Whatever your legal service need may be - personal injury, Social Security Disability benefits, matrimonial and family law, criminal defense, mediation, wills and estates, real estate or something else - the law firm of Pusatier, Sherman, Abbott and Sugarman is here to help.

Take a moment to meet our attorneys and staff members here.

Steven R. Sugarman - Partner

Steven R. Sugarman - Partner


Practice areas:

  • Divorce and Family Law
  • Mediation of Legal and Non-Legal Disputes

Bar admissions:

  • New York, 1985
  • Federal Court, Western District of New York, 1989


  • Steve Sugarman has earned the 2021 Distinguished* Very High Rating in both legal ability and ethical standards by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Steve Sugarman has earned the honor of Advanced Accredited Mediator Member, the highest-level mediator, by the New York State Council on Divorce Mediation.
  • Steve Sugarman has been awarded a Very High Rating in Both Legal Ability and Ethical Standards Peer Review Rating for 2021 by Martindale Hubbell.
  • Steven Sugarman has been awarded a Very High Rating in Both Legal Ability and Ethical Standards Peer Review Rating 2020 and 2019 by Martindale Hubbell
  • Selected since 2010 to the present for inclusion in the national publication Best Lawyers in America
  • Selected by peers as one of the Top Ten Lawyers in Western New York in "Buffalo Business First" (2017)
  • Selected since 2008 to the present by peers for inclusion in Buffalo Business First's "Top Lawyers in Western New York" (now called "Legal Elite of WNY")
  • Selected since 2007 repeatedly to the present as an Upstate New York Superlawyer
  • BV® Distinguished™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®
  • Selected to be on Federal, State and Community mediation panels in Western New York
  • Steve Sugarman was selected as Best Lawyers' Mediation "Lawyer of the Year" for Buffalo in 2020 in addition to 2013, 2016 and 2018.
  • Steve Sugarman has earned the 2021 Distinguished* Very High Rating in both legal ability and ethical standards by Martindale-Hubbell


  • J.D., University at Buffalo School of Law, 1985
  • B.A., St. Lawrence University, 1981
  • Have undergone over 180 hours of various mediation trainings since 1995


  • Adjunct Professor at University at Buffalo School of Law -each semester teaches basic and advanced mediation courses and lawyer advocacy in mediation courses; runs law school's annual Representation in Mediation Competition; teaches and directs Mediation Clinic; Director of Alternative Dispute Resolution Program of law school's Advocacy Institute; has coached UB law students for local, regional, national and international lawyer advocacy in mediation/negotiation competitions.
  • Has conducted mediation skills trainings for NYS Judicial Institute, Bar Association of Erie County, Catholic Charities, Center for Resolution and Justice, Cornell School for Labor and Industrial Relations, and a certain labor union
  • Conducted training in collaborative law in Buffalo

Professional Associations:

  • Accredited Member, New York State Council on Divorce Mediation
  • Advanced Practitioner Member, Association for Conflict Resolution
  • Member, Bar Association of Erie County-former Chair of Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee and Matrimonial and Family Law Committee

Community Involvement:

  • Volunteer mediator for community and other disputes, Center for Resolution and Justice (1998 to the present)
  • For many years have served as volunteer attorney for victims of domestic violence at the Haven House women's shelter and for indigent clients through Volunteer Lawyer Project
  • Erie County Bar, Volunteer Arbitrator, Attorney Fee Dispute Panel (1997-present)

An attorney and trained mediator.

Like most lawyers, I entered my profession filled with idealism. I was ready to use the law to help others. After graduating from University at Buffalo School of Law and being admitted to practice law in 1985, I was not sure how I could best achieve this broad goal. I dabbled in several areas of law until I felt that I found my initial calling - helping people get through the divorce and separation process. During this deeply painful time, people are scared, distrustful and overwhelmed. I found that providing a listening ear and helping to craft a sound legal strategy to resolve issues calmed people and gave them confidence in the future.

Feeling limited by the tools that litigation gives a lawyer to help his or her client, I eventually became trained as a mediator. Acting as a neutral mediator between two disputing parties gave me the opportunity to help people negotiate a settlement without having a war. It was more personally satisfying to me to help two people in a dispute talk it out and come up with a solution that both parties could live with.

Since 1995, I have obtained extensive training in mediation and have built a large mediation practice. I have conducted thousands of hours of mediations, which resulted in satisfying outcomes for the parties.

Alternatives and choices.

Taking what I have learned in mediating hundreds of emotionally charged divorces, I expanded my mediation services into areas where the emotions surrounding the dispute can be just as high and just as much an impediment to settlement-that is, disputes involving businesses, estates (such inheritance disputes), workplace issues (such as allegations of wrongful discharge) and organizations (such as infighting leading to dysfunction). I have also built a "collaborative law" practice, which is still another alternative way for helping individuals going through a divorce, business or other dispute.

When people in a legal dispute come to our firm, we offer them a menu of legal services from which to choose. We help clients select the approach that they will most benefit from-whether that is litigation, mediation or collaborative law. I am proud to be a part of a law firm that provides clients with these choices.

Video Presentations

Please feel free to contact me for a consultation on your mediation needs, whether divorce, business or other.