Robert G. Spevack


Location: New York, New York
Phone: 800-219-2892
Fax: 800-219-2892
Email: Email Me

Robert Spevack is a seasoned litigator with thirty years of experience in the field of personal injury, and has tried hundreds of cases to verdict in the defense of clients in matters involving Labor Law/construction, product liability, professional liability, premises liability, motor vehicle, nursing home, municipal law, and FELA. He also has an expertise in defending bar and restaurant owners against Dram Shop claims, owners of recreational facilities, and companies sued for employee assaults.

Mr. Spevack is also a respected instructor in trial advocacy and litigation techniques. Together with Jeffrey Samel and Michael Pomposello, Mr. Spevack specializes in trials of high-exposure and catastrophic injury cases.

Year Joined Firm

1988

Areas of Practice

  • Labor Law
  • Construction
  • Professional Liability
  • Motor Vehicle
  • FELA
  • Premises
  • Product Liability
  • Nursing Home
  • Dram Shop
  • Municipal Liability
  • Toxic Torts
  • Recreation

Litigation Percentage

100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Litigation Percentage

  • New York, 1982
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York, 1982
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of New York, 1982

Education

  • Hofstra University School of Law, Hempstead, New York
    J.D. cum laude – 1981
    Honors: American Jurisprudence Award for Excellence in Administrative Law
  • State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York
    B.A. magna cum laude – 1978
    Major: Philosophy

Richard A. Soberman


Senior Trial Attorney since 2006
Location: New York, New York
Phone: 800-219-2892
Fax: 800-219-2892
Email: Email Me

Richard Soberman has practiced law in New York for nearly thirty-five years, and has developed an expertise in insurance coverage issues, premises liability, Labor Law/ construction, and commercial transactions. He has represented commercial and residential building owners, managing agents, and janitorial service companies, in a variety of personal injury cases, including elevator and escalator accidents, falls involving window washers, and slip and falls arising out of weather conditions or allegedly improper maintenance and cleaning procedures, and premises security.

Year Joined Firm

1992

Areas of Practice

  • Insurance Coverage
  • Premises Liability
  • Security and Assault
  • Commercial Transactions
  • Labor Law
  • Construction

Litigation Percentage

90% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • New York, 1977
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York, 1988
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of New York, 1988

Education

  • St. John’s University School of Law, Jamaica, New York
    J.D. – 1976
    Honors: American Jurisprudence Award for Excellence in Administrative Law
  • State University of New York, Albany, New York
    B.A. cum laude – 1973
    Major: Economics

Representative Cases

Building Maintenance
Shell Oil Company

Jeffrey Samel


Location: New York, New York
Phone: 800-219-2892
Email: Email Me

Jeffrey Samel is the founding partner of the firm and is one of the most highly respected defense attorneys in New York State. He is regularly called upon by the firm’s clients to defend personal injury matters of the most serious nature.

After graduating from NYU Law School in 1976, Mr. Samel was appointed as an Assistant District Attorney in Queens County, where he quickly rose to become the youngest Felony Trial Chief in that office’s history. After amassing an unequaled record of convictions in homicide, robbery, rape, arson, burglary, and commercial fraud cases, he transferred to the New York City Corporation Counsel’s Office, where he excelled in the defense of wrongful death, alleged police misconduct, and a variety of other personal injury actions brought against the City of New York and its agencies.

For nearly three decades, Mr. Samel has devoted his exceptional expertise to the defense of the firm’s clients, which include insurance carriers, self-insured corporations, and municipal entities. He is a recognized expert in the fields of personal injury, municipal liability, product liability, professional liability, construction lawsuits, and insurance issues. His talents have resulted in not only the successful defense of literally hundreds of trials, but also thousands of cases that have been resolved by means of dispositive motions and favorable settlements.

Mr. Samel is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, and he regularly lectures to the bar in the Continuing Legal Education programs of various law schools, bar associations, and the National Institute of Trial Advocacy. He specializes in high-exposure catastrophic injury cases, and personally supervises the firm’s team of experienced trial attorneys.

Areas of Practice

  • Product Liability
  • Motor Vehicle
  • Labor Law
  • Construction
  • Professional Liability
  • Premises Liability
  • Police Action
  • Municipal Liability
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Subrogation
  • Toxic Torts

Litigation Percentage

90% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • New York, 1997
  • U.S. Federal Courts, 1979
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York, 2005
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of New York, 2005

Education

  • New York University School of Law, New York, New York
    J.D. – 1976
  • New York University, New York, New York
    B.A. magna cum laude – 1973
    Honors: Phi Beta Kappa

Representative Clients

  • Allstate Insurance Co.
  • Empire Mutual Insurance Companies
  • Federal Express Corporation
  • New York City Transit Authority
  • New York State Liquidation Fund
  • Shell Oil Corporation

Classes/Seminars

National Institute for Trial Advocacy CLE Program, Fordham University Law School

Professional Associations and Memberships

American Board of Trial Advocates, Member

Past Employment Positions

Queens County District Attorney’s Office, Assistant District Attorney

New York City Law Department, Assistant Corporation Counsel

Dorothy Samel


Partner since 1995

Location: New York, New York
Phone: 800-219-2892
Fax: 800-219-2892
Email: Email Me

Dorothy Samel has practiced law in New York for nearly thirty years, during which time she has garnered experience in the areas of premises and motor vehicle liability, municipal liability (including mass transit and school cases), nursing home, construction, insurance coverage, subrogation, and general liability.

Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Samel gained experience in criminal law with a private criminal defense firm in New York. She also worked as an Associate Attorney and subsequently Assistant Chief of the Tort Division at the New York City Housing Authority Law Department, where she supervised outside counsel, managed hundreds of files, and reviewed and approved bills submitted by outside counsel. Her experience has made her uniquely qualified to understand and respond to the needs of the firm’s clients.

Ms. Samel joined the firm as Managing Attorney in 1992, and became a partner in 1995. She has successfully handled numerous complicated negligence matters on behalf of the firm’s clients in personal injury lawsuits, and continues to serve as Managing Partner of the firm.

Year Joined Firm

1992

Areas of Practice

  • Premises Liability
  • Motor Vehicle
  • General Liability
  • Education
  • Municipal Liability
  • Nursing Home
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Subrogation

Bar Admissions

  • New York, 1983
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York, 1983
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of New York, 1983

Education

  • New York Law School, New York, New York
    J.D. cum laude – 1982
    Law Review: New York Law Review, 1981
  • Hunter College
    B.S. – 1970
    Major: Biological Sciences

Past Employment Positions

Tort Division at the New York City Housing Authority Law Department, Subsequently Assistant Chief

David M. Samel


Senior Trial Attorney since 2006
Location: New York, New York
Phone: 800-219-2892
Fax: 800-219-2892
Email: Email Me

David Samel is the head of the firm’s appellate unit. After graduating from Columbia University Law School, he gained invaluable experience as an attorney at the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, and in the Appeals Bureau and Trial Division of the Legal Aid Society. He also served as a Legal Assistant to the Honorable Murray Mogel in New York County Supreme Court, prior to joining the firm in 1992.
Mr. Samel has established an enviable record of success in dispositive motions and in appeals involving such areas as municipal law, insurance coverage, police action, motor vehicle, premises liability, product liability, security and assault, Dram Shop, and Labor Law and construction.

Year Joined Firm

1993

Areas of Practice

  • Municipal Liability
  • Motor Vehicle
  • Labor Law
  • Construction
  • Professional Liability
  • Premises Liability
  • Police Action
  • Product Liability
  • Dram Shop
  • Education
  • Recreation
  • Toxic Torts

Litigation Percentage

60% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • New York, 1978
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York, 1979
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of New York, 1979
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit, 1985
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit, 1997

Education

  • Columbia Law School, New York, New York
    J.D. – 1978
  • University of Rochester, Rochester, New York
    B.A. cum laude – 1975
    Major: Mathematics
    Major: Political Science

Representative Cases

Past Employment Positions

  • Judge Murray Mogel, Law Clerk, 1987 – 1989
  • Honorable Murray Mogel in New York County Supreme Court, Legal Assistant, 1992

Michael G. Pomposello


Senior Trial Attorney since 2006
Location: New York, New York
Phone: 800-219-2892
Fax: 800-219-2892
Email: Email Me

Michael Pomposello has practiced law in New York for fifteen years, and has extensive trial experience, having taken over one hundred cases to verdict. As an Assistant Corporation Counsel from September 1995 until the time he joined Jeffrey Samel & Partners in 2006, he represented the interests of the City New York in numerous matters involving the New York City Police and Fire Departments, Board of Education, Health & Hospitals Corporation, Parks Department, Corrections Department, and Department of Transportation.
He was promoted to the rank of Senior Counsel in the Tort Division of the Corporation Counsel in February 2000, in recognition of his experience and skill. He also served as an instructor and judge for the National Board of Trial Advocacy, and as an instructor in the New York City Law Department Tort Division’s Trial Training Program.

Mr. Pomposello joined the firm as a senior trial attorney in 2006, and since that time has successfully handled countless matters on behalf of the firm’s clients in a wide variety of personal injury lawsuits. He brings with him a wealth of experience, not only in trial practice, but in pre- and post-trial motion practice as well.

Areas of Practice

  • Municipal Liability
  • Motor Vehicle
  • Labor Law
  • Construction
  • Professional Liability
  • Premises Liability
  • Police Action
  • Product Liability
  • Dram Shop
  • Education
  • Recreation
  • Toxic Torts

Bar Admissions

  • New Jersey, 1996
  • New York, 1996

Education

  • Hofstra University School of Law, Hempstead, New York
    J.D. – 1995
  • State University of New York at Oneonta
    B.A. – 1986

Past Employment Positions

  • Jeffrey Samel & Partners, Assistant Corporation Counsel, 1995 – 2006
  • Tort Division of the Corporation Counsel, Senior Counsel, 2000
  • National Board of Trial Advocacy, Judge
  • New York City Law Department Tort Division’s Trial Training Program, Instructor

Gary R. Matano


Partner

Location: New York, New York
Phone: 800-219-2892
Fax: 800-219-2892
Email: Email Me

Gary Matano joined the firm in 2002. He also handles matters in both New York and New Jersey for the firm’s clients. He is a Certified Civil Trial Attorney in New Jersey, with significant experience representing insureds and self-insureds in negligence, product liability, municipal liability, professional liability, and construction litigation cases. He also has expertise in insurance coverage, Workers’ Compensation cases, No-Fault coverage, and subrogation issues. He has tried more than 100 cases to verdict in New Jersey.

Mr. Matano is a former County Prosecutor in Passaic County, New Jersey; has served as a Municipal Prosecutor in the Township of Wayne, New Jersey; and is an Adjunct Professor of Business Law and Paralegal Studies at Passaic County Community College and Morris County Community College. Mr. Matano has served as an elected Trustee of the Wayne Township Board of Education, as a result of which he is well versed in Education Law and school liability issues.

Areas of Practice

  • Motor Vehicle
  • Premises Liability
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Municipal Liability
  • Construction
  • Toxic Torts
  • Subrogation
  • Workers’ Compensation Law

Certified Legal Specialties

Civil Trial Certified, State of New Jersey, 1993

Bar Admissions

  • New Jersey, 1977
  • New York, 1990

Education

  • Fordham University School of Law, New York, New York
    J.D. – 1977
    Law Review: Selected Notes Editor, Fordham Urban Law Journal, 1976 – 1977
  • Fairleigh Dickinson University, Teaneck, New Jersey
    B.A. magna cum laude – 1974

Published Works

Toward a Constitutional Right to Counsel in Matrimonial Litigation, Vol. 4, Fordham Law Journal, 1977

Representative Clients

  • CNA
  • CIGNA
  • Amica Mutual Insurance Company
  • Maryland Casualty Company
  • Ohio Casualty Group
  • Motor Club of America
  • Selective Insurance Company
  • Medical-Inter-Insurance Exchange of New Jersey
  • Hanover Insurance Company
  • Prudential Property and Casualty Company
  • City of Paterson

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Borough of Totowa, Municipal Prosecutor, 1981 – Present
  • Passaic County Bar Association, Member
  • National District Attorney’s Association, Member

Past Employment Positions

  • Hon. William J. Marchese, Passaic County Superior Court, Judicial Clerkship, 1977 – 1978
  • Passaic County, Assistant Passaic County Prosecutor, 1978 – 1981
  • Seeber and Bowkley, Dover, New Jersey

Pro Bono Activities

Trustee of The Wayne Township Board of Education

Christopher L. Cornish


Location: New York, New York
Phone: 800-219-2892
Email: Email Me

Christopher Cornish has practiced law in New York for fourteen years, during which time he has gained experience in the areas of premises and motor vehicle liability, product liability, elevators and escalators, municipal liability, Labor Law/construction, professional liability, toxic torts, insurance coverage, and subrogation.

Mr. Cornish joined the firm in 2003, and since that time has employed his expertise on behalf of the firm’s clients in cases involving complex issues of insurance coverage, indemnification, subrogation, and interpretation of sections of the Labor Law.

Areas of Practice

  • Product Liability
  • Motor Vehicle
  • Labor Law
  • Construction
  • Professional Liability
  • Premises Liability
  • Police Action
  • Municipal Liability
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Subrogation
  • Toxic Torts

Bar Admissions

  • New York, 1997
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York, 2005
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of New York, 2005

Education

  • Brooklyn Law School, Brooklyn, New York
    J.D. – 1996
  • Northwestern University
    B.A. – 1976

Negligent Security Defense Archives

Negligent Security Defense Archives

Security Lapse Scam

On behalf of Jeffrey Samel & Partners posted in Negligent Security Defense

A claim of inadequate security leading to a brutal assault, rape or even murder of an innocent victim carries with it an emotional impact that creates problems for any defense team. Such problems are made even worse when the criminal assailant turns out to be one of the security officers your client hired to protect the tenants and visitors at a particular building.

Continue reading Security Lapse Scam

New York Insurance Law Blog

NYC Sidewalk Law

On behalf of Jeffrey Samel & Partners posted in Injuries on Friday, March 6, 2015.

In 2003, the New York City Council enacted §7-210 of the New York City Administrative Code. Under that statutory scheme, liability to those injured as a result of a defective public sidewalk generally shifted from the City to the abutting landowner. However, not all types of landowners are subject to this shifting of liability.

Pursuant to NYC Administrative Code §7-210(b)(i) (ii), an owner of a one-two-or three-family residential premises that is owner-occupied and is used exclusively for residential purposes does not have a statutory duty to maintain public sidewalks abutting that property. In other words, the owner of a one, two or three family home that the owner actually occupies and that does not contain a business (such as a professional office or retail establishment), would not be responsible for sidewalk defects or for the presence of snow, ice or other debris.

In such instances, liability for injuries sustained as a result of a dangerous condition of the public sidewalk remains with the municipality and does not shift to the owner of the abutting property. Exceptions to this rule include when the landowner actually created the dangerous condition, made negligent repairs thereby causing the condition, created the condition through a special use of the sidewalk, or violated a statute or ordinance imposing liability on the abutting landowner for failing to maintain the sidewalk.

Very often, plaintiffs seek to commence a lawsuit after the somewhat brief statute of limitations for claims against the municipality has expired, or when prior actual written notice cannot be proven against the City, leaving plaintiff with little choice but to seek to establish liability on the part of the abutting landowner. The most prevalent claims that attempt to place liability on an abutting landowner of a one, two or three family home include claims of a defect located on the portion of the sidewalk over which the landowner’s driveway (i.e. a “special use”) crosses and where it is claimed that the landowner made “ineffective repairs of a defect (or incomplete removal of snow or ice) that allegedly resulted in a more dangerous condition.

Most of the allegations faced by landowners for incidents that occurred on abutting sidewalks have been well litigated. There are few “gray areas” remaining or issues of first impression. Thorough legal research by knowledgeable counsel can almost always uncover legal decisions in cases involving similar facts in which the issue of liability has already been determined by the appellate courts.

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