The Director of Training oversees legal training for the District Attorney’s Office from the newest member of the Office to its most experienced prosecutor. An Assistant District Attorney’s training begins before their first day in the office and continues throughout their career. Newly hired assistants are first assigned a mentor from within the office to support them throughout their career. Also, assistants in the City Court and Justice Court Bureaus meet for bimonthly trainings, which focus on legal issues that will form the base for a successful career as a prosecutor.
An assistant assigned to one of the Felony Trials Bureaus receives weekly training on the proper handling of a felony case through the criminal justice system, from arrest through trial. The Director of Training also ensures that each felony trial assistant sit as a second chair to an experienced prosecutor on varied trials and that each new felony trial assistant obtain a second chair for their trials. The goal of this training program is to ensure that each assistant district attorney obtains an adequate competency level of criminal law and procedure so that the public’s interests are best met.
As Director of Training, Assistant District Attorney Mr. Paul C. Parisi also serves on the Office’s Continuing Legal Education Board, which provides in-house legal training for the entire office.
Michael J. Flaherty, Jr. established this program when he took over as Acting District Attorney in January 2016 to focus the Office’s efforts on the training and retention of Assistant District Attorneys. Acting DA Flaherty believes that the public is best served by well-trained and experienced prosecutors who have a strong support network from their peers.
Paul C. Parisi, Director of Training, is a graduate of SUNY Geneseo and the SUNY Buffalo Law School. He began his career as an Assistant District Attorney in Bronx County where he prosecuted cases involving juvenile offenders in both Family and Supreme Courts, together with general felonies and vehicular homicides. In 2009, he returned to Erie County to continue his career as a prosecutor of violent felonies. Throughout his career, he has prosecuted many cases like Art Swain, Jr., the “Zip-Tie Bandit”, who conducted a series of gun point robberies of local businesses in 2010, Errol Fowler-Graham, who forcibly kidnapped two young females to facilitate a robbery, Todd Heatley, who killed a young man at a Halloween party, Sean Austin and Maurice Howie, who perpetrated numerous gun point robberies of cab drivers and pizza delivery drivers culminating in the murder of a cab driver in March of 2013. Mr. Parisi has been a prosecutor for more than nine years and has lectured for the New York Prosecutor’s Training Institute, the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services and trained police agencies throughout New York State.