The Civil Division defends lawsuits brought against the United States, such as constitutional torts, medical malpractice, negligence claims, defense of federal programs and agency decisions, employment discrimination, immigration, social security, and bankruptcy. In addition, the Civil Division brings affirmative civil rights actions.
Mary E. Fleming is the Civil Chief and has held the title for nearly twenty-seven years. Ms. Fleming was an Assistant District Attorney for one year in 1985-86. She then worked as an associate in the law firms of Moot & Sprague and Lustig & Brown practicing in the area of insurance defense. In 1988, Ms. Fleming was appointed as an Assistant County Attorney and served in this position until 1993, when she became Second Assistant County Attorney with supervisory responsibilities. As an Assistant County Attorney, Ms. Fleming was responsible for civil defense litigation for the self-insured County of Erie. As the Second Assistant County Attorney, Ms. Fleming was responsible for supervising attorneys who were conducting the civil defense litigation in the office. In 1994, she was appointed as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Civil Division. In 1995, she was promoted to Civil Chief. From 2005-2010 and from 2020 to 2022, Ms. Fleming served on the Civil Chiefs Working Group which explores and attempts to resolve civil issues affecting the various U.S. Attorney’s Offices.
The Civil Division is comprised of five AUSAs in the Buffalo Office and one in the Rochester Office. AUSA Mary K. Roach is the civil Senior Litigation Counsel and organizes office-wide legal training one to two times per year, assigns mentoring relationships, and ensures that mandatory training on professionalism, ethics, sexual harassment, etc. is conducted on an annual basis.