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Legal slugger will advise Cuomo on Bills status

By Tim Graham

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is bringing in a veteran sports attorney to help him protect the Buffalo Bills as a local institution.

Irwin Raij, a partner with Foley and Lardner LLP in Washington D.C., has an impressive Major League Baseball resume that shows he knows sports leagues and stadiums. He will advise Cuomo's office on efforts to keep the Bills in Western New York.

"I am very much looking forward to the opportunity to collaborate closely with the State of New York on an issue that carries both emotional and economic implications among many residents," Raij said in a statement released by Cuomo's office. "Throughout this process, I plan to leverage my and the firm's collective experience on these complex and evolving issues in order to find a solution that helps keep the Bills in Buffalo."

He represented Major League Baseball in its relocation of the Montreal Expos and the building of a D.C. stadium. Commissioner Bud Selig appointed him to a committee that researched the feasibility of a new Oakland A's stadium.

Raij also represented Magic Johnson's group (Guggenheim Baseball Management) that recently purchased the Los Angeles Dodgers and Nolan Ryan's group (Rangers Baseball Express) when it bought the Texas Rangers.

Raij does have some NFL experience. He advises the Miami Dolphins on development in and around SunLife Stadium.

He also was co-counsel for the Gore/Lieberman presidential campaign and served as an attorney for the White House Office of Counsel to the President and associate counsel in the White House Office of Counsel to the Vice President.

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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |