V. Christopher Potenza



Mr. Potenza is an established and respected litigator, focusing his practice primarily on general liability and tort defense, including product liability, premises liability, transportation and automotive liability, construction negligence/New York Labor Law, commercial litigation, medical malpractice defense, and nursing home negligence.  He also leads the firm’s statewide Toxic Tort and Environmental Litigation Team, including asbestos and lead-based paint defense. Mr. Potenza has substantial experience handling cases at the federal, state, and appellate levels. He has taken numerous cases to verdict throughout New York State and regularly represents clients in arbitration and mediation proceedings.

Mr. Potenza is an Editor of the firm’s monthly electronic newsletter, Products Liability Pointers, which covers all areas of products liability litigation, including negligence, strict products liability, breach of warranty claims, medical device litigation, and toxic and mass torts, and has also served as a columnist and Associate Editor of Labor Law Pointers and Premises Pointers. He has authored numerous articles for industry publications on litigation practice and management, and is a frequent presenter for continuing education programs.

He is the firm’s Vice Liaison to the Harmonie Group, an-invitation-only international network of law firms, vetted for their standards, ethics and values in handling complex litigation for corporations, third party administrators and insurance companies. Mr. Potenza also is a nominated member of the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM), a national alliance of corporations, insurance companies, law firms and service providers committed to furthering the highest standards of litigation management. He is also a member of the nationally renowned Defense Research Institute (DRI).  Mr. Potenza also serves as the Co-Chair of the Toxic Tort Committee of the Torts, Insurance and Compensation Law Section of the New York State Bar Association.

Mr. Potenza has been named to the Upstate New York Super Lawyers list every year since 2013, and was recognized as a Top 50 Super Lawyer in 2018 and 2019. He has also been listed in Buffalo Business First and Buffalo Law Journal’s lists of Who’s Who in Law.

Mr. Potenza manages the firm’s Mentor Program, which is promotes the professional growth and development of associate attorneys.  He is also a member of the Erie County Bar Association, where he is a volunteer in the annual High School Mock Trial Tournament, and the Western New York Trial Lawyers Association.

Mr. Potenza graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Science in Resource and Managerial Economics, where he was also a four-year member of the Varsity Track & Field Team. He obtained his Juris Doctor from the University at Buffalo Law School. He is a Mentor in the University at Buffalo Law School Alumni Mentoring Program and also serves as an Alumni Admissions Ambassador for Cornell University.


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 Bankruptcy Court
- Western District of New York

Admitted to Practice

New York


University at Buffalo Law School (J.D., 2002)
Cornell University (B.S., 1998)

Professional Recognition

Upstate New York Super Lawyers Top 50 List


Firm News

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

07/23/21: The Canadian Defence Lawyers HeresayThe Impact of Litigation Loans on Ontario and U.S. Litigation

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

03/23/21: Legal Alert: Discovery of Personal Injury Loans and Litigation Financing Under the “American Rule” in Non-Loser Pay Jurisdictions

01/26/21: Legal Alert: New York Civil Practice Update: Understanding Administrative Order 270.20 and the Substantive Changes to the Uniform Civil Rules for the New York Trial Courts

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

8/04/20: CLM Magazine: The Jury Has Returned

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

6/27/19: Blog: Choose Your Own Adventure: Important Legislative Changes Impacting the Defense of Civil Claims

6/13/19: Claims Journal: Court of Appeals addresses burning question: Is a coke oven a product or a structure?

5/15/19: Lexology: Lease Runs Out on “Rental Market” Exception to Defense of Strict Liability Design Defect Claims

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

7/31/18: Buffalo Law Journal: Summer guide to NY’s recreational use statute

Spring 2018: NYSBA Torts, Insurance & Compensation Law Section Journal: A Field Guide to New York's "Recreational Use Statute" General Obligations Law § 9-103

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