Steven R. Sugarman

Steven R. Sugarman, Mediator and Attorney

2464 Elmwood Avenue
Buffalo, New York 14217


Adoption, Alimony, Child Custody, Child Support Modification, Divorce, Divorce Modification and Enforcement, Family, Guardianship, Legal Separation, PreNuptials, Same Sex Disputes, Trusts and Estates, Wills

Like most lawyers, I entered my profession field with idealism.  I was ready to use the law to help others.  After graduating from SUNY at BuffaloLawSchooland being admitted to practice law in 1985, I was not sure how I could best achieve this broad goal.  I dabbled in several areas of law until I felt that I found my initial calling - helping people get through the divorce and separation process.  During this deeply painful time, people are scared, distrustful and overwhelmed.  I found that providing a listening ear and helping to craft a sound legal strategy to resolve issues calmed people and gave them confidence in the future.

Feeling limited by the tools that litigation gives a lawyer to help his or her client, I became trained as a mediator.  Acting as a neutral mediator between two disputing parties gave me the opportunity to help people negotiate a settlement without having a war.  It was more personally satisfying to me to help two people in a dispute talk it out and come up with a solution that both parties could live with.

Since 1995, I have obtained extensive training in mediation and have built a large mediation practice.  I have conducted thousands of hours of mediations, which resulted in satisfying outcomes for the parties. 

Taking what I have learned in mediating hundreds of emotionally charged divorces, I expanded my mediation services into areas where the emotions surrounding the dispute can be just as high and just as much an impediment to settlement—that is, disputes involving businesses, estates (such inheritance disputes), workplace issues (such as allegations of wrongful discharge) and organizations (such as infighting within organizations).  I have also built a "collaborative law" practice, which is still further alternative way of helping individuals going through a divorce, business or other dispute.

When people in a legal dispute come to our firm, we offer them a menu of legal services from which to choose.  We help clients select the approach that they will most benefit from-whether that is litigation, mediation or collaborative law.  I am proud to be a part of a law firm that provides clients with these choices.


Juris Doctor Degree, SUNY atBuffaloLawSchool, 1985

Bachelor of Arts, St. Lawrence University, 1981


Selected repeatedly by peers for inclusion in Buffalo Business First 's “Top Lawyers in Western New York” and in the publication Best Lawyers in America; Advanced Practitioner Member in Association for Conflict Resolution; Adjunct Professor-basic and advanced mediation and mediation lawyer advocacy courses and director of Mediation Clinic at SUNY at Buffalo Law School; Selected to be on Federal, State and Community mediation panels in Western New York; Mediation Skills Trainer for NYS Judicial Institute, Bar Association of Erie County, Catholic Charities, Center for Resolution and Justice, and Cornell School for Labor and Industrial Relations; Chair of Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee, Bar Association of Erie County 2011-2013


Mediation is a process where parties to a legal dispute sit down with an impartial 3rd party
who helps them talk through the issues of the situation and arrive at an agreement that all
the parties can live with. Unlike arbitration, the parties, with the mediator’s assistance,
make all decisions about how to resolve the issues.  It is almost always less expensive, less
time consuming and more satisfying than litigation. The mediator helps parties negotiate in a
more healthy, productive and collaborative manner than they might do without a mediator at
the table.

Mediation is used in almost any area of dispute such as commercial and business, matrimonial
and family law, employment, estates, organizational and community.  Sometimes mediation is
used to resolve an already pending lawsuit, and other times it is used before a lawsuit is
even started.  It can even be used in community and public policy disputes.   Parties are
free to bring their attorneys with them to mediation, although sometimes parties come
without attorneys.

Mediation is confidential;
therefore, anything said in mediation by a party cannot be
reported to any court should the matter not be resolved and proceed to litigation.  Parties
that mediate report greater satisfaction with the results than parties that go through the
litigation process. Mediation is much more likely to minimize harm to any relationship that
parties need after the dispute (such as parent-parent, business-vendor, sibling-sibling,
neighbors, co-workers). Mediation also allows parties to have “certainty of result” meaning
instead of taking the chance of what will happen in court, they can craft an agreement that
is going to be legally binding and have the force of law

Steven R. Sugarman, Esq. is a highly trained mediator that mediates in many
areas, from matrimonial and family law, to business/commercial, workplace, civil rights and
other areas.

Pusatier, Sherman, Abbott, & Sugarman Law Offices

2464 Elmwood Ave. 

Buffalo, NY 14217

Phone: (716) 873-6765

Fax: (716) 873-7709

Email: [email protected]

Mediation - The Wise Alternative
1/28/2013 12:46:54 PM
Description:     By: Steven R. Sugarman Mediator and Attorney   "There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world: and that is an idea whose time has come."----Victor Hugo There are many ways of resolving disputes—from