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 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…
- Michelle Roman, Lockport Mayor
Mike and Mary Balon
Jon Ross Wilson, Esq.
Brian J. Hutchison, Esq.
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
-Keith Schulefand, Esq.