute resolution. Ms. Gleason handles large-scale complex commercial litigation matters, general litigation matters and the defense and prosecution of personal injury matters.

Ms. Gleason is a long-standing and active member of the Monroe County Bar Association, currently serving on the Academy of Law and the Ethics Committee. She also previously served on the Executive Board and several committees of the Young Lawyers Section. Ms. Gleason is a member of the Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorneys and the SUNY Buffalo Law Alumni Association.

Ms. Gleason is a 2019 Super Lawyers Rising Star.  She is also the recipient of the Daily Record’s Up & Coming Attorneys Award.

Admissions


  • New York State Court
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Education

  • University at Buffalo Law School, J.D. 2009, cum laude
  • University of Rochester, B.A. 2003, cum laude

Speaking Engagements


Updates for the Practical Practitioner, CLE, speaker, March 2017

Commercial Division Rules:  Past, Present, Future, In-house CLE, speaker, January 2017

What To Do When Facing a Grievance, CLE presented by the Young Lawyers Section and Ethics Committee of the Monroe County Bar Association, organized and chaired CLE, January 2013

Preparing for and Conducting the Deposition, CLE presented by the Young Lawyers and Litigation Sections of the Monroe County Bar Association, organized and chaired CLE, October 2012

Professional & Civic Activities


  • Monroe County Bar Association
  • Ethics Committee
Academy of Law
  • Young Lawyers Section
  • Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorneys
  • SUNY Buffalo Law Alumni Association

Laura A. Myers, Partner

Email: lmyers@wolfordfirm.com
Phone: ​585-325-8000

Bio


Ms. Myers has successfully represented clients in both federal and state courts in a variety of litigation matters, with a focus in the areas of general, business and employment litigation. Ms. Myers is also experienced in mediation, arbitration and the resolution of business disputes without resorting to litigation.

Ms. Myers is actively involved in the community, receiving a number of awards for her contributions. In 2015, she won the Forty Under 40 Award from the Rochester Business Journal, in May 2011 she won the Emerging Bar Leader Award from the Monroe County Bar Association, and in July 2010 she won the Up and Coming Attorneys’ Award from The Daily Record.

While at the State University of New York at Buffalo, Ms. Myers served as an Articles Editor for the Buffalo Law Review, and the Executive Editor of the Buffalo Environmental Law Journal. Ms. Myers also received her M.B.A. while attending the University at Buffalo with a concentration in management consulting.

Admissions


  • New York State Court

  • U.S. District Court, Western District of New York

  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York

  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

  • Ohio State Court

  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio

  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Education

  • State University of New York at Buffalo, J.D., M.B.A., 2005
  • State University of New York at Brockport, B.A. 2000

Speaking Engagements


Speaker, The Nuts and Bolts of Depositions: Tips, Perspectives, and Advice on Effective Deposition Practice, CLE presented on behalf of the University of Buffalo Law School and Monroe County Bar Association, March 2018

Speaker, Got Civility? How to be Professional and Ethical in the Court Room and Beyond, CLE presented by the University of Buffalo Law School, June 2017

Speaker, Updates for the Practical Practitioner, CLE presented by The Wolford Law Firm LLP, March 2017

Speaker, New Uniform Procedures for Attorney Discipline in New York & Avoiding Ethical Pitfalls, CLE presented on behalf of the University at Buffalo Law School and Monroe County Bar Association, May 2016

Speaker, From Arbitrations to Investigations: Practical Considerations for In-House Counsel, CLE presented by The Wolford Law Firm, June 2013

Speaker, The Do’s and Don’ts of Making a Good Impression in the Court Room, CLE presented by the University at Buffalo Law School, June 2012

Speaker, Understanding the Tripartite Relationship for the Insured, Insurance Counsel & Defense Counsel, CLE presented by the Monroe County Bar Association and the University at Buffalo Law School, October 2010

Speaker, Reviving the Monroe County Bar Association’s Young Lawyers’ Section, National Association of Bar Executives’ Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA, August 2010

Speaker, Anatomy of a Lawsuit: Jury Selection in a Civil Case, CLE presented by the Monroe County Bar Association, May 2009

Professional & Civic Activities


  • Monroe County Bar Association Foundation, Board Member

  • Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorneys, Board Member

  • University at Buffalo Law Alumni Steering Committee Member, Past Committee Co-Chair

  • Rochester Housing Development Fund Corporation Board Member

Mary E. “Molly” Shepard, Partner

Email: mshepard@wolfordfirm.com
Phone: (585) 325-8004

Bio


Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Shepard served as a law clerk to the Honorable Michael A. Telesca in the United States District Court for the Western District of New York, where she handled a broad range of civil matters, including: employment discrimination claims, class action lawsuits, civil rights claims, ERISA claims, FLSA claims, FDCPA claims, securities and antitrust claims, trademark and copyright litigation, appeals from federal agencies, habeas corpus petitions, and diversity actions involving various state law claims.

Ms. Shepard began her career as an associate at Ropes & Gray LLP, in New York City, where she represented large-scale investment firms as well as national health care companies in both litigation and corporate matters.

Ms. Shepard earned her law degree, summa cum laude, from the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School in 2009, where she was an Articles Editor for the Buffalo Law Review as well as a research and writing tutor. Ms. Shepard attended Colgate University, earning a B.A., cum laude, in International Relations and French.

Ms. Shepard is a member of the Monroe County Bar Association and is also a member of the Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorneys. Ms. Shepard is a member of the Board of Directors of Epilepsy-Pralid Inc. Ms. Shepard is a Council Member for the University of Rochester’s George Eastman Circle and its Philanthropy Council, philanthropic groups dedicated to supporting the University of Rochester. Ms. Shepard formerly served as the Vice President of the Board of Trustees for the Montessori School of Rochester. Ms. Shepard also served as an Associate Board member for Gilda’s Club Rochester, a national cancer support group, from 2010-2014.  

Ms. Shepard has been recognized as a 2019 Super Lawyers Rising Star.

Admissions


  • New York State

  • U.S. District Court, Western District of New York

  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York

  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York

  • United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Educataion

  • University at Buffalo Law School (J.D., 2009) ,summa cum laude

  • Colgate University (B.A., 2006), cum laude

Professional & Civic Activities


  • Board Member, Epilepsy-Pralid, Inc.
  • Monroe County Bar Association

  • Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorneys

  • Council Member, University of Rochester’s George Eastman Circle

  • Council Member, University of Rochester’s Philanthropy Counsel      

  • Past Vice President, Board of Trustees for the Montessori School of Rochester

Of Counsel

Paul V. Ciminelli

Paul V. Ciminelli

Email:  ciminellip@wolfordfirm.com
Phone: (585) 325-8007

Bio


Paul V. Ciminelli has almost four decades of successful and wide-ranging legal, business and government experience. During his professional career, he has been responsible for the start-up of successful businesses in the Western New York region including manufacturing, family entertainment, real estate development and consulting. Mr. Ciminelli is an accomplished attorney with extensive litigation and business law experience. Paul began his legal career as a prosecutor in the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office quickly, rising to the Major Felony Bureau. He is joining us from a firm bearing his and his brother’s name. Paul currently serves as Counsel to the Sheriff of Monroe County. Prior to assuming his current duties with the Sheriff, he dedicated the significant percentage of his practice to representing small business owners and their families in every facet of business from start-up to disposition. In recent years Paul’s practice has involved numerous 2nd Amendment and Pistol Permit cases. He has been a regular practitioner in Courts throughout the State protecting individuals’ rights to keep and bear arms. He is admitted to and practices before New York, New Jersey and the District of Columbia Courts as well as, the United States Supreme Court, Federal District Courts of Western New York and New Jersey, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces and the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

Paul Ciminelli served in the United States Army for thirty years achieving the rank of Colonel in 2005 and retiring in 2011. In those thirty years, Colonel Ciminelli served in positions of increased command and staff responsibility from Platoon Leader to Battalion Commander and Chief of Civil Military Operations, 8th Army Republic of Korea. He has served overseas more than a dozen times including multiple combat tours. He is an expert on multi-national, interagency, and joint operations.
Mr. Ciminelli is serving or has served on numerous professional organization and not-for-profit boards throughout the region and nation. Today, Mr. Ciminelli focuses much of his volunteer efforts on Veterans’ issues affecting the more than fifty thousand Veterans in his community. In 2010, he was appointed by the County Executive to serve as Chairman of the Monroe County Veterans Advisory Board. In 2012 Paul was instrumental in the start-up of the Rochester Police Foundation, Inc. and served on that Board until 2019. In 2011, Paul Ciminelli was awarded the inaugural Veterans Business Champion Award by the Rochester Regional Veterans Business Council. In 2013 he received the Excellence in Law-Unsung Legal Heroes Award for his pro-bono work for Veterans in Western New York. In 2014, he was awarded the Veterans Service Award by the Vietnam Veterans of America.

Mr. Ciminelli received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Rochester, a Master of Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College and a Juris Doctor Degree from Rutgers University. Additionally, Mr. Ciminelli has completed numerous courses in national security policy, senior leader crisis management, and multinational operational planning, to name a few. He has served on the faculty of the NATO School, teaching throughout Eastern and Western Europe, adjunct faculty of the United States Army Command & General Staff College, adjunct professor in the Homeland Security Management Institute at Monroe Community College lecturing on Terrorism and Homeland Security issues and as a guest lecturer at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Hartwick College and Nazareth College.

Paul is a lifetime member, Certified Firearms Instructor and Chief Range Safety Officer for of the National Rifle Association. He is a qualified Utah Concealed Firearm Permit Instructor. He has served on the advisory legal team for Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network and the United States Concealed Carry Association. He is an active member of Gun Owners of America.

Admissions


  • New York Bar
  • New Jersey Bar
  • District of Columbia Bar
  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
  • United States Court of Appeal Veterans Claims
  • Federal District Courts

Education

  • Rutgers University School of Law – Camden, NJ, JD 1987
  • United States Army War College, Master of Strategic Studies, 2007
  • University of Rochester, BA, 1981

Professional & Civic Activities


  • Monroe County Sheriff’s Office – Counsel to the Sheriff 2018-present
  • Monroe County Community College – Adjunct Faculty 2013 – Present
  • Valor Radio-WYSL1040 – Host & Producer 2015-present
  • Monroe County Bar Association:
    Ethics Committee [2000-2004], Professional Performance Committee [2002-2007], Academy of Law [2002-2004] & Veterans Committee [2015-present]

Publications & Speaking Engagements


2019 Continuing Education for the Estate Planning Council of Rochester on Veterans Benefits and Estate Planning

2019 Presenter on New York’s newly passed “Extreme Risk Protection Order” (Red Flag) Law, NY’s Preparedness Training Center, Oriskany, NY

2016 – present: Frequent presenter at Genesee Conservation League’s monthly Wednesday Evening Educational Seminar on the issue of various topics surrounding the ownership, use and transfer of firearms.

2015 – present: Recurring guest on WXXI’s “Connections” with Evan Dawson.

2015 Continuing Legal Education regarding the New York Safe Act of 2013 for the Monroe County Bar Association

2013 Continuing Legal Education Class “Planning for Long Term Care”

Kim A. Hinkley

Kim A. Hinkley

Email:  hinkleyk@wolfordfirm.com
Phone: (585) 328-8012

Bio


Kim served in law enforcement for over 25 years. During which time he maintained a small private practice concentrating on estate matters and residential real estate. Upon retirement from law enforcement, Kim started working with Paul Ciminelli, Esq. specializing in residential real estate and evictions, estate matters, contract matters, and personal injury litigation.

In recent years, Kim has taken a role in teaching and tutoring law at both Everest Institute and Monroe Community College in Rochester, NY. Kim also has extensive, continuously growing, knowledge in law enforcement training spanning back to the 1980’s.

Kim has received numerous awards and recognitions during his service with the Rochester Police Department including but not limited to; Excellent Police Service Award in both 1999 and 1998, and also numerous Chief of Police Letters of Recognition (1991-1996)

Admissions


  • New York State Bar – 1990

Education


  • University of Buffalo Law School – Juris Doctor., June 1989
  • Rochester Institute of Technology –Bachelor of Science, Criminal Justice, June 1979

Professional & Civic Activities


  • Monroe Community College – October 2017 to present -Academic Tutor
  • Corinthian Colleges D/B/A Everest Institute –
    June 2010 – April 2015 –
    Adjunct Instructor

Hon. Patricia Marks

Hon. Patricia Marks

Email:  marksp@wolfordfirm.com
Phone: (585) 325-8016

Bio


The Honorable Patricia Marks (ret.) is a national consultant and educator on treatment court design and operations. She is Co-Chair of the NYS Criminal Jury Instructions Committee.

Judge Mark’s career spans over 40 years, including work as Monroe County (NY) Assistant District Attorney from 1976 to 1984, and as a Monroe County Trial Court Judge from 1985 until 2011. Judge Marks was a pioneer in the development of treatment courts within the Seventh Judicial District, where she served as Supervising Judge from 1994 until her retirement in 2011. Judge Marks was founder and presiding judge of the Monroe County Mental Health Court from 2003 until 2011, and of the Monroe County Veterans Court from 2009 until 2011. She was also presiding judge for the Rochester Drug Treatment court from 2007 to 2009, and the felony Judicial Diversion Drug Court 2009 to 2011.

Judge Marks has a special interest in veterans, recently serving as Interim Executive Director of the Veterans Outreach Center, where she has been a member of their board of directors since 2011. She has also served on the Veterans Committee of the Monroe County Bar Association, and as a consultant for the US Department of Justice’s Veterans Treatment Court Planning Initiative, related to the implementation of veteran’s treatment courts throughout the country. 

In recognition of her outstanding work, Judge Marks has received numerous awards. These include the 2009 Vietnam Veterans Community Service Award, the 2010 NYS Bar Association Excellence in Public Service Award, the 2011 Rochester Institute of Technology Contribution to Justice Award, the 2013 Monroe County Bar Association Humanitarian Award, and the 2015 Spirit Award from the Veterans Outreach Center.

Admissions


  • Monroe County (NY) Assistant District Attorney – 1976-1984
  • Monroe County Trial Court Judge – 1985-2011
  • Founder and presiding judge of the Monroe County Mental Health Court – 2003-2011
  • Monroe County Veterans Court – 2009-2011
  • Rochester Drug Treatment court – 2007-2009
  • Felony Judicial Diversion Drug Court – 2009-2011

Professional & Civic Activities


  • Monroe Community College – October 2017 to present -Academic Tutor
  • Corinthian Colleges D/B/A Everest Institute –
    June 2010 – April 2015 –
    Adjunct Instructor

Education


  • 2009 Vietnam Veterans Community Service Award
  • 2010 – NYS Bar Association Excellence in Public Service Award
  • 2011 – Rochester Institute of Technology Contribution to Justice Award
  • 2013 – Monroe County Bar Association Humanitarian Award
  • 2015 – Spirit Award from the Veterans Outreach Center

When your legal rights and quality of life are at stake,

trust our team to vigorously defend you. For more information or to schedule a consultation, please contact us at 585-325-8000.