Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C.
Steven J. Schwartzapfel believes in our civil justice system and has built his practice on its principles since 1983.
Christopher Holbrook is a trial attorney recognized for some of the highest verdicts and settlements in NY over the last several years.
Michael Reiner has recovered millions of dollars for clients injured in auto accidents, premises liability and construction accidents.
Benjamin I. Rabinowitz is an ambitious young attorney dedicated to passionately representing individuals injured by the Negligence of others.
For more than 30 years Steven Schwartzapfel, the founding member of Schwartzapfel Lawyers, P.C., has been one of New York’s most prominent personal injury attorneys. Steven Schwartzapfel has represented clients on all types of personal injury cases, and his experience, skill and expertise has enabled Schwartzapfel Lawyers, P.C. to cover a wide array of practice areas including catastrophic injury, wrongful death, construction site injuries, slip, trip and fall, auto, truck, bus, motorcycle accidents, highway design defect, medical malpractice, nursing home neglect, products liability, workers’ compensation, social security disability and mass tort litigation. Over the course of Mr. Schwartzapfel’s career, he has achieved excellent results and his firm has won hundreds of millions of dollars for his clients. But beyond his legal experience, it is his dedication and commitment to his clients that makes all the difference in the world. Schwartzapfel Lawyers treats their clients like family.
While Schwartzapfel Lawyers, P.C. is well prepared to try every case, not every case is tried to verdict. Insurance companies and defense counsel know that Mr. Schwartzapfel has the experience, skill, reputation and resources to take a case to trial and win. The insurance companies and defense counsel know when Schwartzapfel Lawyers, P.C. take a case to trial, the case has merit, they are well prepared, know their case, have preeminent experts and financial resources to take a verdict. Mr. Schwartzapfel carefully plans out each case, not hesitating to employ first-rate experts and specialists to ensure that his clients receive the best possible outcome. Mr. Schwartzapfel’s inside knowledge of how insurance companies operate ensures his clients receive the best representation from outstanding attorneys who are experienced litigators with excellent judgment and proven track records. The insurance companies know that Schwartzapfel Lawyers comes to court well prepared, ready to take a verdict and will not back down.
It is because of Mr. Schwartzapfel’s reputation that he is able to negotiate large settlements for his clients wherein the clients often have more to lose than to gain by proceeding to trial. Mr. Schwartzapfel realizes many clients prefer resolving their case sooner rather than sit in a courtroom and gamble on what a jury may or may not do. When counseling a client on whether to accept a settlement or proceed to trial, Mr. Schwartzapfel gives each client open and honest advice, as if he were speaking to a family member.
As experienced and credentialed as Mr. Schwartzapfel is, his passion for helping those in need stems from his childhood. Growing up, he always knew what it was like to deal with hardship as his father suffered from multiple sclerosis. Mr. Schwartzapfel experienced firsthand what it was like when a person can’t take care of themselves, let alone others. From this he understands the stress and frustration of not being able to do the simplest things people take for granted such as getting out of bed in the morning, dressing oneself, going to work and paying the bills. He can relate to the losses suffered and the impact and stress placed upon the entire family.
Mr. Schwartzapfel’s personal background, his unwavering belief in and dedication to our civil justice system and desire to serve the community has led him to become a member, director and officer of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association, having been elected to every position from Parliamentarian to President elect, and currently serves as a Director Emeritus. Mr. Schwartzapfel served as the First President of the Alliance for Consumer Rights, a political action committee focused on consumer rights, and he is a founding member, served as a Director, First Vice President and President elect of the New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers. Additionally, Mr. Schwartzapfel has served as chairperson and faculty lecturing to attorneys within and outside the country on many topics including trying cases, negotiation, strategies and tactics, decisions and statutes, insurance issues, law office management, client relations and ethics.
As another way of giving back to the community, Mr. Schwartzapfel has founded RealWorkersofNewYork.com and NYSafetynet.com. These websites have been designed to provide information to New Yorkers about nonprofit and service organizations for working families as well as the socially and/or economically disenfranchised. These sites give helpful information about housing, healthcare, personal rights, financial and legal resources within greater New York.
Mr. Schwartzapfel has been named a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation in recognition to the welfare of the community. His philanthropic efforts include years of supporting charities including the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, American Cancer Society, Ronald McDonald House, St. Jude, American Heart Association, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island, Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, Down Syndrome Association, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Alzheimer’s Association, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Island Harvest, the American Parkinson Disease Association, Ascent School for Autism, Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of the USA, March of Dimes, Children’s Medical Fund of New York, Schneider Children’s Hospital, Ascent School-Hope on the Horizon, Harlem Dowling West Side Center, Jewish National Fund, McCormick Foundation, Cycle for Survival, Columbia University Medical Center, NY Presbyterian Hospital, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Association, Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, Linda Horowitz Cancer Research Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, Holiday House-Junior League of Little Rock, Long Term Care Community Coalition, NY Foundation for Senior Citizens, FRIA-The Voice and Resource for Eldercare with Dignity, Outreach Project, Caron Foundation, The Tempo Group, The Coalition Against Domestic Violence; National, Nassau and Suffolk Coalitions, Nassau County Police Activity League, Metropolitan Museum-NY, New York Foundation for the Arts, The Nature Conservancy, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, United Cerebral Palsy of Suffolk, Child Care Council of Westchester, Inc., Coney Island Gospel Assembly, Deafness Research Foundation, Doctors without Borders, Jericho Volunteer Fire Department, Judges and Lawyers Breast Cancer Alert, Little Village & Development Center, Inc., Local One Scholarship Fund, Muscular Dystrophy Association, NFL Alumni New York Chapter, Wounded Warrior Project, NYC Central Labor Council, Rotary Club of Huntington, Smile Train, The Caumsett Foundation, The Children’s Center at SUNY Farmingdale, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Toys for Tots, We Care Fund-Italian Feast, Audubon, Special Olympics, John Holt Scholarship, Pace University Law School, and Touro Law. Mr. Schwartzapfel has established both scholarships and fellowships at Touro Law School.
Mr. Schwartzapfel’s awards, achievements and recognitions:
- New York Times’ Super Lawyerfor 6 consecutive years
- Recognized in Legal Leaders as a Top Rated Lawyer by The Wall Street Journal, New York Law Journal, Newsday, American Lawyer, Corporate Counsel and National Law Journal.
- Top Rated Lawyer in New York Magazine
- Leader in Law in Newsweek
- Top Legal Eagle in Long Island Pulse Magazine
- Top 100 Trial Lawyers by The American Trial Lawyers Association
- Top 100 Trial Lawyers by The National Trial Lawyers Association
- Recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from Pace University School of Law.
- Has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau
- Avvo Peer Review perfect “10” rating
- Recipient of the President’s award from the New York State Trial Lawyers Association
- Recipient of the Elite Lawyers of America awardfor obtaining verdicts and/or settlements of at least 2 million dollars
- Certified member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, which is a prestigious group of trial lawyers in the United States that is limited to attorneys who have won multi-million dollar verdicts and/or settlements.
- AV Peer Review rating from Martindale-Hubbell, including the highest possible rating for both legal ability and ethical standards for more than a decade.
- Litigators Award rendered with reference to the firm's million and multi-million dollar verdicts/settlements
Mr. Schwartzapfel attended the State University of New York at Buffalo where he earned his B.A. degree with honors in 1977. He then went on to graduate with Pace University School of Law’s second class in 1980. The following year Steven was admitted to the bar of New York and U.S. District Court, in the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. In addition, he has served on the Committee on Professional Discipline for New York County as well as numerous judicial screening committees for New York State Supreme Court, the Appellate Division and most recently Governor Cuomo’s judicial selection for the Court of Appeals, New York State’s highest court.
Mr. Holbrook, a partner at the law firm, is an experienced and accomplished trial attorney who concentrates his practice in representing individuals who have suffered catastrophic injuries due to the negligence of others.
Mr. Holbrook has recovered millions upon millions of dollars through jury verdict, arbitration, mediation and settlement on behalf of his clients. These cases included matters involving trade union members injured on construction sites, automobile and tractor trailer collisions and wrongful death claims.
Mr. Holbrook was recently named by The National Trial Lawyers as a “Top 40 Under 40” trial lawyer in the United States and locally selected as a “New York Super Lawyer – Rising Star”. Chris is also a member of the exclusive “Million Dollar Advocates Forum” which recognizes those trial attorneys which have achieved seven-figure results for their clients. Mr. Holbrook’s courtroom achievements have been recognized by the New York Law Journal in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 in their “Top Verdicts” and “Top Settlements” section which features the highest results in New York State for the past year. Among those results were year’s highest motor vehicle verdict and highest construction site accident settlement in Suffolk County and Staten Island respectively (widely regarded as difficult plaintiff jurisdictions). Additionally, Mr. Holbrook serves on the Board of Directors for the New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers – a statewide organization comprised of practitioners and judiciary. In this role, he has been selected from an elite group of his peers to lecture statewide on the subject of trial advocacy and trial practice.
Previously, Mr. Holbrook was a homicide prosecutor in the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office. During his tenure, he tried a multitude of jury trials to verdict with an astounding success rate. Among those verdicts were a number of high profile murder cases which garnered significant media attention. Mr. Holbrook has appeared on television and radio as well as in print including CBS Channel 2, ABC Channel 7, News 12, 1010 WINS and Newsday. Mr. Holbrook is an attorney who has earned a reputation for excellence and superior results among his colleagues and judges alike. He has a proven track record of success, even in the toughest of circumstances.
Mr. Holbrook has also served as an adjunct professor at St. John’s University School of Law teaching three-credit trial advocacy courses in civil and criminal practice as well as serving as an instructor in the Polestino Trial Advocacy Institute where his students won the American Bar Association’s National Trial Advocacy Competition held annually in Chicago.
Mr. Holbrook earned a degree of Juris Doctor from St. John’s University School of Law and obtained his bachelor’s degree, with honors, from the State University of New York at Albany.
Mr. Holbrook is admitted to practice in New York State, Southern District of New York (Federal Court), Eastern District of New York (Federal Court).
He is also a member with the New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers (Board of Directors), The National Trial Lawyers, New York State Trial Lawyers Association, American Association for Justice, Former Assistant District Attorneys Association and Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
Mr. Reiner is a trial attorney at Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C. concentrating his practice in representing individuals who have been injured due to the negligence of others. Mr. Reiner handles cases from their inception through trial. Mr. Reiner has earned a reputation for excellence and superior results among his colleagues, adversaries, and judges alike. His passion for obtaining justice for his clients is unparalleled and rooted in his professional and educational background.
Mr. Reiner began his legal career as a prosecutor in the Nassau County District Attorney's Office. After a short period of time and successfully litigating hundreds of cases, Mr. Reiner became the youngest member of the prestigious Major Offense Bureau where he was responsible for investigating and litigating only the most serious cases in Nassau County including Homicide, Burglary, Robbery, and Gang Assault. Mr. Reiner was also appointed as the Special Arson Prosecutor for the County. During his tenure at the District Attorney's Office, Mr. Reiner tried a multitude of jury trials with an extremely high success rate. Along with his colleague, Mr. Reiner secured a conviction in a 25-year-old cold case murder trial that gained national media attention.
After leaving the DA's Office, Mr. Reiner joined one of New York's largest medical malpractice firms where he defended doctors, hospitals, podiatrists, dentists, and chiropractors against allegations of malpractice.
Mr. Reiner earned a degree of Juris Doctor from Hofstra University School of Law. At Hofstra, Mr. Reiner served as the Vice President of the Moot Court Association and Notes and Comments Editor of the Labor and Employment Journal. Mr. Reiner earned his undergraduate degree from the State University of New York at Binghamton.
Personal Injury, Wrongful Death, Construction Accidents
New York State
Mr. Rabinowitz began his career representing a diverse range of clients in civil litigation, bankruptcy, and probate and estate proceedings. Prior to joining Schwartzapfel Lawyers, Mr. Rabinowitz interned for the Honorable F. Dana Winslow, Supreme Court of the State of New York, 10TH Judicial District where he observed medical malpractice and personal injury trials and other commercial litigation hearings and proceedings. After being admitted to the First Department in New York in 2014, Mr. worked as an associate at the Marrone Law Group, P.C. where he represented clients in criminal defense, commercial litigation, and real estate matters.
Mr. Rabinowitz earned a degree of Juris Doctor from Fordham University School of Law. At Fordham, Mr. Rabinowitz served as a member of the Intellectual Property, Media and Entertainment Law Journal, Media & Entertainment Law Society, and the Latin American Law Students Association. Mr. Rabinowitz earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and a Citation in Spanish language studies.
While at Harvard University, Mr. Rabinowitz was a member of the Harvard Men’s Baseball Team and Mixed Martial Arts Club. Mr. Rabinowitz is an avid exercise enthusiast and passionately follows his favorite sports teams: New York Yankees, New York Giants, and New York Knicks.
Personal Injury, Automobile Accidents, Workers’ Compensation, Wrongful Death, Construction Accidents, Slip and Fall Accidents, Negligence
Mr. Rabinowitz is admitted to practice in New York State.
Mr. Rabinowitz is a member of the New York State Bar Association, New York County Lawyers Association, New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers, and New York State Trial Lawyers Association