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Mark Costello

costello-markMark Costello

Partner, Boylan Code LLP

Years in current role:35 (as associate and partner)

What do you enjoy most about being a litigator?

I enjoy problem solving. I think litigation often is about good attorneys figuring out the right answer.

What do you consider your biggest success in navigating the litigation process during the pandemic?

Keeping track of the moratoriums and stays that affected a good deal of my practice was challenging. Unlike statutes, they were being issued by the governor, the Legislature, local court administrators and the chief administrator of courts, and there was no single comprehensive search you could do to determine the status of each. It was nightmarish, but that’s why God created associates.

What do you see as the biggest changes in the legal industry in the next 3-5 years?

The practice of law is becoming more time-consuming to do the same thing we used to do many years ago in less time. Technology, at once, makes practice more efficient and more difficult.That increases the cost of services and increases the competition among alternative service providers who provide quasi-legal services. It’s a huge challenge to provide good services to regular working people at a price they can afford. Legal services should not just be for corporations and the privileged.

What trial are you most proud of in your career?

It wasn’t a trial but an arbitration. I always joke that I told the client it would cost about $500 (back when my billing rates were around $110/hour). When we tried to enforce the arbitration award the corporation we sued removed the case to federal court, attacked the constitutionality of the law and when they lost in US District Court appealed the case the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. About $40,000 in legal services later we won, along with a handsome attorneys’ fees award. The drafter of the law attended the 2nd Circuit argument and ran up to me after the argument exclaiming how exciting it was.

What community organizations do you support as a volunteer and why?

I’m one of the founding members of the Rochester Fringe Festival and continue to serve on its Board and Executive Committee. I have always had an deep affection for the arts so I joke that it’s not something I do because I want to, it’s something I do because I have to.It’s my DNA and my DNA makes me do it;it’s like water and air for me.