Michael E. Benedict has announced his candidacy for Niagara County Court judge in 2020.
Benedict is currently the principal law clerk for Niagara County Court Judge Sara Sheldon. Prior to being selected by Sheldon for his current position, Benedict served as a lead felony attorney for the Niagara County Public Defender’s Office from 2006-16.
“I have been involved in this court system as both an advocate and an adviser to the judge. It is this broad range of legal experience that I will bring to our community to ensure justice for all,” Benedict said.
After graduating from Binghamton University, Benedict attended the University at Buffalo Law School. Upon admission to the State Bar, Benedict began his private practice where he litigated criminal, contract law, and matrimonial matters, in addition to his duties as a felony public defender. Benedict also served as deputy corporation counsel for the City of Lockport from 2012-14.
Benedict lives with his wife, Laura Miskell Benedict, and their two children in Lockport. She is a practicing attorney focusing on child advocacy and matrimonial law and is the recipient of multiple awards in those fields.
“My wife and I have dedicated our professional careers, from the beginning, to serving our community. My family is an extremely important part of my life and a huge motivational factor in my decision to seek election to Niagara County Court judge,” Benedict said.
“I have had a wide array of experiences in my legal career as an attorney and I found that my passion is in the area of criminal law. However, practicing in so many other areas of law has given me insight and an understanding as to the many ways someone’s life can be impacted by the law. I sincerely believe that the number of convictions, or acquittals, a candidate has obtained does not dictate success on the bench. Instead, it is ensuring that the laws are upheld and justice is obtained for the members of our community,” he said.
Benedict will seek the endorsement of all political parties.