JONATHAN J. WILKOFSKY
Jonathan J. Wilkofsky is our founding and managing
partner. He has been litigating insurance coverage and
property damage claims for more than 26 years. He has
represented victims of catastrophes occurring all over
the world including the "Monrovia Fires" in West Africa
as well as one of the largest gas pipeline explosions in
the country in the "Hellgate" case, which lead to a multimillion
dollar settlement during trial. Mr. Wilkofsky,
who has yet to lose a jury verdict, has represented several
thousand victims of insurance company misconduct.
Mr. Wilkofsky was lead counsel in the matter of
Riordan v. Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Company. That case, tried before the Chief
Judge of the Southern District of New York and argued before the Second Circuit Court
of Appeals, was the first case in the history of the State of New York where an insured
successfully prevailed against an insurance carrier for attorneys-fees and punitive damages for
deceptive acts and practices.|
Additionally, Mr. Wilkofsky was lead trial counsel in Newark Center Building Co. adv. Atlas Assurance Company, which represents one of the largest property damage verdicts in New York Supreme Court history at 12.6 million dollars. The case involved the asbestos contamination and resulting abandonment of the former New Jersey state office building in Newark, New Jersey.
Mr. Wilkofsky has been the Executive Director and General Counsel of the New York Public Adjusters Association since 1994 and the New Jersey Public Adjusters Association since its founding in 2005.
Mr. Wilkofsky has also drafted insurance related legislation and insurance regulations to better protect the consumer. He drafted and spearheaded the passage of legislation requiring language to be added to every property policy issued in New York which mandates the insurance company to share their experts' reports upon demand by the insured. (Insurance Law §3407(a)). The bill was signed into law by Gov. Pataki on September 15, 2001. Mr. Wilkofsky drafted and lobbied for the passage of a law requiring minimum standards and mandatory continuing education for insurance adjusters which passed the legislature and was signed by Gov. Pataki in 1998.
He has lectured for the New York State Bar Association on the subject of trial tactics, and has spoken on the subjects of "The Appraisal Process" and the role of the public adjuster in the adjustment process and the Insurance Laws and Regulations of New York. He is also the author of the legal treatise, The Law and Procedure of Insurance Appraisal for which he received the 2004 Cordish Writing Award from the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters.
Mr. Wilkofsky regularly represents licensees of the Insurance Department in administrative matters and litigates catastrophic injury cases involving construction sites.
MARK L. FRIEDMAN
As Senior Trial Partner, Mark Friedman has been litigating insurance-related cases for almost 30 years. During this time, he has successfully protected policyholders against false claims of arson and fraud in hundreds of jury trials in state and federal court. He has also assisted countless disabled individuals in obtaining disability benefits which were wrongfully withheld by insurance carriers, including UnumProvident and Paul Revere.
As an outgrowth of this practice, Mr. Friedman also pursues class actions against insurance carriers for widespread abuses against the public at large. He was lead counsel in a novel class action where State Farm was found to have improperly withheld "profit and overhead" in their payment of policyholders' losses, depriving countless insureds of untold benefits which they paid for when they purchased their policies. Mr. Friedman has also successfully represented the New York State Public Adjusters Association and their insureds in many lawsuits and appeals on vital issues ranging from insurers' improper attempts at expanding policy definitions and limiting consequential damages to the carriers' efforts at refusing payment to innocent co-insureds, all to the detriment of the policy-holding public.
Mark Friedman has been involved as trial counsel in several multi-million dollar verdicts and decisions and has obtained hard-fought awards of punitive damages in several of them. His experience transcends trial advocacy to include appeals where he has authored and argued numerous appeals both for individual causes and on behalf of Amicus Curiae in insurance-related cases on behalf of the policyholder. He is also involved in North Carolina, Louisiana and Florida in an ongoing effort to protect policyholder's rights arising out of hurricane and flood losses in those states. Mr. Friedman is a graduate of Brooklyn Law School and began his career in criminal law providing the rich underpinning of his present practice.
DAVID B. KAREL
David Karel began his career as a Senior Assistant District Attorney in the Economic Crimes and Arson Bureau of the Office of the District Attorney of Kings County. As a senior trial partner with WFK&C this hardworking and insightful attorney has developed expertise in first-party insurance, property damage and disability insurance matters. In addition, Mr. Karel litigates the firm's construction matters and economic claims, as well as representing clients in commercial litigation, discrimination and malpractice claims. David has briefed and argued numerous appeals before many appellate courts including the New York State Court of Appeals and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, primarily on insurance and property damage issues. His extensive litigation background includes experience in matters in the States of New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Mississippi, and in the Federal Courts. Mr. Karel has lectured on behalf of The New York State Bar Association, the New York Public Adjusters Association, and the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters. He has written and lectured on the topics of Ethics in Public Adjusting, Condominium and Co-op insurance issues and claims, and first-party mold claims. Mr. Karel obtained his Juris Doctor from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and obtained an L.L.M. in Taxation from New York University. His background provides our clients with the savvy experience and knowledge needed in today's world.
HARRY A. CUMMINS
Harry A. Cummins has been litigating first and third-party property cases on behalf of victims for the past 20 years. In addition to handling these matters in New York Courts, Mr. Cummins is licensed to practice in New Jersey and Pennsylvania and oversees the firm's day to day practice in those states. Mr. Cummins is currently involved in litigation on behalf of insureds in Louisiana arising from losses sustained as a result of Hurricane Katrina in August, 2005. Mr. Cummins represents a number of residential and commercial building owners providing advice on insurance coverage issues and handling coverage litigation with their liability insurers with respect to obligations for defense and indemnification. Mr. Cummins has briefed and argued numerous appeals, primarily in the area of insurance coverage and property damage issues. Mr. Cummins is a graduate of the State University of Binghamton and New York Law School.
HERBERT J. MAREK
Herbert J. Marek is the senior associate at the firm. He is a graduate of Brooklyn Law School and graduated with honors from Pace University. Mr. Marek has been litigating first and third-party property damage claims and insurance and personal injury matters representing policyholders and other victims. Mr. Marek was also an Associate Vice- President at Prudential Securities, handling securities litigation matters and has been in house counsel for Chubb Insurance. Mr. Marek has practiced before the state and federal courts of New York and New Jersey for over 20 years and is also admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States. His hard work and diligence have been well known for many years in our personal injury, premises liability as well as commercial and insurance litigation practices.
Roman Rabinovich, an associate with the firm, is a graduate of Brooklyn Law School and a former junior law clerk to the Honorable David Trager. He is admitted to both the New York and New Jersey bars. Mr. Rabinovich has represented clients in a wide array of property damage and insurance matters, including: first-party and third-party litigation, bad faith litigation, and disability and ERISA claims. Mr. Rabinovich has extensive experience in personal injury litigation and is a member of the American Bar Association and the New York State Trial Lawyer's Association.
Sandra Dozis is Assistant to Managing Partner Jonathan Wilkofsky. She has worked in the insurance industry handling first party claims for policyholders for more than 30 years. She is a graduate of New York Paralegal School and has been with the firm since 1994. The combination of her vast knowledge of insurance coverage, her first hand experience with insurance industry leaders as well as her paralegal skills make her a valuable asset to the firm and its clients. Ms. Dozis has also been Administrator for the New York Public Adjusters Association since 1994 and for the New Jersey Public Adjusters Association since its founding in 2005.
VISHWAS KADAM Vishwas Kadam has been the office manager of the firm almost since its inception. He is responsible for supervising the firm's paralegal, clerical, bookkeeping and office service staff. His expertise on matters of court rules and procedures has been beneficial to the firm's clients over the years. Mr. Kadam is also responsible for supervising and managing the firm's extensive libraries, computer and data management systems. Mr. Kadam also manages the physical plant and equipment utilized by the firm which encompasses the entire 17th floor at our New York office. The firm maintains extensive high-speed copying, fax and communications equipment to support the firm's day-to-day operations and its clients' needs. Mr. Kadam has his degree in Public Administration and a post graduate diploma in Labor Law from the National Institute of Law in Bombay.
R. RAY ORRILL
R. Ray Orrill, Jr. oversees our Louisiana office and Hurricane Katrina litigation. He is a graduate of Lamar University (B.S., 1969) and received his J.D. in 1972 from Loyola University. He was admitted to the Louisiana bar and U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana in 1972, and the U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit in 1977; Mr. Orrill is also admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court, and the U.S. District Court, Western and Middle Districts of Louisiana. He was national Co-Lead Counsel In Re: The Upjohn Company Antibiotic Cleocin Products Liability litigation, M.D.L. 343, 1977 to 1981 (81 FRD 482, 1978). Mr. Orrill is a member of the Louisiana State and American Bar Associations and the Association of Trial Lawyers of America. (Board Certified Civil Trial Advocacy Specialist by the National Board of Trial Advocacy). His practice areas are Civil Practice; Medical Malpractice; Legal Malpractice; Personal Injury; Drug and Medical Device Litigation; Professional Malpractice. Orrill, Cordell & Beary are class action attorneys with over 35 years experience handling property insurance claims and are currently counsel on Hurricane Katrina-related insurance claims. They have experience as lead counsel in multiple property insurance class actions as well.
LESLEY E. LITTLE
Lesley E. Little is of counsel to the firm and manages our Texas office. During his 18-year legal career, Lesley Little has represented individuals and organizations in a variety of litigation at the state of federal levels. His case experience includes first party insurance and coverage, product liability, wrongful death, personal injury and securities litigation. He has been the lead attorney in numerous cases involving multimillion dollar verdicts or settlements. Prior to joining Buck, Keenan, Gage, Little & Lindley in 2001, Mr. Little was a shareholder with Little & Baird. He received his bachelor of business administration degree from Southern Methodist University and his Juris Doctor from the University of Houston Law Center. He is a member of the State Bar of Texas Litigation and Insurance and Insurance sections. Mr. Little is on the board of directors for The River Performing and Visual Arts Center and a member of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church. Mr. Little is admitted to the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas and U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas.
KEITH A. SELDIN
Keith A. Seldin is of counsel to the firm and manages our Florida office. Mr. Seldin began his career in New York handling all aspects of commercial civil litigation, insurance defense and insurance subrogation. In 1980, he relocated to southern Florida and set up his own practice where he concentrates heavily on insurance, commercial, civil and real property related litigation. His areas of practice also include personal injury, real estate, business law, wills, probate, trusts and estates, and landlord tenant law. Mr. Seldin is a graduate of Brooklyn College of the City University of New York (B.S., Accounting, 1972) and received his J.D. in 1976 from Western New England College School of Law. He has been certified by the Florida Supreme Court as a Circuit Court and County Court Mediator. Mr. Seldin currently is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Northwood University, in West Palm Beach, Florida.