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Sweet heads county bar group

Kathleen M. Sweet, a Buffalo lawyer who represents doctors and other health care providers in malpractice litigation and professional discipline matters, has become president of the Bar Association of Erie County.

Sweet becomes the 106th person and fourth woman to head the association.

She was elected vice president last year. Under the bar's rules, the elected vice president becomes president a year later.

Sweet is a partner at the Buffalo law firm of Gibson, McAskill & Crosby. She succeeds Arthur A. Russ Jr., a partner with Phillips Lytle.

Sweet grew up in Clarence and is a graduate of Boston College and Villanova University Law School.

Michael J. Ryan, a partner at the Cosgrove Law Firm, was elected vice president after daylong voting Friday by 781 of the organization's roughly 3,800 members.

Ryan, a Canisius College and Harvard Law School graduate, has been with the Cosgrove firm for 18 years. He practices in the areas of trusts and estates, real estate and general corporate law.

Ryan was awarded a Bronze Star for his service as an Army captain in the Military Assistance Command in Vietnam. He also served as a military intelligence adviser.

Ryan was also a member of the group that designed, financed and constructed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on Buffalo's waterfront.

Bruce W. Hoover was elected deputy treasurer.

Elected to three-year terms on the board of directors were Edward J. Markarian, Daniel J. Marren, Marianne Marano and William F. Savino.

Elected to fill two unexpired one-year terms were Hope R. Jay and Laura A. Monte.

Elected to the nominating committee were David M. Stillwell and Lawrence Vilardo.

The Bar Association last week honored Vincent E. Doyle III as its Lawyer of the Year.

Doyle, a partner at Connors & Vilardo, is the immediate past president of the New York State Bar Association.

Improving the justice system motivated him to seek the state association post, Doyle said at the association's annual dinner.

"I wanted to do it because I thought it was a chance to do some good," Doyle said.

Thomas P. Amodeo, who has been chief judge of Buffalo City Court since 1994, received the Outstanding Jurist Award.

Michael J. Roach, a partner at Connors & Vilardo, received the Charles H. Dougherty Civility Award.

Howard B. Frank and Mark W. Hamberger each received an award of merit, and William R. Hites and Harry G. Meyer received special service awards.

The Bar Association also honored New York State Court Police Officer Erich P. Nikischer and Court Capt. Thomas D. Ciesla, who helped rescue two people from a Crestwood Avenue house fire last July during the 22nd annual Sorrento Cheese Italian Heritage Festival on Hertel Avenue.