Reason #1: Remarkable Record of Success. According to Verdict Search, the nation’s leading service for personal injury verdicts and settlements research, the top two personal injury recoveries for car accident cases in Dutchess County for the year 2003 belong to John Hochfelder: Lunsford v. Leprechaun Lines, Inc, in which he recovered $1,824,000 for his injured clients; and Cantave v. Wheels, Inc., in which he recovered $1,500,000 for his injured client.
Reason #2: Exclusive Focus on Recovering Money. Any lawyer can file a lawsuit asking for millions of dollars. Many lawyers get verdicts for millions of dollars, only to discover that they cannot collect the money. Why? In some cases, there’s not enough insurance coverage, which means the trial was a waste of time and money. Other times, the judge reduces the runaway jury award. And in other cases, the appellate court reduces the award. For example, in the McDonald’s hot-coffee burn case, the court reduced the award from many millions of dollars to less than $400,000. In John’s personal injury law practice, the sole focus is recovery, recovery, recovery. John’s focus is on getting the largest possible amount of money for his client — and to recover the money as fast as is reasonable under the circumstances.
Reason #3: Many Results Over $1,000,000. John has won for his clients many awards and settlements in excess of $1,000,000.
Reason #4: Member of The Million Dollar Advocates Forum. John is a respected member of The Million Dollar Advocates Forum, membership in which is “limited to trial lawyers who have demonstrated exceptional skill, experience and excellence in advocacy by achieving a trial verdict, award or settlement in the amount of at least one million dollars.”
Reason #5: Served 5 Years as a Judge. John served as a Judge in Westchester County for five years. John is the only New York lawyer listed in Martindale-Hubbell whose firm practices plaintiff’s personal injury law exclusively and who served as a judge.
Reason #6: Served as Law Clerk in Federal Court. In 1977, John served as Law Clerk to the Hon. Irving Ben Cooper, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York. John is the only New York lawyer listed in Martindale-Hubbell whose firm practices plaintiff’s personal injury law exclusively and who served as a Law Clerk in Manhattan Federal Court.
Reason #7: Served as Special Assistant District Attorney. In 1979, John served as Special Assistant District Attorney in New York County, where he prosecuted lawbreakers. John’s reputation as a tough, aggressive prosecutor won praise from fellow lawyers and crime victims.
Reason #8: Served on the Board of Crime Stoppers. John’s support of anti-crime measures in Westchester County gives him a high degree of empathy for crime victims. In fact, when John found a burglar in his law office, he gave chase and alerted two police officers, who apprehended the suspect. John received the Citizen of the Year Award by Crime Stoppers.
Reason #9: State Certified Emergency Medical Technician. In 1995, John earned his New York State certification as an Emergency Medical Technician. For several years, he rode as an EMT volunteer in the Village of Briarcliff Manor, serving as an officer. John received a Westchester County Award saving a life with CPR. John’s efforts to save lives in the streets have given him unique insights that he uses in the courtroom for his clients.
Reason #10: Highest Rating. The respected international law directory Martindale-Hubbell awarded John its highest rating of AV. The AV rating indicates very high to preeminent legal ability and very high ethical standards as established by confidential opinions from members of the Bar. Martindale Hubbell says, “An AV Rating signifies that the lawyer has reached the heights of professional excellence. He is recognized for the highest levels of skill and integrity.”
Reason #11: Reputation Motivates Settlement. John’s reputation as a skilled, experienced trial attorney often motivates insurance companies to settle cases without going to court. And if they don’t choose to settle, John has the knowledge, skill and experience to take the case to trial.
Reason #12: Traumatic Brain Injury and Death Claims. John has achieved a high level of skill and success because he limits his practice to handling accidental injury claims resulting in serious personal injuries, traumatic brain injuries or death.
Reason #13: Admitted to Major Courts. John is admitted to practice before the U.S. Tax Court, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, and all New York State Courts.
Reason #14: Trial Group Memberships. John is a member of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association and American Association for Justice (formerly known as ATLA).
Reason #15: Bar Association Memberships. John is a member of the New York State Bar Association and Westchester County Bar Association. In addition, he belongs to the New York State Bar Association’s sections on Insurance Law, Negligence and Compensation Law.
Reason #16: Distinguished Legal Career. In 1977, John served as Law Clerk to the Hon. Irving Ben Cooper, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York. In 1979, John served as Special Assistant District Attorney in New York County. From 1990-1992, he served as Deputy Town Attorney for the Town of Mount Pleasant. From 1996-2001, John served as Acting Village Justice for the Village of Briarcliff Manor. And in 1999, he served as Acting Town Justice for the Town of Mount Pleasant.
Reason #17: Community Minded. John’s servie has included years as a volunteer assistant teacher at Blythedale Children’s Hospital, a local hospital for disabled children. In addition, John serves on the board of Aish Ha Torah.
Reason #18: History of Serving Others. John was a popular Little League Coach. From 1988-1993, he served on the Board of Directors of Phelps Memorial Hospital Center. From 1994-1996, John served on the Board of Directors of Friends of Karen, an organization that gives financial and other types of support to families with children who have catastrophic injuries and illnesses. And in 1995, John earned his New York State certification as an Emergency Medical Technician. He rode as a volunteer in the Village of Briarcliff Manor for several years. John received a Westchester County Award saving a life with CPR.
Reason #19: Educator. John lectures on personal injury litigation for lawyers in bar association sponsored continuing legal education programs as well as ambulance companies in their risk management programs.
Reason #20: Long-Time Friend and Neighbor. John was born in New York City. He has practiced law in New York for more than 25 years.
Reason #21: Family Values. John and his wife have raised their two children in Westchester County. They have supported family, civic and charitable activities for decades.
Reason #22: Clients Are Family Members. One reason John gets excellent results for his clients is because he works as hard for them as he would for someone in his own family.
Reason #23: Client Communication. The key to John’s successful career has been the quality of his relationships with clients. Good communication reduces anxiety and helps bring cases to a successful resolution as quickly as possible. John’s primary focus is to listen to and communicate with clients so he better understands their needs and provides them with the best possible representation.
Reason #24: Passion for Justice. John knows the difference between getting a quick and easy settlement and a truly just award often comes down to determination. Some people call this having a tough attitude. John calls this a passion for justice. John will insist that the other party respect your rights and treat you with dignity.
Reason #25: Third-Party Recommendations. John gladly provides you with comments from past clients, physicians, lawyers and colleagues — each of whom can attest to John’s knowledge, skill, judgment and experience, as well as his kind, caring manner.
Reason #26: Free Consultation. John will gladly talk with you about your injury claim.