NYSTLA Officers

President

Halina Radchenko, Esq. 

Halina Radchenko is a graduate of the University of Rochester. Since she was a child, Halina knew she wanted to become a trial lawyer. She attended law school at St. Mary’s School of Law in San Antonio, Texas. While attending law school, she became a member of the Moot Court team. In 2006 her team won the prestigious Texas Young Lawyer Association Moot Court Competition.

 

Upon graduation, she began her career at the Law Office of Richard Wright. Halina’s main area of practice was Plaintiff’s personal injury litigation. She also handled cases in immigration, divorce, child custody, and child support.

 

In 2011, Halina opened The Law Office of Radchenko and Ratsenberg, PLLC, a small law office located in the heart of Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. She worked closely with the local residents, mainly serving the vibrant Eastern European community in that area. Her main area of focus at Radchenko & Ratsenberg was personal injury work. Halina handled cases where her clients were victims in motor vehicle accidents, construction site accidents, and slip and fall incidents.

 

In 2014, Halina was invited to work with Hach & Rose, LLP. She accepted and joined the firm, where she still works. She handles matters in which accident victims were severely injured.

 

Halina has always had a strong sense of giving back to her community. She has been involved in numerous projects to help families of immigrants, single mothers, and children in New York City. Halina has also taken on pro bono clients in family court and immigration matters.

 

In her personal life, Halina is a wife and a mother of two small children. Her passions include cooking and traveling with her family.

 

Halina has been a member of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association since 2012. She became a member of the Board of Directors in 2015. She was elected to the position of Parliamentarian in 2016. She has been an officer for 7 years.

 

President-Elect

Thomas P. Valet, Esq. is a partner at Rappaport, Glass, Levine & Zullo, LLP.
 
Tom Valet is one of the most accomplished medical malpractice lawyers in New York. His entire legal career has been devoted to representing the victims of malpractice and defective drugs and medical devices.
 
Tom was a founding member of the nationally recognized law firm, Rheingold, Valet, where he worked for more than 30 years.  Tom moved his practice to Long Island and joined our firm in 2018 and was made Partner in 2020.  He will continue to work on behalf of clients injured by defective medical devices and medical negligence.
 
Tom’s passion for the law and for the preservation of our judicial system and the rights of his clients led him to become involved with the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. In 2021 Tom was named President-Elect of NYSTLA. Tom lobbies on behalf of victim’s rights and in opposition to the medical and insurance lobby and their efforts to limit access to the courts by members of the public. Tom was also appointed to the Plaintiffs Leadership Committee by Judge Martinotti for the Elmiron Vision Loss Lawsuits 2021-01-22-Order. For over 10 years, Tom has been recognized as a New York Super Lawyer and for the past 5 years, he was selected as a Top 100 lawyer in New York.
 
Tom is also very active in the New York State Bar Association. He is a current member of the Executive Committee of the State Bar Trial Lawyers Section and served as Chair of the Trial Lawyers Section in 2009. Tom is also the current Chair of the State Bar Medical Malpractice Committee as well as serving on its Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Committee. He also served a three-year term as Chair of the Special Committee on Medical Malpractice of the Bar Association of the City of New York and has lectured extensively on the subjects of medical malpractice and defective drugs and devices.
 

First Vice President

John D. Zaremba, Esq. is a founding member of  Zaremba Brown PLLC. Mr. Zaremba is a litigator who limits his practice to cases arising from construction accidents, catastrophic personal injury, consumer class action cases, trucking accidents, and medical malpractice. 
 
Mr. Zaremba has been recognized by his peers with his selection to Super Lawyers, has been featured multiple times in New York Magazine’s annual list of Top Personal Injury Litigators, as well as the New York Law Journal’s section on “Top Verdicts and Settlements” for each of the past six years, and has also been featured in the New Jersey Law Journal’s section for the top verdicts and settlements. Mr. Zaremba has been selected as one 
 
of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers in the State of New York by the National Trial Lawyers Organization, and selected for the National Trial Lawyers Top 40 under 40. 
 
Mr. Zaremba teaches the litigation of construction site accidents, chairing a CLE course for the NYSTLI and is also a published author, having had articles featured in the New York Law Journal and the Legal Intelligencer. Mr. Zaremba has also sat on the Court of Appeals Judicial Screening Panel for the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.
 
Second Vice President

David L. Scher, Esq. is a Partner of New York City-based personal injury law firm Block O'Toole & Murphy, LLP.  Born and raised in Albany, New York, Mr. Scher is a graduate of Tufts University and Fordham University School of Law.  Mr. Scher's experience also includes working at the New York State Attorney General's Office, volunteering at a civil rights legal aid clinic and interning for a New York State Supreme Court Justice.  Mr. Scher's current practice involves representing the seriously injured, including victims of construction site accidents, motor vehicle collisions and other acts of negligence.  Mr. Scher, who has taken multi-million dollar verdicts and frequently returns substantial settlements for his clients, has been named a New York 'Super Lawyer', 'Top 100 Trial Lawyer' by The National Trial Lawyers, member of the 'Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum' and appears consistently in the New York Law Journal's annual list of 'Top Verdicts and Settlements'.

 
Mr. Scher is regarded as an authority on the New York State Labor Laws that govern worker safety, including Sections 240(1) and 241(6).  He is a regular lecturer at NYSTLI CLE courses involving litigation of construction accident cases, has been a member of NYSTLA's Labor Law Committee, has published numerous articles in the New York Law Journal and NYSTLA's 'Bill of Particulars' magazine about the Labor Law and has been quoted in a New York Times article that featured one of his Section 240(1) settlements.  Mr. Scher also handles all appeals for his firm and co-authored an amicus curiae brief to the Court of Appeals on behalf of NYSTLA in a case involving the scope of the Labor Law.
 
Outside of his practice, Mr. Scher is committed to a number of charitable endeavors, including serving as a committee member for an annual event that supports St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
 
Secretary

Judd F. Kleeger, Esq. represents clients who need help securing their rightful compensation and benefits after suffering a catastrophic injury or loss caused by the negligence or wrongdoing of another party. Mr. Kleeger devotes his time and resources to protect his client’s rights and entitlements while delivering the personalized, compassionate support they deserve. Through his efforts, Mr. Kleeger has recovered millions of dollars in jury verdict awards and settlements on behalf of those he serves.

 

After attending Boston University, Mr. Kleeger obtained a J.D. from the Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center.  He retains bar admissions in New York, New Jersey, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, the U.S. Court for the Eastern District of New York, the U.S. District Court for the District Of New Jersey.  He is a member of the Leaders Forum and an Eagle PAC member of the American Association For Justice.  He has been selected to Super Lawyers every year since 2013, and was also selected as a top 100 attorney in the NY Metro area in 2015 and 2017.  In addition, Mr. Kleeger is a lifetime member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. 
 

As a founding partner of Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C., Judd F. Kleeger focuses his legal practice on personal injury and wrongful death claims involving work related and motor vehicle accidents, premises negligence, and defective drugs and medical devices.  Mr. Kleeger leads the law firm’s litigation department with regard to class action and mass tort cases involving Transvaginal Mesh lawsuits and Roundup weed killer lawsuits.  Additionally, Mr. Kleeger represents clients in civil rights matters.

 

Treasurer

David A. Roth, Esq. is a founding Partner of Roth & Roth, LLP admitted in 1992 to the bars of  New York, New Jersey, US Eastern and Southern Districts of NY. Additionally, he has been admitted to try cases in the states of California and Virginia. He is a 1988 graduate of the University of Buffalo. He earned his JD from Albany Law School in 1991. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association and is active in lobbying efforts as well as participating in various Committee projects. He is also a member of the national trial lawyers association now known as the  American Association for Justice and is a member of the National Employment Lawyers Association.  David Roth has lectured on topics from general personal injury practice to technology in the courtroom.


In the course of his involvement with the Trial Lawyers Association, David Roth has been able to fight not only for his clients' rights but the rights of all New Yorkers.

 

 

Deputy Treasurer

Victoria Wickman, Esq. is the founder of a boutique law firm in New York City, the Law Office of Victoria Wickman. Her firm is completely focused on medical malpractice and represents clients who have suffered injuries in the course of receiving any type of medical care. She serves clients in the New York City metropolitan area and in New Jersey. Ms. Wickman began her law career by working in a Manhattan law office while still attending law school. While there, she handled all the personal injury matters and developed a passion for those that have been mistreated and injured.

 

Ms. Wickman graduated cum laude from St. John's University in 1998 and earned her Juris Doctor from the St. John's University School of Law in 2001. After graduation, she worked at a Park Avenue law firm as an associate where she served on personal injury and medical malpractice cases. Ms. Wickman worked in this capacity for three years before moving to a prestigious personal injury law firm. While there, she secured numerous multimillion-dollar settlements in cases involving medical malpractice, including failures to diagnose cancer, improper surgeries and improper infant deliveries. This continued success led her to open her own firm in 2009. In addition to medical malpractice, her practice specializes in traumatic brain injury cases and personal injury. As a sole practitioner, she can dedicate her time and energy to her clients. Her office is located in downtown Manhattan.

 

Ms. Wickman is the Co-Vice Chair of the Medical Malpractice Committee of the New York State Trial Lawyer's Association. She was also given the Pen Award for her work in having the statute of limitations corrected for cancer patients who were not timely diagnosed. Ms. Wickman is also a member of many other professional organizations, including the Brooklyn Women's Bar Association, the Kings County American Inns of Court, the North American Brain Injury Society and the New York State Bar Association. She is licensed to practice in New York and New Jersey and speaks fluent Italian.

 

Parliamentarian

Joseph Monaco, Esq. is the founding member of the Law Offices of Joseph Monaco in New York City and Bergen County, New Jersey.

 

After graduation from Fordham University School of Law he joined a boutique product liability litigation firm where he learned the fundamentals of litigating complicated cases involving defective machines and consumer products.  In 2007, Mr. Monaco opened his own firm continuing the specialization in product liability litigation for injured people and is known amongst the plaintiff and defense bar as having expertise in the field.  In fact, he routinely gets referrals from defense attorneys he opposed in prior cases.  Mr. Monaco, who has taken multi-million dollar verdicts and frequently returns substantial settlements for his clients, has been named a New York 'Super Lawyer', and a 'Top 100 Trial Lawyer' by The National Trial Lawyers. 

 

In addition to volunteering with NYSTLA he has also chaired CLE presentations for NYSTLI and lectured at the Attorneys Information Exchange Group (AIEG) – a national organization of attorneys specializing in product liability law.  Mr. Monaco primarily practices in New York and New Jersey.

 

Immediate Past President

Edward A. Steinberg, Esq. has represented and assisted victims of significant personal injury and medical malpractice cases for the past twenty years. At Leav & Steinberg, LLP he has advocated for hundreds of clients and their families in their time of need, obtaining millions of dollars on their behalf. Countless successful results involved helping victims of negligence even after other attorneys in New York rejected the cases. After being admitted to the bar and practicing for some time at that firm, Mr. Steinberg met Mr. Leav and they formed what has grown to be one of the most aggressive, successful firms practicing negligence litigation in New York.

 

One of Mr. Steinberg's noteworthy achievements involved a woman who was gravely injured but the responsible party refused to compensate her for her injuries. The client ultimately recovered more money than was available in the defendant's insurance policy, making Mr. Steinberg one of the only attorneys in New York City to do so. He is one of the youngest members to serve on the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association, the New York State Bar Association and the American Trial Lawyers Association. He has been counsel to the Brain Injury Society, a non-profit organization which helps those who suffer from traumatic brain injuries.