Christopher McGrath
Plaintiffs' Personal Injury Law - Garden City, NY

Christopher McGrath possesses those rare combinations of skills and traits shared by only the best and most successful trial attorneys, and he's something of a throwback of the small-town lawyer. Indeed, the 45-year-old Inwood, Long Island, native is poised to become, as incoming president of the Nassau County Bar Assn., one of the leading figures of the New York trial bar for years to come. McGrath, the youngest of four in his family, is in every sense a homegrown talent with a sharp sense of justice and street-wise instincts: "I wanted to be a cop, and that's what I thought I was going to be." But it was an eye-opening experience as a teen that propelled him to the law: College professor Larry Finnegan took McGrath and others on a high-risk dig of a Queens parking lot, which produced the bodies of several victims of the Mafia. "It was exciting -- he told me if there'd been no bodies under that lot he'd be teaching the rest of his life," says McGrath of Finnegan's gambit (Finnegan went on to become a state court judge.) After St. John's and Dayton law school, McGrath was recruited by Robert Sullivan, himself one of the state's leading trial attorneys. "I thought I was headed to the DA's office" to prosecute criminal cases, but instead McGrath plunged into high-stakes civil trial work almost immediately: "I was selecting a jury the day after I was admitted" to the bar, McGrath says. That was January 1984. With keen ambitions from the start, McGrath read and prepared cases for superiors, marking them "ready for trial" - knowing full well that the only available attorney to try the case was himself. "I don't recommend that kind of approach to case management," McGrath says with a smile today. McGrath has had many important mentors who showed confidence in him early and gave him the experience that gave him a courtroom record of successes before he was 30. Over the years, McGrath has handled many high-profile cases - including the civil-claim case for Inwood's Jermaine Ewell, a high school football star who'd been brutally beaten by three racists on the Atlantic Beach Boardwalk; Ewell "was going to the NFL," says McGrath. "He's a great man and I admire him." Indeed, McGrath identifies closely with his clients, often the victims of negligence and malfeasance. He also was part of his firm's team that helped negotiate the landmark $11.8 billion tobacco industry settlement for the State of New York; Sullivan Papain is today one of the largest firms dedicated to plaintiff's interests in the nation, and they represent the interests of many public workers, including New York City Fireman's Benevolent Assn. The firm today is organized into legal teams, but McGrath assumes a unique role: Although he formerly led a trial-litigation team, he is now a hands-on practitioner who rarely delegates and assumes some of the firm's most challenging cases. Such cases include medical negligence, labor law, automobile and product-liability cases, originating in Queens, Nassau and Suffolk counties. When not trying cases or volunteering in the community, McGrath is often on sports fields, either as a coach or a spectator; he's known to listen to friends' legal problems at halftime. He and his wife Monica have three daughters. They live in Hewlett, New York.

Christopher McGrath
"You have to be yourself - don't pretend to be something you're not. I've seen lawyers do that, and they end up shading the truth or misrepresenting a point of their case. And if you lie on a single point, even a small point - that just undermines your entire case, because no one will believe you on anything else."
Phone: (516) 742-0707
Lawrence High School, Cedarhurst, N.Y., 1976
St. John's University, Queens, N.Y., BS, cum laude, 1980 University of Dayton, JD, 1983

2017-12-05 11:50:08