San Francisco Host to 16th Annual Jefferson Fordham Awards

Vol. 37 No. 1

At its luncheon on August 9 during the ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco, the Section’s Jefferson Fordham Society honored professional excellence in the practice of state and local government law by presenting its annual Jefferson Fordham Awards. California Fair Political Practice Commission Chair Ann Ravel was the keynote speaker for the event. The following state and local government law practitioners were recognized for their contributions to the profession.

Advocacy Award Recipient Craig R. Bucki, Phillips Lytle LLP, Buffalo, New York

Craig R. Bucki, is an attorney at Phillips Lytle LLP, a multi-disciplinary law firm with offices across New York State and in the Waterloo Region of Canada. He focuses his practice on litigation involving state and municipal governments, public authorities, and other quasi-governmental entities.

Through both writing and lecturing, Craig R. Bucki has advanced scholarship in the field of state and local government law, particularly for regional governance and intermunicipal collaboration. His publications include Downsizing Done Right: Cutting the Cost of Government Through Intermunicipal Collaboration, published in the Summer 2012 edition of The Urban Lawyer, and Regionalism Revisited: The Effort to Streamline Governance in Buffalo and Erie County, New York, published in the Albany Law Review in 2008. These articles demonstrate how the mere reduction in the size of a legislature or the consolidation of towns or cities often counterintuitively yields an increase in the overall cost of government. As such, Mr. Bucki has written about strategies to streamline government more effectively through intermunicipal collaboration and sharing of services.

Mr. Bucki’s scholarship and public speaking have informed the public about best practices for streamlining the cost of government in Western New York, and his service to the bar has promoted the education of young people about the law throughout New York State. His remarkable legal work has defended individuals and businesses against unconstitutional legislation and government actions, safeguarded the public safety by seeking discipline and termination of police officers who violate well-settled standards of conduct or break the law, ensured that all participants in advocacy for or against candidates for public office play by the rules and disclose their donations and expenditures in the interest of transparency, and aided the monitoring of Erie County’s fiscal health.

Up & Comer Award Recipient Sorrell Negro, Robinson & Cole LLP, Hartford, Connecticut

Sorell E. Negro is a lawyer with Robinson & Cole LLP in Hartford, Connecticut, and practices land use, real estate, and environmental law. She provides guidance to clients on a variety of land use issues including zoning, land use permitting, coastal permitting and management, smart growth initiatives, property rights, and impacts of proposed land use regulations and recently enacted legislation.

She is the 2013-2014 liaison for the ABA Young Lawyers Division and the Section of State and Local Government Law, and she is currently a fellow of the ABA’s Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law. She has written and presented on a variety of land use, environmental, real estate, and planning issues, including those related to hydraulic fracturing, coastal adaptation to climate change and sea level rise, and land banking. Her publications include Fracking Wars: Federal, State, and Local Conflicts over the Regulation of Natural Gas Activities, Zoning and Planning Law Report (2012); a chapter entitled, “Man Camps,” Boom Towns, and the Boom and Bust Cycle: Learning from Rifle, Colorado, and Williams County, North Dakota, for the 2013 ABA Section of State and Local Government Law’s book, Beyond the Fracking Wars: A Guide for Lawyers, Public Officials, Planners and Citizens; and Built Seawalls: A Protected Investment or Subordinate to the Public Trust? in the Ocean and Coastal Law Journal (2012).

Prior to joining Robinson & Cole, Ms. Negro clerked for the Hon. Fernando M. Olguin of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. She received her B.S. from Georgetown University (cum laude) and her J.D. from Cornell Law School (magna cum laude), where she was an editor of the Cornell Law Review and a teaching assistant for the Land Use Clinic and the Water Law Clinic.


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