Attorney Spotlight: John Kolaga
Who is John as an attorney?
John is a partner in our project development and environmental law practice group. John attended the University at Buffalo School of Law and graduated in 1985. After graduation, he worked as a confidential law clerk to the Hon. John T. Curtin, then Chief Judge of the W.D.N.Y. in Buffalo. In that position, he worked on many high-profile environmental cases, including the federal Love Canal cost recovery action against Occidental Chemical Company, the Hyde Park Landfill case, and the Falls Street Tunnel case. All of these are cases concerning environmental conditions in Niagara Falls, New York. Since that time John has worked primarily in environmental law. He is involved in litigation involving legal matters, real estate, and corporate transactions. He also works with his clients to ensure compliance with environmental laws and regulations. As an attorney John is practical. He assists his clients as they work through very complex environmental regulations and laws while also managing their expectations, and helping them achieve the desired results.
Why did John become a lawyer?
John decided to become a lawyer after his family became involved in a legal matter in his teens. This matter made him realize that having good counsel and someone you can talk to is very important and not everyone has that. John wanted to be able to assist others through complex legal issues and manage their expectations when faced with legal challenges.
What is John’s most memorable case?
John has many memorable cases but the most memorable one was when he was representing the City of Buffalo against some of the former steel plants that operated on the Buffalo River. The outcome of this lawsuit allowed the city to redevelop the riverfront.
Who is John outside of work?
Outside of work, John is a dad to 2 college-age children. He has been married to his wonderful wife, Judy, for 37 years, and they live in the Elmwood Village. John enjoys playing acoustic guitar and writing songs. He also enjoys reading and spending time with his family, friends, and dog, Louie.
Check out the video to learn about John’s legal tip.