The prosecutors and support staff assigned to the Buffalo City Court Bureau and Justice Courts Bureau service the 39 local (city, town and village) courts in Erie County.
The Buffalo City Court Bureau, led by Chief Mara L. McCabe and Assistant Chief Patrick B. Shanahan, has the highest volume of cases (approximately 19,000 annually) in the District Attorney’s Office. The court is in session 365 days per year. Assistant District Attorneys must therefore be present for proceedings every day, including all weekends and holidays. Buffalo City Court is comprised of nine regular criminal parts and five specialty parts (Domestic Violence, Juvenile, Drug, Mental Health and Veteran’s Court).
Buffalo City Court prosecutors have many in-court and out-of-court duties. All cases, whether felonies or misdemeanors, must be reviewed for legal and factual sufficiency. City Court prosecutors must also direct follow-up investigation, conduct legal research, respond to motions, obtain statements from witnesses, locate and secure evidence, conduct pre-trial hearings, and take cases to trial if they cannot be resolved by a plea bargain.
Buffalo City Court Assistant Bureau Chief Patrick B. Shanahan was appointed an Assistant District Attorney in the Erie County District Attorney’s Office in 2007, after serving as an associate in the Litigation Department at the law firm of Lipsitz, Green, Scime and Cambria. During his time as a prosecutor, Mr. Shanahan has served in many bureaus, including Buffalo City Court and Domestic Violence, but has spent most of his years in Felony Trials and Tactical Prosecution fighting for justice in some of the county’s most violent crimes. Shanahan has successfully prosecuted defendants in many high profile cases, including Dontre Jones who killed a 19-year-old after shooting into a crowd on Memorial Day 2011 in Cheektowaga Town Park, Matthew Eck who shot at two Erie County Sheriff’s Deputies in 2014 during a standoff at his Town of Concord home and convicted dog burner Adel Ziegler who robbed a Canisius College student on campus. Shanahan received his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Toledo College of Law and his undergraduate degree from Mercyhurst College. Patrick is also Chief of the Community Prosecution Unit, an outreach initiative started by Acting DA Michael J. Flaherty, Jr. who believes creating partnerships between the Erie County DA’s Office and the community are critical to rebuilding public trust, restoring neighborhoods and fighting crime.