Hon. Mark A. Montour seeks state court post

Hon. Mark A. Montour is a fourth generation Western New Yorker, a private attorney, and a Town Justice who has deep roots in hard work, public service and accountability. He is seeking election as a New York state Supreme Court justice.

Montour was elected town justice for the town of Lancaster in November 2007. Prior to becoming town justice, he served for twelve years as a Lancaster town councilman. In addition to his post as a Lancaster town Justice, Montour also serves as an acting judge in the cities of Buffalo and Batavia. Justice Montour’s history of participation at the local level of government illustrates his commitment to the people of Western New York.

One example of this commitment can be seen in Montour’s initiation of a drug diversion court in the town of Lancaster. The court is known as the Lancaster Problem Solving Court. This court is designed to assist individuals who suffer from drug abuse or dependency issues that lead to interaction with the criminal justice system. The Problem Solving Court targets youth between the ages of 17 and 19 who are first time misdemeanor offenders displaying serious drug abuse problems.

Each participant benefits from the supervision of Montour, who personally oversees the treatment and progress of each Problem Solving Court member. Before graduating from the Problem Solving Court, a participant must be drug free for one year. Upon graduation, participants are not only free from their drug addictions, but are also employed, attending school and have their criminal records cleared. The Problem Solving Court provides participants a unique opportunity to properly address dangerous drug addictions in a supportive environment. This program represents one of Montour’s many efforts to creatively and effectively address issues facing Lancaster’s youth. The success of this program is illustrated by the fact that in the past 6 years, 31 participants have graduated from the Problem Solving Court and now lead healthy, productive, drug free lives.

Montour’s legal career began when he graduated from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law and Jurisprudence in 1983; prior to law school, he obtained a bachelor of arts degree from Canisius College in 1980.

For more than 30 years, Montour has served as an attorney in private practice. Currently, Montour practices as a sole practitioner with a law office in Elma, where he specializes in a wide field of laws including criminal defense; real estate transactions; civil contracts; wills, trusts and estates; and American Indian law.

Montour’s status as an enrolled member of the St. Regis Mohawk tribe inspires his dedication to the Native American communities of Western New York. For the past 20 years, Montour has served American Indian clients in the courtroom and in the community. Whether defending Native American clients from criminal charges, advising the Seneca Surrogates Court on estate matters, or helping establish Native American owned businesses, Montour’s commitment to Native American communities runs deep. His pro bono service throughout the years has not only protected Native Americans’ civil liberties but has also provided valuable legal counsel to scores of American Indians.

If elected to the New York State Supreme Court, Montour would represent the first Native American to hold a state court position, providing a voice for countless American Indians across Western New York.

Montour’s roots run deep in Western New York. The son of a Buffalo autoworker, Montour grew up in the town of Tonawanda, where he learned the value of integrity and hard work. He currently lives in the town of Lancaster, where he has lived for the past 25 years. He has a wife, Michele, and two college-aged children, Kyle (24), is a second year law student at the University of Denver and, Cameron (22), is a senior at Le Moyne College in Syracuse.

Montour is a member of the Erie County Bar Association, New York State Bar Association, Florida Bar Association, Minority Bar Association of Western New York, Erie County Magistrates Association and the New York State Magistrates Association.

Justice Montour has also accrued considerable recognition for his service to the community. For example, Justice Montour received the “National Conference of Christians and Jews Brotherhood/Sisterhood” award for legal service to the minority Native American community, was named to the Business First “Who’s Who in Law” in 2006, was inducted into the Town of Lancaster Youth Bureau “Hall of Fame” in 2007 and received the “Jurist of the Year” award from the Judges and Police Conference of Erie County in 2010.

If elected to the New York State Supreme Court, Montour vows to commit his extensive legal background and experience serving the many communities of Western New York to ensure “justice for all.”