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Obama nominates Wolford

By: Denise M. Champagne//May 16, 2013

Obama nominates Wolford

By: Denise M. Champagne//May 16, 2013


Elizabeth A. Wolford

Rochester attorney Elizabeth A. Wolford’s nomination for a federal judgeship is on its way to the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary.

She was one of three people nominated for federal judgeships Thursday by President Barack Obama.

Wolford is a partner at The Wolford Law Firm LLP where she concentrates her practice in the areas of commercial, employment and personal injury litigation before both federal and state courts.  She joined the firm upon graduating from the University of Notre Dame Law School in 1992. She received her bachelor’s degree in 1989 from Colgate University.

Throughout her legal career, Wolford has been involved in the Rochester legal community, including serving as president of the Foundation of the Monroe County Bar from 2010 to 2012 and president of the Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorneys from 2003 to 2004.

Wolford is being considered to fill a vacancy created Dec. 15 when U.S. District Judge Charles J. Siragusa was elevated to senior status. She would sit in the Western District of New York in Rochester.

The president also nominated Debra M. Brown for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi and Pamela L. Reeves for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee.

“These individuals have demonstrated the talent, expertise, and fair-mindedness Americans expect and deserve from their judicial system,” Obama said.  “I am grateful for their willingness to serve and confident that they will apply the law with the utmost impartiality and integrity.”

 The Senate Judiciary Committee will schedule a hearing on the nominations and later decide whether or not to forward them to the full Senate for a confirmation vote.

If confirmed, Wolford would be the first women to sit on the bench in the U.S. District for the Western District of New York. She was recommended for nomination in March by U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-NY.

Wolford received a Special Service Award from the court in 2000, for excellence in the vigorous representation of a pro bono client. In 2003, Wolford was named Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year by the New York State Bar Association and last June, received the Monroe County Bar Association’s President’s Award.

She has also served on the board of Sojourner House at Pathstone, a transitional home for women in crisis, and on the Volunteer Legal Services Project of Monroe County Inc.

Wolford, 46, is a native of Buffalo who grew up in the Rochester area where she attended Fairport schools.

The addition of Wolford would bring the district to a full complement of two full-time district judges each in Buffalo and Rochester. Judge Frank P. Geraci Jr. joined the court in January, sitting in Rochester.

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