ATTORNEY ADVERTISING SUPER LAWYERS MAGAZINE / UPSTATE NEW YORK 2014 7
‘If you don’t know your case well enough to
talk without notes, get an adjournment.’ I
can talk for two or three hours if the case
demands that, but today the attention span
of jurors is 20 minutes and, ‘What’s next?’”
That’s not the only change in the field.
“There are fewer opportunities to be a
trial lawyer now,” he laments. “Insurance
companies have fallen in love with
mediation, so you don’t get a lot of trial
experience anymore. When someone says
they are a litigator today, that means
they are taking depositions. I love the
courtroom. It’s exhilarating, exhausting,
stressful, but I love it. It’s an on-your-feet
endeavor. In civil cases there are not a lot
of surprises, but when a criminal trial starts
you are learning on your feet, and you need
to be incredibly nimble and quick.
“But at the end of the day it’s about
the client,” he adds, “so regardless of my
preferences I have to make a decision
that’s in the best interest of the client.
More often than not today, that’s settling.”
With a half-century of experience, he
still thinks he can do better. “I still too
often allow my emotional view of the
consequences of harm done to an individual
to exercise disproportionate influence
to take the case,” he admits. “There are
terrible harms for which there are justly no
remedies. Things just happen with no fault
involved. I spent too much time trying to
find a degree of fault when justice doesn’t
allow that.” This is true during cross-
examinations as well—particularly of expert
witnesses whom he feels are being evasive.
“I don’t think it helps the lawyer to raise his
or her voice or express anger in front of a
jury unless it’s truly called for, and waiting
for that moment sometimes requires
patience I don’t have,” he says.
Jones remarried in 2008, and he and his
wife, Kimberly, dote on four grandchildren.
Together, they give away much of their
earnings. “It’s hard to find a cancer
organization we don’t support,” Jones says.
Jake Dumesnil, the firm’s former director
of marketing and development, says
that Jones’ charitable donations are like
those of a small financial institution that
is required to give back. “It’s refreshing
to work for someone who supports the
community for the right reasons,” he says.
Asked to sum up his career, Jones begins
to choke up again. “I have had quite a lot of
luck and opportunity,” he says. “You take
the opportunity of being my father’s son, of
benefiting from my mother’s care for me,
her life and example—a lot of other lawyers
with the same chances I had would have
done just as well.” He pauses, continues.
“Many never lived up to their predecessors.
They weren’t able to deal with it. Thank
God I went in the other direction. It’s
seizing and maximizing opportunity. I have
There will, however, be no fourth-generation Jones attorney; none of his
children followed him into law. What’s
more: “He never named any of his kids
after himself,” Coffey says. “What does that
ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS
The largest New York State-certified, women-owned
business enterprise law firm in upstate New York,
Towne, Ryan & Partners, P.C.’s practice reflects the
issues, interests and concerns of businesses and
individuals in the upstate area, whether the matter
involves municipal law, labor and employment law,
gaming and equine law or real estate.
From insurance defense to labor and employment,
municipal law and representation of auto dealers,
the attorneys have a broad base of experience and a
legacy of results. “Clients appreciate that we listen,
we ask key questions and we respond promptly,”
says firm President Claudia A. Ryan.
The firm has six offices to better serve clients. “Great
service is an essential part of great representation,”
Ryan says. “We are a partner, an advisor and an
unwavering advocate for our clients.”
450 New Karner Road, Albany, NY 12205
PH: (518) 452-1800
Saratoga (518) 587-7300 | Poughkeepsie (845) 485-7525
Additional offices in:
Cobleskill, NY; Burnt Hills, NY; and Bennington, V T
LEFT TO RIGHT: Susan F. Bartkowski*, John F. Moore*,
Claudia A. Ryan*‡, James T. Towne, Jr.*†, Elena DeFio Kean*‡
*CHOSEN TO 2014 SUPER LAWYERS, †TOP 25 HUDSON VALLEY
‡ TOP 25 HUDSON VALLE Y & TOP 25 WOMEN UPS TATE NE W YORK