Michael F. Perley



716-849-8948 (24-Hour Emergency Response)

Mr. Perley is chair of the Litigation Department and an emeritus 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 Upstate 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 the current President and National Board Representative of the Buffalo Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates. He is also the Treasurer and past President of the Erie County Bar Foundation, a member of the Board of Directors of the Charles S. Desmond Chapter of the American Inns of Court, a former member of the Board of Directors of the Bar Association of Erie County and former President of the Western New York Trial Lawyers Association. He is a member of the Ethics Committee, Judiciary Committee, Continuing Legal Education Advisory 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.


Michael F. Perley
Rated by Super Lawyers

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Court Admissions

Courts of the State of New York

United States District Court
- Western District of New York
- Northern District of New York
- Southern District of New York
- Eastern District of New York

United States 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals

Admitted to Practice

New York


Duke University (J.D., 1976)

College of the Holy Cross (A.B., 1973)

Professional Recognition

Martindale-Hubbell AV Peer Review Rated Lawyer

Best Lawyers in America – “Lawyer of the Year” in Buffalo – Personal Injury Litigation, Defendants (2023) and Litigation Municipal (2024)

The New York Bar Foundation - Fellow

Upstate New York Super Lawyers - Ranked 2nd (2022, 2023)

Business First's Legal Elite

Daily Record "Leaders in Law"

Professional Associations

Bar Association of Erie County

New York State Bar Association

WNY Trial Lawyers Association

American Board of Trial Advocates

Charles S. Desmond Inn of Court

Defense Trial Lawyers of WNY

Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America

Erie County Bar Foundation

Firm News

09/29/23: Firm News: Hurwitz Fine Member and ABOTA President Michael F. Perley Organizes Ninth James Otis Lecture Series in Buffalo

02/08/23: Firm News: Michael F. Perley Named a Fellow of the New York State Bar Foundation

10/21/22: Firm News: Michael F. Perley Organizes Eighth Annual James Otis Lecture Series in Buffalo

08/23/22: Firm News: 35 Attorneys Named to the 2022 Upstate New York Super Lawyers and Rising Stars Lists

08/18/22: Firm News: 22 Hurwitz Fine Attorneys Recognized by Best Lawyers in America® and Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America™

08/23/21: Firm News: 28 Attorneys Named to 2021 Upstate New York Super Lawyers List

08/19/21: Firm News: 21 Hurwitz & Fine Attorneys Recognized by Best Lawyers in America and Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch

06/08/21: Firm News: Michael F. Perley Sworn in as President of the Erie County Bar Foundation Board

04/04/21: The Harmonie Group: 2020 Significant Cases

10/05/20: Buffalo Business First: 2020 Legal Elite of WNY List

09/15/20: The Daily Record: Michael F. Perley Receives 2020 "Leaders in Law" Award

08/26/20: Firm News: 30 Attorneys Named to 2020 Upstate New York Super Lawyers List

08/20/20: Firm News: 21 Hurwitz & Fine Attorneys Recognized by Best Lawyers in America and Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch

05/18/20: Firm News: Hurwitz & Fine, P.C. Announces New Leadership Team

12/18/19: Blog: Michael F. Perley Elected to Board of the Erie County Bar Association Foundation, Inc.

9/24/19: Business First: Seven Hurwitz & Fine Attorneys Honored as 2019 WNY Legal Elite

8/15/19: Blog: 11 Attorneys Recognized in 2020 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America

8/12/19: Blog: 27 Attorneys Named to 2019 Upstate New York Super Lawyers List

6/20/19: Blog: Michael F. Perley and Dan D. Kohane sworn in as Mediators and Neutrals

5/3/19: Blog: James Otis Lecture Series Wins Liberty Bell Award

10/4/18: Blog: Hurwitz & Fine Participates in Sixth Annual James Otis Lecture

9/27/18: Business First: Legal Elite: Recognizing WNY's top attorneys

8/17/18: Blog: 25 Attorneys Named to 2018 Upstate New York Super Lawyers List

8/16/18: Blog: 10 Hurwitz & Fine Attorneys Honored in 2019 Best Lawyers

6/28/18: Buffalo News: Kevin O'Connell is not a meteorologist, but he plays one on TV

8/15/17: Blog: 10 Hurwitz & Fine Attorneys Honored in 2018 Best Lawyers

8/4/16: Blog: 75% of Firm Listed As Super Lawyers

8/4/16: Blog: H&F Attorneys Listed As Best Lawyers