Law Offices of Michael T. Dwan
Honest Hardworking Attorneys in Buffalo New York


Let DwanCounter work for you.

Our Law Practice prides itself on Client Satisfaction!

We are Experienced Attorneys Serving All of Western New York.

Representing a Variety of Cases. At Dwan Counter, Attorneys At Law, we handle a wide range of legal matters serving all Buffalo, New York area courts– including criminal defense, DWI defense, traffic tickets, estate planning, in rem foreclosures, and more. We will guide you through the legal process. Our attorneys have the dedication and legal experience necessary to  assure our clients make the right choices from beginning to end.





Being charged with a crime, especially for the first time, can be a traumatic event for any person.
In today's criminal justice system, the most important decision a criminal defendant will make is whether to use the Public Defender or hire an attorney of their own.

When the Judge explains to the Defendant at arraignment that "if you cannot afford a lawyer one will be appointed for you" the average person is tempted to accept the Public Defender. After all, most defendants are not wealthy, and an arrest carries significant expenses apart from an attorney's retainer (i.e. bail).
The problem is, by settling for the Public Defender, the Defendant has deprived him or herself from their best chance of walking out of Court in one piece.

The attorneys at Dwan & Counter are trial lawyers, meaning that they are capable of handling your case artfully from start to finish. More importantly, the lawyers at Dwan & Counter can tell your story, in the way it needs to be told, so that your trial ends in the result that it should.

Whether a misdemeanor or felony, a probable cause hearing or a felony jury trial, the lawyers at Dwan & Counter are your best bet.

Call today to schedule a consultation. Because our Criminal Defense practice is extremely busy, we require a fee of $100 to sit down for a consultation of approximately one hour. If you choose to hire our firm, that $100 will be applied as credit towards your retainer.

Our firm is prepared to help you in any of the following areas:

  • Drug Crimes
    Penalties for drug crimes can be very severe. These penalties vary depending on the crime committed - such as drug sales, cultivation, possession, manufacturing and trafficking - as well as the substance involved. Our New York drug crime lawyers can help you take action to protect yourself from the significant consequences of a conviction. 
  • Driving While Intoxicated
    In the state of New York, there is very little leniency for people convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI). A DWI arrest will mean two separate arenas of prosecution for the accused: criminal court proceedings and administrative hearings with the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). There are separate DWI penalties that can be administered by each of these agencies. 
  • Probation Violations
    If you have been accused of violating the terms of your probation by failing a drug test, missing a court date, failing to report to your probation officer or committing another offense, it is crucial that you retain strong defense from a seasoned Buffalo probation violation attorney from our firm as soon as possible. You may be able to avoid the setbacks of a conviction. 
  • Theft Crimes
    Theft crimes such as burglary, shoplifting, identity theft, embezzlement, possession of stolen property, and fraud can result in a variety of penalties, such as jail time and fines, including restitution fines. Some theft crimes, such as grand larceny, even carry felony penalties. Let our New York theft crime attorney defend you. 
  • Vehicle and Traffic Offenses
    If you receive three speeding or misdemeanor traffic violations within an 18-month period, then you could lose your license for a minimum of 6 months. Additionally, if you incur 11 or more traffic violations "points" within 18 months, you could face license suspension or revocation. 
  • DMV Hearings
    Non-criminal traffic violations are handled in the New York State DMV Traffic Violations Bureau (TVB). Should you plead not guilty, a DMV administrative law judge will hear your case. You have the right to be represented by a Buffalo traffic violation attorney at this hearing. 




Need high-quality real estate lawyer in Buffalo, NY? Call us.

Real estate law is highly complex. One word out of place in a contract can lead to thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses. It is necessary to ensure that your Buffalo real estate lawyer is highly skilled in all matters related to the drafting of complex contracts and that he or she is a fierce litigator. When entering into a legal contract - whether that is a lease, development partnership, purchase, sale or other type of transaction - protecting your interests should be a great concern. There can be incredible financial losses if your transaction or contracts for services or a partnership agreement is not carefully drafted. As with any type of contract, it requires great skill to ensure that every detail is correct, and that your rights and interests are fully protected. Even then, it may be necessary to seek justice through civil litigation when a breach has occurred. 

Assistance with Real Estate Transactions and Disputes

Those who are involved in real estate must take extensive measures to protect their interests. At Dwan Counter, Attorneys At Law, we are civil litigators with a deep understanding of contractual law and real estate matters, from contract creation for sales, leases and partnerships to dispute resolution.  You can be fully confident that your real estate matter will be addressed with the highest level of professionalism and legal skill. 

There is a wide scope of legal matters that could arise in any real estate transaction, including disputes with vendors, contractors, tenants, sellers or buyers. Should you require your case to be handled in civil court, you can have peace of mind in knowing that we are fierce litigators with exceptional trial skills. Whether you need help crafting a highly complex agreement regarding partnership in a real estate development or you have contractors that failed to perform, we are the firm to get in touch with. We also assist with matters such as zoning issues and violations of building codes, among other real estate-related issues.





Surplus Funds Recovery in Erie County

If your home was sold in a foreclosure action for more money than you owed at the time, you are entitled to the difference. Dwan Counter, Attorneys at Law works with clients to discover and efficiently recover surplus funds. Our office assists clients in determining what they are actually owed, as well as how to get that money as quickly as possible. 

It is stressful enough to have your home be foreclosed upon, but the fact of the matter is that many people fail to realize that they are entitled to the surplus funds from the foreclosure sale. Unfortunately, acquiring surplus funds from a foreclosure sale is not as simple as providing the Comptroller’s Office with a new address for them to send your check.

The process of recovering surplus funds in Erie County can be confusing, and time-consuming. Oftentimes, those who have experienced a foreclosure are left without any guidance whatsoever on how to proceed. Dwan Counter, Attorneys at Law has the experience to guide you through the process for the best results with no upfront cost to you.




Protect Your Loved Ones with a Comprehensive Estate Plan

At Dwan Counter, Attorneys At Law, we provide professional services for estate planning in Buffalo, as well as all of western New York. Our Buffalo estate planning attorneys have an exceptional level of insight and skill into the various methods that can be used to protect your loved ones from excessive taxation and other difficulties when you pass away. When a person unexpectedly dies in an accident, or becomes incapacitated, without a plan in place, the family is left to deal with serious problems. 


Our legal team includes a village prosecutor and former adjunct professor of law, providing us with even more insight into how wills should be properly drawn up and defended.


Families young and old should ensure that those they love are protected in every way possible. Your specific situation is unique, and you have wishes regarding how you want to have your estate distributed, as well as who you would choose to make critical medical decisions for you, should you be unable to do so. At our firm, we listen carefully to your concerns and then create an estate plan that reflects your wishes, including wills and trusts that best protect your assets for those you love.


Drafting and Defending Wills

Your will is one of the most important documents you will ever create. The distribution of your estate will be based upon your written words. Avoiding having your will contested after your death could be a concern; in any case, ensuring that your wishes are clearly stated in correct legal language could not be more important. At our firm, Dwan Counter, Attorneys At Law, we serve as counsel in all matters related to drafting wills, filing or defending against will contests, and handling other will-related issues.

The will you create will leave your estate to those you select, including:

  • Your relatives
  • People you care about
  • Organizations
  • Your church
  • Others of your choice

It also allows you to name the guardian you select to care for minor children. This is a highly serious matter that must be addressed. You do not want your unexpected death or incapacitation to cause needless suffering to your children, or to cause disputes between relatives over how your children will be cared for going forward. Your will should name the person whom you trust to manage your estate for the benefit of your children as well. It will also name your executor - that person who has the duty to ensure that your wishes are carried out.

You may have written your will many years in the past, and it is now time to review it and ensure that this legal document reflects your current wishes. Times change and you may wish to include new members of the family, such as grandchildren, as beneficiaries to your estate. We are available to review and update your will, as well as your entire estate plan. Laws change with regard to trusts and the ability to avoid excessive taxation, so an older plan may not offer you as much as it did when it was initially created.

Advanced Estate Planning: Trusts

Our Buffalo estate planning attorney is very skilled in the most advanced estate planning strategies, and in establishing the various forms of trusts that may be needed, based upon the individual situation. We can offer professional services to establish one or several trusts.

Types of trusts that can protect your estate from excessive taxation and provide for you loved ones include:

  • Charitable trusts
  • Irrevocable trusts
  • Revocable trusts
  • Living trusts
  • Supplemental needs trusts

The advantages of establishing trusts can be significant in preserving assets, and in providing for those you love upon your passing. We would like to meet with you and discuss your individual concerns and needs.

If you do not have a will and estate plan in place and you suddenly pass away, you are essentially allowing the state to become your estate planner. It is vital that you act now to ensure that your family's best interests are protected, and that there are no questions upon your death about what you would have wanted. Families can suffer a great deal of stress and even contention when a loved one becomes incapacitated and there is no directive regarding end-of-life health care. Making sure that all of your wishes are reflected in the arrangements you have made for your estate allows your loved ones to move forward without the stress and confusion of resolving your financial matters or other important matters. 

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