Five State University at Buffalo Law School alumni and one non-alumnus will receive Distinguished Alumni Awards on May 3 as the Law Alumni Association holds its annual dinner at the Hyatt Regency Buffalo.
The honorees reflect the varied reach of the law school and its alumni and friends, according to a release.
• The Hon. Cynthia M. Rufe, class of 1977, U.S. District Court judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, is being honored for “conscientious and diligent performance in the judiciary.” A Philadelphia native, Judge Rufe joined the court in 2002 after being nominated by President George W. Bush. She began her legal career as a public defender and in private practice, before being elected to the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas, where she served for eight years.
• Mark K. Suzumoto, ‘82, for his leadership by example as a private practitioner. He practices corporate litigation as a partner in the Los Angeles law firm Van Etten Suzumoto & Sipprelle, focusing on consumer product counseling and regulatory compliance, including business and litigation advice on intellectual property, products liability and trade regulation issues. Suzumoto is a longtime supporter of the law school. Since 2004 he has been a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council, which advises Dean Makau W. Mutua on curricular and other matters.
• Vincent E. Doyle III, ‘89, for his many contributions to the betterment of the community. He is partner in the Buffalo firm Connors & Vilardo. Doyle has served as president of the New York State Bar Association since June. He also served in the bar association’s House of Delegates and on the Executive Committee and chaired its Criminal Justice Section.
• William J. Hochul Jr., ‘84, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of New York in Buffalo, for his commitment to public service. Hochul has served with the U.S. Attorney’s office since 1991. He has been chief of the office’s anti-terrorism unit, as anti-terrorism advisory council coordinator, as chief of the national security division and as confidential human source coordinator. He also has prosecuted some of the biggest federal cases in Western New York
• Jill M. Bond, ‘85, senior vice president and general counsel for Rich Products Corp. in Buffalo, for her exemplary performance in business. Rich Products is the founder of the non-dairy segment of the frozen food industry with annual sales exceeding $2.8 billion. She is also a former member of the law school’s Dean’s Advisory Council.
• Michael S. Taheri, partner in the Buffalo firm Taheri & Todoro, for outstanding service to the university and community by a non-alumnus. Taheri is a longtime adjunct instructor at the law school, teaching courses in DWI law, white-collar crime and law firm management. He is the author of “The Student-Athlete’s Guide to the Criminal Justice System.”
The dinner and awards presentation ceremony will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Tickets are available through the Office of Alumni Relations, (716) 645-2107 or www.law.buffalo.edu/alumni.