Michael F. Perley
SR. MEMBER / TREASURER
Mr. Perley is chair of the Litigation Department and a member of the firm’s Board of Directors. He focuses his practice in municipal law, product liability, professional liability, complex litigation and catastrophic injury litigation, and representation of condominiums and homeowners’ associations. Mr. Perley has significant experience defending corporations, municipalities, employers, building owners, contractors and insurance carriers in a wide range of litigated matters including labor law, premises and product liability. Mr. Perley has extensive experience in litigation involving commercial vehicles, having represented numerous commercial carriers in his career. He leads the firm’s 24-Hour Emergency Response Team, and is regularly engaged in complex catastrophic property damage, fire loss and bodily injury litigation. Mr. Perley also counsels clients on issues pertaining to lien resolution and Medicare Secondary Payer issues and has testified as an expert witness on the applicability of the Medicare Secondary Payer Act.
An accomplished trial attorney and client advocate, Mr. Perley served as a Town Attorney with 22 years of governmental experience in zoning and land development. In addition to extensive experience in the full range of court proceedings in state and federal court, Mr. Perley’s practice also includes extensive counseling on matters including zoning, environmental review, land development, variances, legislative drafting, tax certiorari and eminent domain representing clients before town and village boards, planning boards, zoning boards of appeals and assessment boards of review.
As an experienced litigator, Mr. Perley has participated in hundreds of mediations on behalf of his clients involving personal injury, business, environmental and civil rights litigation. He has been asked to serve as a neutral, both as mediator and arbitrator, in numerous cases and, recently, has been appointed and certified to the panel of Federal Mediators in the Western District of New York.
Mr. Perley has represented planned developments, including condominiums and homeowners' associations in numerous litigated matters involving enforcement of architectural controls, rules enforcing appropriate use of property, and levying and collection of fines, penalties and fees. In addition, he has assisted developments in drafting appropriate amendments to their governing documents to clarify rules, institute best practices and provide remedies for enforcement that shift the expense burden to the unit owner. In addition, he offers guidance to condominium and HOA Boards with respect to addressing governance issues and long-term planning.
Mr. Perley was the Town Attorney of Boston from 1986 – 2003. In 1991, he was a member of the Citizen’s Reapportionment Advisory Committee for the Erie County Legislature, which redrew the legislative districts based on the 1990 census. Mr. Perley was formerly Trustee of Buffalo Seminary, and served as President of the Orchard Park Symphony Orchestra and of the Youth Orchestra Foundation of Buffalo.
Highly regarded by his peers and in the courts, Mr. Perley was named one of the Top 10 lawyers in New York State (outside of New York City) by New York Super Lawyers Magazine, which conducted a survey of all practicing attorneys in the state. He has also been named to the list of the Best Lawyers in America and the Business First list of Legal Elite of WNY. Mr. Perley was presented with the Pro Bono Service Award by Hon. William Skretny of the U.S. District Court of the Western District of New York for his dedicated service to the federal court. Mr. Perley was also appointed to the Eighth Judicial District Committee on Character and Fitness for admission of applicants to the New York State Bar Association.
Mr. Perley is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Bar Association of Erie County, former President of the Western New York Trial Lawyers Association, and is the National Board Representative of the Buffalo Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates. He is a member of the Municipal and School Law Committee and the Committee on Eminent Domain and Tax Certiorari of the Erie County Bar Association, and of the Municipal Law and the Torts, Insurance and Compensation Law Sections of the New York State Bar Association.