Tuesday, May 6, 2014


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Elizabeth Wolford sworn in as Western District judge, first woman to serve on that bench  

ROCHESTER - Elizabeth Wolford, originally recommended for the federal bench by U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer, was sworn-in as a federal judge for New York’s Western District. Her swearing-in is a historic first – she is now the first woman ever to serve on the federal bench in this district. Schumer has supported Ms. Wolford each step of the way. He originally recommended Ms. Wolford to the President for nomination, and supported her through her confirmation by the United States Senate in July 2013, when she was confirmed by a 70-29 vote. Wolford is taking the seat left vacant by District Court Judge Charles Siragusa, who took senior status in December 2012. In remarks during her swearing-in, Schumer pointed to Wolford’s stellar legal background, close ties to Western New York and the Rochester region, even-handedness, temperament and demonstrated leadership skills as evidence she will be an outstanding judge for the Western District Court. Schumer’s full remarks are included below.

“I am thrilled to see Buffalo- and Rochester’s-own Elizabeth Wolford officially sworn in as a judge for the Western District federal court,” said Schumer. “For a long time, one of my goals has been to bring a woman to the federal bench in Western New York. Not only is Liz making history in that regard, but she is also bringing her considerable experience and first-rate legal mind to the bench; she is simply one of the finest judicial candidates I have ever met and I am glad to see her ascend to the bench of the Western District.”

Wolford, who was born in Buffalo on December 17, 1966, now resides in Honeoye Falls. She grew up in the Rochester area, and is a proud alumni of the Fairport School District. Wolford graduated from Colgate University in 1989 and received her law degree from Notre Dame Law School in 1992.  Ms. Wolford is a Partner at the Wolford Law Firm LLP, in Rochester, where she represents clients in both federal and state courts in a variety of complex business, commercial, and employment litigation. There she gained extensive experience in both the state and federal justice systems.

During nearly two decades at The Wolford Law Firm, Ms. Wolford has represented numerous small businesses in the Rochester-Finger Lakes Region. In 2000, Wolford was awarded a Special Service Award by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York for excellence in the vigorous representation of a pro bono client in a civil rights case. In 2003, Wolford was named “Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year” by the New York State Bar Association. Last June, she won the President’s Award by the Monroe County Bar Association.

Wolford is not only a respected legal practitioner; she is also an active member of the Rochester-Finger Lakes community. She has dedicated a tremendous amount of time from her practice to serve residents as the former President of the Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorneys. Additionally, Wolford served on the board of Sojourner House at Pathstone, a transitional home for women in crisis, and on the Volunteer Legal Services Project.