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, Abbott, Sugarman & Martin, LLP 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


  • Steven Sugarman has been recognized as the 2024 "Lawyer of the Year" for Mediation in Buffalo. This means that Steven has received the most votes from his peers for this year's rankings! Only the top 6% of practicing attorneys are recognized by Best Lawyers, so to be named the "Lawyer of the Year" is truly a special honor.
  • Steven has once again been recognized and will be listed in the 2023-2024 edition of Best Lawyers in America. The publication also recognized Steven this year as "Lawyer of the Year" in Buffalo in the practice area of mediation.
  • Steven Sugarman has been recognized as a 2023 Distinguished Attorney with a Very High Rating in both Legal Ability and Ethical Standards by Martindale-Hubbell.
  • Steven Sugarman has been recognized in the 2022 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. He has received this peer-nominated recognition consistently since 2005.
  • Steven Sugarman has been recognized in the 2021 Super Lawyers Magazine as a Super Lawyer for Alternative Dispute Resolution.
  • Steven Sugarman has earned the 2021 Distinguished* Very High Rating in both legal ability and ethical standards by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Steven Sugarman has earned the honor of Advanced Accredited Mediator Member, the highest-level mediator, by the New York State Council on Divorce Mediation.
  • Steven 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
  • Steven Sugarman was selected as Best Lawyers' Mediation "Lawyer of the Year" for Buffalo in 2020 in addition to 2013, 2016 and 2018.
  • Steven 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.

"My ex-wife and I have hired Steven Sugarman multiple times in the last decade. Our issues were particularly difficult and the first time we worked with him was to help settle our divorce equitably. We were so far apart on nearly every issue, I assumed this would be an exercise in futility. (Note: by this point we had been unsuccessful settling this in court for over 2.5 years). Steven's earnest desire to find "common ground," coupled with his thoughtful demeanor, ensuring each one of us "had a voice," and that we kept the children's best interest as our guide, was the key to settling our complex issues. Unfortunately we had to see him a few more times (the last time this July) as our children had grown and more issues (relocation/changing child support, etc) surfaced. Steven was again in each instance able to assist us in finding a solution we could both live it (I cannot empathize enough our issues were always complicated). Further, mediation is not cheap, but definitely a lot cheaper than court, where it really is a lose/lose outcome.

I can state with full integrity, without Steven's skillset, compassion, and sincere desire to assist us (even after hours and on weekends), we would still be wallowing through an adversarial court process.

Oh, and a huge thanks to his is paralegal, Laura. She was also outstanding to work with and very responsive. She too was easy to deal with and provided timely paperwork (emailed) depicting our mediation sessions."



Steve Sugarman and his staff were great! Got the job done with everyone feeling it was a fair process.