Our firm was founded by Michael LoPinto in the late 1940s. "Mike," as he was widely known, earned a well-deserved reputation as a seasoned litigator who was always fair, reasonable, and unswerving in protecting his clients. Hard-nosed, insightful, and unstinting, Mike came to be recognized throughout the region, particularly for his work in criminal defense and matrimonial cases.
As a law student at Cornell, Ray Schlather clerked for Mr. LoPinto; in 1976, after completing his degree, he joined the firm. Over the next decade, Mike and Ray expanded the firm's reach and scope of practice to include an extensive civil trial practice with four attorneys. Following Mike's death in 1987, Ray was joined by Jim Salk and then-Assemblyman Marty Luster as an "attorney of counsel." Rich Stumbar and firm in 2007. Between 1987 and 2007, the firm passed through several iterations, growing to its current size and membership.
In the 70 years since Mike LoPinto first hung out his shingle, we have maintained a commitment to providing high-quality legal service to each of our clients. Though their lives often are set adrift by adversity, our clients have the confidence that we do our best to provide proper direction and support to enable them to move forward.Further, and unabashedly, we advocate for the rights of privacy, freedom from intrusive government, free speech and ideas, freedom from discrimination, and for fair compensation in redressing wrongs. Those core values infuse our basic firm decisions, our service to clients, and our commitment to the larger community in which we live.
We know our clients rely on us. We never lose sight of the fact that we are entrusted with tasks and information of the greatest significance to those we serve. To justify that trust, we recognize the importance of maintaining and building upon our reputation in the legal community and in the state as a trustworthy law firm. We do what we say we will do. We do not do what we say we will not do. We are what we say we are.
We have three guiding principles:
You are entitled to be treated with courtesy and consideration at all times by your lawyer and the other lawyers and personnel in your lawyer's office.
You are entitled to an attorney capable of handling your legal matter competently and diligently, in accordance with the highest standards of the profession. If you are not satisfied with how your matter is being handled, you have the right to withdraw from the attorney-client relationship at any time (court approval may be required in some matters and your attorney may have a claim against you for the value of services rendered to you up to the point of discharge).
You are entitled to your lawyer's independent professional judgment and undivided loyalty uncompromised by conflicts of interest.You are entitled to be charged a reasonable fee and to have your lawyer explain at the outset how the fee will be computed and the manner and frequency of billing.
You are entitled to request and receive a written itemized bill from your attorney at reasonable intervals. You may refuse to enter into any fee arrangement that you find unsatisfactory.You are entitled to have your questions and concerns addressed in a prompt manner and to have your telephone calls returned promptly.
You are entitled to be kept informed as to the status of your matter and to request and receive copies of papers.
You are entitled to sufficient information to allow you to participate meaningfully in the development of your matter.You are entitled to have your legitimate objectives respected by your attorney, including whether or not to settle your matter (court approval of a settlement is required in some matters).
You have the right to privacy in your dealings with your lawyer and to have your secrets and confidences preserved to the extent permitted by law.
You are entitled to have your attorney conduct himself or herself ethically in accordance with the Code of Professional Responsibility.You may not be refused representation on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin or disability.
Posted in accordance with 22 NYCRR 1210.
Schlather, Stumbar, Parks & Salk, LLP, charges an hourly rate of between $300 and $400. In some cases, there is no charge for an initial consultation.
In certain cases, including personal injury, medical malpractice, and some civil rights cases, we charge a contingency fee instead of an hourly rate. A contingency fee is a percentage of any recovery that we obtain for the client, typically 25 percent to 33-1/3 percent. The fee is contingent on the recovery, which means that it is paid only if there is a recovery of money. If there is no recovery, there is no fee. However, under all circumstances, the client is responsible for all out-of-pocket disbursements.
New York State law requires that there be a letter of engagement in virtually all cases. The letter of engagement spells out the scope of services to be provided, the type of fee being charged, and -- in hourly-fee cases -- an estimate of the total cost to the client, among other information. The firm routinely provides such a letter to all clients who engage us.