Weitz & Luxenberg partner Ellen Relkin remains as busy as ever this November, with two more speaking engagements lined up. The first is George Washington…Read More
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In all legal cases, particularly in cases of sexual abuse, I need to be thoughtful in how I approach my client. I never want to retraumatize someone. I have to walk a razor’s edge in terms of getting the information I need to help build my client’s case while also respecting my clients.
Kyle Schiedo has joined Weitz & Luxenberg’s team of experienced personal injury and negligence litigators. He comes to us with a diverse background of criminal and civil litigation, including trial work and broad responsibilities within the judicial court system. Mr. Schiedo received the New York City Trial Lawyer’s Alliance Award for Excellence in Trial Advocacy in 2016.
One area of particular focus for Mr. Schiedo is assisting survivors of child sexual abuse. Passing New York’s Child Victims Act in January 2019 allowed more survivors to tell their stories and seek justice against their abusers by initiating lawsuits.
Mr. Schiedo is thrilled to join Weitz & Luxenberg’s efforts to hold the perpetrators of such egregious acts accountable. “This is an exciting opportunity for me,” Mr. Schiedo says. “And I am looking forward to helping our clients achieve the resolution they deserve.”
“The clients I represent have been through some of the worst events possible. The last thing I want to do is ask them the same questions they’ve been asked again and again,” Mr. Schiedo points out.
“I read their history. And get as much information as possible before I approach my clients. Then, I listen. I want to understand my clients. I want them to feel understood. To know they’ve been heard,” Mr. Schiedo continues.
“This initial connection is critical. And, then, I begin to fill them in on how the legal process works. I want them to know what to expect and to help them manage their expectations.
“Many of my clients may never have been in a courtroom. It can feel overwhelming, intimidating. I need to prepare them for what they may face,” Mr. Schiedo adds.
“As a plaintiffs’ attorney, we have to protect our clients inside and outside of the courtroom. We know in advance that the opposing attorneys will spend their time trying to convince a judge and jury that their version of events is the correct one — when it’s not,” Mr. Schiedo says.
“My clients have already been through enough, and it’s my job to make sure I tell their story as completely and accurately as possible. Give them a voice. So the perpetrators can’t simply walk away from what they’ve done as if it never happened,” continues Mr. Schiedo.
“When finality comes, it means a lot to my clients. And that means a lot to me.”
“The best part of the entire litigation process is giving a client closure,” Mr. Schiedo insists. “Of course, winning is the best possible outcome. But what people may not think about is how long, uncertain, and exhausting the legal process can be at times.
“Our clients have reached out to us to discuss what might be the most difficult time in their lives. They weren’t looking for something bad to happen to them, but it did. And the legal process can be filled with anxiety for them — not knowing what happens next, wondering when everything will just be over,” Mr. Schiedo explains.
“I want to make sure our clients’ voices are heard. To affirm for them their version of events was real. They weren’t making it up. And the jury and judge believed them. Ideally, decided in their favor. And made it possible for our clients to breathe a sigh of relief — no more what ifs. No more legal proceedings.”
For three years, Mr. Schiedo served as an assistant district attorney at the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office in Mineola, New York. During his tenure, he litigated over a dozen jury and bench trials as lead counsel. His role came into play from jury selection to verdict.
As part of a special victim’s unit, Mr. Schiedo worked with survivors of sex abuse. One of his key roles was interviewing victims who had been raped or sexually assaulted.
“One of the most important things I learned was how to listen and speak with survivors of sexual abuse,” Mr. Schiedo states. “Survivors of this kind of trauma sometimes wonder if their reactions are normal. And I tell them, ‘There is no normal.’ Whatever you’re experiencing is your experience. It is what’s true for you.”
In his position with the Vehicular Crimes Bureau, Mr. Schiedo presented over 100 cases to the Grand Jury. He represented victims of felony vehicular assault, manslaughter, attempted murder, and murder. Former assignments included the DWI Trial Bureau, District Court Trial Bureau, and Felony Warrant Rotation.
For roughly a year, Mr. Schiedo served as an associate attorney for a firm handling civil litigation. He gained experience litigating medical malpractice, neglect in long-term care facilities, and general liability actions against hospitals and nursing homes.
Previously, he worked for a firm handling federal and state criminal cases. As an associate attorney, he handled complex personal injury lawsuits. Mr. Schiedo conducted client interviews, as well as negotiated dispositions, litigated hearings and depositions, and drafted federal sentencing memoranda.
During law school, Mr. Schiedo served as a summer intern at the Kings County District Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn, New York. He also worked as a legal intern at the New York County Defender Services in Manhattan.
He was a staff member on the Hofstra Law Review and served as a competition manager, and then vice president, for the Hofstra Trial Advocacy Association.
Mr. Schiedo is licensed to practice law in the state of New York and for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. He earned his J.D. from the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, and his B.S. in economics, from Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York.
Outside the office, Mr. Schiedo enjoys reading, spending time outdoors, and playing video games — particularly with his twin brother. Strategy games are a big favorite. Mr. Schiedo also loves traveling and learning about different cultures, points of view, and customs.
In addition, Mr. Schiedo teaches as an adjunct professor at his alma mater, the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University. He also serves as an active trial advocacy coach for Hofstra’s Trial Advocacy Association.
Kyle A. Schiedo will be happy to review your case.