The world is an extremely complex machine, whose cogs are powered by the individual units. Each function is very important, as it’s essential to make the reality surrounding us look the way we want it to look. The good has always been accompanied by the evil, the weak and the aggrieved have always needed their advocates, who would fight for their rights in a court of law. A few years ago I became fascinated by the world of crime and vice, which is unbelievably brutal and cruel, however it’s still an integral part of what we call our civilization. Don’t misunderstand me, I don’t really want to run through the streets waving guns, I also don’t want to make the con of the century, I would sometimes pick up a coin from the street without checking who was its original owner and that would be the craziest thing ever. Well, the thing that impressed me the most was a huge amount of work done by policemen, forensic scientists, pathologists and other people taking part in the investigations. Once I even had a thought that if I wasn’t a teacher, I would definitely like to work at the crime scene searching for evidence of people’s evil deeds, the ones who dared to disturb someone’s peace or the right to life. After collecting all the evidence and clues, the next important role is played by the lawyers, who need to convince not only the jury, but also the judges to their case. Of course, the defense attorneys don’t always represent people because they have committed a crime, but also because they have been mistreated as a result of negligence, which caused their great pain and suffering.
Today I’m happy to introduce you to a person, whose work is his real passion. Gennady Voldz is a lawyer, who treats all the cases he takes part in very seriously, and he fights for the well-being of his clients as if he acted for the benefit of his own family. Outside of the courtroom, Gennady is also a very warm person, who dedicates himself not only to his dear ones, but also to his passions and charity work for different organizations.
Passion Piece: Could you tell my readers a few words about yourself?
Gennady: My name is Gennady Voldz and I am currently the owner and founder of a trial firm in New York called Voldz Law. I have been a lawyer for the past 5 years representing individuals who have been hurt in all types of accidents. I was able to get a full high school, college and law school education in New York. My law firm prides itself on our preparation and results for our clients.
Passion Piece: Your roots go back to Eastern Europe, specifically, to Ukraine. How did you and your family land in the USA?
Gennady: Despite being born in the Soviet Union in Kharkov, Ukraine, my family and I were able to immigrate to the United States in 1989. At that time Jewish people were still being persecuted and with the help of Mikhail Gorbachev families were able to leave the Soviet Union. We travelled through Italy, stayed there for many months, and then from Italy came to the United States.
Passion Piece: Has your Slav origin shaped you as a person who you are now?
Gennady: My roots have certainly played a role in the person/business man I am today. My family came to this country with nothing in their pockets and worked as hard as they could to be able to provide me a better life. Seeing their hard work has translated into how hard I work for my clients. I am grateful to my family for teaching me the importance of hard work and preparation. Working hard for people that can not help themselves brings me a tremendous amount of joy and I take each client’s case very seriously.
Passion Piece: Despite your young age, you are an attorney who can pride himself on having a great professional experience, since you have already won many cases in the courtroom. How did your adventure with the law start?
Gennady: Since attending law school, I knew that my place was in the courtroom. Therefore I made sure that the classes I was taking would help me learn the skills I need to be the best trial lawyer. Throughout law school I made connections with professors, lawyers and judges that would help me once I graduated. During my studies I worked for the Manhattan Legal Aid Society fighting for the rights and liberty of people that were being charged with criminal offenses. Immediately upon graduation I started working with a personal injury law firm that allowed me to learn how to build up a case, how to take a deposition, and how to win at trial. I have been lucky to have mentors along the way who would answer any questions I may have had. After nearly 5 years of working for several law firms, I felt confident I had the knowledge and skill to run my own law firm. I would not have been able to make it here without all of my prior professors, bosses and mentors.
Passion Piece: You run your own practice. What kind of clients make use of your services?
Gennady: Primarily Voldz Law, P.C. is a trial firm who services other law firms. My clients are law firms that build up cases for people and once that person’s case is ready for trial, the law firm will hire me to handle the trial and settlement. My firm specializes in maximizing results by being prepared and ready to take a case to verdict in Court before a jury. Most of these cases are personal injury cases where people get hurt through the negligence of others such as motor vehicles accidents, work related accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, and other general negligence.
Passion Piece: Which cases do you like dealing with the most? Why?
Gennady: I am blessed to have the fortune of loving what I do. Not many lawyers can say that. It really does not matter to me what type of case I am handling, when I am representing someone that was hurt I put myself into their shoes and fight as if I am fighting for my family. I truly enjoy being in the courtroom and presenting cases to juries and Judges. As long as I am in the court room, I am a happy man working hard for the client.
Passion Piece: Which court case do you find to be your greatest success? What one needs to remember about while representing the injured party in court?
Gennady: One of my greatest cases at trial was representing a man who was hurt in a motor vehicle accident. This man received injuries to his lower back and his occupation before the accident was a chiropractor. He used to pride himself on helping other people with their pain and after this accident he was no longer able to work due to his own pain. The insurance company refused to pay him any money as they disputed whether his injuries were caused by the motor vehicle accident. This case was in one of the most difficult venues in New York County and the law firm thought we would lose this case. I came prepared to trial and fought hard for this man and ended up getting a very favorable verdict. The jury agreed with all of my arguments and ended up awarding this man a very large six figure verdict for the pain and suffering he endured as a result of the accident caused by someone else. This client was able to heal over time and has used the money to start a new business he now enjoys doing. To be able to change someone’s life is something I can not put into words, I am grateful to do what I do.
Passion Piece: Being an attorney is a job which is not always a bed of roses, it may be dangerous at times. How do you try to switch off after work?
Gennady: This is a great question for several reasons. As a lawyer, it is quite difficult to stop thinking about your clients and the pain and suffering they endure through the stories you hear. It becomes even more difficult when you are the boss and run your own law firm as there is always something to do in order to keep the business going. I am thankful for my wife (who is also a lawyer in NY) as she understands the business. We do a good job of talking to each other about work for a limited time and then agreeing to no longer discuss business at home. I have found that having hobbies helps. When I am not in the Court room I play baseball in a community league, I train for marathons which I run to raise money for charity, and I am part of a mentor organization in NY where I am a mentor for underprivileged high-school kids to try to help them to get into college. Between these activities and spending time with family and friends, there is plenty to do to disconnect from the job.
Passion Piece: Which of your mentors do you respect the most? What would you like to learn from them?
Gennady: I have two incredible mentors that I owe my professional career to. I would not be in the position I am without Mr. Peter Gordon and Mr. Peter Thomas. Both of these men have been so generous in the last 5 years in helping me along the way in the field of law. They are both seasoned professionals who are incredible at what they do and I have been so fortunate as to learn closely from them. They have both taken me under their wing and they want me to succeed. I learn from them everyday and I continue to ask them questions in order to get their opinion on how they would handle the same type of case. Their skills in and out of the courtroom can not be taught in a classroom, it is hands on experience and they have been pivotal in much of the information I use to help my clients. Not everyone has the opportunity to have such amazing mentors so I appreciate these two every day and only want to make them proud.
Passion Piece: What qualities make a good attorney?
Gennady: A good attorney is someone who knows the law and can communicate well with others. Communication between clients, other attorneys and the courtroom is key in succeeding. No one wants to work with someone that is unpleasant in any field, including the law. I have found that being able to communicate honestly and effectively is one of my strongest suits and what has helped me make the connections I have needed to run my own law firm.
Passion Piece: TV series and films, whose plots are based on court cases are quite popular right now. Which fictional character could you identify with?
Gennady: As many TV series and films are extremely inaccurate with what really happens in the court room it is difficult for me to watch these shows as it becomes more frustrating than enjoyment. Two films that I have always loved and that may have pushed me into the direction of law are “My Cousin Vinny” and “Liar Liar”. Both of these movies show how a good attorney can win a case at trial in front of a judge and jury. Joe Pesci played an excellent role in My Cousin Vinny and I think I would relate to him the most. His character was someone you would not expect to win at trial. I find as a young attorney I usually step into the court room as an underdog in front of Judges who see an old attorney versus new attorney and assume the older one knows more. I prove myself at trial on every case I appear on.
Passion Piece: What do you do in your free time? What are you passionate about?
Gennady: In my free time I like to play baseball and run long distances. I am currently part of a community baseball league, which plays once a week. The winners of the league get to donate the winnings to a charity of their choosing. Additionally, I am currently training for the Brooklyn Half Marathon. I have been training hard for the marathon which I joined in order to raise money for a cancer organization called Chordoma Foundation. When I am not active, I am a mentor to an underprivileged high school student that I meet with once a month and talk to constantly. The program we are a part of is called iMentor and it is an organization which groups together high school kids with professionals in aiming to get the high school kids prepared and ready for College. Many underprivileged neighborhoods have a low rate of kids continuing to college after high school so this program is designed to help kids achieve their full potential and encourage them to get more education after their high school degree. Although this seems like a lot of activities, the most important to me is time spent with my wife and family.
Passion Piece: Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?
Gennady: I am hoping to become the best trial attorney in New York for personal injury cases in 10 years time or less. I would love to help more and more firms and clients in this time. Although it is important for us to set goals for ourselves, I find that the journey to the goal is what matters. I am truly enjoying owning my own business and working for myself at the moment. I will continue to dedicate all of my efforts into each case I appear on in order to maximize results for all of my clients.
Passion Piece: Which motto would you like to share with my readers?
Gennady: Dreams only become reality when you put the time and effort into achieving them. I truly believe it is possible to do anything you desire if you are willing to work for and go the extra mile. Be kind to everyone because you never know who may be able to help you achieve your goals.
Passion Piece: Thank you very much for this truly interesting conversation. I wish you continued success not only in the court room, but also during your next marathon.
I think that my today’s interviewee is a great example of a person who has gained success despite his initial situation. What’s more, I believe that Gennady has managed to raise the profile of a lawyer, who is sometimes perceived as a person focused mainly on getting the right salary rather than on uncovering the truth and defending the interests of the injured party. I hope that you’ll have a chance to meet on your way only such truly dedicated to their work professionals.
See you around!
Photos by: Gennady Voldz