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Friends plan benefit for ailing official

Martin P. Violante's legion of friends and admirers will honor the acclaimed Western New York court official March 23 with a cocktail party in the Hyatt Regency Buffalo.

Since January 2001, Violante, who recently took an extended leave to undergo medical treatment for a brain tumor, has been the primary court attorney-referee for the state's Alternative Dispute Resolution Program in Buffalo.

The three-hour event is being organized by friends in the legal community and court system.

Violante, a Niagara Falls native and brother of Chief Niagara Falls City Judge Mark A. Violante and Niagara County Public Defender Michael J. Violante, is expected to return to work, according to Sharon S. Townsend, administrative judge of the 8th Judicial District in Buffalo.

Townsend said everyone in the court system and the Western New York legal community is praying for Violante's recovery "because he's a most valuable attorney," whose efforts have aided court operations and individuals.

A magna cum laude graduate of the University of Miami, Violante earned a law degree with honors from the University at Buffalo Law School in 1980.

A former president of the Niagara County Bar Association, Violante was a former confidential law clerk at the trial and appellate levels for late State Supreme Court Justices Jacqueline M. Koshian and John C. Broughton and retired State Supreme Court Justice Leo J. Fallon.

Court officials said arrangements for the party are being coordinated by Violante's brother Michael through his office at 731 Third St., Niagara Falls, N.Y.

e-mail: mgryta@buffnews.com

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