Meet Mike

Mike has over 15 years of experience practicing law in Niagara County. His broad range of courtroom experience spans numerous areas of civil litigation and criminal defense.

He has served as a prosecutor in town court, a criminal defense attorney, and is currently the confidential law clerk to County Court Judge Hon. Sara Sheldon. Mike is uniquely qualified to serve Niagara County as your next County Court Judge.

Mike at a Glance

  • Confidential Law Clerk to Hon. Sara Sheldon (2017-present)
  • Niagara County Public Defender’s Office (2006-2016)
  • Law Office of Michael E. Benedict (2012-2016)
  • Deputy Corporation Counsel, City of Lockport (2012-2014)
  • Seaman, Jones, Hogan & Brooks, LLP (2004-2012)
  • University at Buffalo Law School Graduate
  • SUNY Binghamton Graduate
  • Bishop Grimes Catholic High School Graduate
Mike Benedict at Desk

Mike’s Story

Mike and his wife, Laura Miskell Benedict, Esq., live in Lockport with their two children, Eric and Emmalene. Mike and Laura met at University at Buffalo Law School, and chose to live in Laura’s hometown of Lockport. Mike volunteers as a soccer coach at the Kenan Center, basketball coach the YMCA children’s league, and referee at the annual Wilson Harbor Hoops competition.

Laura’s father, Allen Miskell, Esq., is a long-time partner of the law office of Miskell & Moxham.  Her mother, Debra, is a retired teacher. Mike’s father, William Benedict, worked as a machinist for General Motors in Syracuse. His mother, Maureen, retired from the U.S. Postal Service.

The youngest of four children, Mike attended Bishop Grimes Catholic School in Syracuse. After graduating, Mike enrolled in Onondaga Community College, interned with Congressman James T. Walsh, and worked with his father at the General Motors plant. Mike ultimately transferred to Binghamton College to obtain his Bachelor’s Degree while he continued to work weekends at General Motors.

After attending University at Buffalo Law School, in 2004 Mike began his legal career with Seaman, Jones, Hogan & Brooks, LLP in Lockport. As an associate attorney, Mike assisted partners with civil litigation and appellate work, while also maintaining his own caseload of clients.  He also acted as Town Prosecutor in Hartland, and assisted with prosecutions in other municipalities.

In 2006, Mike earned a position in the Niagara Co. Public Defender’s Office, where he represented indigent clients in criminal matters. During his 10 years at the office, Mike personally represented hundreds of clients charged with felonies.

In 2012, Mike started his own law firm and also accepted a position in the City of Lockport as Deputy Corporation Counsel. In his law firm, Mike focused on civil and criminal litigation matters throughout Western New York. As Deputy Corporation Counsel, he advised various government boards and departments in the City of Lockport.

In addition to his civil litigation experience, Mike has represented clients in more than 30 criminal trials, including numerous serious felony offenses. Mike has collaborated with some of the area’s top litigation attorneys on both civil and criminal matters, and has earned the respect of his peers as an experienced litigator.

As a result of his experience and reputation, in 2017 Mike was asked by Hon. Sara Sheldon to be her confidential law clerk. Mike was honored to accept, and has worked full-time for Judge Sheldon since January of 2017. After his appointment, Judge Sheldon began presiding over a substantial number of civil cases in addition to her criminal cases. Because of his broad experience, Mike was able to seamlessly advise Judge Sheldon on all types of cases before her, including personal injury, foreclosure, matrimonial matters, article 81, and other civil proceedings. He also acts as a matrimonial referee on behalf of Judge Sheldon, where he hears cases and recommended appropriate dispositions.

Mike has a unique combination of experience in the courtroom, including as a prosecutor, defense attorney, and confidential law clerk to Hon. Sara Sheldon. It is this well-rounded resume that makes Mike the most experienced, respected, and trusted candidate for Niagara County Court Judge.

Speaking of Mike…

“I’m supporting Mike Benedict for county judge because he’s the most qualified candidate.  Mike Benedict has the experience as a deputy corporation counsel, as the law clerk to the judge he’s looking to succeed, as a former public defender, and as a former prosecutor. But that’s not the only reason I support his candidacy.  Mike Benedict has the character necessary to do what's right by the law and in the best interest of our community as Niagara County Judge. Mike Benedict deserves our trust because not only does he have the right background for this important job, but I also know him to be incredibly honest. We need Mike Benedict in the judiciary. Mike's reputation was that he listened to city employees, to department heads, to elected leaders, and compassionately applied the law while protecting Lockport’s interests. We need people with Mike Benedict’s character on the bench.  Mike is an accomplished lawyer, but he never makes anyone feel like they’re not the most important person on his schedule that day. I’ll proudly vote for Mike because Mike makes Lockport proud.”

- Michelle Roman, Lockport Mayor

Mike Benedict 2021
2020-02-24T17:46:56+00:00

- Michelle Roman, Lockport Mayor

“I’m supporting Mike Benedict for county judge because he’s the most qualified candidate.  Mike Benedict has the experience as a deputy corporation counsel, as the law clerk to the judge he’s looking to succeed, as a former public defender, and as a former prosecutor. But that’s not the only reason I support his candidacy.  Mike Benedict has the character necessary to do what's right by the law and in the best interest of our community as Niagara County Judge. Mike Benedict deserves our trust because not only does he have the right background for this important job, but I also know him to be incredibly honest. We need Mike Benedict in the judiciary. Mike's reputation was that he listened to city employees, to department heads, to elected leaders, and compassionately applied the law while protecting Lockport’s interests. We need people with Mike Benedict’s character on the bench.  Mike is an accomplished lawyer, but he never makes anyone feel like they’re not the most important person on his schedule that day. I’ll proudly vote for Mike because Mike makes Lockport proud.”
Mike and his family have been our neighbors for the past 15 years.  He is a devoted, involved father and a loving and caring husband. He is first class in all respects, and a great neighbor to boot.  To know him is to not only like him but, to find him energetic, skilled, personable, hardworking, and a successful professional as a lawyer.  His character is based on honesty, truthfulness and caring, inclusive of his professional experience in the legal field.  Mike is generous with his time to help others and is motivated to always do his best, while always remaining modest and respectful.  My wife Mary and I are proud to heartily endorse Mike’s candidacy for Judge, and sincerely recommend you do the same.

Mike and Mary Balon

Mike Benedict 2021
2020-02-03T01:08:24+00:00

Mike and Mary Balon

Mike and his family have been our neighbors for the past 15 years.  He is a devoted, involved father and a loving and caring husband. He is first class in all respects, and a great neighbor to boot.  To know him is to not only like him but, to find him energetic, skilled, personable, hardworking, and a successful professional as a lawyer.  His character is based on honesty, truthfulness and caring, inclusive of his professional experience in the legal field.  Mike is generous with his time to help others and is motivated to always do his best, while always remaining modest and respectful.  My wife Mary and I are proud to heartily endorse Mike’s candidacy for Judge, and sincerely recommend you do the same.
Mike routinely handles pre-trial conferences for Judge Sheldon for the criminal matters that are pending in her Court. In these conferences Mike can identify issues for both the prosecution and the defense. He is very well versed in the Penal Law and Criminal Procedure Law and therefore can speak intelligently to the attorneys about the various issues they are contending with. Mike makes himself available to the attorneys both during work hours as well as after to discuss the case and how he believes it should be resolved. As a practicing attorney, I am running around during the day from court to court or consulting with my clients, Mike understands the needs of attorneys and their clients and makes every effort to make himself available whenever he can to address the issues that will be coming before the Court. His dedication and work ethic will make him a wonderful Judge for this community.

Jon Ross Wilson, Esq.

Mike Benedict 2021
2020-02-19T18:03:55+00:00

Jon Ross Wilson, Esq.

Mike routinely handles pre-trial conferences for Judge Sheldon for the criminal matters that are pending in her Court. In these conferences Mike can identify issues for both the prosecution and the defense. He is very well versed in the Penal Law and Criminal Procedure Law and therefore can speak intelligently to the attorneys about the various issues they are contending with. Mike makes himself available to the attorneys both during work hours as well as after to discuss the case and how he believes it should be resolved. As a practicing attorney, I am running around during the day from court to court or consulting with my clients, Mike understands the needs of attorneys and their clients and makes every effort to make himself available whenever he can to address the issues that will be coming before the Court. His dedication and work ethic will make him a wonderful Judge for this community.
"Mike is incredibly knowledgeable about the law, even handed in his approach to cases, and always presents a calm demeanor.  All of these traits combine to make Mike a uniquely qualified candidate.  He has my full support, both as a peer and a friend!"

Brian J. Hutchison, Esq.

Mike Benedict 2021
2020-01-29T03:52:51+00:00

Brian J. Hutchison, Esq.

"Mike is incredibly knowledgeable about the law, even handed in his approach to cases, and always presents a calm demeanor.  All of these traits combine to make Mike a uniquely qualified candidate.  He has my full support, both as a peer and a friend!"

When I tried a criminal case with Mike, his experience with trial procedure, as well as the law, was quite apparent. I have also had the opportunity work with Mike in his capacity as confidential law clerk to the Honorable Sara Sheldon in both civil and criminal pre-trial conferences. Mike has shown that he is knowledgeable in the law and understands the legal process. When I have sat down with Mike and opposing counsel at pre-trial conferences, Mike has been professional, courteous and understanding of the cases. He gives each side a fair opportunity to present their case and he gives thoughtful and helpful insight into the matters which, as an attorney, enables me to realize the strengths and weaknesses of a case. I have found Mike to be fair and even handed in his application of the law. He is straight forward in the way that he handles cases and does not favor one side over the other. The willingness to listen, evaluate, and render an honest and thoughtful opinion are traits that every Judge should possess. I have had the pleasure of witnessing all of these traits first hand in my dealings with Mike Benedict.


Bob Viola, Esq., Partner at Viola, Cummings & Lindsay, LLP

Mike Benedict 2021
2020-02-06T22:00:41+00:00

Bob Viola, Esq., Partner at Viola, Cummings & Lindsay, LLP

When I tried a criminal case with Mike, his experience with trial procedure, as well as the law, was quite apparent. I have also had the opportunity work with Mike in his capacity as confidential law clerk to the Honorable Sara Sheldon in both civil and criminal pre-trial conferences. Mike has shown that he is knowledgeable in the law and understands the legal process. When I have sat down with Mike and opposing counsel at pre-trial conferences, Mike has been professional, courteous and understanding of the cases. He gives each side a fair opportunity to present their case and he gives thoughtful and helpful insight into the matters which, as an attorney, enables me to realize the strengths and weaknesses of a case. I have found Mike to be fair and even handed in his application of the law. He is straight forward in the way that he handles cases and does not favor one side over the other. The willingness to listen, evaluate, and render an honest and thoughtful opinion are traits that every Judge should possess. I have had the pleasure of witnessing all of these traits first hand in my dealings with Mike Benedict.
Mike has always been there for us whenever we have needed anything, whether it’s legal advice, a helping hand, or a kind word. He has offered us advice and guidance when we have brought up concerns, and lent his ear just to hear what was going on in our lives. He is always thinking of others and how he can help make things better for everyone around him. You can see how much he cares for his family and his community by consistently making both a priority over himself.  He is a kind, compassionate, and humble individual, a person I am proud to call my neighbor and more importantly, my friend.  I have no hesitation in telling my friends and family that Mike would make a wonderful Judge.

Nancy Adams

Mike Benedict 2021
2020-01-29T12:08:11+00:00

Nancy Adams

Mike has always been there for us whenever we have needed anything, whether it’s legal advice, a helping hand, or a kind word. He has offered us advice and guidance when we have brought up concerns, and lent his ear just to hear what was going on in our lives. He is always thinking of others and how he can help make things better for everyone around him. You can see how much he cares for his family and his community by consistently making both a priority over himself.  He is a kind, compassionate, and humble individual, a person I am proud to call my neighbor and more importantly, my friend.  I have no hesitation in telling my friends and family that Mike would make a wonderful Judge.
I have had the opportunity to appear before Mr. Benedict as law clerk for Judge Sheldon. Mr. Benedict is very professional in the way that he handles matters. He familiarizes himself with the case and is aware of the issues that are confronting the parties. Mr. Benedict always made sure that the attorneys, as well as the clients, maintained proper decorum within the Court while giving everyone the opportunity to be heard. After hearing all the information and the argument, Mr. Benedict would give his interpretation of how the law would be applied to the facts. Having him take the time to consider the situation and give his impressions to the attorneys helped tremendously. The client’s voices were heard, the attorneys’ arguments were considered, and a legal outcome was suggested. Mr. Benedict’s skill in the Court allows clients to save money by avoiding trials and resolving their disputes. I have every confidence that the skill Mr. Benedict has demonstrated in my cases will make Mr. Benedict an effective and fair Judge.

-Keith Schulefand, Esq.

Mike Benedict 2021
2020-02-24T18:55:49+00:00

-Keith Schulefand, Esq.

I have had the opportunity to appear before Mr. Benedict as law clerk for Judge Sheldon. Mr. Benedict is very professional in the way that he handles matters. He familiarizes himself with the case and is aware of the issues that are confronting the parties. Mr. Benedict always made sure that the attorneys, as well as the clients, maintained proper decorum within the Court while giving everyone the opportunity to be heard. After hearing all the information and the argument, Mr. Benedict would give his interpretation of how the law would be applied to the facts. Having him take the time to consider the situation and give his impressions to the attorneys helped tremendously. The client’s voices were heard, the attorneys’ arguments were considered, and a legal outcome was suggested. Mr. Benedict’s skill in the Court allows clients to save money by avoiding trials and resolving their disputes. I have every confidence that the skill Mr. Benedict has demonstrated in my cases will make Mr. Benedict an effective and fair Judge.
I have had the opportunity to see Mike coach, and to coach alongside him. He is dedicated to making sure that the kids have fun, but also gain knowledge, structure and discipline. I can see from the way he coaches that he realizes the impact he is having on the kids. He takes time and encourages those kids that are struggling and pushes those that he sees need motivation. He imparts upon the kids the life lessons that are most important: try your best, be honest, be kind, and you are only as successful as the work that you’re willing to put into it.  Mike has a no-nonsense approach to coaching but is also fair and understanding of what the kids are going through on a daily basis. I believe he would be the type of Judge that he is as a coach: committed to fairness, strict in his handling of matters, and understanding of people’s situations.

Mike DiTullio

Mike Benedict 2021
2020-01-29T12:06:40+00:00

Mike DiTullio

I have had the opportunity to see Mike coach, and to coach alongside him. He is dedicated to making sure that the kids have fun, but also gain knowledge, structure and discipline. I can see from the way he coaches that he realizes the impact he is having on the kids. He takes time and encourages those kids that are struggling and pushes those that he sees need motivation. He imparts upon the kids the life lessons that are most important: try your best, be honest, be kind, and you are only as successful as the work that you’re willing to put into it.  Mike has a no-nonsense approach to coaching but is also fair and understanding of what the kids are going through on a daily basis. I believe he would be the type of Judge that he is as a coach: committed to fairness, strict in his handling of matters, and understanding of people’s situations.
Family values, that is what I have seen in Mike.  I have had the opportunity to see him outside with his kids teaching them to ride bikes, throw a baseball and having a picnic on the lawn.  I enjoy talking with him and his family while they are walking their dog, or seeing them all dressed up as a family for Halloween.  It is plain to see that he takes the time to make sure his kids and wife know that they come first. Mike has a busy schedule that keeps him moving, but that doesn’t stop him from taking time for what matters most: his family. It’s one thing to say something like that but it’s another to watch it happen. I’ve been neighbors with Mike for over 15 years and his dedication to his family and his community has never wavered.  I believe Mike’s commitment to family values would be an asset to this community with him as our County Court Judge.

Ed Sandusky

Mike Benedict 2021
2020-02-03T01:10:13+00:00

Ed Sandusky

Family values, that is what I have seen in Mike.  I have had the opportunity to see him outside with his kids teaching them to ride bikes, throw a baseball and having a picnic on the lawn.  I enjoy talking with him and his family while they are walking their dog, or seeing them all dressed up as a family for Halloween.  It is plain to see that he takes the time to make sure his kids and wife know that they come first. Mike has a busy schedule that keeps him moving, but that doesn’t stop him from taking time for what matters most: his family. It’s one thing to say something like that but it’s another to watch it happen. I’ve been neighbors with Mike for over 15 years and his dedication to his family and his community has never wavered.  I believe Mike’s commitment to family values would be an asset to this community with him as our County Court Judge.
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Mike Benedict 2021