Paul Beltz

2016

Distinguished Alumni

Paul Beltz, Class of 1943

Following graduation at Hamburg High School, Paul, like many of his classmates, entered the U.S. Army at age 17 serving in the Pacific Theater. He was at le Shima Airfield to witness a Japanese Delegation initiating surrender to the Allies by presenting white flags and flowers as a show of peace. Paul went on to attend St. Bonaventure University under the GI Bill, where he obtained a degree in Business Administration before obtaining his Juris Doctorate degree from Cornell Law School in 1953. In 1961, he became a partner of McDonough, Boasberg, McDonough & Beltz and then went on to found the firm Paul. William Beltz, P.C. Paul gained national recognition as an expert in trial practice and for his outstanding jury verdicts, many of which were the largest in the state at the time. He was known for his masterful courtroom skills, exhaustive preparation and daily brown bag lunches.  Recognized as a talented and compassionate trial lawyer, he was the recipient of numerous awards including inclusion in Best Lawyers in America for decades, the 2009 NYS Trial Lawyers Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding professional record, establishment of new law and as the standard-bearer for a generation of trial lawyers following in his footsteps, the 2001 Erie County Bar Association Lawyer of the Year Award, and the 2005 St. Bonaventure Gaudete Medal recognizing his “professional record second to none,” and his continuous philanthropic support of both educational and cultural institutions in the WNY community. He established the Paul W. Beltz Gallery at St. Bonaventure, the Paul William Beltz Family Art Gallery and recording studio at Villa Maria College as well as educational scholarships at both St. Bonaventure University and Cornell Law School. He was also active with the Bishops Lay Advisory Committee, the Cornell Law School Advisory Committee and Catholic Charities. True to his humble character and having never forgotten where he came from, he also generously and quietly funded the education of many local students who were similarly hard working, but lacked financial resources for obtaining higher educations. Paul’s proudest moment was when he moved in 2001 for the admission of eleven family members, including all of his six children, to the U.S. Supreme Court establishing a new record in the annuls of the Court.