Hello there blog readers!  I’m back after my partner Dave Kalabanka hi-hacked this site last week to write about that “Personal Injury Lawyer of the Year” award.  What Dave did not mention is that ALL four lawyers at Michaels & Smolak were again listed for their representation of personal injury victims in the Best Lawyers in America publication this year.  In addition, Dave Kalabanka and I were listed in the categories of representing injured plaintiffs in product liability litigation , and I was also listed for representing victims of professional malpractice.  All these listings were based on “peer review”, meaning that the folks at Best Lawyers asked other lawyers and judges who know our work to rate us.  Most of those rating us were likely our opponents and judges since they best know our work.  So we are all very proud to have made such a strong impression on them.

What the Best Lawyers listings don’t tell is this:  At Michaels & Smolak we don’t work as isolated lawyers representing individual clients.  So it’s a bit misleading to rate us individually. Rather, we work as a team, meeting every second week to discuss our cases.  We also pitch in with the actual heavy lifting on each other’s cases.  For example, Jan smolak might have a case where I will draft his summary judgement motion papers or argue his appeal, or I might do his legal research.  Dave Kalabanka might consult with his network of New York lawyers to find solutions to a problem that has emerged on one of my cases.  Lee Michaels might call any of us at any time of day or night seeking help deciding on a strategic move he is considering making on one of his cases.

So although Best Lawyers rates each lawyer separately, what they really can’t see or feel is how this office works as a team.  We believe that of all the personal injury law firms in the Syracuse area, we have the best “team”, not just because our individual lawyers are outstanding, but because the formula we use to work together creates a powerful “synergy” that is the best in the area.

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