Law Offices of Curtis, Vasile, Mehary & Dorry P.C.

                                                                        CURTIS, VASILE HISTORY


            There are very few Long Island law firms with as rich a history as that enjoyed by the Law Offices of Curtis, Vasile P.C.  Founded by Reid A. Curtis nearly seventy years ago, the firm soon established itself as one of the premier insurance defense firms in the Greater New York region.  Over the years, the firm has embraced additional opportunities to provide service to its clientele, and as a result, it currently holds the unique honor of being a full service civil trial advocacy law firm.


            Reid Curtis moved to Long Island in the late 1940's, settling in the then-bucolic hamlet of Merrick.  During the first ten years of his practice, Reid developed a client base which grew so fast that in 1960, he entered into a partnership with two other masters of the Long Island trial bar, Edward J. Hart and William D. Munro.  While keeping its roots in the Merrick community, the firm expanded its services to include Suffolk County as well as the boroughs of the City of New York.


            In 1971, Munro left the firm to become the first of several alumni to accept a judicial appointment.  He served with distinction as a Suffolk County District Court Judge until his untimely and tragic death in 1972. 


            Reid Curtis and Ed Hart decided to invite one of the firm’s associates into the partnership, starting the firm’s enduring tradition of “promoting from within,” in recognition of the values of loyalty and dedication.  Self-effacing Francis E. Zaklukiewicz, or “Zak” as he was affectionately called, became a partner in 1971, and soon distinguished himself as the firm’s principal voice in Suffolk County legal and political circles.


            Reid’s prowess as a trial lawyer reached well beyond courtroom walls; many a lawyer measured his own success by comparison to the “Bald Eagle,” so-nicknamed for his raptorial trial skills.  One judge described Curtis in a New York Law Journal article as “dogged, persistent, challenging and provocative. A deadly opponent with the heart of a mountain lion.”


            Ed Hart, a renowned and tenacious trial lawyer in his own right, brought his singular finesse to the firm’s trial repertoire.  A superb strategist, Ed would beguile his opponents with charm and wit.  Hart also helped grow the firm’s client base through an incredibly extensive network of friendships and alliances stemming back to the roots of his youth.  Corporations, municipalities and state agencies were added to the growing list of clients of the firm.  Hart left the firm in 1984 and eventually went on to become a Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, serving first as a trial jurist and thereafter, as an Appellate Division Justice. 


            Roy Vasile, another partner promoted from within, joined the firm in 1978 upon his graduation from St. John’s School of Law.  After studying under the auspices of his mentor Reid Curtis for five years, Roy was accepted into the partnership in 1983.  He served as managing partner during a turbulent period in the firm’s history, when Reid’s health began to fail.  With the invaluable assistance of a loyal staff headed by Office Manager Janet Price, Vasile was able to keep the firm growing and moving forward despite the loss of its founder.  In the tradition of his predecessors, Roy Vasile has successfully handled hundreds of cases, and is honored to be considered one of Long Island’s “senior” trial attorneys.   


            Michael Mehary joined the firm in 1983, and was invited to join the partnership in 1996.  Another St. John’s Law graduate, Mehary holds the distinction of being the only partner in the firm’s history to have developed not only a superb reputation as a trial lawyer but also as a skilled real estate lawyer.  After serving for several years as managing partner, Mike devotes his professional efforts to the development of the firm’s client base, in addition to a full menu of trials and other diverse legal issues.


            Dominick Piccininni typifies the fundamental reason why clients love the firm.  Joining in 1988 and becoming a partner in 1999, Dom’s work ethic allows for nothing less than Herculean effort in the preparation of his cases. An avid trial attorney and negotiator, Dom’s charming humor masks an intense concern for the protection of his clients.


            Michael Dorry is the firm's current managing attorney. Mike's rise from associate to management chief stands testament not only to his professional skills as a trial attorney , but to his capacity for inspiring others as well. Under Mike's guidance, the firm recently unveiled plans to expand the scope of legal services available to its non-corporate clients.  

             No discussion of the history of this firm would be complete without recognition of the contributions of its alumni.  Former associates Peter Fox Cohalan, Joseph Spinola and Randy Sue Marber have gone on to become New York State Supreme Court Justices. James J. Morris, now departed, rose to the top of the corporate world with Union Carbide, retired, went to law school in his sixties and became a Village Justice, in addition to being a skilled trial lawyer – he was our “secret weapon” as one Judge referred to him.


Former associate, Timothy McNamara, is an esteemed arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association.  Another alumnus, William Lewis, founded a highly respected insurance defense firm on Long Island and former attorneys Bruce Bendix, Dennis Brady, John Humphreys, William McDermott, William Morrissey, Joseph Puzo, Robert Schleier and Robert Smith, to name just a few, are now senior partners or senior trial attorneys in other prestigious law firms or hold significant positions in the insurance industry.


            Perhaps no single reason explains why the firm has prospered over the years, but definitively there is a single principle which has guided it from its humble beginning: this firm cares about its clients.  We measure our success by the number of people and companies we have helped, and we are grateful for the opportunity to continue our service.

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