Three Buffalo Lawyers Walk Into a Bar …
… and the rest is “weird history”
Published in 2022 Upstate New York Super Lawyers magazine
on August 25, 2022
Updated on August 30, 2022
The whole thing started off simple enough.
In 2008, a trio of Buffalo lawyers—V. Christopher Potenza of Hurwitz Fine; Jessica Burgasser of Wilbraham, Lawler & Buba; and Scott Bizub of Law Office of Epstein & Hartford—all found themselves in Golden, Colorado, taking depositions in a case they were working on. “We each represented different defendants in a claim that a plaintiff developed cancer as a result of asbestos exposure,” Potenza says. “We all knew of each other, but at that point, we weren’t good friends or anything.”
“I actually remember very little about the case itself,” Burgasser says. “I recall that our work occurred entirely in a basement conference room of a hotel with no windows and it was pitch black and pouring at the end of the work day. I had never been to Colorado and wanted to see something other than the hotel restaurant and so I crashed Scott and Chris’ dinner.”
Dinner conversation was the usual banter, Potenza remembers. “Nothing really earth-shattering,” he says.
The lawyers kept in touch once they returned to Buffalo, so it was natural for Burgasser to reach out to her two friends a few months later with some good news: She was pregnant and having identical twins. They were born exactly a year to the day of the dinner, in 2009.
Fast forward a few years later to Potenza and Bizub catching up at a softball game between two opposing teams of lawyers. “Scott and I both had similarly aged children at that point, a toddler each,” Potenza says. “And I run into Scott and he’s with his pregnant wife, who is having identical twin girls. First we laughed about another set of twins from the Golden dinner—like, what are the odds? But then inside my head I was like, ‘Dude, this guy’s life is over. One toddler and now twins? Good luck.’”
A few months after that softball game came Potenza’s curve ball. His wife had some news. She was pregnant, and they were having identical twins.
“My first thoughts were, ‘Do I need a bigger house? Do I need a bigger car?’” Potenza says. “It was pretty scary. But knowing Scott and Jessica had already gone through it … they were a great resource.”
Burgasser’s twins are now 12; Bizub’s are 11 and Potenza’s, born in 2013, are 9.
All these years later, Burgasser is still astonished. “Three lawyers walked into a bar and the rest is weird history,” she says. “Three sets of identical twins—the odds are incredibly slim. Three in 1,000 births are identical twins, and we hit three out of three.”
The families keep in touch and the story comes up when they’re together, or even sometimes in an email out of the blue. “It’s one of those things that is just so weirdly coincidental that it’s fascinating. We joke that there must have been something in the water in Golden,” Potenza says. “I wouldn’t say it’s the stuff of local legal lore in Buffalo, but to us it sure is.”