EUGENE WELCH (Member) was admitted to practice law in New York State in 1971, the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York in 1971 the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in 1971 and the United States District Court for the Western District of New York in 1975 and the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania in 2004 and the United States Supreme Court in 1993.
Mr. Welch is a native Rochesterian and a Graduate of McQuaid Jesuit High School in Rochester, New York. Mr. Welch received his Bachelor's degree in English from St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York in 1967 and his Juris Doctor Law Degree from the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., in 1970. At the Catholic University Law School, Mr. Welch was the lead articles and book review editor of the Catholic University Law Review.
Mr. Welch began his legal career as a confidential law clerk to the Honorable Aubrey E. Robinson, Jr., United States District Court Judge for the District of Columbia from 1970 to 1971. Thereafter, Mr. Welch became an Assistant United States Attorney or Federal Prosecutor in the Northern District of New York at Syracuse from 1971-1975. In that capacity, Mr. Welch was the attorney in charge of organized crime prosecutions and Economic Stabilization Act matters. For his work in that office Mr. Welch received the Special Achievement Award from the United States Attorney General Edward H. Levi, in appreciation for and recognition of sustained superior performance of duty. In 1975 Mr. Welch moved to the United States Attorney's Office in the Western District of New York in Rochester New York where he remained until 1979, doing both criminal investigations and prosecutions, trials and appeals and defending civil claims brought against the United States. For his work in the United States Attorneys Office, Mr. Welch received the United States Drug Enforcement Administration's highest honor, the Award of Honor in November 1977. In recognition of his trial skills, Mr. Welch was also designated a trial techniques instructor at the United States Attorney General's Advocacy Institute, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. where he trained new United States Attorneys on trial techniques.
In 1979 Mr. Welch was appointed Assistant Attorney General in charge of the New York State Attorney General's Rochester Regional Office where he managed a staff of lawyers, investigators, paralegals, supervising, advising, setting policy of civil and criminal litigation on behalf of the State, its agencies and consumers. Once again, Mr. Welch was a Trial Advocacy instructor at the New York State Attorney General's annual fall training seminars in Albany, New York. Mr. Welch remained in the New York State Attorney General's Office until 1995 when he left to join the law firm of Harris Chesworth O'Brien.
Mr. Welch is a partner in the current law firm of Harris Chesworth O'Brien, Johnstone & Welch, LLP where he practices in municipal liability defense, personal injury, civil rights litigation, commercial litigation, insurance defense work and government compliance work assisting clients being audited or investigated by governmental agencies. Mr. Welch represents clients in both New York State Supreme Court and on appeal to the Appellate Division Fourth Department as well as in United States District Court in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Albany as well as on appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Manhattan.
Mr. Welch's experience as a Federal Prosecutor, trial instructor for Justice Department attorneys and his experience in the New York State Attorney General's Office give him unique qualifications to assist clients to make sure they are in compliance with both New York State and Federal Laws and Regulations. His credentials have resulted in his being called upon to assist many clients respond to governmental subpoenas and investigations.
For his work in personal injury defense, Mr. Welch has been recognized as a "Super Lawyer" by the New York Super Lawyer's Magazine Upstate Edition for 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. This independently owned and operated publication makes its selections after an exhaustive multi-step evaluation process that incorporated peer recognition and professional achievement. The process involves a system of nominations, peer evaluation and internal research which acts as a system of checks and balances resulting in a comprehensive listing of outstanding lawyers.
Mr. Welch has also maintained an "AV" rating by Martindale and Hubbell which is the highest rating available to practicing attorneys. That rating is determined as a result of peer evaluation.
Mr. Welch is a member of the New York State Bar Association and the Monroe County Bar Association. In the Monroe County Bar Association, Mr. Welch has served as a Trustee of the Association and was a member of the Founding Board of Governors of the Academy of Law of the Monroe County Bar Association in 1992-1994. the Academy of Law was organized by its Board to set standards for and coordinate continuing legal education for the members of the Monroe County Bar Association, prior to mandatory CLE. Mr. Welch required that every CLE Program contain a component related to ethics in the practice of law. Mr. Welch is a member of the Monroe County Bar Association's Ethics Committee and served as a Chairman of that Ethics Committee. Mr. Welch is also a member of the Monroe County Bar Association's Fee Arbitration Committee, which committee arbitrates fee disputes between attorneys and clients pursuant to New York State Court Rules.
Mr. Welch has been a lecturer at Continuing Legal Education Programs for the New York Municipal Insurance Reciprocal and at the Albany Law School as well as for the National Business Institute instructing on Professional Ethics. Albany Law School's Continuing Legal Education Program on Municipal Liability was in June 2000, and the New York Municipal Insurance Reciprocal presentations on Municipal Liability were in 1997, 1999 and 2000. He has also been an instructor at the People's Law School presented by the Monroe County Bar Association for legal overviews for lay people.
As a leader in the law firm's community involvement, Mr. Welch continues to serve the community in a variety of ways. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Upstate New York Better Business Bureau and an active member of its Ethics and Standards Committee. Mr. Welch is the current President of the Board of trustees of the Greece Public Library, a suburb of Rochester, New York. Mr. Welch is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Greece Chamber Charitable Foundation.
Mr. Welch has also served on the Board of Directors as well as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Greece Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Welch has served on the Canandaigua National Bank Greece Advisory Board from 2005 to 2010.
Mr. Welch was a Founding Director of the Board of Directors and eventually Chairman for the Board of Directors of Sojourner House for Women from 1983-1995. Sojourner House is an inner city temporary residence for women in transition who are willing to work with Sojourner House in achieving their independence. Mr. Welch has also served as the Director of the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Rochester, New York, a non-profit agency counseling debtors on debt management. Mr. Welch has also served as a director of the St. John Fisher College Alumni Association.