Managing Partner, Faraci Lange, LLP
Years in current role: 30
What do you enjoy most about practicing personal injury law?
Helping people who through no fault of their own have had their lives devastated by injury caused by carelessness or a defective product. Our field requires us to learn aspects of medicine, engineering and a variety of other disciplines. I have always enjoyed that learning process so that I could speak intelligently about a specialized field and cross-examine an expert in his or her own area of expertise. Succeeding in getting compensation for one of these families is the most rewarding part of the practice. Failing to succeed with a case where someone was genuinely wronged is conversely one of the most painful parts. It is a highly stressful, high risk business and the lives of real people are always on the line. But the rewards far outweigh the negative aspects of doing this work.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve dealt with over the past year?
COVID has indeed been a challenge. We are fortunate to have survived a year of the courts being closed to trials. We have had to improvise to keep cases moving and to learn how to conduct depositions virtually, even in cases with dozens of documentary exhibits. We have also had to adjust, like everyone else, to working remotely outside of the office. Faraci Lange has been very lucky to have the attorneys and staff we do to rise to this challenge and continue to move forward in spite of these obstacles.
What do you see as the biggest changes in the legal industry in the next 3-5 years?
COVID caused many hardships, but it also accelerated changes that were coming and are here to stay. I believe there will be a much higher degree of working remotely in the legal field in the future compared to pre-COVID. This will lead to smaller office footprints and less workers in the office at a given time.
I also think judges will continue to use Microsoft Teams and Zoom after the pandemic to hold routine conferences and eliminate the need for brief in-person conferences and calendar calls that waste lawyer time and increase case expenses. Virtual depositions are also here to stay, in my opinion. For out-of-town witnesses, the cost savings are simply too great to ignore.
What community organizations do you support as a volunteer and why?
I have been on the Board of Starbridge, an organization that provides support and assistance to the physically and mentally challenged in our community, since it was formed through the merger of the Advocacy Center and the Learning Disabilities Association. Prior to that I was on the Advocacy Center Board for many years and have served as Board President of the Advocacy Center and was the first Board Chair of Starbridge. I first became involved in The Advocacy Center because of my involvement and friendship with a former client. I still serve as a trustee on his supplemental needs trust and he provided the inspiration and contacts that led to my becoming a board member. For many years before that I was on the board of the Family Resource Centers of Rochester.
What are you most looking forward to doing as COVID restrictions ease?
Getting back into the courtroom to try cases and returning to being able to go out to dinner, attending sporting events and concerts. It will be great seeing colleagues again in person. We have managed, but human interaction is important and it will be great when we can return to some semblance of normalcy.