Former New York State Attorney General, Dennis C. Vacco, is a Partner with Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman and serves as the firm’s Government & State Attorneys General Investigations Practice Team Leader.  Mr. Vacco was elected New York State Attorney General in 1994 and served until 1999. In 1988, he was appointed United States Attorney for the Western District of New York by President Ronald Reagan after serving 10 years as an Assistant District Attorney in Erie County.

He focuses much of his legal practice on governmental investigations and compliance work. Mr. Vacco works both with clients who want to be sure they are in compliance with the complex and ever-changing rules of both the state and federal governments. Mr. Vacco focuses his practice on State Attorney General investigations as well as investigations by the United States Department of Justice, Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Securities and Exchange Commission, Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Department of Homeland Security.  Mr. Vacco also leads the Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman Cross-Border Practice in Israel where the Firm has developed a strategic partnership with a leading Israeli law firm.  Mr. Vacco, who has traveled frequently to Israel, has represented Israeli businesses who also conduct business in the United States.  He also conducts seminars and makes media appearances to discuss the regulatory environment for Israeli businesses in the United States.

Always an innovator, Mr. Vacco expanded the traditional role of the Attorney General by resurrecting the long dormant criminal prosecution powers of the office. He then used the expanded purview of his office to form the nation’s first Internet Child Pornography unit targeting online predators. His distinguished career has seen him before the United States Supreme Court in the case of Vacco v. Quill where he successfully argued that Physician Assisted Suicide was not a constitutionally protected right.

Prior to joining Lippes Mathias, Mr. Vacco honed his entrepreneurial skills as president of Waste Management of New York, LLC, a subsidiary of Houston-based Waste Management Inc. (“WMI”), and as owner of his own consulting firm.

Articles & Publications
Author, "Supreme Court Decision Strengthens Investigations for Discrimination," Banking New York, May 2016

  • New York
  • Supreme Court of Nevada
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court, Northern California
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of New York

  • University at Buffalo School of Law, J.D.
  • Colgate University

Honors & Awards
  • The Best Lawyers in America© (2021)
  • Lincoln Leadership Award
  • Business First of Buffalo and Buffalo Law Journal, Legal Elite of WNY (2014-2019)