James M. O’Keefe

Car Accident Lawyer

James M. O'Keefe

Attorney James M. O’Keefe is the youngest of six children in a family of eight. He attended Liverpool High School where he served as the captain of the wrestling team during his senior year.

James attended Niagara University for his undergraduate education. During his time at Niagara, James learned about the Vincentian mission of dedicated service to the poor that included volunteer work at local schools, and assistance with a prison literacy program. In 2000, he earned his bachelor of arts degree in English with a minor in education. James spent a summer teaching conversational English and North American culture to Polish, Russian, and Ukrainian students in Krakow, Poland. James often displays his pride around the office in being a Purple Eagle with his wide collection of purple ties.

After graduating for Niagara University, James worked for a small family business operated by his brother for several years.  James learned a great deal about hard work, a responsibility to customers, and a commitment to improvement in his work performance year over year, while working for his brother. James also served as wrestling official for a few years with the Syracuse Wrestling Officials Association before he moved to Buffalo to attend law school.

James moved to Buffalo in 2004 to begin his legal studies at the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law. He was one of eight first year students selected to represent UB Law at the Fasken Martineau international law moot court competition in Toronto, Canada. James engaged in numerous appellate advocacy competitions and a trial team competition while in law school. He was a finalist in the Desmond Moot Court Competition during the fall semester of his second year of law school, while also competing in the Buffalo-Niagara Mock Trial Competition and working as a law clerk during that same semester. James competed with fellow classmates at the Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition in New York City where he placed in the top 15% of the individual competitors for their performance in appellate advocacy.

James and his wife became parents between his second and third year of law school. While attending law school and working as a law clerk kept James satisfied with the trajectory of his education and career, it was when he learned that was to be a father and when he actually became a father that James’s determination, work ethic, and focus were unleashed. James set himself into steadfast motion to work harder, to reach higher, and to achieve more now that he had an obligation to someone other than himself.

James graduated from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law in 2007. He was named to the Order of Barristers, which is the national honorary organization for United States law schools for excellence in oral advocacy and brief writing skills. James passed the New York State bar examination in the summer of 2007, and was admitted to practice law in the State of New York in February, 2008. James also is admitted to practice law in the United States District Court for the Western District of New York, and the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of New York.

James is passionate about UB Law School. He served on the board of directors for the Graduates of the Last Decade (GOLD) group, and is a past-president of the GOLD Group. James is a lifetime member of the UB Law Alumni Association. He currently serves on the UB Law Alumni association as an officer.

James joined the Law Offices of William Mattar in 2011. For eight years, James has dedicated his practice to serving individuals who suffered personal injuries. The vast majority of the cases handled by James are related to motor vehicle accidents. However, James also has experience handling injury claims related to premises liability, dog bites, unsafe food, and other general negligence. Every day that James comes to the office, he tries to be the lawyer he would want for himself if he was injured and did not know what to do.

Before joining the Law Offices of William Mattar in 2011, James worked as a law clerk for two summers during law school with the plaintiff’s personal injury firm Andrews, Bernstein & Maranto, LLP.  After graduation, James was an associate for approximately three years with Rupp, Baase, Pfalzgraf, Cunningham & Coppola, LLC where he focused his practice on first party insurance law and subrogation claims.  He then worked for a year with Gibson, McAskill & Crosby, LLP practicing in various areas of defense litigation.

James’s favorite legal quote:

“Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.”

Louis Brandeis, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court 1916-1939

Practice Areas:

Education

  • Niagara University (B.A.), 2000
  • SUNY Buffalo Law School (J.D.), 2007
    • Order of Barristers

Bar Admissions

  • New York State, 2008
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of New York, 2008
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of New York, 2008

Professional Associations & Memberships

  • New York State Bar Association
  • Bar Association of Erie County
  • SUNY Buffalo Law School Alumni Association Board of Directors
  • SUNY Buffalo Law School Graduates of the Last Decade (GOLD) Group, and Former President
  • SUNY Buffalo Law School Education Committee, Co-Chair

Community Involvement

  • Southtowns Family YMCA, Volunteer Boxing Instructor
  • Super Lawyers Upstate New York Rising Star 2013 – 2017