Stephen Schwarz ’81 returned to Albany Law School recently for oral arguments on a case being heard by the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Department, which held a session of court on campus for the 16 th consecutive year in March.
The case that Schwarz argued was an appeal of a $2.5 million jury verdict that he received in Supreme Court, Broome County, N.Y., for a commercial plumber who was injured by toxic fumes at a plant.
“While it’s always a great feeling to argue a case at such a high judicial level, it turns out that it’s especially rewarding to do so at your alma mater,” said Schwarz after his oral arguments.
While on campus, Schwarz also took the time to serve as a guest judge for Professor Laurie Shanks’ trial practice class, in which the students were practicing direct examinations of expert witnesses. He also joined students, including representatives from the Moot Court Board and the Albany Law Review, for lunch before heading to his oral arguments.
Schwarz has been the managing partner of Faraci Lange, LLP, in Rochester, N.Y., since 1995. He focuses his legal practice on personal injury and business litigation, including medical malpractice, serious auto accident cases, product liability and toxic tort and environmental contamination cases in both state and federal courts.
While at Albany Law School, Schwarz worked for Professor David Siegel, now Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Law at the law school, and he noted during his visit that he regards Professor Siegel as a remarkable mentor through his career. Schwarz is serving on the Class of 1981 reunion committee and will again return to campus for his 30 th reunion in the fall.
After graduating from Albany Law School, Schwarz joined the Rochester law firm of Harris Beach. In 1982, he accepted an appointment as confidential law clerk to Chief Judge Michael A. Telesca, U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York. After completing his clerkship in 1984, he became associated with the predecessor firm to Faraci Lange and became a partner in that firm in 1988.
Schwarz is a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers and currently serves as the Upstate New York Chair of the organization. He is a past president of the Rochester Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates, as well as a past president of the Genesee Valley Affiliate of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. He is also a member of the American Association for Justice; the New York State Bar Association, where he has served as chair of the Committee on Judicial Administration; and the Monroe County Bar Association, where he has served as chair of various committees and twice on the board of trustees.
In 2004 and 2010, Schwarz received the Raymond Pauley Award from the Monroe County Bar Association for excellence in continuing legal education presentations to fellow lawyers. He also received the Special Service Award from the U.S. District Court, Western District of New York, in 1998, and the President’s Award from the Monroe County Bar Association in 1995 for his work on the judicial candidate evaluation program.
Schwarz currently serves on the Board of the Advocacy Center of Rochester, an organization that advocates for and teaches advocacy skills to the disabled and their families. He has also in the past served on the board and as president of the board of the Family Resource Centers of Rochester and has served on the United Way Campaign Cabinet for four of the past 10 years.