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William Skretny

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William Skretny
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Current Court Information:
United States District Court for the Western District of New York
Title:   Chief Judge
Position:   Seat #3
Service:
Appointed by:   George H.W. Bush
Active:   08/07/1990 - Present
Chief:   2010 - Present
Preceded by:   John Curtin
Personal History
Born:   1945
Hometown:   Buffalo, NY
Undergraduate:   Canisius College, B.A., 1966
Law School:   Howard Law, J.D., 1969
Grad. School:   Northwestern U. Law, LL.M., 1972

William M. Skretny is the Chief Judge for the United States District Court for the Western District of New York. He joined the court in 1990 after being nominated by President George H.W. Bush. In 2010, Skretny was appointed Chief Judge for the court. Prior to his federal judicial appointment, he was in private practice in Buffalo, New York.[1]

Early life and education

Skretny graduated from Canisius College with his bachelor's degree in 1966 and from Howard Law with his J.D. in 1969. Skretney also earned a Master of Laws Degree from Northwestern Law in 1972.[1]

Professional career

  • 1988-1990: Attorney, private practice
  • 1983-1988: First Deputy District Attorney, Erie County
  • 1981-1983: Attorney, private practice
  • 1975-1981: First Assistant U.S. Attorney, Western District of New York
  • 1980: Staff Attorney, Office of Special Prosecutor for the Department of Justice
  • 1979: Special Counsel, United States Attorney General's Advocacy Institute
  • 1973-1975: Assistant U.S. Attorney, Western District of New York
  • 1971-1973: Assistant U.S. Attorney, Northern District of Illinois[1]

Judicial career

Western District of New York

On the recommendation of U.S. Senator Al D'Amato, Skretny was nominated by President George Bush on June 12, 1990, to a seat vacated by John Curtin as Curtin assumed senior status. Skretny was confirmed by the Senate on August 3, 1990, on unanimous consent of the Senate and received commission on August 7, 1990. He currently serves as the Chief Judge.[2]

Notable cases

Ex-Bills employee's age discrimination claims must be arbitrated (2014)

     United States District Court for the Western District of New York (Hojnowski v. Buffalo Bills, Inc., 1:13-cv-00388-WMS)

On February 4, 2014, Chief Judge Skretny ruled that Dave Hojnowski, the former equipment manager for the Buffalo Bills, must take his age discrimination claims to an arbitrator. In the underlying case, Hojnowski, who had worked for the Bills for 35 years, filed suit against the team in April 2013, alleging he'd been improperly fired. Hojnowski alleged that adverse action was taken on his employment after his wife requested information about health insurance benefits her husband would qualify for after turning 55. He claimed he lost his job about one week later. The Bills, on the other hand, said Hojnowski retired, and filed a motion to dismiss the suit. Skretny granted that motion, and in his ruling, noted that Hojnowski's team contract with the Bills required that all legal disputes be arbitrated.[3]

New York gun control case (2013)

     United States District Court for the Western District of New York (New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, Inc. v. Andrew M. Cuomo, 13-CV-291S)

On December 31, 2013, Chief Judge Skretny was the presiding judge in a suit that was brought in response to the New York SAFE Act, a gun control law that was enacted shortly after the Sandy Hook shootings. Skretny struck down the seven round magazine limit and upheld the ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines.[4] In his ruling Skretny wrote:
Drawing from post-Heller rulings that have begun to settle the vast terra incognita left by the Supreme Court this Court finds that the challenged provisions of the SAFE Act -- including the Act's definition and regulation of assault weapons and its ban on large-capacity magazines -- further the state's important interest in public safety, and do not impermissibly infringe on Plaintiffs' Second Amendment rights. But, the seven-round limit fails the relevant test because the purported link between the ban and the State's interest is tenuous, strained and unsupported in the record.[5]

[6]

Both sides planned to appeal the ruling.[4]

See also

External links

References

Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
John Curtin
Western District of New York
1990–Current
Succeeded by:
NA
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