Rosalia Baiamonte has in less than a decade emerged as one of the outstanding young matrimonial attorneys in New York State, having assumed a central role at the renowned firm of Gassman Baiamonte Gruner, PC in Garden City. Strong and focused, and with a determined sense of fairness, Baiamonte is by all accounts a positive influence in Long Island divorce law, famous for its high-stakes contentiousness. Further, her life story - of cultural adaptation and academic accomplishment - reflects a unique degree of intellectual depth and personal perspective, all of which contributed to her success today. "I always knew I wanted to be a lawyer," she says today.
Born in Italy, she arrived with her family in Brooklyn at the age of 5. "I learned English watching Sesame Street and Electric Company; some people were amazed they never heard a New York accent out of me." She recalls that young schoolmates "could be cruel" about cultural differences, and "I was definitely foreign in every way." That early experience only reinforced a sense of fairness and a personal determination ("I made a decision to rise above it"); all along she excelled, first at Bayside High School and later at Brandeis (where she followed her older sister) and Syracuse law school ("If they'd let me be a career student, I'd probably still be there.") While in college in Boston, she worked as a juvenile probation officer, an early taste of the legal system and its effect on families. "Even in law school I knew that family law was for me," she says. "It's a multi-discipline field, and we play a very direct and personal role in our clients' lives." Returning to Long Island, Baiamonte got a boost by working with talented matrimonial attorneys from the start; she was recruited by the late Richard Keidel, "my first mentor" who "encouraged me to be an individual, and to trust my instincts in the practice of law." Within three years both she and Keidel had joined Stephen Gassman, long renowned as one of the top trial attorneys of the New York divorce bar.
Today Gassman Baiamonte Gruner, PC has eight attorneys, and Baiamonte plays a key role in some of the firm's most complex cases, preparing them for trial and writing extensively. Indeed, Gassman and Baiamonte make a formidable courtroom team, on cases that often set new precedents in the law. And, in an age in which much is made of alternative dispute resolution, Gassman and Baiamonte are handling more contested cases. Well liked by her peers for her professionalism and competence, Baiamonte is likely to remain one of the key divorce attorneys of Long Island for years to come.
Away from the office she enjoys her time with her husband, a physical anthropologist, and their two young sons. She also loves to cook, and "being just myself at home." They reside in Bayside, New York.