2019 Green Code Platform

2019 Green Code Platform 

Each councilmember will be asked to commit to supporting:

 PLANK 1: The Councilmember commits to uphold the City of Buffalo Comprehensive Plan and the spirit and intent of the Green Code.

PLANK 2: The Councilmember will work with developers to send at least three week’s written notice to Block Clubs and community organizations within their district, and within 4 blocks of any project requiring a variance or major site plan review.

PLANK 3: The Councilmember commits to not announcing support of projects until the developers have conducted a well-advertised, open “listening session” with impacted neighbors and community organizations.

PLANK 4: The Councilmember will support requests to the Zoning Board of Appeals and the Planning Board to revise their routine meeting scripts to include introductions of each member, a review and explanation of agenda items,

PLANK 5: The Councilmember will support larger and more accessible space for Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning Board meetings.

PLANK 6: The Councilmember will champion a requirement that recordings of ZBA and Planning Board meetings be posted within 24 hours of the meeting, ending the needed to make time-consuming FOIL requests for public proceedings open to the public.

PLANK 7: The Councilmember will support the creation of a “Buffalo Neighborhood Development Advocate” to assist residents with understanding proposed developments, and with conveying questions and concerns to appropriate authorities, in a timely manner.

Heading South for Copyrights

In April, the LOSA heads to Highland, NY to talk about libraries and law.

Does your library fall under Section 108’s exemption from copyright infringement? Is it set up to fully protect circulation records from third party requests? Do you need a few tips to feel confident about your next database license? On April 25, 2019, LOSA lead attorney Stephanie Adams will present an in-depth, hands-on workshop on maximizing a library's rights under the copyright law, responding to subpoenas for library records, and negotiating common contracts.

More information and registration are here.

Practice Breathing

This Saturday our beautiful space will be the place to how simple wellness techniques can contribute to a client-oriented and ethical practice.

LOSA attorneys Stephanie Adams and Jessica Keltz will work with certified yoga instructor Kelly Tripp to combine 1 hours of Ethics and 1 hour of Practice CLE credit with an array of accessible, gentle yoga.

Open to and health for all. For more information, or to register, visit:


Ethics Through Wellness

The LOSA wishes you a joyous and strong New Year.

To kick off 2019, on January 12th, the law office will host an event on two topics we’re really passionate about: ethics, and self-care.

This 2.5-hour workshop will teach attorneys to use simple, accessible yoga techniques to combat the stress and lack of focus that can cause ethics problems and professional burnout.

Led by certified (and awesome) yoga instructor Kelly Tripp, we’ll explore techniques for connecting to the moment, confronting difficult truths, and moving through stressful times.

With attendees practicing these simple techniques right on the spot, LOSA Attorneys Stephanie Adams and Jessica Keltz will take the group through recent ethics decisions from the NYSBA.

Sponsored by the Women’s Bar Association, but open (and valuable) to all genders.

Attendees should wear comfortable and moveable clothes. To register, visit:


Copyright Infringement Case? Playing Defense at the LOSA

LOSA lead attorney Stephanie Adams has a history of defending those accused of stealing access to entertainment content. In the mid 2000’s, she defended numerous people accused of stealing content from DirecTV and the RIAA. Although the tactics of the plaintiffs were the same (sue and see what sticks!), each case was unique, and required careful collaboration with the client.

If you have been accused of misappropriating content, you can consult with Stephanie Adams to explore your options.

A bit of free guidance: if you get a subpoena or are served with a lawsuit, yes, you’ll be upset, but don’t post about it on social media! And don’t ask your family members and friends if they were watching porn on our account. Just keep calm, comparison shop for a lawyer, and discuss it when you are assured of attorney-client privilege.

Up the Librarians!

Our recent post to the Western New York Library Resource Council’s “Ask the Lawyer” service is about respecting librarians’ role on the front lines of copyright. An excerpt is below; find the rest here.



We are finding that librarians within larger institutions (like colleges and museums) are the go-to resource for copyright questions, which could also include institutional copyright concerns.  What should a librarian do if the "question" they are presented with is really an allegation of copyright infringement?


“Ask The Lawyer” has touched on this topic a bit before.  In our a 9/19/17 RAQ post “Skating the Line Between Helpful Information and Legal Advice,” we discussed the risks posed when patrons and co-workers confuse the helpful attitude and boundless information provided by librarians with legal services. 

The bottom line from that guidance was:

When [asked for legal advice], librarians must emphasize the boundary between good service and legal advice.  Here is a formula for that:

[the librarian] provide access to library materials based on the law and policy of my profession and institution; you [the user] should consult your own attorney regarding any legal concerns about your use of the materials being provided. 

The current question takes this issue one step further: what if, when asked to play this front-lines role, the librarian is alerted to a potential claim of infringement against their institution?

Mandatory Sexual Harassment Training: An Opportunity for Your Company

The word is out: every employer must have a sexual harassment policy by this October, and must provide annual, mandatory training.

For many, "mandatory training" may seem like another costly obligation, even if the topic is worthy.  But what if a training about harassment could focus on using respect and inclusion to promote not only legal compliance, but a healthy and thriving workplace culture?

The LOSA offers custom trainings that not only help clients meet the newest requirements, but work with leadership to examine workplace culture, and draw out and enhance what is best.

Based on a client's unique identity, the LOSA uses role-play, understanding of industry and company history, and sometimes even improvisation to not only teach the law, but let attendees practice following it.  Goals for company communication style, esprit de corps, and healthy workplace can be added to the mix.

You can contact the LOSA team to explore this option.  Silicon Valley wishes it had access to a training like this!


Announcing "LOSA Practices" on LOSA Base (our Facebook Page)

Lawyers like to write.  And talk.  And talk about writing.  And writing about talking....

But in the midst of all that nuanced communication, we develop some crystal-clear take-aways.  "LOSA Practices" is our firm's distillation of our apex tips from the mountain of legal analysis we generate.  

Of course, "LOSA Practices" is not legal advice.  Don't climb the mountain without a guide!  But they are some goals for your assent.

We'll feature "LOSA Practices" on this page, and on LOSA Base, our Facebook Page.  Please visit, and comment, and make your journey with us.

The LOSA is Ignited!

Based on a proposal to hire from right within the neighborhoods of our city, the LOSA has moved to the final round of the "Ignite Buffalo" competition! 

Along with an inspiring array of local businesses, we've be pitched our vision to bring in employees with the language and cultural experience to help us serve our region's newest entrepreneurs. 

The LOSA vision has always included building our team with employees from our region's multi-lingual immigrant population--and those who have born the brunt of Buffalo's systemic poverty.  This grant is hitting the gas on that plan! 

This grant will help us market to, support, and even host trainings for Buffalo's next generation of people who, as we say, "See It, Build It, and Work it. " 

This fall, please stop by to see our newly ignited team.


"Check it Out" Training in Rochester

LOSA lead attorney Stephanie ("Cole") Adams travelled to Rochester with Buffalo business consultant Nicola Medley Ballard to a conduct a role-play and discussion based training: "Checking out Respect: Recognizing, Addressing and Preventing Harassment in your Library."

"Librarians work with a huge array of material, interact with people from all walks of life, and work to ensure information is accessible to all," says Cole. "This mission can lead to interactions of enormous enlightenment...but can also create circumstances where ignorance or misunderstanding can leave staff or patrons feeling they were treated unfairly."

The training addressed not only race and gender, but gender expression, national origin, age, religion, ability, and other forms of illegal discrimination.  Attendees left with a checklist of tips and techniques they saw in action during the session.

"'Checking Out Respect' takes library staff beyond the legal definitions, and into the skills for addressing behavior that is alienating or abusive," says Cole.  "Our main message is: lead by example.  To help people do that, I am lucky to be co-presenting with Nicola Ballard, who has so much experience showing people how to be gracious and to cultivate a diverse environment." 

The LOSA offers these type of highly customized to the professionals they serve.  If your library is interested, or you're in another professional arena where this approach might be helpful, feel free to get in touch!