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Member Spotlight
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On this page we share interviews by Board Member and
Labor & Employment Law Committee Co-chair Tejash V. Sanchala, Esq. 
with WCBA members about their experiences and insights.
The articles were originally published in the Member Spotlight column in
the WCBA's Westchester Lawyer magazine, We hope you are inspired by
their stories!

Tejash welcomes your comments and suggestions for future columns.
He can be reached here.

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Thomas Gallivan., Esq.

 


 

 


Number of years as a member of the WCBA, positions held and awards received: I have been a member of the WCBA since 2008. I was a member of the board of directors at the New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers and I was recognized by Super Lawyers as a Rising Star in the area of personal injury.

My current job and practice area are: I am partner at Gallivan & Gallivan, Attorneys at Law, where my practice focuses on representation of plaintiffs that have been abused or neglected in nursing homes, as well as medical malpractice and personal injury matters.

How I decided to become a nursing home abuse attorney: two of my jobs when I graduated law school involved the representation of nursing homes and their insurers. When I decided to join my father in private practice in 2008, we added nursing home matters as a practice area and it now accounts for close to 75 percent of the firm’s work.

One of my favorite legal success stories include: an elderly client of ours developed a Stage IV pressure ulcer (bedsore) on her tail bone at a Westchester County nursing home. The pressure ulcer was as big and as deep as a softball. The sore required multiple surgical debridements and a flap surgery. After a thorough investigation we were able to secure an early settlement after we discovered numerous entries in the chart that were fabricated and/or altered. There were even entries in the nursing hone chart indicating care was provided while our client was not at the facility. Due to the settlement funds, our client was able to return home with appropriate home care and live out the rest of her days with her family, on her own terms.

My legal mentors: I am lucky to count numerous attorneys as mentors, including Chris Meagher and Jim Freeman (also WCBA  members), but the most influential would have to be my dad, Daniel Gallivan. My dad, whose practice primarily focused on criminal defense wisely advised, “Get paid upfront!”

If I were not practicing law I would be: a firefighter and maybe it’s not too late!

People may be surprised to learn: I was the subject of a “House-like” mystery diagnosis column published in the New York Times Magazine titled, “Think Like a Doctor: Doubled Over in Pain.”
If you are interested, the link is https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/01/think-like-a-doctor-doubled-over-in-pain/?_r=0.

The best things I did to improve my skill set as an attorney: seek out and work with experienced mentors (even if it means sharing a fee with them) and taking CLEs provided by WCBA, NYSTLA and NYSATL relevant to my day-to-day practice.

What I splurge on: Golf.

The best hour of my day is: at home from 7:30–8:30 pm with my wife, Lauren, and my three children, Timmy (7), Grace (5) and Mae (3 months) before bed. I get to learn about their respective adventures and help put the kids to bed.

Favorite movies: Goodfellas, The Godfather, Good Will Hunting (apparently anything that starts with a “G”).

Favorite meal: a sicilian slice and a calzone from Catania’s Pizza in Yonkers with honorable mention for pizza in general to Sal’s in Mamaroneck and Four Corners in Pelham.

My favorite vacation: Sea Island, GA. Great golf, food, pools, beach, fishing, etc. Sixteen members of my family with differing interests went two years ago with no complaints.

Three things I can’t live without: family, friends and faith.

One of my favorite things to do in Westchester: Watch my son play for the Pelham Mite Hockey Team at the Ice Hutch.

Best advice I ever got: “Complaining is useless.” —Gary Vaynerchuk.

“You need to strive to be better than everyone else. I didn’t say you needed to be better than everyone else. But you gotta try. That’s what character is: It’s in the try.” —Coach Taylor, Friday Night Lights.

My advice to new lawyers: Pick a practice area where the underlying subject matter is something you enjoy. I think this is something that should be emphasized a bit more in law school. If you don’t enjoy taxes, you likely will not enjoy tax law.

One of my future ambitions is to: retire in Sea Island, GA.

My favorite part of being involved with the WCBA: the camaraderie between members.


 


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