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No Litigation Challenge Too Tough for New York Litigation Specialist

June 14, 2013 02:23pm  
No Litigation Challenge Too Tough for New York Litigation Specialist

Buffalo, NY—Named “Lawyer of the Year” last year by the Erie County Bar Association, litigation specialist Terry Connors says that he knows he's doing the right job.

"I love being a lawyer, and if I had to do it all over again, I would not change my course one bit,” Connors told in a recent interview.

For Connors, that course began during law school, where he started watching trial attorneys in action and realized that he wanted to become one himself.  Today, he and his eight partners form Connors & Vilardo, a litigation boutique that specializes in trial and appellate representation. 

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“The field of litigation is a very broad practice,” Connors explains.  “In our firm, one day we may be litigating a constitutional claim, while the next day we may be arguing for a profoundly injured person.  It's exciting to come to work to see what is next on my calendar—there is always something new.”

The cases that Connors likes best are cases where a lot is on the line.  “I like to be in the ring when the stakes are high,” he says.  “These cases get my blood flowing - - a homicide case where someone’s life is literally on the line - - a business that is trying to survive - - a seriously injured person who is counting on our firm for his future.  These are very challenging, but I like it when the stakes are high.”

Connors says that a murder case early in his career was the case that convinced him he was in the right profession.  “I took a homicide case that was coming back for a re-trial.  The client was convicted and had spent years in prison.  On re-trial, I was successful in obtaining an acquittal.  Not only was it life-changing for the client, but it was life-changing for me, because I got to stand next to my client when he walked out the door, a free man, after spending a third of his life in state prison.  It was an overwhelming feeling,” he says.

Over the years, clients have come to Connors for a wide variety of reasons, and some have left him with mementos.  “I represented a client who was in the entertainment business and was injured during a performance,” he says.  “My firm was able to obtain a record-breaking verdict in Western New York—$58 million.  When the case was over, he painted me a portrait, using a toothbrush in his teeth.  I hold it dear to my heart.”

Now that he has been named the #1 attorney in Upstate New York by SuperLawyers, Connors says that his practice also attracts “very large white-collar criminal cases.  Businessmen, doctors, other lawyers, and judges are some of my clients.  These cases are considered white collar criminal cases, because they require an entirely different strategy and approach.”

When it comes to litigating, Connors believes there's no substitute for hard work and experience.  Young attorneys and law students, Connors says, should “learn the rules of evidence.  The foundation for a trial lawyer is a keen understanding and knowledge of the rules of evidence.  You must know these rules like a hand fits into a glove, because these rules are the tools you are going to use to defend your clients.”

 There is no doubt that Connors knows how to defend his clients when the stakes are high and for that reason, he formed his own litigation boutique – composed of the best and brightest litigators. Connors & Vilardo was founded upon the principle that no litigation challenge is too tough for a team of talented, hard-working, committed lawyers. Recognizing that high-stakes litigation is never routine, Terrence M. Connors and Lawrence J. Vilardo left one of Western New York's oldest and largest law firms to build a firm designed to adapt to any challenge, match up against any adversary, and approach any problem with a strategy to win.


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