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Obama nominates Kathleen Sweet for federal judgeship

WASHINGTON – President Obama on Tuesday formally nominated Kathleen Marie Sweet, a partner in a Buffalo law firm, to be the first-ever female federal judge based in Buffalo.

The official nomination comes four months after Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., recommended Sweet to replace U.S. District Court Judge William M. Skretny, who had moved to senior status.

And it proved that the second time was the charm for Schumer, who chose former U.S. attorney Denise O’Donnell to the slot in June 2014, only to see O’Donnell withdraw 16 months later when it became obvious that Obama would not officially nominate her.

“It is great news that President Obama has officially nominated Kathleen Sweet, a true daughter of Buffalo, to be the first woman to serve on the Western District federal bench in Buffalo,” said Schumer, who, as the state’s senior senator, recommends potential federal judges to the White House. “Kathleen Sweet has a deep commitment to Buffalo, exceptional experience and an incisive legal mind. I am confident she will be a fair and well-respected judge and I will work to make sure she is confirmed as quickly as possible.”

Sweet is a partner in Gibson, McAskill & Crosby, where she specializes in medical malpractice cases. A past president of the Erie County Bar Association, she graduated from Boston College and Villanova University’s Charles Widger School of Law.

Sweet lives in Orchard Park with her husband, Brian T. Fredericks, and their two children.