Partner Kristen B. Degnan and Paralegal Bobbie Jo Keller obtained trial verdict of no cause of action in the Batavia case of Failing v. Castner. The plaintiff alleged injuries stemming from a motor vehicle accident due to white out conditions. Plaintiff was initially involved in a one car roll over accident. A good Samaritan off duty EMT stopped to assist and placed plaintiff in the backseat of his vehicle, parked on the side of the road. White out conditions continued when defendant driver then struck the parked vehicle head on. Plaintiff alleged her injuries all resulted from the second accident. After a summary jury trial, the jury returned a verdict of no cause, finding that defendant driver was not negligent under the circumstances.


Jacquelyn (Jackie) Baumann, Administrative/Legal Assistant to one of the Managing Partners and the Senior Trial Attorney, has been employed with Brown & Kelly for 33 years.

Some of Jackie’s regular job duties include:  preparing and processing Supreme and Federal Court documents and correspondence; providing assistance to attorneys for court appearances and depositions; organizing attorneys’ discovery and medical records; monitoring various legal websites; performing internet research including filing procedures; and serving as the legal events coordinator for extracurricular attorney activities.  “I am always willing to help with any phase of a project in the office. Team work is vital and I feel we are an effective team.”

Jackie is a graduate of John F. Kennedy High School and Bryant & Stratton College (Administrative/Legal Assistant Associate’s Degree). “I have always been drawn to the legal field,” Jackie says. “I feel a sense of pride and satisfaction when I know we have helped someone.”

In her spare time, she likes to play general/music trivia with her husband, Bob; gardening; baking; reading/watching Jane Austin fiction; Adventure fiction and Adult Science fiction; and enjoys the company of people who have a good sense of humor and can make her laugh.

Fun Facts You May or May Not Know About Jackie:

1.  My sister and I share a birthday but are 6 years apart in age.

      2.  I was named after Ms. America 1963, Jacquelyn Mayer.

      3.  I went to Bryant & Stratton with the intention of studying Travel and Tourism to become a travel agent, but changed my mind at the last minute.

      4.  A few of my favorite travel destinations have been: Hawaii, England, Jamaica, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, Cayman Islands and will be traveling to Alaska in the near future.

      5.   Bucket List Item: A 2 week Viking River Cruise through Europe.

      6.  Favorite food: poutine. (French fries with gravy and cheese curds. Thank you Canada!!)

      7.  Favorite things about living in Buffalo are: summer festivals, Shakespeare in Delaware Park, the Transit Drive-In, and the fall colors.

      8.  Favorite cocktail: BBC/Havanas and Bananas at Margaritaville.

      9.  Favorite restaurant: P.F. Chang’s.

      10. Favorite Movie: Pride and Prejudice

      11. Favorite TV Show: Game of Thrones (Hail Jon Snow, King of the North!!)


“Friends are like snowflakes…all different and all beautiful.” – Author Unknown“To be rich in family and friends is to be poor in nothing.”   – A take on a Lilian Whiting quote           


Donna Fial is the Office Coordinator at Brown & Kelly LLP.  Donna has a diversified role in the office and no day is like any other.  Her duties include (but are not limited to):  overseeing the filing system, opening and closing files, reception coverage, filing documents with the various courts, making general deliveries, monitoring and ordering office and kitchen supplies, making copies and scanning documents as needed, assisting in the organization of medical records and providing assistance to the Controller/Office Manager. 

“I’m an early bird, so I like to get in the office first thing in the morning, and get a heads up on the day.” Mrs. Fial says. “I don’t sit at my desk all day, and that is what I enjoy most about my job. Working as a team is important, and if you can help someone with a project, it truly makes for a better work environment.”

Donna graduated from Villa Maria High School with a Business/Office Studies Major.

In August of 2017, Mrs. Fial will be celebrating 35 years at Brown & Kelly.  Mrs. Fial remembers, “I had no office or legal experience of any kind, and am grateful for the chance Brown & Kelly gave me.”

In her spare time, Mrs. Fial enjoys spending time going to antiques markets with her husband Mark, gardening, reading, and spoiling her dog Lucky.

Brown & Kelly is honored to have such a loyal employee as part of its firm, team and family.  She is the epitome of dedication.       

“10 Things” with Donna Fial:

1. If you could have any other profession than working in an office, what would it be? I love going to antique markets and gift shops, so I would love to own my own shop with lots of Kitschy Items

2. Pet? 1 dog Lucky (a mix breed Chihuahua/terrier from the Buffalo Animal Shelter)

3. Bucket List Wish? I’d love to get an RV and see the entire United States with my husband. No Thruways or expensive hotels, just the real sites and roads.

4. Favorite Place you’ve ever visited? Disney World

5. Worst subject in High School? Math

6. Favorite restaurant in Buffalo? La Bella Sicilia

7. Place you’d most like to visit? Germany (I would like to see what is called the Christkindlmarket- this is a shopping market held in Germany for the holiday season)

8. Favorite Food? French Fries & Gravy

9. Favorite thing about living in Buffalo?   The People (we are truly the “City of Good Neighbors”

10. Least favorite thing about living in Buffalo? Shoveling Snow.


Brown & Kelly participated in the Lawyers for Learning Bowling Tournament May 19, 2016. The Men’s team brought home the Male Team High Series win!!! They had a combined (2 game) score of 1428. Steve Parrish had the high game score of 207. 
A special thank you to the participants: Sue Yerkey, Paul Yerkey, Dawn Lindner, Dominic Driscoll, Teresa Cleary, Paul Callahan, Bobbie Jo Keller, Jake Keller, Renata Kowalczuk, and Steve Parrish.


On Wednesday, January 27, 2016, Managing Partner Kenneth A, Krajewski attended the Annual Joint Dinner for the Torts, Insurance & Compensation Law (TICL) and Trial Lawyers sections of the New York State Bar Association. As Vice Chair of TICL, Mr. Krajewski presented the outgoing Chair, Mirna Santiago, with a plaque in recognition of her service to the organization.
Pictured left to right TICL Members: Mirna Santiago, Chair; Kenneth A. Krajewski, Vice Chair; Brendan Baynes, Treasurer; Gary Cusano, Annual Meeting Co-Chair; Leslie McMillan, Annual Meeting Co-Chair; and Rob Coughlin, Immediate Past Chair.

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