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Christian Valentino & Mallory Smith Selected as 2021 Legal Excellence Honorees

The Daily Record and Rochester Business Journal have selected Christian Valentino, Member, Law Offices of Pullano & Farrow and Mallory Smith, Associate, Law Offices of Pullano & Farrow as 2021 Legal Excellence honorees.

Christian Valentino, a personal injury attorney, has been recognized in the Leaders in Law category.

Mallory Smith, an attorney in Pullano & Farrow's commercial litigation department, has been selected as an honoree in the Up and Coming Lawyers category.

Legal Excellence is a new program started by The Daily Record and Rochester Business Journal to take their legal recognition awards to the next level by combining the Corporate Counsel, Excellence in Law and Attorneys of the Year awards. Legal Excellence pays tribute to all the ways legal professionals work to make the Greater Rochester community stronger.

Awards are presented in the following categories: Civil Legal Services, In House Counsel, Law Firm Administrator, Law Firm Diversity, Law Firm Innovation, Leaders in Law, Lifetime Achievement, Paralegal, Pro Bono Excellence and Up and Coming Lawyers.

"This year's Legal Excellence recipients work tirelessly to uphold the highest legal standards and improve communities throughout Western New York. They are actively engaged in the community and mentor other leaders as well," said Suzanne Fischer-Huettner, senior group publisher of The Daily Record and Rochester Business Journal. "They perform vital services in the community, and we are honored to recognize them."

The honorees will be recognized during an online celebration Nov. 15 from noon to 1 p.m. Each will be celebrated for their achievements through video storytelling. Guests will have the opportunity to participate in the program with their congratulations and cheers using social media platforms from their homes or offices. For tickets, visit or The event hashtags are #TDRevents and #RBJevents.

A VIP reception for honorees and sponsors will be held Nov. 15 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Rochester, 125 East Main Street in Rochester.

Honorees will be profiled in the Nov. 16 issue of The Daily Record and in the Nov. 19 issue of the Rochester Business Journal and online at and

For information about sponsorships and tickets for the 2021 Legal Excellence Awards, visit or or email Suzanne Fischer-Huettner at

About The Daily Record

The Daily Record has been providing essential legal news and information to Western New York for 113 years. With insightful articles and columns keeping the community apprised of the latest industry trends; local, state and federal decisions; judgments, foreclosures and public notice information; plus comprehensive listings of up-to-date business transactions for Monroe County, The Daily Record is your source for all things law, real estate and finance. The Daily Record is part of BridgeTower Media, one of the country’s leading business-to-business media companies with 44 print and digital publications in more than 20 U.S. markets.

About the Rochester Business Journal

For 34 years, the Rochester Business Journal has served as the leading source of business news and information in Rochester, N.Y. In addition to its website,, and weekly print publication, the Rochester Business Journal publishes more than 25 special products a year including Book of Lists, Explore Greater Rochester, RBJ 75 and Schools Report Card. The Rochester Business Journal also honors leading Rochesterians through 11 annual awards events including Forty Under 40, Icon Honors, Women of Excellence and Reader Rankings. Its Digital Marketing Solutions helps customers with social media, search engine marketing and optimization, retargeting, email marketing and more. Rochester Business Journal is part of BridgeTower Media, one of the country’s leading business-to-business media companies with more than 40 print and digital publications in more than 25 U.S. markets.

2021 Legal Excellence Honorees

Civil Legal Services

Lakeshia McCloud, Legal Assistance of Western New York Inc.

In House Counsel

Paul Ciminelli, Monroe County Sheriff's Office

Susan Sturman Jennings, Conifer Realty LLC

Alison Moyer, Rochester City School District

Thomas O'Gara, LeChase Construction Services LLC

Lisa Santelli, Lifetime Healthcare Companies/Excellus Health Plan

Law Firm Administrator

Curtis Burnett, Nixon Peabody LLP

Marie Calvaruso, Harris Beach PLLC

Cheryl Jordan, Ward Greenberg Heller & Reidy

Rhonda Noto, Harter Secrest & Emery LLP

John Taddeo, Wesley Clark & Peshkin

Sarah Wegener, Focus Practice Management

Law Firm Diversity

Phillips Lytle LLP

Law Firm Innovation


Leaders in Law

Kevin Clark, Wesley Clark & Peshkin LLP

Mark Funk, Monroe County Conflict Defender

F. Paul Greene, Harter Secrest & Emery LLP

Connor O'Brien, Social Security Administration

The Hon. Fatimat Reid, Monroe County Family Court

Christian Valentino, Law Offices of Pullano & Farrow PLLC

Lifetime Achievement

Harold Kurland, Ward Greenberg Heller & Reidy

Ruhi Maker, Empire Justice Center

Sharon Stiller, Abrams, Fensterman, Fensterman, Eisman, Formato, Ferrara, Wolf & Carone LLP

Michael Wolford, Bond, Schoeneck & King


Brandi Burton, Tracy Jong Law Firm

Beth Churchill, ColomboLawOffice

Amy Demanchick, Adams Leclair LLP

Marilyn Myers, Harter Secrest & Emery LLP

Carrie Schreiner, Faraci Lange LLP

Emily Short, Monroe County Public Defender's Office

Pro Bono Excellence

Maria Cubillos Reed, Cubillos Reed Law PLLC

Up and Coming Lawyers

Justin Alexander, Underberg & Kessler LLP

Iskra M. Bonanno, Harter Secrest & Emery LLP

Leigh Ann Chute, The Legal Aid Society of Rochester, NY Inc.

Erin Elmouji, Woods Oviatt Gilman LLP

Patrick Leavy, Vahey Law Offices PLLC

William Leinen, Ward Greenberg Heller & Reidy LLP

Sarah Lobe, Nixon Peabody LLP

Kinsey O'Brien, Hodgson Russ LLP

Theresa Rusnak, Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC

Laura K. Schwalbe, Harter Secrest & Emery LLP

Mallory Smith, Law Offices of Pullano & Farrow PLLC

Sarah Weigelt, Legal Assistance of Western New York Inc.

Jacob Zoghlin, The Zoghlin Group PLLC


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