The Leadership Team Podcast with Rodger Wyland on ESPN Radio

ESPN Radio: [00:00:00] Leadership, putting the goals of the team ahead of personal ones with a steadying force and setting the example for teammates while making a positive impact to the community. Welcome to the leadership team with Roger Wilen on ESPN radio. Because business is a sport.

Rodger Wyland: [00:00:21] I want to start with with Lamarsh and Sofranko. How does how did that evolve? How did that come together so and now so successfully over the years? Do you guys know each other for a long time? How did the partnership develop?

Andrew Safranko: [00:00:37] So we met while doing work. We were both in law school together at the same time. George was two years younger than me, but we really didn’t know each other in law school. But when we came out of school, we both worked at major law firms, and we would see each other almost every night and night court handling cases and then our, our mentors and our partners at the time,Stuart Jones and Steve Coffee would have a lot of work that they would do together. So we just inherently started working together. We would see each other all the time. And then ultimately,in 2011, George ended up leaving the Jones firm and had a year by himself. And during that year we talked a lot. We met a lot. And I just saw that it was an opportunity that if I didn’t go join with George, it was going to be something I would regret forever. And in February 2012, we started and have never looked back. Best decision we ever made. Yeah.

Rodger Wyland: [00:01:32] And George, I’m hearing coming off your arguably your your best year in 2023. How has this thing taken the climb to the top?

George LaMarche: [00:01:43] I think it’s you know, it’s sort of this grassroots effort. Uh, we’ve built relationships in the community. Having grown up here. Our parents are here. Andy’s dad was a lawyer in the community, so we just, uh, firmly believe in relationships, building those relationships. When I first started, it was, I’m going to breakfast with people, other people in the community. I still do it. Uh, it’s my biggest source of business is friends in the community that I meet at the diner and chat with on a pretty regular basis, and they’re great sources of business for us. Uh, I think we’re a go givers. There’s a there’s a book, actually, it’s called go go givers, not go getters. And I think giving back to the community is something that we’ve believed in and it’s resulted in success. We give and think about giving first, whether it’s to our clients, to the community. And that’s been a great source of business for us. So,you know, it’s we haven’t looked back. Like Andy said, it’s it’s been the greatest move that we’ve ever made. And when we first did it, when I first did it, you know, having worked with Stuart Jones, who’s a tremendous mentor, when I left, people said I’m either brilliant or crazy for leaving him because he’s such a wonderful lawyer and an amazing,philanthropic person and wonderful man. He was like a father figure to me but I just saw it as as as the time for me to leave, and it was a scary time, but, uh, you know, it’s been an amazing run for Andy and I, and it’s getting better every year.

Rodger Wyland: [00:03:15] Yeah, there’s no question. And and you and you touched on it now and I’ll ask you, uh, Andrew, about what differentiates you from from the rest. I know you have a lot of competition, but you were talking about community involvement and and the way you go about your business, how how have you been able to separate yourselves?

Andrew Safranko: [00:03:32] I think we’re really separates us is is the personal attention. We do and we give. And I think a lot of law firms say it, but we actually do it. We get to know our clients and our particular practice areas. We’re dealing with people in the worst times in our lives. They’re seriously injured. They’ve been arrested. They’re accused of a crime, or somebody’s trying to take their ability or their livelihood to work away from them. And we get to know them. We get to see what is going on, and we really are on a holistic approach while we’re their lawyers and we’re helping them, we really are trying to help them get out of a situation. If it’s a criminal side, if there’s an addiction, we get them to meet with the right providers. On the personal injury side, we get them to meet with the right doctors and team to get people to back to where they started from and help mitigate against what are sometimes extreme circumstances.

Rodger Wyland: [00:04:22] How many do you serve? How many, how many clients have you built over the years here? And in terms of even in the community, how how what’s your reach?

George LaMarche: [00:04:33] Thousands, uh, hundreds of clients a year come into the firm. And we’re not a large firm. I mean, we have four lawyers, a couple of of council lawyers, which means they’re not partners in the firm or members of the firm, but they’re affiliated with our firm. Um, so in our reach is statewide, although it’s primarily the Capital District. Sometimes we venture outside of the Capital District. Um, but, yeah, thousands of clients that we’ve helped and serviced and who have become friends to the firm and referral sources. But like Andy said, when people come to our office, it’s at a bad time. They’re dealing with some major crisis in their life, and we get to know them and we help them. That’s selfishly one of the benefits that we get in our business is trying to help people, and that makes us feel good. And they become friends of the firm and people who recommend us to other people. That’s how our business has grown. And, uh, you know, they stay in touch with us even after they leave.

Rodger Wyland: [00:05:32] So reputation, reputation impeccable with with your with your group, uh, and with you guys and I mean, that’s right. Word of mouth and that that seems to be a large part of your success.

Andrew Safranko: [00:05:44] Yeah, it absolutely is. And I think what also, you know, differentiates us is we get a lot of work from other lawyers in town that don’t do what we do. So lawyers, judges, you know, people involved in the police community when their family member or friends or neighbors get in trouble or are injured, they call us. And that’s and that’s a huge part of, you know, satisfaction. Our end when people in the profession, people in the know reach out to you when someone close to them has an issue or a problem they call you.

Rodger Wyland: [00:06:15] How do you continue to grow this? The success you had. What’s what’s what’s the what’s the next level here?

Andrew Safranko: [00:06:22] Don’t ask him.

George LaMarche: [00:06:23] That’s the difference between me and Andy. Um.

George LaMarche: [00:06:26] You know, I like to push the envelope a little bit. So more social media putting us out there to a community that’s that may not know us directly, but, um, who have gotten to know us and feel like they know us because they see us on video, whether it’s on our YouTube channel or. Or TikTok or Facebook, you know, just constantly putting ourselves out there and not in a way that’s trying to sell anybody, but to provide knowledge, just to provide information to people about something that might be relevant to their lives. But we’re not we’re not looking to to sell you if you need us. You think of us because you’ve seen us or you know us, call us. And if we can help you, we will. And if we can’t, we’re going to refer you to somebody in the community that we know and trust who can help you.

Rodger Wyland: [00:07:13] So he’s a little more aggressive than you. Is that what you’re saying?

Andrew Safranko: [00:07:16] He’s definitely more aggressive on the marketing, but we’ve been grassroots from the get go. Right. We’ve built our names. We built our firm based upon, you know, our reputation and the work that we’ve been able to do through the community, through our legal work, through our work in different boards and other activities and through giving back. But the reality of it is, is we get cases from our friends, we get cases from our neighbors, we get cases from our clients that are happy with the work that we do. And then, you know, the social media aspect that, you know, that we do. And that’s that’s his baby. And I, I go along, but, um, you know, we’ve our presence is is huge on the internet and especially for a small firm.

Rodger Wyland: [00:08:01] Have you been successful because you are just regular down to earth people. Is that is that I mean, that’s how the I get that feel. And I know successful people, business people and businesses get to number one when they’re just known as kind of regular people to deal with. Is that is that is that fair?

George LaMarche: [00:08:20] I think that’s very fair.

George LaMarche: [00:08:21] I mean, we’re totally down to earth people. Normal, normal guys are married kids running around doing, you know, the sports thing and bringing your kids everywhere. And, you know, we’re dealing with the same thing that everybody else is dealing with. And, you know, by the way, we are also lawyers and bust our butts at, you know, at our job and try to do the best job that we can for our clients as well.

Rodger Wyland: [00:08:44] And, and listen, I’m a sports guy, right? And I and Andy, I know, I know you are too. And we have we share some common things with kids playing sports and growing up. And and you’re very much involved in that. You’re a community guy.

Andrew Safranko: [00:08:56] We’re very community, you know, acclimated and um, you know, from day one, we both had the same common, you know, scheme. That family’s first. So we leave the office to go to this. I don’t we don’t miss sports. We don’t miss our kids sports games. We don’t miss practices. We go to the travel events on the weekends, and we’re there for everything. But then we’re always available like everybody else. We have a cell phone, we’re mobile. We take calls for for business. But, you know, we don’t miss games.

Rodger Wyland: [00:09:22] What’s the greatest sense of accomplishment for you in the line of work that you do right now?

Andrew Safranko: [00:09:30] So the greatest sense of accomplishment we have is helping someone. You know, it really, truly is. And I know it sounds cliche, but being able to help somebody get through a difficult time and this difficult situation is great. You touched upon it earlier about having people reach out to us every year. One of the clients that I had early on, one of the biggest trials or the biggest cases I had, was an attempted murder trial where there was an acquittal. And every year on Thanksgiving, I get a text from his wife, and every year I get it. It sends it gives me chills because I’ve changed somebody’s life. And that could have gone an entirely different way. But it’s just having that impact on someone. And now seeing him and his family grow and have this opportunity is just the cherry on top. And George.

Rodger Wyland: [00:10:17] How much do you win? I mean, everything these days is about winning and losing, right? I’m a sports guy. You win, you lose. You must have a great sense of when it’s all over and and it’s victory time and you’ve won.

George LaMarche: [00:10:30] Yeah. We, uh, we wouldn’t be in business if we weren’t successful for our clients. So that’s the goal. Every time a client comes in the door, uh, we’re trying to win for them. And winning can be defined in different ways for different clients. But, you know, as an example, uh, you know, last night there was a client, uh, whose case I had been handling for a while. Uh, he was seriously injured in a motorcycle crash and, uh, couldn’t work. Doesn’t know how he’s going to pay his bills. And that that stress and that anxiety that produces for something that wasn’t his fault, uh, is almost overwhelming for him. And as you know, I’ve spent time with him and gotten to know him. And last night we settled the case in the sense of relief that he expressed on the phone, knowing that this is behind him, but he’s also going to be compensated for everything that he went through to make up for those harms and those losses with money that’s going to be able to cover. Now, those back bills and the expenses and all those things that he had outstanding, that’s life changing for him. And that gives me such a sense of purpose and gratefulness that I’m able to get up and do this thing every day and help people like that make their lives just a little bit better.

Rodger Wyland: [00:11:44] Is is there a next step for you, Andy? George? Is there is there the next step? And you’re winding down 20, 23 and now you’re getting ready to roll into 2024. Do you guys, as a team set goals for what is next?

George LaMarche: [00:11:58] Yeah we do. We set goals. You know, right now we’re we’re looking to the future and how we can continue to grow our firm. And we have some great attorneys that work for us. And it’s about building them up and introducing them as the next level of lawyer at our firm. We have just great people. We have a great staff that works at our office. And, uh, these attorneys who are up and coming and who are the next line and the next generation of lawyers who are going to continue on and continue to grow this firm so we can just expand what we’re doing for our clients, the number of people that we can serve and, and just continue to make people’s lives better every single day. Through the team that we’ve established.

Rodger Wyland: [00:12:42] You’re on the same page with that, Andy.

Andrew Safranko: [00:12:43] Absolutely. We you know, we have a tremendous staff. We have a tremendous other lawyers that help us and and help us get to where we want to be. And every year the goal is to do better than, than the year before. But in the same sense, you know, we’re still young and we’re still at it and, um, going to be at it for a long time still. And, you know, it’s just nice to be able to be able to know going forward that, you know, that we’re going to be successful.

Rodger Wyland: [00:13:12] Is this a 9 to 5 job or 8 to 4?

George LaMarche: [00:13:19] It’s a 24 seven job. Uh, this.Is a job because of the line of work that we do. It’s an emergency. Every client’s case is an emergency. Uh, so it’s not unusual to get calls at 2:00 in the morning, 3:00 in the morning. We have an answering service that’s 24 hours a day, and somebody from the firm is always on call. You can always reach us or somebody in the firm any time of the day or night, because of the nature of what we do.

Andrew Safranko: [00:13:41] And we still take those calls, you know, whether it’s Christmas Day or somebody’s birthday, 24 over seven, we are available. And that’s the nature of the work we do. And that’s another one of the differentiating factors for our firm. Yeah, that.

Rodger Wyland: [00:13:54] That’s where you you have that reputation. Right. That’s they know that when they call they’re going to get a response. Absolutely.

George LaMarche: [00:14:01] And we’ve given our cell phones from day one. I mean, we’re getting text messages from clients and calls from clients and emails from clients. And with social media, it’s, you know, Facebook messages. It’s every possible way that they can reach us. They do. And we accept the calls and we receive the messages and we respond to every single one.

ESPN Radio: [00:00:00] Welcome to the leadership team with Roger Wilen on ESPN radio because business is a sport.

Rodger Wyland: [00:00:07] Andrew, good to see you again. Um, let’s start with what is the legacy, Andrew, that you are working so hard to leave to the next generation?

Andy Safranko: [00:00:17] So the legacy is just to be the best that we could be, and to have people know that we cared about them and that we did everything we could to help them along the way.

Rodger Wyland: [00:00:28] What is the secret to a great business strategy, and can you share one from the past with us that that worked for you?

Andy Safranko: [00:00:37] So I think the great business strategy is to be true to yourself, to be true to your people, and to develop the culture that everyone is part of the team. So from our receptionist to all the lawyers, we work together to make sure that we have the best, provide the best experience for our clients that they can. We’re available, that they can reach out to any one of us, and to know that we care and that we’re going to help them.

Rodger Wyland: [00:01:05] Andrew, advice for young people coming through college and trade schools as they enter the workforce.

Andy Safranko: [00:01:12] You need to work hard to be successful. I think the biggest thing that we’re seeing now is people don’t want to put in the effort. They want to be on the top, they want to be the boss, but they don’t want to put in the effort to work hard. So the harder you work, the luckier you’re going to get and the more successful you’ll be.

Rodger Wyland: [00:01:28] What is the key to, uh, a successful partnership in business?

Andy Safranko: [00:01:33] Key accessible partnership is having someone that you can trust, someone that you can rely on, and someone that you can talk to. Someone that if you have a problem, you can go to. But if you have an issue or want to discuss something that you have that ability to just talk to somebody.

Rodger Wyland: [00:01:49] Andrew, please share your philosophy about competition, co-opetition and the difference.

Andy Safranko: [00:01:56] So. We’re in a very competitive market in the fields of criminal defense and personal injury that that we do, and there’s plenty of work to go around. So I’ve never tried to take a case from another law firm. I’ve never someone called trying to come to us if they weren’t happy at another law firm. Never badmouthed. Never disparage anybody. There’s plenty of cases to go along. And Albany is a small community and your reputation is key as far as cooperation, there’s a lot of cases that we have together that have multiple either defendants or multiple people that are injured. And we work collaboratively with a lot of different law firms. Um, it’s very good to be able to pick up the phone and be able to call another lawyer and say, hey, I want to discuss this issue. So we’re lucky in Albany that we have a pretty good market, a lot of great lawyers that we can talk to and work with on cases. If there’s more than one person involved.

Rodger Wyland: [00:02:55] What’s the biggest mistake most clients make when working with their attorney?

Andy Safranko: [00:03:00] The biggest mistake that clients make when working with an attorney is not being truthful. It’s telling us something that is is untrue, that later we take to a prosecutor or to a defense attorney and say, hey, this is what our client is telling us, and they can show that it’s false. And that is the biggest detriment that we have in a case is people not being truthful to us.

Rodger Wyland: [00:03:23] Our tagline on the leadership team is business is a sport. What similarities do you see?

Andy Safranko: [00:03:30] So business is like sports. You have to put the effort in to work. You have to collaborate with those on your team, and you have to work together to make sure you’re putting the best product together. No one person can do it all. You have to work together.

Rodger Wyland: [00:03:46] Well, I guess congratulations. Uh, high profile big case that you just won. Can you, uh, can you elaborate on that? Sure.

Andy Safranko: [00:03:53] So we represent a lot of police officers that are involved in what we consider to be justified shootings. And today, when the police discharge their weapon, oftentimes the district attorney’s office or the attorney general’s office is impaneling grand juries to review the work of the police. In this particular case, a member of the Cortland Police Department, uh, was assisting on an eviction process. And when they went in to do the eviction, a person had a gun trying to, you know, potentially commit suicide or to, you know, shoot at the police. And they went in, they tried all sorts of measures to get the person to drop the weapon, gave all sorts of commands. And ultimately, this person lifted the weapon and shot at the police, and they had to, uh, to return fire. So the Cortland County district attorney and panel, the grand jury to, you know, make sure that the police acted appropriately. And the grand jury did. So they voted a no true bill, uh, determining that all the actions of the police were were justified in this particular case. Wow.

Rodger Wyland: [00:04:59] Impressive. Yeah. That just that was just that’s new.

Andy Safranko: [00:05:02] That was new. That was, uh, a few weeks ago up, uh, like I said, up near, uh, right near the Suny Cortland campus. Wow.

Rodger Wyland: [00:05:10] Been some publicity on it. Yeah, there.

Andy Safranko: [00:05:11] Was a lot of publicity up in the Cortland area about it. The state police were involved, the county sheriff’s office was involved, and the City of Cortland Police Department were were involved, all in a collaborative effort. A case that’s in the press is definitely more difficult to deal with because everybody’s eyes are on you. Not just your client, not just the district attorney’s, but the public. So when the case in the press, the district attorney’s office tends to be more careful, not willing to potentially talk as much or negotiate as much, because they know that everything that they do is potentially open for criticism later on.

ESPN Radio: [00:05:54] The leadership team with Roger Wyland on ESPN radio because business is a sport.

Rodger Wyland: [00:00:24] George, good to see you again. Great to see you. Thanks for popping into the studio. Um, let me start with this. What is the legacy that are you, uh, take to. George, what is the legacy that you are working so hard to leave for the next generation?

George LaMarche: [00:00:41] You know, I don’t think of it that way myself personally. It’s sort of like, uh, you know, a college athlete or a pro athlete. You know, you’re kind of going through the motions. You’re just working hard. You’re showing up every day. You’re disciplined, you’re committed to the process. And then from that, good things come. Um, but I guess if I, if I think about it, I want to leave a firm that is doing good work for our clients. That is giving back to the community. Uh, that’s getting good results. That is building the next generation of lawyers that are, you know, effective advocates, uh, smart advocates for our clients.

Rodger Wyland: [00:01:20] Which is what you do a great job with. There’s no doubt about that. Um, what what is the secret to a great business strategy? And can you share one from the past with us that worked for you?

George LaMarche: [00:01:31] I think a great business strategy is to realize what you’re good at, do what you’re good at, and hire other people to do what you’re not good at. One of the when I first started this firm, uh, now over ten years ago, 13 years ago now, I met with a number of business people, community leaders, just to get advice and guidance because I’m a lawyer, right. You know, before I started this business, I never saw myself as a as a business person. And one of the best bits of advice that I got was from my uncle, actually, who, um. Had grown a company. He recently sold his company. But he said to me, so you’re going out on your own and who are you bringing with you? And I said, well, I’m not bringing anybody with me because I’m starting a new business, and I don’t know that I can afford to bring anybody with me. And he said, that’s a dumb thing, that to do, you need to find the best person in your office right now who can do a lot of the things that you can’t do so that they can you can be freed up to be a good lawyer and a networker and a person who’s going to build a brand. And so I followed the advice and he said, oh, and by the way, you need to give her a raise or him a raise, whoever it is. And I said, are you crazy? I don’t. He said, trust me, do it. And it was the best advice that I’ve ever gotten because I brought somebody on who basically took care of the office, managed all of the things that I didn’t have time to manage, and freed me up to be an effective lawyer and somebody who could grow a business. So I think that’s great advice, as if you’re you’re starting a business, uh, you’re involved in the business world. Do what you’re good at, free yourself up from the things that you’re not good at, and hire the right people to do those jobs.

Rodger Wyland: [00:03:08] I love that advice of surrounding yourself with good people. That’s, that’s, that is that is at the top of my list. Absolutely. George, advice for young people coming through college and trade schools as they enter the workforce.

George LaMarche: [00:03:22] I would say hard work. I mean, it’s kind of cliche, but, you know, you do see people who want to just be recognized as great or good or as the best very early on in their careers without putting in all the time, energy and effort that it takes to get to that point. So I would say, um, if you work hard without the expectation necessarily that the money is going to come, the money will just come because people, employers will see you as somebody who’s willing to dive in, get your hands dirty, do whatever it takes to succeed. And I think that’s key. If you’re you’re the person who’s just, you know, your boss is looking for somebody, somebody needs something and you’re raising your hand all the time that you’re just putting yourself out there and, and and doing whatever needs to be done to be successful. Those are the people that employers love. So you’re coming out of school, you’re coming out of, you know, trade school or college. Just put yourself out there, work hard. People will recognize that and you will grow as a result.

Rodger Wyland: [00:04:28] What’s the key to a successful partnership in business?

George LaMarche: [00:04:32] You know, for me and Andy, uh, we we look at things differently. We do things a little bit differently, but we have a mutual respect for each other and each other’s opinion. So I think the key is to communicate, listen to each other, respect and value each other’s opinions, and collectively make decisions going forward as to how we want to do things. After we take into consideration what the both of us feel about it.

Rodger Wyland: [00:04:56] What’s the, um. Please share your philosophy about competition, cooperation and the difference.

George LaMarche: [00:05:04] Well, I think, uh, competition is crucial in business because it makes you better. Like in sports. You know, as a high school college athlete, you know, when when the teams that you’re playing against are really, really good, it forces you to raise your game. It forces you to find ways to do things differently. So I think competition and business is crucial. It brings the best out of you. But, you know, living in this and working in this community, you know, some of, uh, the people that I. Quote unquote, compete against and for personal injury cases. I don’t necessarily see them as competition, and we often share strategies, share ideas, work together, refer cases to each other. Um, so there’s so much to be gained from your competition. When you’re going against them in business or, you know, in, in a sport. Um, and I think taking advantage of, of other people in the community that you’re competing against because I think that’s how most people view it. You know, there are the few who say, you know, I’m never going to talk to my competition. There’s plenty of business to go around. I just don’t look at it that way. You know, we’re kind of all in it together and trying to do a good job for our clients and the people in our community.

Rodger Wyland: [00:06:20] What’s the biggest mistake most clients make when working with their attorney?

George LaMarche: [00:06:25] If clients don’t know what they don’t know. And I feel like sometimes clients, uh, may be embarrassed to ask questions or feel like, you know, it’ll come across as, you know, a silly question or a dumb question. And when we meet with clients, we try to give them the information we think they need. But I would urge clients to ask questions. There’s, you know, it’s not expected that you’re going to know something or you have to know something about the law or the process, or how long the case is going to take, or what the outcome is going to be, or whatever it is. Ask the questions. And if you don’t feel like you’re getting a good answer from your lawyer, maybe it’s not the right lawyer, but, um, I feel like, you know, it’s important for clients to feel comfortable with their lawyers to ask any question that’s on their mind at any time.

Rodger Wyland: [00:07:11] Our tagline on the leadership team is business is a sport. Uh, what similarities do you see?

George LaMarche: [00:07:18] I mean, having been a, you know, an athlete in high school and college, so much of what I do in business comes from my experience as an athlete. Um, I think coaching is important whether, uh, you know, you’re. On the field or on the court. Yet you got a coach. And in business, it’s important to surround yourself with people who can give you guidance. Um, there’s always going to be competition, whether you know it’s in a sport or in the business world. That’s going to that’s going to make you better. Um, you need a disciplined approach when you’re playing in a sport. Um, you know, the people who succeed are the people who show up every single day. Even if you’re not feeling great, but you show up and you put your best effort in every single day. That’s the same thing with business. So, uh, there are so many similarities. I could go on and on about the similarities between business and, you know, sports, teamwork. You know, your team, uh, at the office, it’s, you know, the culture on a team, uh, in your business or in a sport. There’s just so many similarities and parallels between the two, um, that, you know, if you look at it that way, uh, you know, in your, you’re going to be successful, um, you embrace the challenges like you do in a sport, in the business world, uh, you take them on, you do your best, and, uh, you know, just like you do in a sport.

ESPN Radio: [00:00:00] Welcome to the leadership team with Roger Wilen on ESPN radio because business is a sport.

Rodger Wyland: [00:00:07] Hey, Roger Wylank in studio with LaMarche Safranko Law partner. Nick Evanovich, the third. Nick, welcome. Good to see you.

Nick Evanovich: [00:00:17] Rodger, nice to meet you.

Rodger Wyland: [00:00:18] Nice to meet you, too. And I like the PA connections. You know a lot about Pennsylvania. We hit it off, man. Western PA, nothing better. Uh, all right, let me ask you. Let’s start with this. Uh, what is your greatest source of optimism about the future of your firm?

Nick Evanovich: [00:00:34] You know, for me, I just made partner as at the beginning of this year, and I’m really excited about that. That’s a goal I had since I joined the firm in 2017. And it’s the most optimistic I’ve been despite, you know, I love everything I do there, but now I’ve got a little, little heavier hand in it, I love it.

Rodger Wyland: [00:00:50] How did you, uh how did you start your career in law?

Nick Evanovich: [00:00:53] Well, I started my career originally as a prosecutor up in Clinton County, New York. Uh, I got into law because I was I was actually into computers, and I was wondering kind of like what my bosses were doing. I wasn’t sure if I wanted, like, Masters or if I wanted to go to law school. I talked to my uncle, who was a lawyer, and the rest was history.

Rodger Wyland: [00:01:11] We had a nice visit with, uh, George and Andrew. How did how did you meet those two? What’s the background.

Nick Evanovich: [00:01:17] There? We actually have a mutual friend, uh, up in Plattsburgh, where I was working at the time. He had worked with Andy for a long time, and I met when, uh, Andy came up for a few cases, uh, when they knew I was interested in potentially changing trajectories of my career. I gave him a call, and it was a great conversation.

Rodger Wyland: [00:01:33] How do you think you’ll contribute to the growth and the success of Lamar Safranko?

Nick Evanovich: [00:01:38] I think number one, it’s being a good lawyer, being a zealous advocate for our clients. I think that’s the most important thing that I can do from there. And then it’s all about, uh, you know, collaborating with George and Andy about the growth of the firm itself.

Rodger Wyland: [00:01:51] When you talk about philosophy and client relationships, what what comes to mind?

Nick Evanovich: [00:01:57] I think it’s funny because as a lawyer, you’re a trained talker. What we do. Yeah. Um, what I have found in my career is the number one thing is you got to. You got to separate that. You got to be a good listener because there is never the same things. I don’t care if I have ten clients charged with the same thing. They’re all different. And so you got to listen to what they in particular need you.

Rodger Wyland: [00:02:19] You come across to me as a regular guy, which I would think would be important when you’re with a client.

Nick Evanovich: [00:02:26] I think that’s right. I try to, you know, make myself as, you know, approachable as possible, not because I again, I really don’t think I’m, like, particularly extra special in the sense that like, oh, I know everything. But I do think that, you know, I can provide expertise in an area that they don’t have. So I do like to, to speak to them in a way that I think makes them understand their own circumstances better.

Rodger Wyland: [00:02:50] Nick, how does the firm support professional development and growth for its partners?

Nick Evanovich: [00:02:56] I think that’s that’s a question that I’m going to be trying to answer along this next year. As I said, I’m the first new partner to the firm since George and Andy started it, um, years ago. So, you know, I’m very interested in working with them on professional growth. On for both, I think would be helpful for not only me, but for the for the firm in general, you know, identifying goals, strengths and things.

Rodger Wyland: [00:03:16] You can work on when speaking with them. A few weeks ago, community came up, uh, an awful lot. I know what they do, you know, outside of what they do. They they are big in the community. So I’ll ask you, will will you contribute, uh, in building the firm’s relationship with Albany, with the community.

Nick Evanovich: [00:03:34] Absolutely committed to that. You know, even in my previous line of work, we we did a lot of giving back community. Um, that was a big part of that. And I talked about that a lot when I even started with George and Andy here at Lamar Safranko. Um, we we do a lot. We I remember during the pandemic, we were doing a lot of giveaways, and that has continued even through forward since we’ve been out. So I’m absolutely committed in any way we can to not just, um, helping the firm, but helping every place that we touch.

Rodger Wyland: [00:04:01] Nick, where do you where do you see yourself in ten years?

Nick Evanovich: [00:04:03] Hopefully. Uh, what George and Andy are doing. You know what I mean? Like, I want to be in a supervisory attorney role and hopefully still getting into court. Like I love to be.

Rodger Wyland: [00:04:11] In one final question, what gives you the greatest sense of personal reward in the line of work that you do?

Nick Evanovich: [00:04:17] It’s I think it’s happy families and clients directly. I there are many cases that I’ve worked that I felt I got a great outcome. When you look at a family or when you look at a at a, at a client after a case and they shake your hand and put their hand.

Rodger Wyland: [00:04:32] The best feeling. Yeah. So when with the way you’re coming in here in year one, you you also bring experience to the table outside of the of the capital Region.

Nick Evanovich: [00:04:42] Yeah, absolutely. You know, I always say that I was kind of a New York plant because being from western Pennsylvania my whole life, but my whole education has been New York, went to Rochester, RIT, went to Syracuse Law and then got a job immediately in the North Country, Clinton County, where I was for seven years. Uh, we have a lot of North Country clients. Um, sometimes it can be harder to find, uh, attorneys that have not just the experience in law, but also the knowledge of the players at the various places up there. Uh, one of our other counsel attorneys, Matt Favreau, was actually how I got recommended and started with this firm. Um, and I love getting up to the North Country and helping out any client that that needs us up there. How’s the.

Rodger Wyland: [00:05:19] Fit been so far for you.

Nick Evanovich: [00:05:21] Out at the firm? Yeah. Oh, it’s been fantastic.

Rodger Wyland: [00:05:23] I cuz I know sometimes you start a new job and you hope. Okay, I hope this is exactly what I thought it was going to be. How’s the fit been?

Nick Evanovich: [00:05:31] It’s been perfect. I know that, as I mentioned, Matt Favreau, he’s a very trusted attorney up there. And with me when he said, I think you should talk to these guys. I take that for a long. That a meeting with Andy and George came down on a weekend. Once. We just spent a ton of time in the conference room talking about how we view law, how we view clients, how we view life, and it just seemed like a wonderful.

Rodger Wyland: [00:05:53] Are your goals in line with their goals complete?

Nick Evanovich: [00:05:56] Both in life, I think, and in and in practice? I think in practice, it’s making sure that you’re fighting as hard as you can for your clients and being creative in that. Any lawyer can cite a statute. It takes a creative lawyer to have an outside the box approach, based on a lot of years experience, and seeing ways to get to the end of the road. That may not have been expected by other lawyers.

ESPN Radio: [00:06:19] The leadership team with Roger Wyland on ESPN radio because business is a sport.