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Senate confirms Wolford to federal judgeship

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Elizabeth Wolford
Rochester Business Journal
December 12, 2013

The U.S. Senate has confirmed Elizabeth Wolford’s appointment to judgeship in the Western District of New York’s Rochester division, Sen. Charles Schumer said Thursday.

The 70-29 vote makes Wolford the region’s first female federal district judge.
“For a long time, one of my goals has been to bring a woman to the federal bench in Western New York,” said Schumer, D-N.Y. “Liz will not only do that, but she will also bring her considerable experience and first-rate legal mind to the bench; she is simply one of the finest judicial candidates I have ever met and I am glad to see her ascend to the bench of the Western District.”

Wolford’s appointment adds a second active judge to Rochester division, which—until the Senate approved the appointment of District Judge Frank Geraci last year—had been staffed by three senior status judges.

Eligible to retire with a pension at 65, federal judges have the option of continuing to work on senior status, a classification that lets them work at their own pace.

Wolford’s appointment brings the Western District’s complement of active and senior status judges to eight.

The federal district’s Buffalo and Rochester courts had seen a stubborn backlog of cases and been sorely in need of new judgeships, Western District chief judge William Skretney told the Rochester Business Journal last year. Because Constitutional guarantees mandate speedy disposition of criminal cases, civil matters were particularly slow to move, he said.  

A partner at the Wolford Law Firm LLP, in Rochester, Wolford has litigated business, commercial and employment cases in state and federal courts for some two decades.
(c) 2013 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail

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