The people on this list help their clients resolve complex legal matters that often have dire consequences for their financial well-being, whether the client is a business or an individual. These attorneys have also had to adjust to new ways of practicing law as a result of changes throughout the judicial system during and following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mark Anthony Costello
By: Daily Record Staff//November 9, 2023//
Partner, Boylan Code LLP
Years in current role: 37
What do you enjoy most about your position?
I think people who become lawyers have a fierce love for independence, which is why it is difficult to herd us. It’s not like we’re all a bunch of Ruby Ridge-militia-secede-from-the-world-type folks, but we value the illusion that we chose our paths and have some control over our lives. Ironically, the fierceness of our independence often is undermined by a slavish devotion to our work. That said, you reach a point in your career where you’re doing something because you want to, not because you have to do it.
What is one thing you hope to accomplish before the end of the year?
Survive! It’s been a challenging year with ungodly hours.
What are the biggest current challenges facing litigators?
With the world at their fingertips via the internet, many clients are well-informed. You always need to know more than your client, so the expectation is that attorneys are as up to date and current as possible; you clearly need to know more than ChatGPT. So even if you work long hours, you also need to keep abreast of all new laws, rules and decisions. (That’s always been the case, but technology adds greater urgency.) Also, with modern technology, clients also expect you to be available 24/7, though some will allow you to sleep for up to three hours each night. The challenge is to set boundaries and expectations and to give yourself time to turn off your mind, relax and float downstream, as John Lennon once sang.
What do you think the biggest change in your practice area will be over the next 3-5 years?
I think the way in which we utilize, adapt to and leverage technology will be key. Knowing which technology to acquire and how to use it so that it saves time and enhances your productivity is the way of the world. Our office got a document system that I periodically cuss about but I’m sticking with it; the jury is still out on whether it wastes time or saves time, but it has spectacularly enhanced my prodigious vocabulary of expletives.
What do you enjoy most about practicing law in the Rochester area?
Rochester is small enough that you get to know many of the attorneys who will be on the other side of the table from you and sometimes on the same side as you, so it’s imperative — and much more enjoyable — for you to maintain a cordial relationship with them.