Forty-two-year-old Luis Haquia is one of the best known and most accomplished Hispanic attorneys in New Jersey today, having established a solid record of courtroom successes for a broad range of clients.
A personal-injury lawyer with a reputation for modesty and hard work (“That’s just the way I was brought up”), Haquia is a respected fixture at the Teaneck-based firm of Davis Saperstein & Salomon, itself one of the most successful plaintiffs’ personal-injury firms in the state. “Luis has earned the respect of his colleagues over many years, both in New York and New Jersey,” says managing partner Garry Salomon. “His record speaks for itself.”
For his part, Haquia (pronounced “Hah-KEE-eh”) is well known not simply in the strong Hispanic communities of northern New Jersey – Union City, North Bergen, Jersey City – but in the boroughs of New York City as well. A native of Cuba, Haquia grew up in West New York, where his father, a machinist, later owned a bar and was a fixture of the tight-knit Cuban community. Haquia recalls summer-evening basketball games of his youth; “I stopped growing so I was one of the smallest on the court – that’s where I really learned to have a sense of fairness. You had to fight for anything you got.” He adds, “I enjoyed the constant competition – that’s what my work is all about today.”
Haquia, the first in his family to attend college, had an eye on law school even as a teen-ager. In fact, he knew he could make a difference as a courtroom lawyer, or litigator; “Being an effective litigator means thinking fast on your feet, and I’ve always had that skill,” he says. Remarkably, Haquia’s first job out of law school was defending insurance companies against asbestos-poisoning claims, a role that “made me sympathetic to the plight of the people I was across the table from. I mean, people had really suffered. I felt their sorrow, their loss.” Before he was 30 he was recruited by the Davis Saperstein firm; he’s now been at the firm for more than 12 years, fighting against the very insurance-defense firms he once worked for. In 2003 Haquia won a multi-million-dollar verdict against the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority; his client had lost his legs in a grisly accident. And after securing a litany of six-figure settlements for his clients in the Spanish-speaking community, Haquia was honored by La Tribuna newspaper of Union City for his efforts.
Today he maintains a steady caseload – classic personal-injury claims cases, automobile accidents, as well as product liability claims. He and his wife Ana have two young children; they live in Morris County, New Jersey.