Officers & Directors
Jeffrey M. Rich
Jeffrey M. Rich is a 1982 graduate of the University of Southern California and a 1985 graduate of Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University. Jeff has 31 years experience as a trial lawyer and is admitted to the Bar in the states of New York and New Jersey. Jeff is president of the New York Criminal & Civil Courts Bar Association and is a member of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association and the American Association for Justice. Jeff has successfully tried cases in both New York and New Jersey. Jeff has successfully litigated many oral and maxillofacial surgery malpractice cases in which his clients have suffered lingual nerve injuries and inferior alveolar nerve injuries during dental surgery; medical malpractice cases involving cosmetic breast and body surgery, failure to diagnose cancer, birth injuries, surgical injuries and improperly performed surgical procedures. Jeff has successfully litigated hundreds of general negligence cases involving motor vehicle and bus accidents, slips, trips and falls, construction site accidents, municipal liability and transit system liability cases. Jeff is president of the New York Criminal & Civil Courts Bar Association and is a member of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association and the American Association for Justice. Jeff was recognized by his peers and received the highest level of ethics and legal skills when he received an “AV” Preeminent rating by Martindale Hubbell. Jeff was also selected as a Superlawyer 4 years in a row, 2013-2016.
Brian D. Graifman
With 25 years of experience, Brian Graifman is a seasoned litigator representing a wide spectrum of clients in complex litigation in state and federal courts, arbitration tribunals, and securities and regulatory disciplinary defense.
Brian has successfully litigated significant cases against regulators in a variety of forums, including a recent landmark decision at the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit determining that FINRA has no authority to enforce collection of its disciplinary fines; a Second Circuit decision vacating with prejudice disciplinary sanctions that had been imposed by the NASD and sustained by the SEC; a Second Circuit case vacating a judgment for short-swing profits, in a decision rejecting a test established by Ninth Circuit, and where Brian successfully fended off a subsequent application of the U.S. Solicitor General seeking review at the United States Supreme Court; and another case where the United States Supreme Court invalidated portions of Helms Act restricting indecent material on cable TV in part based on plurality opinion adopting Brian’s argument.
Brian has also had numerous strategic and procedural victories, including cases defining the limits of jurisdiction and scope of arbitrability; a win at the Second Circuit establishing that arbitrability is determined by a summary judgment standard; a victory at the New York Court of Appeals dismissing the case on grounds of federal preemption; and another case vacating an arbitration award for lack of a fair opportunity to be heard.
Brian is an active member of the New York County Lawyers’ Association where he is Co-Chair of the Committee on New York State Supreme Court and serves on the Committees on Federal Courts, and Appellate Courts, and at the New York City Bar Association, as a member of the Judiciary Committee and past member of the Committee on State Courts of Superior Jurisdiction. Brian has co-authored and/or co-chaired various committee and association reports, served on panels, authored many articles in legal publications, and assisted in revamping court rules and forms.
Brian graduated from New York Law School in 1988, second in his class, where he was a Research Editor on Law Review and a member of Moot Court.
Among other past positions, Brian served as Law Clerk for the late Judge Roger J. Miner of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and was an Associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate Meagher & Flom. Brian is admitted to practice in the State of New York, and before the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York; the District Court of Connecticut, the United States Courts of Appeals for the Second and Ninth Circuits; and the United States Supreme Court. He is peer-rated as AV Preeminent, the highest rating bestowed by the publishers of the Martindale-Hubbell directory.
Thomas G. Sellers
Thomas G. Sellers has been a member of the NYCCCBA since 1985, joining because of the opportunity to work with Executive Director and Past President Sidney Siller, Esq. He has served the Bar Association as a member of its Continuing Legal Education Committee, for several years under the able chairmanship of James Gargan, Esq.
Thomas was admitted to practice in December, 1972 in the Fourth Department. Apart from volunteer work, such as coaching high school mock trials, he works exclusively for Charles J. Sellers & Co., Inc., an insurance agency, brokerage and third party administrator. He serves as director and treasurer of three related business corporations.
Thomas has served as Treasurer of the New York Criminal and Civil Courts Bar Association (NYCCCBA) since 2011. He is a graduate of Canisius College with a degree in accounting and a graduate of the SUNY Buffalo Law School. In addition to the New York Criminal and Civil Courts Bar Association, he is a member of the Erie County Bar Association, New York State Bar Association, the Jewish Lawyers Guild and the St. Thomas More Guild.
Kathleen M. Sellers
Kate Sellers obtained her B.A. from Canisius College in 1994 and her J.D. from Duke University School of Law in 1997, where she was a member of the Duke Law Journal . She clerked for the Hon. Richard J. Arcara, United States District Judge for the Western District of New York, and then joined Hodgson Russ LLP in Buffalo, New York. Kate practiced in Hodgson Russ’s Business Litigation practice group until 2009, when she decided to join her family owned and operated insurance agency, Charles J. Sellers & Co., Inc. Kate is licensed in all lines of insurance, holds Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) and Registered Health Underwriter (RHU) designations, and is Assistant Vice President & Counsel at Sellers & Co. She is a member of the Erie County Bar Association and the American Bar Association, as well as the New York Criminal & Civil Courts Bar Association.
- Michelle Lynne Callan
- Brian D. Graifman
- Thomas A. Moore
- Jeffrey M. Rich
- Kathleen M. Sellers
- Ellen Swartz Simpson