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Awards & Accolades

Client Testimonials

"This is to tell you how pleased my family and I have been with the services we received from Linda S. Grear and Dawn Sawyer. From our first meeting with Ms. Grear to the conclusion of our partnership with HoganWillig we felt secure and assured every step of the way. As executrix of the estate I was such a babe in the woods, however Dawn Sawyer was always patient and attentive to my questions and concerns. She continually showed her compassion and knowledge with every phone call and correspondence. Please know that I truly feel that without someone like her to speak with I would have messed up this process completely. Dawn Sawyer should be considered a credit Thank you once again for the wonderful service you gave our family at this sad and stressful time. Certainly, Dawn made it a much smoother process than I could have anticipated."

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Hon. John J. LaFalce

Hon. John J. LaFalce

Member of Congress, 1975-2002

Professional Experience

Hon. John J. LaFalce has been Special Counsel to HoganWillig since 2007. As a respected figure in the local and national political landscape for over three decades (in fact, he was named one of the "smartest" Members of Congress, and in April 2010 was named one of Buffalo's leading celebrities), Buffalo native Congressman LaFalce graduated from Canisius High School (1957), Canisius College (1961) and Villanova University School of Law (1964).

From 1965 to 1967 Congressman LaFalce served in the United States Army during the Vietnam era, leaving active duty with the rank of Captain. In 1970, he ran successfully for the New York State Senate, and in 1972 was elected to the New York State Assembly. Congressman LaFalce served Western New York in the U.S. Congress for 28 years, from 1975 through 2002. His congressional career spans six United States Presidents, from President Gerald Ford to President George W. Bush, and for many of those years Congressman LaFalce was Chairman of the House Small Business Committee, with jurisdiction over all Small Business laws, and Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee, with jurisdiction over all financial issues, including banks, housing and community development, international financial institutions such as The World Bank and The International Monetary Fund, etc.

Throughout his career, Congressman LaFalce has been a passionate consumer advocate, his efforts prescient in working to reform a troubled financial system and winning many legislative battles for workers, taxpayers, consumers and small business. Additionally, his efforts provided a legal framework for corporate reform and accountability, for the clean-up of abandoned toxic waste sites like Love Canal, for expanded housing and community development opportunities, etc.

As former Chairman of the Small Business Committee, Congressman LaFalce took a special interest in the needs and concerns of women business owners. He recognized that women business owners represented an untapped goldmine in America, and despite starting new businesses twice as fast as men, women still faced subtle and overt forms of gender-based discrimination. In 1988, Mr. LaFalce authored and saw signed into law H.R. 5050, the Women's Business Ownership Act. The bill ensured that commercial lending practices would be applied equally to all businesses based on the financial merits of the business. The bill eliminated any discrimination based on gender. This landmark legislation continues to provide opportunities for women in today's marketplace. In 1998, for his devoted efforts, Rep. LaFalce was honored by the National Association of Women Business Owners as Congressional Advocate of the Year, and in 2008 by the National Women's Business Council in honor of the 20th anniversary of H.R. 5050.

Congressman LaFalce has been awarded four prestigious Honorary Doctorate Degrees, and is the first non-alumnus to be given the distinguished alumnus award by the University of Buffalo School of Law. He also received the Liberty Bell Award from the Erie County Bar Association for his significant governmental contributions. From 2003-2006 Congressman LaFalce was The Peter Canisius Distinguished University Professor at Canisius College; from 2007-2009 he was the Vincentian Distinguished University Fellow at Niagara University.


J.D., 1964, Villanova University School of Law
B.S., 1961, Canisius College

Admissions to Practice

New York State, 1965
U.S. District Court, Western District of New York

Professional Associations & Memberships

Bretton Woods Committee
Canadian American Border Trade Alliance, Honorary Chairman
Canadian American Business Council, Senior Advisory Board
Commission to Celebrate the War of 1812
Empire Justice Center, Board of Directors Member
Executive Committee of Citizens for Better Buffalo
Genesee Orleans Ministry of Concern, Honorary Director
Individual Investor Advisory Board to the New York Stock Exchange
Rochester Institute of Technology Center for Consumer Financial Services, Advisory Board
State Bank of Long Island
State Bankcorp Inc., Director
The National Association to End Homelessness
The New York State Banking Board
The North Tonawanda History Museum, Honorary Director
Western New York Legal Center, Honorary Director
Former Director of Canisius College, Canisius High School, Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society, National Italian-American Foundation, and The Rev. A, Joseph Bissonette Foundation

Hon. John J. LaFalce has been invited to participate as a panelist on June 29th for the Supreme Court Symposium on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. 

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