Wbasny Chapters

Melissa H. Nickson

Melissa H. Nickson

Martin P. Violante ADR Program

25 Delaware Avenue, 5th Floor, Buffalo, NY 14202-9472


Melissa Hancock Nickson is a 1997 graduate of the University at Buffalo School of Law. She also earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science, cum laude, from the University at Buffalo.

Ms. Nickson is a court attorney referee and the Civil ADR Program Administrator of the Martin P. Violante Alternative Dispute Resolution Program for the 8th Judicial District. Ms. Nickson also was the Confidential Law Clerk to New York State Supreme Court Justice Eugene F. Pigott, Jr. from 2017 until his retirement in 2018 and the Confidential Law Clerk to New York State Supreme Court Justice John M. Curran from 2004 to 2017, at the trial court and at the Appellate Division, Fourth Department. Prior to her employment with the Office of Court Administration, Ms. Nickson was an associate at Albrecht Maguire Heffern & Gregg, P.C. and Phillips Lytle LLP.

Ms. Nickson has been an active member of the WBASNY since 1997. She was President of the Western New York Chapter of WBASNY in 2003-2004 and also has served as a State Director, Local Director, JALBCA Committee Chair and Long Range Planning Committee Chair at the chapter level. Ms. Nickson also served as the co-chair for the Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Committee and on the Judiciary Committee at the State Level.

In addition to her WBASNY activities, Ms. Nickson is a member of Chief Judge DiFiore’s ADR Advisory Committee, a member of the 2004 charter class of Leadership Buffalo’s Rising Leaders, a 1999 graduate of the YWCA Institute for Public Leadership (“IPL”), a graduate of the YWCA IPL Judicial Training Program, a former director of the UB Law Alumni Association GOLD Group, a current director of the UB Law Alumni Association and co-chair of the 2019 Annual Dinner, a former director of the Bar Association of Erie County, a former deputy treasurer and treasurer for the Western New York Trial Lawyers Association. She also served as the Finance Manager of Girl Scout Troop 31126, was an assistant coach for the Girls on the Run program, and served as an attorney coach for Orchard Park’s Mock Trial team.

Ms Nickson was honored with the M. Dolores Denman Lady Justice Award from the WNY Chapter of WBASNY in 2015. She was also selected as an “Up & Coming Attorney” by the Daily Record in 2005 and was included in the Buffalo Business First and Buffalo Law Journal’s “Who’s Who in the Law” in 2003 and 2007.

Ms. Nickson has been married for 21 years to Christopher S. Nickson, Esq. They have a daughter and all three enjoy attending the theater, listening to live jazz, golfing, and traveling.