Jeff Kimmel is one of New York City's leading trial attorneys focusing on medical malpractice law. The Plainview, N.Y. native leads the current crop of plaintiffs' lawyers dedicated to personal-injury and malpractice cases. He is managing partner of the nine-attorney firm of Salenger, Sack, Kimmel & Bavaro, LLP (with offices on New York City's Madison Avenue, in Brooklyn, New York, and Woodbury, Long Island), and as a leader in key advocacy groups is an influential force in the profession. Quietly competitive, keenly perceptive and peers say, "with a powerful intellect and commitment to justice," Kimmel owns a broad skill-set.
At Penn, he earned an undergraduate degree from the elite Wharton School. At Brooklyn Law, he was one of three students selected to compete on its prestigious National Moot Court Team, and received the school's coveted American Jurisprudence Awards in Legal Writing and Appellate Advocacy. Peers say he is both an excellent writer and fierce litigator. He has a well-honed ability to build and evaluate cases, and help clients anticipate a likely outcome.
A competitive streak ignited in Kimmel early on. A four-letter athlete at Long Island's Plainview Kennedy High School, he captained his varsity soccer team to the 1983 New York State Soccer Championship, the school's only state title. Recruited by Penn, Kimmel played soccer for two years, but "I knew soccer wouldn't be my career," and instead, focused on a more realistic path. He pursued a business degree in part to seize the moment - "I had access to one of the best business schools in the country - why not take advantage of it?" But he always contemplated practicing law, inspired by influences of his youth: Plainview High teacher Marvin Hazan took Kimmel's class to the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., ("He was an important early influence I truly appreciated years later") and Kimmel's father "always encouraged me to blaze my own path." Post law school he joined the Bronx District Attorney's Office, an ideal proving ground for a lawyer launching a trial career.
After four years and numerous trials (it was routine to break up identity-theft rings and auto chop shops), Kimmel accepted a position with a Manhattan medical malpractice insurance-defense litigation firm; less than a year later Marvin Salenger and Robert Sack, both marquee names of the trial bar focused on classic personal-injury cases, lured Kimmel to their firm. "They are much more than partners to me," says Kimmel, "their conviction to represent the underdog, and utter dedication to clients perfectly suit my own aspirations." Says Salenger: "Jeff's a tremendous talent. He's taken our firm to a new level." Indeed, it was Kimmel who led the firm into representing victims of medical malpractice, launching them into the top echelon of New York malpractice plaintiffs' work.
The firm is known for deftly and effectively allocating vast resources for clients' cases, a reflection in part of Kimmel's business acumen. In court he is known for being extremely well organized. In one instance Kimmel's preparation so outstripped his adversary that the opposition came to rely on Kimmel's color-coded presentations during trial. Kimmel said he was glad to oblige: "The best outcomes originate in a civil atmosphere, so you want to foster a level of collegiality."