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Buffalo law firm takes smartest title in trivia contest aiding Cradle Beach

Connors & Vilardo law firm is "Buffalo's smartest company" after beating out 27 other local firms in an electronic trivia contest to benefit Cradle Beach.

The event was held Wednesday in Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar, 2017 Elmwood Ave., which is one of an increasing number of sports bars around the country to feature the on-demand trivia system by a company called Buzztime.

The game is highly addictive, said Cara Stillman, executive director of Cradle Beach.

"We chose this [as a vehicle to raise money] because, while there are a lot people who go for golf tournaments, not everybody goes. So this provides an opportunity for people in companies to have fun in a competition without having to play golf," said Stillman.

The mechanics of the game were simple enough even if the questions were not so easy. Teams of four players tested their intellectual prowess by answering three rounds of questions with 15 questions per round over five games.

A sample question was: "The Freedom of Information Act is a prime example of [what?] law, with the choices including, "princess," "crystal" and "sunshine."

Sunshine was the correct answer, of course.

"This was a real team effort," said attorney Larry Vilardo, after his team won the third of Wednesday's five games.

"We had one player on a cold streak who got real hot and that pulled us through," Vilardo added.

Lawyer John Loss of Connors & Vilardo credited his early training on the former WBEN-TV's old "It's Academic" game show back in the late 1970s when he represented the old LaSalle Catholic High School team from Niagara Falls.

Apparently, lawyers are skilled at recalling trivial factoids. Erie County District Attorney Frank J. Clark's team scored the second highest score in Wednesday's contest.

"I brought the brains and me," Clark said.

His team included Assistant District Attorney Rose McMorrow, whose husband, Patrick Lennon, was on Bouvier Partnership, the team that scored the third highest in the contest,

"She thinks it's a sprint, but it's a marathon," Lennon quipped after Clark's team won the first game of the five game contest.

"The winning team gets a fabulous trophy that reads 'Buffalo's Smartest Company,' " said Stillman. "It's so like the Stanley Cup, because it will travel from winner to winner, year after year."


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