MELISSA A. FOTI

MANAGING PARTNER

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716.853.0265

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ATTORNEY PROFILE

Melissa’s clients are her number one priority and focus. Her experience and connections give her a unique perspective on how to best handle complex legal issues. It is her open and collaborative spirit that helps ensure that her clients trust her on a personal level as implicitly as they trust her legal experience.

Not only does Melissa diligently represent her clients, she is very active in the Western New York legal community.   Melissa is the immediate past president of the WNY Trial Lawyers Association and is a current board member of the Defense Trial Lawyers Association.  In 2017, she was nominated to become a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates.   

Melissa is strongly committed to the Women’s Bar Association and is a past president of the Western New York Chapter, has served as the local director, state director and co-chair for the Nominations Committee and Judiciary Committee over the past several years. She is a former chair for the Young Lawyers Committee of the Erie County Bar Association (ECBA), has sat on the Judiciary Committee of the ECBA and has served as an attorney advisor and judge for the Erie County High School Mock Trial Tournament through the ECBA.  She is a former volunteer for the Volunteer Lawyers Project.  Staying committed to her roots in and love of Buffalo, she has served on the board for the University at Buffalo Law Alumni Association and was a Vice President of the organization.  Melissa is also a proud 2013 Graduate of Leadership Niagara and continued with the organization serving as a Board member for two years after graduating.  

Melissa continues to play an active role in a number of other professional organizations where she enjoys time spent cultivating relationships with current clients as well as meeting new clients.  She is the events director for the WNY Local Chapter of the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance and is currently serving her first year on the board for the Buffalo Claims Association as the assistant treasurer.  

One of Melissa’s favorite quotations is, “Well-behaved women rarely make history,” by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich. Melissa feels that movers and shakers change the world – while well-behaved women live lives of peace and tranquility, it is the women who thwart the status quo that go down in the pages of history books.

Melissa is an avid Crossfitter and spends a great deal of her down time a local CrossFit gym where she not only does the daily WOD, but enjoys spending time with the gym’s community.  She is also a die hard Buffalo Bills fan and has been a season ticket holder for the past 12 years.  When not at the gym or at a Bills game, you will find her at any one of the local hot spots in Buffalo as she is a connoisseur of all the great places the City has to offer. 

EDUCATION

  • J.D., State University of New York, University at Buffalo School of Law

  • Pursued course work toward Juris Doctor at The John Marshall Law School, Chicago, Illinois

  • B.A., Legal Studies, State University of New York, University at Buffalo

  • Independent Study, University of Parma, Università degli Studi di Parma, Parma, Italy

  • Independent Study, Rome, Italy

ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Included on the New York State Super Lawyers list, 2013-19

  • Legal Elite of Western New York, 2015

AFFILIATIONS

  • Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York, Western New York Chapter

  • Erie County Bar Association

  • New York State Bar Association

  • American Board of Trial Advocates, Buffalo Chapter

  • Claims and Litigation Management Alliance, WNY Local Chapter 

  • Buffalo Claims Association

  • Western New York Trial Lawyers Association

  • Defense Trial Lawyers Association

ADMISSIONS

  • New York State

  • Pennsylvania State Bar

Buffalo

Corning

Utica

Rochester

Syracuse

White Plains

New York City

Albany

Erie, PA

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©2019 by Kenney Shelton Liptak Nowak LLP.