Owner, Cellino Law
Years in current role: 35
What do you enjoy most about practicing personal injury law?
Representing real people, not corporations or insurance companies, makes the practice of law enjoyable for me. It may sound cliché, but it gives me a sense of pride to help those who are defenseless against the large companies that are not fairly compensating injury victims. As personal injury attorneys, we help to level the playing field so that the “little guy” can stand up to these large corporate interests and receive the compensation they deserve. In many ways, it actually makes me feel like a modern-day Robin Hood — we take from the rich and deliver to those in need.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve dealt with over the past year?
The firm and our clients have definitely felt the effects of COVID-19. Without the court system up, running and aggressively trying our clients’ cases, insurance companies and corporations have no pressure to resolve any pending cases they have open. Essentially, these businesses will opt to hold onto their money as long as possible before they will attempt to resolve a case.
What do you see as the biggest changes in the legal industry in the next 3-5 years?
Like any other industry out there, the legal industry will need to keep up with all of the technological advances that have been happening at breakneck speed. Clients are beginning to demand service similar to what Amazon is providing — a quick turnaround from initial contact to delivery of compensation. Frankly, we need to be able to apply the same level of service that Amazon provides to personal injury litigation in order to keep our clients happy.
What community organizations do you support as a volunteer and why?
Over the years, I have been honored to have been able to support and donate to many local charitable organizations. Since the pandemic hit, I have tried to do my part to keep some great local businesses in Buffalo, Rochester, and New York through the Cellino Law “Shop Local” giveaways on Facebook. I have also been fortunate enough to work with local animal shelters and Toy for Tots — two causes that are very special to me.
What are you most looking forward to doing as COVID restrictions ease?
To be honest, trials. I’m really looking forward to getting back into the courtroom and fighting for my clients. Like I mentioned earlier, I take a great amount of pride in helping people, and going to trial is just one of the ways I can do that.