Trial Lawyers Nassau Suffolk Civil Commercial New York Attorneys

Attorney Profiles

John M. Shields- Partner

Jack joined Devitt Spellman Barrett of counsel in January of 2012 and became a partner of the firm in January 2017. During his first year with the firm, Jack successfully completed six Federal and several State jury trials to verdict. Prior to joining DSB, Jack was an Assistant Attorney General in the Suffolk Regional Office for twelve years, where he supervised all Federal and State litigation. Jack has completed several hundred State and Federal trials to verdict, including over thirty Federal jury trials. His extensive trial experience includes: discrimination based on age, gender, race and disability; excessive force, malicious prosecution and false arrest; catastrophic injuries; roadway and intersection design; premises liability; motor vehicle accidents; contracts; and assault.

Jack was previously an Assistant Town Attorney with the Town of Southampton. Prior to that, he was a trial attorney with the Legal Aid Society of Suffolk County. He has published numerous legal articles and has taught at the graduate, college, paralegal and high school levels. Jack's teaching experience also includes responsibilities at New York City Corporation Counsel Trial Advocacy training.

Areas of Practice:

  • Federal and State Trial Practice
  • Employment Discrimination
  • Civil Rights
  • General Negligence
  • Personal Injury
  • Motor Vehicle Accidents

Education:

  • J.D./M.B.A Fordham University School of Law, New York, New York, 1993
    • Business Editor, Urban Law Journal, 1990 – 1993
    • Associate Editor, Moot Court, 1990 -1992
  • Hamilton College, Clinton, New York, 1989

Published Works:

  • Divided Court Limits Reckless Disregard Protection for Emergency Vehicles, New York Law Journal, May 25, 2011

  • A Divided Court Limits Reckless Disregard Protection for Emergency Vehicles, New York State Torts, Insurance and Compensation Law Journal, Winter, 2011

  • Reckless Disregard Protection Does Not Extend to Emergency Vehicle Operators as Plaintiffs, New York State Torts, Insurance and Compensation Law Journal, Summer, 2011

  • Divided Court Limits Reckless Disregard Protection for Emergency Vehicles, The Suffolk Lawyer, June, 2011

  • Reckless Disregard Protection for Emergency Vehicle Operators, The Suffolk Lawyer, September, 2010

  • Standard When Emergency Vehicle Operators Are Plaintiffs, New York Law Journal, July 16, 2010

  • Employers May Avoid Select Automobile Liability Through Employee Use Restrictions, While Car Rental Companies Do Not Enjoy the Same Protection, New York State Torts, Insurance and Compensation Law Journal, Winter, 2004

  • CPLR Section 3101(i) Requires Full Disclosure of Surveillance with No Timing Limitation, New York State Torts, Insurance and Compensation Law Journal, Winter, 2004

  • Employers May Avoid Select Automobile Liability Through Employee Use Restrictions, While Car Rental Companies Do Not Enjoy the Same Protection, The Suffolk Lawyer, November, 2003

  • Employers May Avoid Select Automobile Liability With Use Restrictions, New York Law Journal, October, 20, 2003

  • CPLR Section 3101(i) Requires Full Disclosure of Surveillance with No Timing Limitation, The Suffolk Lawyer, September, 2003

  • Liability to Third Party Pursuant to a Contract Only Allowed in Limited Exceptions, Insurance and Compensation Law Journal, New York, State Torts, Summer, 2003

  • When is a Party to a Contract Liable to a Third Person?, New York Law Journal, February 20, 2003

  • Liability to Third Party Pursuant to a Contract Only Allowed in Limited Exceptions, The Suffolk Lawyer, February, 2003

  • Recent New York Appellate Decisions Will Impact Municipal Tort Litigation, 30 Fordham Urban Law Journal 1105, 2003

  • Apportionment Against Intentional Tortfeasors Under Article 16, New York Law Journal, November 5, 2002

  • Negligent Defendants Entitled to Article 16 Apportionment Against Intentional Tortfeasors, Insurance and Compensation Law Journal, New York State Torts, Fall, 2002

  • Governmental Immunity for Discretionary Actions - Unless a Special Relationship is Proven, New York State Torts, Insurance and Compensation Law Journal, Fall, 2002

  • Complaint Letters or Conflicting Expert Opinions Regarding the Decision to Install a Traffic Control Device do not Affect the Qualified Immunity Afforded to a Municipality, New York State Torts, Insurance and Compensation Law Journal, Fall, 2002

  • Negligent Defendants Entitled to Article 16 Apportionment Against Intentional Tortfeasors, The Suffolk Lawyer, November, 2002

  • Governmental Immunity for Discretionary Actions Unless a Special Relationship is Proven, The Suffolk Lawyer, October, 2002

  • Emergency Vehicles and the Reckless Disregard Standard, New York Law Journal, September 18, 2002

  • Governmental Immunity and Special Relationships, New York Law Journal, July 25, 2002

  • Complaint Letters or Conflicting Expert Opinions Regarding the Decision to Install a Traffic Control Device do not Affect the Qualified Immunity Afforded to a Municipality, The Suffolk Lawyer, June, 2002

  • Emergency Vehicles are Entitled to Reckless Disregard Standard, Even During Non-Emergency Operation, The Suffolk Lawyer, May, 2002

  • The Court of Appeals Clarifies Article 16 Apportionment for Cases involving Joint and Several Liability, Insurance and Compensation Law Journal, New York State Torts, Fall, 2001

  • The Court of Appeals Clarifies Article 16 Apportionment for Cases involving Joint and Several Liability with a Favorable Interpretation for Defendants, Especially Municipalities, The Suffolk Lawyer, September, 2001

  • Appellate Division Establishes Objective Standard to Assure that AIDS Phobia Claims are Genuine and Treated Consistently, New York State Torts, Insurance and Compensation Law Journal, Fall, 2001

  • Recklessness Standard Applied to Hazard Vehicles, New York Law Journal, July 20, 2001
    Municipal Vehicles are Protected by a Recklessness Standard While Engaged in Work on a Highway, The Suffolk Lawyer, July, 2001

  • Standard Set for AIDS Phobia Claims: Appellate Division Establishes Objective Standard to Assure that AIDS Phobia Claims are Genuine and Treated Consistently, The Suffolk Lawyer, March, 2001

  • Assumption of the Risk and Recreational Use Immunity: Protecting Property Owners, The Suffolk Lawyer, January, 2001

  • Owners' Liability: Assumption of the Risk and Recreational Use Immunity, New York Law Journal, December 13, 2000

  • Reviewing the Threshold for "Serious Injury", New York Law Journal, August 24, 2000

  • "Serious Injury" Requires Verified, Objective Medical Findings in Admissible Form, The Suffolk Lawyer, October, 2000

  • New York State's License Suspension and Local Vehicle Forfeiture for Driving While Intoxicated: Due Process and Double Jeopardy Analysis, Suffolk Academy Law Journal, 2001

  • Driving While Intoxicated License Suspension and Vehicle Forfeiture: Due Process and Double Jeopardy Analysis, The Suffolk Lawyer, September, 1999

  • Constitutional Challenges to New York's Death Penalty Statute, 25 Fordham Urban Law Journal 255, 1998

  • New York's Death Penalty Statute: Current Constitutional Flaws, 12 Suffolk Academy Law, Journal 1, 1998

  • Admissibility of DWI Chemical Test Results Obtained After the Two Hour Limit has Expired, New York State Bar Journal, September/October, 1998

  • Admissibility of DWI Chemical Test Results Obtained After the Two Hour Limit has Expired: Challenges are Still Appropriate Despite the Atkins Decision, The Suffolk Lawyer, September, 1998

  • Under Competitive Bidding Law, Post-Bid Price Reduction is Permitted, Towns and Topics, August, 1998

  • Prompt Suspension of DWI Defendant's Driving Privileges, New York State Bar Journal, July, 1998

  • Harassment: A Simple Charge With Complicated Application, New York State Bar Journal, April, 1998

  • Harassment: A Simple Charge With Complicated Application, The Suffolk Lawyer, November, 1997

  • Prompt Suspension of DWI Defendant's Driving Privileges: Heightened Evidentiary Requirements for Prosecution and Mandatory Hearing Created for Defendants, The Suffolk Lawyer, October, 1997

  • Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996, The Suffolk Lawyer, March, 1997

  • Transferring a Law Practice to a Limited Liability Company, The Suffolk Lawyer, February, 1997

Representative Trials:

  • Bennett v. Southampton Town Police 13-CV-1575 (EDNY)
    Civil Rights; § 1983; excessive force.

  • Love v. Riverhead School District 09-CV-5680 (EDNY)
    Civil Rights; § 1983; excessive force.

  • Hogde v. Southampton Village Police 09-CV-2606 (EDNY)
    Civil Rights; § 1983; excessive force.

  • Granger v. Comsewogue School District 10-CV-845 (EDNY)
    Employment discrimination.

  • Cichon v. New York State Police  06-CV-02328 (EDNY)
    Civil Rights; § 1983; excessive force.

  • Tomassi v. Stony Brook Hospital   08-CV-0062 (EDNY)
    Title VII; § 1983/NYS Human Rights Law; sex discrimination; retaliation.

  • Olson v. New York State Police   04-CV-0419 (EDNY)
    Employment discrimination; ADA.

  • Vlahos v. SUNY at Stony Brook  02-CV-0139 (EDNY)
    Employment discrimination; FLMA.

  • Guzov v. State of New York, 21 Misc.3d 111A, 873 N.Y.S.2d 511 (N.Y.Ct.Cl. 2006)
    Highway design; death.

  • Dahl v. State of New York, 13 Misc.3d 590, 820 N.Y.S.2d 729 (N.Y.Ct.Cl. 2006)
    Highway design; death.

  • Guan v. State of New York, 16 Misc.3d 1103A, 841 N.Y.S.2d 862 (N.Y.Ct.Cl. 2007)
    Highway design; death.

  • Kane v. State of New York, 11 Misc.3d 1065A, 816 N.Y.S.2d 696 (N.Y.Ct.Cl. 2005)
    Highway design; quadriplegia.

Bar Admissions:

  • New York, 1994
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, 2000
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, 2014

Classes/Seminars Taught:

  • Trial Advocacy, NYC Corporation Counsel, 2009 - Present
  • Business Law and Employment Law, Dowling Graduate Business School, 2005 - 2006
  • Contracts/Torts/Trial Advocacy, BOCES (Paralegal), 2011 - Present
  • Trial Advocacy, Youth Court, 1997 - 2006

Honors and Awards:

  • Louis J. Lefkowitz Award for outstanding service, while at the Attorney General’s Office

Professional Associations and Memberships:

  • Fordham Law School Nassau-Suffolk Alumni, former President
  • Fordham Law School Law Advisory Board
  • Fordham Urban Law Journal Alumni Board, Vice President
  • Brehon Law Society
  • Friendly Sons of St. Patrick
  • New York State Bar Association
  • Suffolk County Bar Association

Past Employment Positions:

  • NYS Attorney General, Deputy Assistant Attorney General in Charge, 1999-2012
  • Southampton Town, Assistant Town Attorney, 1998-1999
  • Suffolk County Legal Aid Society, Trial Attorney, 1994-1998

Main Office: 50 Route 111, Suite 314, Smithtown, NY 11787 | Phone: (631) 724-8833 | Email: info@devittspellmanlaw.com
Upstate Office: 90 STATE STREET, SUITE 700, ALBANY, NEW YORK 12207 | Phone: (866) 851-1123

   
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