Former New York State Attorney General, Dennis C. Vacco, is a Partner with Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman and serves as the firm’s Government Investigations and Enforcement Actions 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, as well as with clients who have been directly targeted by the New York State Attorney General as part of a government investigation. Prior to joining Lippes Mathias, he spent two decades as a prosecutor, so he understands what it takes to avoid ending up in the crosshairs of a government investigation.

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 the former president of Waste Management’s New York subsidiary, 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
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, District Connecticut
  • 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
  • Lincoln Leadership Award
  • Business First of Buffalo and Buffalo Law Journal, Legal Elite of WNY (2014-2019)

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