James Bennett is Bennett Schechter’s senior partner. Mr. Bennett practices in the areas of corporate, commercial real estate, construction, and commercial law. Early in his legal career, Mr. Bennett served as assistant corporate counsel to a Fortune 500 Corporation. He then returned to Buffalo and founded the Watson Bennett firm where he has practiced until 2013, upon creation of Bennett Schechter Arcuri & Will LLP.
Presently, Mr. Bennett represents several developers/contractors and construction related companies. In addition to projects in other locales, he has participated in some of the most meaningful commercial construction projects in recent years in Western New York.
Through these, and the myriad of other commercial/construction projects on which he has worked, Mr. Bennett has developed an extensive background in all phases of the construction process, including site acquisition, site development, financing (construction and permanent and taxable and tax-exempt) of all types and descriptions, municipal bond, industrial development agency, construction, employment and other project issues.
Mr. Bennett also represents many Western New York closely held entities that are quite diverse, including those involved in construction, manufacturing, research and development, information technology, retail, medical and other service providers. Also involved in that representation is business succession planning.
For many years, Mr. Bennett has also worked in the banking area. His initial experience was in the revolving credit area, and also in the direct and indirect financing, floor plan and commercial mortgage realm. It evolved from consumer credit agreement drafting to work-outs, commercial foreclosures and lending transactions, including construction lending.
Mr. Bennett has lectured often over the years on many aspects of commercial and corporate law. He chaired the Professional Continuity Committee of the Erie County Bar Association for many years.
Community service has always been very important to Mr. Bennett. He is a past President and Director of the Williamsville Lions Club and a recipient of the Robert J. Uplinger Distinguished Service Award by Lions International. Recognizing community need, Mr. Bennett became one of the founding directors of the Family Promise of Western New York, a homeless shelter. He has served as President of that organization and continues to serve as a director. He currently serves as a director for the Clarence Chamber of Commerce and the Clarence High School Academy of Business and Finance. In addition to these community endeavors, Mr. Bennett is a past President of Brookfield Country Club.
Mr. Bennett is a Martindale-Hubbell AV rated attorney.
Education & Military Service:
- The Ohio State University, J.D., 1971
- Bowling Green State University, B.S., 1965
- U.S. Army, Captain, 1965-1968
Admitted to Practice:
- United States District Court, Western District of New York
- State of New York, 1972
- State of Ohio, 1971
Civic & Professional Memberships:
- New York State Bar Association
- Member, Business Law Section
- Erie County Bar Association
- Member, Commercial Law Committee, 1985-present
- Former Chairman, Professional Continuity Committee
- Corporate & Business Law
- Banking & Commercial Transactions
- Real Estate Development & Construction
- Business Succession and Planning
Direct Phone Number: (716)242-8102