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Five Decades Back & Forth

Oct 10, 2019

Rochester, Fairport: One experience we all share is change. So too has our legal system changed.  Looking through the eyes of recently retired Doug Whitney, after his five decades of service within the Rochester legal industry, McConville Considine Cooman & Morin, P.C. (MCCM) has welcomed Doug’s clients into their practice, celebrated Doug’s achievements, and are prepared to support Doug’s clients and the long-standing clients of MCCM into the future.

Looking back at the changes Doug has witnessed over five decades, MCCM Lawyer Kevin Cooman points to one significant change which has affected all of us - -  the Internet, “As in so many areas of life, the Internet offers direct access to legal resources, such as state and federal laws and regulations, as well as generic answers to legal questions.  Caution should be exercised, however, because subtle differences in the facts of a particular legal transaction or dispute can lead to completely different approaches and outcomes. Lawyers, are trained to identify significant differences and a range of possible solutions, to provide competent advice on how to best deal with life’s situations.   In this way, the law is no different from similar problems faced within the medical community. Patients should not self-diagnose their own illnesses, or rely solely on the Internet to determine medical interventions - - neither should people rely on the Internet to solve their legal issues.”

Another legal change over these decades has been through the remarkable expansion of laws and regulations. MCCM Lawyer Amy Varel stated, “Our business clients have found it increasingly difficult to navigate the ever changing and complex laws and regulations that they are required to abide by, and are reaching out to us more and more for assistance.” Lawyer Bill Brueckner added, “Lawyers are increasingly being required to focus on narrow areas of the law in order to develop a true understanding and resulting position.  Practitioners simply are unable to keep up with all of the legal issue developments which their clients may encounter. The result is greater “stratification” of law firms. We at MCCM take great pride that our Firm has been able to bridge the size divide. Our size permits each of our lawyers to focus their practice enough to stay abreast of the constant and subtle changes in those fields, and to maintain an expertise in the area in which we develop our work. At the same time, we remain small enough to be truly able to give our clients the attention their issues deserve, at a cost that provides value.”

How we receive documents has changed too. Some of us still like to hold the newspaper while we are reading; so too, people expect to hold important official documents that come in the mail. However, today, there is widespread use of email, which has nearly replaced paper correspondence, even within the legal profession. MCCM Lawyer Peter Weishaar explained, “As lawyers, we have additional digital changes to manage too. We even commence lawsuits by electronic filing and our libraries have largely been replaced by online databases.”

Looking back, MCCM honored Doug Whitney by celebrating his retirement, along with family, friends, and dedicated clients at an invitation event held at the MCCM office at Packett’s Landing, in Fairport. Looking forward, many personal well wishes were shared with Doug for his retirement. There was also excitement expressed with the acquisition of Doug’s firm by both MCCM lawyers and staff, as they begin their 41st year of service to our community.


Since its founding in 1979, McConville Considine Cooman & Morin, P.C. (MCCM), a Rochester, New York law firm, has carefully built a reputation for providing quality legal services to businesses and individuals throughout the State. Their diverse practice offerings include: Elder Law; Estate Planning; Residential Real Estate; Business; Commercial Real Estate; Tax; Professional Licensing; Construction; Zoning, Land Use and Development; Municipal & Local Government; Litigation; Labor & Employment; Bankruptcy & Creditors’ Rights; Personal Injury. MCCM continues to earn a reputation based on demonstrated legal expertise and reflective of the character of its people.