Diane Martin-Grande, the oldest of four (4) children born to Jane Ann (Williams) and Fred E. Martin, grew up in Whitesboro, New York. She attended local schools and graduated from Notre Dame High School in 1980. She received a bachelor's degree in history (cum laude) from Siena College and was honored for the highest academic average in her major. Diane spent a year as a graduate student on scholarship studying Soviet History at Boston College before taking time off to reassess her career direction.
Believing that the study of law would enable her to be more actively engaged in the world, Diane entered Syracuse University College of Law in 1987, always holding 1-2 jobs while she attended school. She graduated with a juris doctorate degree in 1990 and was admitted to practice law in New York State in April 1991. She is admitted to practice before all New York State Courts, as well as the United States Supreme Court, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States District Courts for the Northern and Western Districts of New York.
Diane's first job as an attorney was as an Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Rome, New York. In 1992, Mayor Joseph Griffo and members of the Common Council amended the Rome City Charter to enable her to become the first woman – and to date the only woman – to serve as Corporation Counsel. While working for the City of Rome, Diane represented the city in all of its legal matters.
In 1996, she accepted a position as a litigator with the law firm of Saperston & Day, PC, in Syracuse, New York, rising to the position of partner in that firm and at Hiscock & Barclay when the two firms merged. The birth of Diane's first child brought new responsibilities, demands and joys, prompting her to resign her partnership and establish her own solo practice in Rome in 2002. Since that time, her practice has focused largely on family and matrimonial law, contracts, real estate, civil litigation and general practice. In 2007, Diane returned to her former position as Corporation Counsel for the City of Rome on a part-time basis under the leadership of Mayor Jim Brown and remained there until December 2011.
In addition to her busy private practice, Diane has worked as an attorney for the child (formerly known as a "law guardian") since 2005, representing children in NYS Family Court and in NYS Supreme Court. She accepts clients from the Oneida County Public Defender's Office Assigned Counsel Program, and represents matrimonial clients through the Legal Aid Society of Mid-York, Inc., pro bono program. As a member of the Hague Convention Attorney Network, Diane also represents parents in international child custody and child abduction cases on referrals from the United States Department of State.
In 2010, Diane was recognized by the NYS Appellate Division – 4th Department in Rochester as a recipient of the Michael F. Dillon Award, given each year to attorneys for the children in recognition of their advocacy on behalf of children. The Attorney for the Children Program provides representation to minor children in court matters such as juvenile delinquency, custody and visitation, and child protective proceedings. The Peacemaker Program honored Diane with a similar recognition as Attorney for the Child of the Year in 2010. In 2011, the YWCA recognized her for her work as an attorney in their annual Salute to Women.