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Harrison V. Williams

Member
Direct Dial: 315.701.6440
Mobile Phone: 315.415.9223
Direct Fax: 315.423.2827

Harrison V. Williams Harrison V. Williams Harrison V. Williams

Harrison V. Williams

Member
hwilliams@bhlawpllc.com
Direct Dial: 315.701.6440
Mobile Phone: 315.415.9223
Direct Fax: 315.423.2827
vCard: Add to Address Book

Harrison V. Williams Harrison V. Williams Harrison V. Williams

Individuals and corporations that will need legal representation in a court of law, or that want to bring legal action against another party, can call on Harry Williams for an experienced appraisal of their case.  A specialist in litigation for plaintiffs and defendants, Harry has represented corporate, bank and individual clients for over 40 years.

Clients looking for an honest assessment of their situation from a seasoned, professional litigator who truly enjoys working with people will appreciate Harry’s personal attention to their concerns and frequent updates on their case.  Formerly an attorney for Norstar Bank of Upstate New York in commercial and residential mortgages, commercial litigation and loan transactions, trial counsel to Aetna Life and Casualty Company for over 20 years, and for over two decades, an attorney for one of the largest residential home builders in Central New York, Harry has built a solid reputation as a first-class litigator.

Always concerned about costs on behalf of his clients and ensuring that they know exactly where they stand throughout every step of the litigation process, clients can be assured that Harry will also draw upon the skills and knowledge of other attorneys in the firm when they can help his clients (for example, if a client needs help with estate planning or some administrative matter).  He is a thoughtful, highly effective advocate for his clients—especially in the courtroom.

Bicycle Litigation

The main thrust of Harry’s litigation practice over the years was originally representing insurance companies in the defense of personal injury and life insurance claims. Subsequently, after forming his own law firm, much of his litigation practice shifted to plaintiff cases and construction litigation while still on occasion being retained by insurance companies.

In the past several years, with the explosion of bicycle usage, many new areas have emerged in which bicyclists injured in accidents have encountered special needs for their claims. These needs include insurance coverage issues, parental liability questions, issues involving the execution of waivers and releases, and dog bite cases.  Many cases are now arising of product failure.  The injuries suffered by bicyclists are generally far more serious than those seen in automobile cases and frequently involve traumatic brain injuries.

To deal with these questions, Harry has been presenting seminars to attorneys and non-attorneys on insurance claims, rules of the road for bicyclists, dog bite cases, waivers of liability forms, manufacturing defect cases, screening and the special rules for infants.  Harry has also published a manual of safety tips, rules of the road, transportation laws, and information for bicycle accident reconstruction experts.

For Harry, bicycle safety is a passion not just a practice. He and his wife are avid cyclists and log hundreds of miles each year. He has participated in bicycle tours throughout the world, and most recently participated in BIKE NEW YORK, a cross-borough New York City tour and fundraiser.

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  • Onondaga County—2013
    Settled a claim for $,1,400,000.00 in a traumatic brain injury claim for a client under the provisions of Labor Law Section 240 involving a fall from an attic to a concrete floor leaving our client as a quadriplegic.
  • Tompkins County Supreme Court—2012
    Successfully defended the widow of an architect who was sued under Section 214(d) of the CPLR which allows suits against architects for services performed more than 10 years since prior to the claim.  The deceased architect had allegedly negligently designed a balcony at a college resulting in injuries to a student who became a paraplegic.  An action against the insurance carrier for the architect at the time of the accident resulted in a defense, coverage and indemnification to the client of legal fees.
  • United States Federal Court for the District of Boston Massachusetts—2002
    Defended the General Manager of Aetna Life Insurance Company in an action upon a claim involving a universal life insurance policy.  The complaint was dismissed based upon a summary judgment motion and ultimately settled.
  • Sullivan County Supreme Court—1999
    Obtained a settlement of several million dollars after 5 days of trial for a college student who lost a portion of his hand in a quarry accident.
  • Onondaga County Supreme Court—2008
    Settled a claim during trial against a hospital for negligence involving a fractured ankle resulting from a hoyer lift accident.
  • Onondaga County Supreme Court—2006
    Settled a life insurance claim for beneficiary for 95% of policy during trial involving a defense of non-disclosure of a medical condition.
  • Onondaga County Supreme Court—2007
    Obtained a summary judgment against Guardian Life Insurance Company for $250,000.00 in a claim by a high school administrator for disability benefits due as a result of a cardiac condition.
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of New York—2009
    Settled a claim for $500,000.00 for a widow in a wrongful death action against the United States Government.  In the Surrogate Court proceeding in Rensselear County, the State of New York filed a claim for unpaid income taxes which was upon submitted proof withdrawn.
  • Onondaga County Surrogate’s Court—2011
    The proceeds of the settlement of a wrongful death action for $500,000.00 was contested by two women each claiming to be the spouse of the deceased.  In representing the children of the deceased, the case was settled by one of the spouse claimants withdrawing her claim and the second spouse agreeing to accept a pro rata share of the settlement with our clients.
  • Court of Appeals of the State of New York—1977
    In the case of Neubauer v. Neubauer, 44 N.Y. 2d 997, represented the wife who received a substantial economic award in which the Court for the first time established the criteria for property settlements in divorce actions.  The criteria were eventually codified into the Domestic Relations Law of New York State.
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of New York—2010
    Represented a prisoner in a Section 1983 claim at the request of a Federal Court Judge.  The jury returned a verdict after five days of trial awarding nominal damages to the prisoner, but paving the way for better future treatment for the inmate.  The United States Second Circuit in the same case of Shepherd v. Goord, 662 F. 3d 603 on a separate matter, held that assigned attorneys are not entitled to legal fees where only nominal damages are awarded.  The case was featured in The Wall Street Journal and in publications around the world and has established the precedent for assigned attorneys in similar cases.
  • Certificate of Appreciation for Public Service – Lawyers Fund for Client Protection
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Rated
  • Super Lawyer, New York Upstate Edition, General Litigation
  • Honoree for 50 Years of Service, Onondaga County Bar Foundation, 2009
  • New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers, Charter Member
  • New York State Bar Association
  • Onondaga County Bar Association
  • The Newland Center for Adult Literacy, President and Board Member, Literacy Volunteer, Honored for community service to literacy – 2013
  • AARP Litigation Foundation
  • AARP Legal Services Network
  • Certificate of Appreciation from the AARP Litigation Foundation – 2004                                     

Education

  • J.D., Syracuse University College of Law, 1959
  • B.A., St. Lawrence University, 1955

Admissions

  • New York
  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • United States Tax Court

My father was the oldest of twelve children and grew up on a hardscrabble farm near Chatham, New York. He enlisted in the army in 1917, went to O.C.S. and fought in France with the Fighting 69th. He did this without earning a high school degree. He retired as a Captain in 1919 and went to work as a lineman for Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. He was wounded twice and received the Purple Heart plus other medals.

Late in life, he formed an electrical construction company. I worked on line crews for several years before graduating from law school.

I learned a lot about diligence, hard work and respect for all people from my father, who had nothing handed to him. I believe those family experiences have benefitted me in a long legal career where I have represented the large corporate clients such as banks and insurance companies, as well as many individuals in need of legal services from personal injuries to other complicated legal issues.

I have for years been an active bicyclist and tennis player and have competed in both sports. Maintaining a high level of fitness and a balance in my personal life has served as a foundation for my legal services.

While my own military career did not match that of my father, I also retired as a Captain from the U.S. Army. All of these experiences have, in my opinion, given me the ability to solve legal problems for clients, whatever their status or position.

 

 

 



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