Michael B. Powers

Of Counsel Buffalo
Michael Powers

Michael practices primarily in the areas of commercial litigation and product liability defense.

In the commercial litigation area, Michael handles a variety of matters involving contract and warranty claims, fraudulent trade practices and other business-related disputes. He also provides services in the areas of prelitigation strategic planning, counseling to businesses concerning methods of avoiding litigation and alternative dispute resolution.

Michael has served as the Town Justice for the Town of Clarence since June 2008.


Honors & Awards

  • Listed as a Leading Individual in Chambers USA: Americas Leading Lawyers for Business, 2015-2017
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America®
  • Selected for the Upstate New York Super Lawyers® list, 2007-2023
  • Clarence Chamber of Commerce, Citizen of the Year, 2013
  • FBI Agents Association, Character and Service Alumni Award, 2013
  • Henry J. Kreher Conservation Award, 2013
  • Make-A-Wish Foundation of Western New York, Inc., Shooting Star Award, 2005
  • St. Bonaventure University, Gaudete Medal, 2006
  • Leadership Buffalo Values Award, Openness to Change Award, 2007
  • Working for Downtown, Membership Recognition Award, 2007
  • Clarence High School Wall of Fame, 2013
  • Listed in Who’s Who In Law, Business First of Buffalo and Buffalo Law Journal
Awards & Certifications

Education & Admissions

  • Western New England College School of Law, J.D., summa cum laude, 1982
  • Niagara University, M.A., 1979
  • St. Bonaventure University, B.A., 1975
Admitted to Practice
  • New York
  • State of California Superior Court, Tulare County Pro Hac Vice
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California Pro Hac Vice
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana Pro Hac Vice
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania Pro Hac Vice
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin Pro Hac Vice
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court
Judicial Clerkships
  • Confidential Law Clerk to Senior Associate Judge Matthew J. Jasen, New York Court of Appeals, 1982-1984


Representative Cases
  • Huron Group, Inc. v. Pataki, 5 Misc. 3d 648, 785 N.Y.S.2d 827 (2004), aff’d, 23 A.D.3d 1051, 803 N.Y.S.2d 465 (4th Dep’t 2005)
  • Giambra v. New York State Thruway Authority, No. 06-0002172 (Sup. Ct., Erie Co. 2006)
  • Schafler v. HSBC Bank USA, 23 A.D.3d 1083, 803 N.Y.S.2d 924 (4th Dep’t 2005)
  • Catalano v. Marine Midland Bank, 303 A.D.2d 617, 756 N.Y.S.2d 770 (2d Dep’t 2003)
  • Felle v. W.W. Grainger, Inc., 302 A.D.2d 971, 755 N.Y.S.2d 535 (4th Dep’t 2003)
  • Marine Midland Associates L.P. v. HSBC Bank USA, 1 Misc. 3d 912(A), 781 N.Y.S.2d 625 (2003), aff’d, 13 A.D.2d 1234, 787 N.Y.S.2d 194 (4th Dep’t 2004)
  • Herman v. Marine Midland Bank, 207 F.R.D. 26 (W.D.N.Y. 2002)
  • People v. Whipple, 97 N.Y.2d 1, 760 N.E.2d 337, 734 N.Y.S.2d 549 (2001)
  • People v. Hernandez, 70 N.Y.2d 833, 517 N.E.2d 1328, 523 N.Y.S.2d 442 (1987)
  • People v. Shaffer, 66 N.Y.2d 663, 486 N.E.2d 823, 495 N.Y.S.2d 965 (1985)
  • People v. Snyder, 129 Misc. 2d 137, 492 N.Y.S.2d 890 (1985)
Trial Experience

Mr. Powers has tried various matters in New York State, Federal, County, City and Justice Courts and in Federal Courts in New Orleans, Pittsburgh, and San Francisco.

  • Rich Products Corp. v. Aetna Casualty & Surety Co., New York State Supreme Court; obtained $21.3 million verdict, 2002
  • Century Graphics Corporation v. Harris Graphics Corp. and Harris Corp., Case No. 86-5375, Hon. Martin L.C. Feldman, United States District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana
  • U.S. Concord, Inc. v. Harris Graphics Corp., Case No. C89-4003SAW, Hon. Stanley A. Weigel, United States District Court, Northern District of California
  • Triangle Circuits, Inc. v. Control Techniques Drives, Inc., Case No. 95-1887, Hon. Gary L. Lancaster, United States District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania

Speaking Engagements

View All
  • Presenter, “Western New York Women Pioneers in the Law: A Celebration,” The Historical Society of the N.Y. Courts and SUNY Buffalo Law School Event, November 2015

Activities & Professional Associations

Present Activities

  • Town Justice, Clarence, New York
  • The Historical Society of the New York Courts
    • Board of Trustees, Trustee Emeritus
    • Programs Committee, Chair
  • St. Bonaventure University, Member Gaudete Award Committee
  • Clarence Recreation Advisory Committee, Greenprint Land Conservation Project, Co-Founder
  • Western New York Land Conservancy
  • National Rifle Association
  • Safari Club International

Past Activities

  • Make-A-Wish Foundation of Western New York, Inc.; Legal Counsel; Chairman Galas 2000, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
  • Phillips Lytle Leadership Council, Public Affairs, Co-Chair
  • Erie County Sheriff’s 21st Century Foundation, Board of Directors and Treasurer
  • Erie County Republican Committee, Vice Chairman
  • Make-A-Wish Foundation of Western New York, Inc.; Former Member of the Board of Directors
  • Buffalo Inner Harbor Development Corp./Bass Pro Outdoor World, Liaison, 2005
  • YMCA of Greater Buffalo, Board of Directors; Past Chairman, Partner With Youth Campaign; Past Chairman, Toast of Buffalo Annual Dinner
  • United Way of Buffalo and Erie County – 2002 Campaign, Attorneys Division, Co-Chair
  • Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Chairman Legal Division Fund Drive, 2000
  • Erie County Environmental Management Council, Chairman, 2000-2004
  • Erie County Environmental Education Institute, Former Director
  • National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Western New York/Northwestern Pennsylvania Chapter, Former Director
  • Clarence Little League Football Assn., Founder and Past Commissioner
  • Welland and Lime Lake Water Ski Clubs
  • Coalition of Food Industry Counsel, Founding Member

Professional Associations

  • Bar Association of Erie County
    • Federal Practice Committee
    • Former Director; Past Chairman Appellate Practice Committee; Past Chairman Judiciary Committee
  • Clarence Chamber of Commerce
  • The Historical Society of the Courts of the State of New York
  • New York State Bar Association
  • Safari Club International, Western and Central New York Chapter, Inc.
  • Society of FBI Alumni, Buffalo Chapter

Articles & Publications


  • Author, “Charlotte Smallwood-Cook: New York’s First Woman Elected District Attorney,” Judicial Notice, The Historical Society of the New York Courts, May 2017