At the personal injury and medical malpractice law firm Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, all of the attorneys’ efforts are directed toward one goal: obtaining the highest possible recovery for victims of negligence. To that end, the firm limits the number of cases each lawyer handles so that clients are afforded the personal attention and support their matters deserve.
“We spare no expense on case preparation, especially when obtaining the experts, medical witnesses, and trial exhibits that will optimize the recovery for our clients,” says partner Philip Russotti. “By limiting the number of cases each attorney handles, we ensure that every client receives the full attention of the lawyer assigned to their case.”
Russotti adds that there is also consistent communication and cooperation among all of the firm’s attorneys, so that when issues arise that require a tactical decision, clients will benefit from the input of the firm’s many experienced attorneys in addition to the knowledge of the attorney assigned to their case.
“All of our attorneys have extensive experience in the courtroom, which allows us to expertly prepare every matter—anticipating defenses early in the case and preparing for them as we work up the case, rather than right before trial,” Russotti says.
Russotti and William Wingate formed Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin in 1990 when they merged their respective practices. Before his death in 2009, Wingate was recognized as one of the most successful personal injury attorneys in New York State, having practiced personal injury law for nearly 50 years. Russotti, meanwhile, has successfully tried every type of civil case over the past 40 years, handling matters in virtually every state and federal courthouse in the New York metropolitan area.
“Attorneys practicing personal injury law typically try one or two kinds of cases, so I have found my experience in trying the full range of civil matters to be invaluable, particularly when it comes to anticipating potential issues and dealing with them expertly, efficiently, and effectively,” Russotti notes.
Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin’s name partners also include managing partner Clifford Shapiro, who has practiced personal injury law exclusively for nearly three decades, and Kenneth Halperin, who oversees the firm’s complex litigation and construction cases. The firm’s other partners—William Hepner, Jason Rubin, and Thomas Oliva—and counsel, Kathleen Kettles, have all obtained multimillion-dollar verdicts and settlements.
Among the firm’s most prominent cases are Graham v. Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, a leading case on the standard to obtain punitive damages in medical malpractice cases in New York; and Ray v. Kapiolani Medical Center, the leading case in Hawaii on informed consent, which established that patients must be apprised prior to treatment that a lesser dose of the same medication is a recognized alternative.
“Seeing the impact of the work we do has been very rewarding,” Russotti says. “Beyond establishing new law, it is very satisfying to obtain sufficient funds for people who were catastrophically injured—such as children injured at birth due to malpractice and victims who are now paralyzed because of their injuries—as these funds provide for the services our clients need in order to live out the rest of their lives with dignity.”