In Memory of David Jay

1939 – 2010

David Jay, Hope’s father, was one of the most renowned and well-respected attorneys to practice in Western New York. In his more than 40 years as a lawyer, he litigated and won numerous significant cases in various courts including the New York State Court of Appeals (the state’s highest court) and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. A great number of these cases involved unpopular or controversial clients and issues.

Although he never sought notoriety, his earnest determination to provide every client with the best representation possible resulted in a reputation that preceded him. During his career, he was honored with numerous accolades, but perhaps none more noteworthy or humbling than the 2009 Bar Association of Erie County (BAEC) Lawyer of the Year Award.

In considering David Jay for the award, the BAEC award committee noted:

The dozens and dozens of comments on the quality of his work as a lawyer, his willingness to handle the most difficult cases and the most difficult clients, his consistent professionalism and courtesy in handling all of these matters without sacrificing the interests of his clients and his consistent willingness to help other lawyers seeking advice from him.

Members of the committee described the outpouring of support for Jay among the legal community as “staggering.”

But as formidable an adversary as he was in the courtroom, David was well regarded by his colleagues and even among prosecutors as an ethical practitioner and ardent defender of the law. He always kept his word and he always maintained civility and courtesy with the opposing counsel.

David Jay passed away in 2010, but will be remembered by legions of attorneys and countless defendants for his passionate pursuit of justice. And he’ll be remembered by his family and friends as simply David or Dad – a man of integrity and ethics who believed that doing your best for what you know is right should be your life’s mission.