Judge Gary Wilson Jr.
Born and raised on the East Side of Buffalo, NY, Judge Gary A. Wilson Jr. has dedicated his life to public service and ensuring the fair and equitable administration of the law. The son of hard working parents who stressed education and service to one’s community, Gary is devoted to improving the quality of justice to the residents of the City of Buffalo.
Gary believes that competency, capability, and compassion are the hallmarks of a great judge. Buffalo City Court needs to be a problem solving court that allows everyone to be seen as worthy of being redeemed and offered the opportunity to be restored and to restore others.
He has over a decade of experience as an attorney in Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Labor and Employment Law, Landlord Tenant Law, Corporate and Contract Law, Family Law, and Employment Discrimination. Throughout his career he has taken on a number of criminal defense cases pro-bono. This experience, in not only Buffalo City Court but a majority of the Erie County town and village courts, honed his criminal law practice skills by requiring him to manage multi-faceted challenges, utilize his ability to communicate effectively with people from all walks of life, and strengthen his effectiveness in working with participants in the judicial process.
He received his bachelor’s and masters’ degrees from Cornell University, and his Juris Doctor from the University at Buffalo School of Law. Shortly after graduating law school, Gary served as Counsel to the Buffalo Public School District where he handled an extensive caseload, including the investigation of Civil Rights matters involving protected classes, claims of race, and disability discrimination, from inception through the hearing stage. He was also instrumental in addressing the needs of special education and high needs students, pairing them with programming opportunities to achieve a quality education, and ultimately graduate.
Following his tenure at the Buffalo Public Schools, Gary returned to the University at Buffalo as Labor Relations Specialist, crafting policy on the intersection of human resources and higher education.
In 2018, County Executive Mark Poloncarz appointed Gary to serve as Commissioner of Labor Relations for Erie County. As Commissioner, Gary was the chief negotiator for the largest workforce in Erie County, as he advised management on developments within Labor Law, and represented the County at arbitration and administrative proceedings. Gary’s expertise was crucial to Erie County during the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic, as he served as the primary liaison between the bargaining units, the Department of Health, and the County Executive. In recognition for his work in the community and legal career Gary was one of the recipients of Buffalo Business First’s “40 under 40 Award” for the year 2018.
Earlier this year, Gary was appointed to the role of Buffalo City Court by Mayor Byron Brown. Due to his legal practice in many different areas, Gary brings to Buffalo City Court Judge bench a depth of understanding in the application of the law from a multifaceted perspective. Gary is uniquely qualified for the job: his vast and varied litigation experience ensures knowledge of the law; his education in resource management to focus on improved efficiency of the court; and his background and community background is an engrained reminder that human lives are always at stake.
Commissioner on the Commission of Citizens Right and Community Relations (2013-2018)
Stonewall Democrats of Western New York
Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus
Buffalo Master Chorale
Masterword ala Carte Chorus
Member of First Shiloh Baptist Church
Willing Workers public service club
First Shiloh Baptist Church Food Pantry
Queen City Softball League
Buffalo Historical Bowling League
EmbraceWNY, Board Member
Minority Bar Foundation, Director
Minority Bar Association of Western New York (MBAWNY)
Erie County Bar Association
Niagara Frontier Corporate Counsel Association
New York State Public Employee Labor Relations Association
Charles S. Desmond Inn of Court