New York Office
370 Lexington Avenue
New York NY 10017
We offer free initial consultations, home and hospital visits, and evening and weekend hours by appointment.
We only get paid when we recover compensation for our clients.
You will pay no up-front legal fees
Mon - Fri: 9:00 am - 5:30 pm
TO WIN A FIGHT, YOU NEED A FIGHTER
Fighter. If only one word could describe attorney Rafael Gonzalez, fighter would be it. Particularly with personal injury cases, it takes a warrior's willpower to win in court.
Born into poverty in a small mountain village in rural Puerto Rico, Rafael came to America when he was just seven years old. Raised on the Lower East Side, he grew up as a street kid in what was then a tough neighborhood, where he learned to survive and live by his wits. He vividly remembers many instances of the police removing dead heroin addicts from the rooftop of the tenement building where he lived.
Whereas these difficult life experiences crush many people, Rafael learned to think in terms of possibilities instead of limitations, and turned challenge into success. He takes the same approach to representing clients. "The first thing I do is take the time to hear what it is they want, and then help them see what's possible," says Gonzalez.
After graduating Hunter College in New York City, Rafael was awarded a full tuition free scholarship to Boston University Law School, one of this country's top ten law schools. He excelled there in trial advocacy.
Multi-cultural clients are very comfortable with Rafael, as he too is bi-cultural and bi-lingual. For those who feel intimidated by the legal system, his reassuring manner eases their anxieties and concerns. He calls it "confianza." In Spanish, it means "confidence" and describes a unique kind of rapport, where clients feel comfortable entrusting him with their most important matters. And they do.
If you ask him what accounts for his success, he replies "Preparation. Preparation. Preparation." As fate would have it, many of Rafael's law professors at Boston University were also judges. They drilled the importance of case research, planning and organization into him. It certainly has paid off. Rafael Gonzalez has a 20-year history as a successful trial lawyer.
Rafael's trial skills made a major contribution to a $550,000.00 case triumph for the daughter of a man who died in a tragic swimming accident. "I looked at the evidence and reports, and was able to put together a second-by-second sequence of the events that caused his death. It was the kind of very close reasoning and knitting of facts I like to do, that doesn't leave the other side any room for dispute."
Rafael is a long-time martial arts practitioner of the ancient Fu Jow Pai "Tiger Claw" system of Kung Fu, and is a winner of the Eastern Regional Lightweight Championship. He enjoys competing in chess tournaments worldwide on the Internet, and reading novels by famous authors in Spanish. He is now living the "American Dream" with his wife Farida and teenage daughter.
THREE MAJOR KEYS TO WINNING YOUR CASE: METICULOUS PREPARATION, ORGANIZATION, AND RESEARCH
Regardless of whether it's settled or litigated, every personal injury case at The Law Firm of Steven J. Mandel is prepared as if it's going to trial. Thoroughness is the foundation of success in settlement negotiations and in court.
Don Ridley is an astute architect of winning trial strategy, and provides core preparatory support for the firm's cases. A legal scholar, author and accomplished speaker, Don has practiced law for more than 25 years.
Don has an extensive background in litigating cases in the demanding, high-stakes appellate arena. Having argued numerous appeals, Don's experience and outstanding skills give the Mandel Law Firm a winning advantage in court.
Completely dedicated to his clients, Don takes a personal interest in each case. "If you can help people in trouble, alleviate their problems and let them get on with their lives, that's a nice payback. They feel good about it, and so do I."
Immediately after graduating law school, Don was personally chosen for a two-year law clerkship by the famous federal trial judge and legal author, the Honorable Judge Edward J. Devitt. Only the best and brightest law school graduates are selected as law clerks in the Federal Court system. Researching complex questions of law, and drafting memorandums and legal opinions for the Court, honed Don's skills to the razor-sharp edge that has served clients well throughout his remarkable career.
Noteworthy in his varied trial experience, is success with cases involving patient's rights. His contributions in this area have had significant impact on protecting and furthering the right of patients to refuse unwanted treatment, and to control what is done to their own bodies.
Having worked his way through law school, Don graduated with honors from the William Mitchell College of Law in St., Paul, Minnesota, the alma mater of former United States Chief Justice Warren Burger. While there, he served with distinction as Editor-in-Chief of the school's law review.
As with all the other members of the Mandel firm, family is important to Don. He and his wife Dawn spend much of their free time together, and are actively involved in charitable work in their community. Those in need of help appreciate the compassion, intelligence and devotion they bring to improving the lives of others.
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