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SarahO'Brien

Associate

"I strive to provide effective, practical, and results-oriented legal strategies by ensuring I have a true understanding of my clients' challenges and ultimate goal."

Overview

Biography

Sarah concentrates her practice on state and federal commercial litigation matters involving a variety of business disputes, including breach of contract, shareholder disputes, corporate fraud, noncompete, business tort, and business divorce matters, across a wide range of industries. Sarah also handles commercial construction and surety matters, routinely representing construction companies, including general contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers, in contract disputes and other lien matters. Sarah's experience also includes representing clients in securities and other complex financial products litigation as well as data protection, privacy, and other cybersecurity matters.

In addition to her own practice, Sarah is a member of the firm's Associate Integration Committee and the Buffalo office Diversity Leadership Team. 

Bar Associations

  • New York State Bar Association
  • Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York

Selected Memberships & Affiliations

  • Barclay Damon’s Women’s Forum
  • Women Lawyers of Western New York
Experience

Representative Experience

  • Assisted with successfully obtaining the dismissal of a corporate fraud and breach of fiduciary duty action on behalf of a client facing $10 million in damages. 
  • Assisted with successfully appealing a decision on behalf of a defaulting commercial tenant who stopped paying rent during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Was part of the team that obtained critical injunctive relief for two New York State care-coordination organizations in an emergency arbitration hearing involving an uncooperative enterprise risk management platform vendor threatening to cut off system access and potentially disrupting the continuity of care of over 35,000 disabled New Yorkers.
  • Helped negotiate a favorable settlement on behalf of a not-for-profit client in a CPLR Article 77 trust proceeding involving a dispute with a Florida hedge fund that owned $60 million in outstanding bonds in connection with a student-loan securitization. 
  • Was a member of the team that successfully obtained relief for an architectural client on a performance bond after its subcontractor defaulted in performance and the surety disclaimed liability based on the failure to comply with the express written terms of the bond.
  • Assisted with successfully defending a motion for summary judgment on behalf of a material supplier for a complex construction project. The team also obtained a favorable decision on cross-motion for summary judgment against the surety defendant.
  • Provided pro bono counsel to an inmate-plaintiff in a civil-rights matter.

Prior Experience

  • Barclay Damon, LLP, Summer Associate
  • New Era Cap Co., Inc., Law Clerk
  • Erie County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project, Inc., Extern

Judicial Clerkships

  • NYS Appellate Court, Judge Eugene Fahey

Selected Community Activities

  • Spirited Athletes Bold at Heart (SABAH), Board Member

Selected Honors

  • The Best Lawyers in America®: Ones to Watch: Commercial Litigation, 2021–2022
  • US District Court for the Western District of New York, Pro Bono Honor Roll, 2021
  • Selected to Super Lawyers Upstate New York Rising Stars: Business Litigation, 2020–2021
  • Buffalo Business First, 30 Under 30, 2020
  • New York State Bar Association, Empire State Counsel Honoree, 2018

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