Donnalynn Darling is chair of the personal injury and medical malpractice groups at Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein, P.C. in Garden City. Darling’s practice focuses on plaintiff’s personal injury trial work, as well as trials of catastrophic tort and wrongful death cases.
Darling routinely represents clients who have been seriously injured or killed in bicycle, truck, train, plane, bus, and car accidents, dog bites, construction accidents, injuries resulting from premises liability, assault and battery, rape and other intentional acts. She also represents workers who are injured as a result of New York State Labor Law violations in construction accidents involving falls from scaffolds, ladders and crane collapses.
Darling is also chair of the education law practice, a service created in response to increasing requests by parents of learning disabled children for assistance in securing timely educational evaluations, services and accommodations for their children in public and private school settings under federal and state law.
The proper treatment of clients is a main area of focus for Darling in her practice and it affects everything she does.
“Law is a service industry,” she said. “I offer my time, advice, experience and knowledge to solve my clients’ problems. But how can clients gauge whether I am the best lawyer. In short, they probably can’t. But they can tell good service from bad.”
The main reason clients change attorneys is not because one is better or smarter than the other, Darling noted.
“It is because the first attorney didn’t return their phone calls,” she said.
In any service industry the best way to keep your clients — and have them refer new ones— is to give great service, Darling explained. “And today it’s easier than ever: we can fax and email documents immediately, we can be available to our clients 24 hours a day through our cell phones.”
Good service comes down to courtesy, Darling said. “Return phone calls, be happy to help, take the time to address your clients’ concerns, and be respectful.”
“Our clients entrust us with their well-being in whatever our industry, she said. “By providing superior service, we give our clients confidence and peace of mind.”
Darling began her career as an assistant district attorney under Bronx D.A. Mario Merola. She prosecuted sex crimes involving children. Under. Darling’s leadership, the Bronx D.A.’s office pioneered the use of anatomically-correct cloth dolls of all races, ages and genders. The use of these dolls enabled the victims to act out the offenses perpetrated upon them in front of the Grand Jury, when they lacked the verbal skills to do so, in order that indictments could be obtained. This trail-blazing method of testimony was upheld by the courts and is widely used today.
Darling is rated ‘AV Preeminent’ by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest level in professional excellence, and was recognized by Long Island Pulse Magazine in 2010 and 2011 as one of the region’s Top Legal Eagles.
She earned a juris doctor from Buffalo Law School and a bachelor’s degree, cum laude, from SUNY Stony Brook. Darling is admitted to practice in New York State and before the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York; U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York; and the U.S. Supreme Court.