J410

Celebrating the life and legacy of The Honorable Michael A. Telesca, dedicated public servant and devoted member of his community

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J410



Senate Resolution No. 410

BY: Senator COONEY

CELEBRATING the life and legacy of The Honorable
Michael A. Telesca, dedicated public servant and
devoted member of his community

WHEREAS, It is the custom of this Legislative Body to pay tribute to
citizens of the State of New York whose lifework and civic endeavor
served to enhance the quality of life in their communities and the great
State of New York; and

WHEREAS, The Honorable Michael Anthony Telesca of Gates, New York,
died on Thursday, March 5, 2020, at the age of 90; he was a United
States District Court Judge for the Western District of New York for
nearly four decades; and

WHEREAS, Over a long and preeminent career, Michael A. Telesca
distinguished himself and his profession, serving tirelessly in the
administration of the law, while diligently guarding over the rights of
the citizens it serves; and

WHEREAS, Born on November 25, 1929, in Rochester, New York, Michael
A. Telesca was the son of a garment worker and a United States Marine;
and

WHEREAS, Michael A. Telesca graduated with a bachelor's degree from
the University of Rochester in 1952, before attending and earning his
law degree from the University of Buffalo Law School in 1955; and

WHEREAS, After law school, Michael A. Telesca followed in his
father's footsteps and joined the United States Marine Corps; he served
his country from 1955 until 1957 during the Korean Conflict, completing
his military service with the esteemed rank of First Lieutenant; and

WHEREAS, Michael A. Telesca then entered private practice,
eventually becoming a partner with the Rochester firm Lamb, Webster,
Walz & Telesca; in 1972, he was elected a Monroe County Surrogate Court
Judge, and was a designated Justice of the New York State Supreme Court
for almost 10 years; and

WHEREAS, In 1982, Michael A. Telesca was appointed by Ronald Reagan
as a United States District Court Judge for the Western District of New
York, and was Chief Justice of that court from 1989 until 1996; and

WHEREAS, The Honorable Michael A. Telesca's motto was "Dignity In
and Dignity Out," meaning all litigants needed to be treated with
dignity and respect throughout the proceedings; and

WHEREAS, Michael A. Telesca continued as a District Court Judge,
based in Rochester, and in 1996, was appointed to the Federal Alien
Terrorist Removal Court, serving in this capacity until 2015; and

WHEREAS, In 2000, Michael A. Telesca approved an $8 million
settlement to compensate the victims and survivors of the Attica prison
riot of 1971; and


WHEREAS, Michael A. Telesca was a member of the Board of Directors
of the Federal Judicial Center, a training school for federal judges in
Washington, D.C.; the Second Circuit Judicial Council; and the Editorial
Advisory Board of the State-Federal Judicial Observer; and

WHEREAS, His commitment to excellence, and his spirit of humanity,
carried over into all fields of enterprise, including charitable and
civic endeavors; he served on numerous boards including: the Association
for Mentally Retarded Persons, National Kidney Foundation, Genesee
Hospital Foundation and the ARC of Monroe County, an advocacy group for
mentally disabled persons; he was also active with the Rochester Chapter
of the University of Buffalo Law Alumni Association and served as an
emeritus member of the Dean's Advisory Council at the Law School; and

WHEREAS, Michael A. Telesca was the recipient of a 1986
Distinguished Alumnus Award for his judicial work, and in 2001 with a
Buffalo Law Review Award, recognizing his service to both the University
of Buffalo Law School and the Western New York community; and

WHEREAS, Michael A. Telesca also received the 2006 Edwin F. Jaeckle
Award from the University at Buffalo Law School and the University at
Buffalo Law Alumni Association, the highest honor the Law School and the
Law Alumni Association can bestow; he was honored with this prestigious
award for making significant contributions to both the Law School and
the legal profession; and

WHEREAS, Michael A. Telesca's stellar reputation for fairness and
firmness was acknowledged in 2006 when the downtown home of local legal
services was renamed the Michael A. Telesca Center for Justice; and

WHEREAS, Michael A. Telesca is survived by his wife of 67 years,
Ethel Telesca; two children, Michele Telesca and Stephen Telesca; two
grandchildren, Andrea Telesca and Maria (Andrew) Loss; a sister, Mary
Schmitt; two dear family friends, Tony Zaragoza and Terri Medina; and
his long-time faithful secretary, Joan Countryman; as well as several
nieces and nephews; and

WHEREAS, A master in mediating difficult matters, Michael A. Telesca
will be remembered for his steadfast loyalty to the United States
Constitution; his innate skill in discerning resolutions when others
could not; and the ability to communicate with anyone, regardless of
their status or background; and

WHEREAS, Michael A. Telesca, who displayed many unique qualities,
lived an immensely beautiful life built on compassion, kindness, and
respect for both the position he held and for others; he will be truly
missed by all those who had the privilege and honor of knowing him; now,
therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to
celebrate the life and legacy of The Honorable Michael A. Telesca, and
to express its deepest condolences to his family; and be it further

RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be
transmitted to the family of The Honorable Michael A. Telesca.

actions

  • 24 / Feb / 2021
    • REFERRED TO FINANCE
  • 02 / Mar / 2021
    • REPORTED TO CALENDAR FOR CONSIDERATION
  • 02 / Mar / 2021
    • ADOPTED

Resolution Details

Law Section:
Resolutions, Legislative

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