Westfield Justice Announces Candidacy For Family Court Judge

Westfield resident and attorney James J. Spann has added his name to the list of Chautauqua County Family Court judge candidates.

On Thursday, Spann told The Post-Journal he is seeking the Democratic nomination. He is the third attorney to make an official announcement to run in November’s election for the new position’s 10-year term, which was created by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and announced in June.

Spann has operated a private practice in Dunkirk since his admission to the New York State Bar in 1985, with additional admissions to practice in Washington, D.C., the U.S. District Court and the Western District of New York. His primary area of practice has been in family and matrimonial law.

Furthermore, Spann has been justice and acting justice of the village of Westfield and the town of Westfield for 27 years.

“It has been an honor and privilege to serve the Westfield community as a magistrate,” Spann said. “I am now looking towards serving Chautauqua County in the position of Family Court.”

He said much of his experience lies in Family Court, as he has tried many cases in Supreme Court and Family Court regarding divorce, custody and support.

“With that and my experience as a magistrate, I think I could serve Chautauqua County admirably,” he said. “I’m passionate about families and the transition of families that are happening currently. The definition of ‘family’ is changing, and I want to help children and families.”

Spann’s community service includes memberships on the boards of Family Services of Chautauqua County, Chautauqua County Legal Services and Westfield Counseling Service.

He was listed in the 1996-97 “Who’s Who in American Law” and is a past member of the American Trial Lawyers Association and Erie County Bar Association.

He holds current memberships with the New York State Magistrates Association, Northern Chautauqua County and New York state bar associations.

Spann obtained his law degree at Cooley Law School in Michigan.

Earlier this week, local attorneys Michael J. Sullivan and Sally A. Jaroszynski announced their candidacies as well.