Russell M. Yankwitt

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Business Litigation Attorney in White Plains, NY

Yankwitt LLP
 | 140 Grand Street, Suite 705
White Plains, NY 10601
Phone: 914-686-1500
Fax: 914-487-5000
Selected To Super Lawyers: 2011 - 2021
Licensed Since: 1997
Practice Areas:
  • Business Litigation (30%),
  • Civil Litigation: Plaintiff (20%),
  • Employment & Labor: Employer (20%),
  • General Litigation (20%),
  • Personal Injury - General: Defense (10%)
    Attorney Profile

    Russell Yankwitt, a former federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York, has extensive litigation experience in jury and bench trials, and arbitrations. He has brought and defended commercial matters of all types, including contract and partnership disputes, employment and shareholder lawsuits, and premises liability cases. He is recognized as Westchester’s go-to litigator and trial attorney, having accrued an enviable track record of trial victories for the past two decades. As a result, he is regularly retained by Westchester law firms to collaborate on their high-stakes trials throughout the state of New York. Active in the legal community, Yankwitt was the founding member and first chairperson of the Federal Bar Council’s Westchester Committee and remains active in leadership positions in the Federal Bar Council, and Westchester Bar Foundation.

    Practice Areas
    • 30%Business Litigation
    • 20%Civil Litigation: Plaintiff
    • 20%Employment & Labor: Employer
    • 20%General Litigation
    • 10%Personal Injury - General: Defense
    Focus Areas

    Trade Secret, Non-Compete Agreements, Labor Law, Litigation, Slip and Fall, Personal Injury - Defense


    Selected to Super Lawyers for 11 yearsbottom-image

    Super Lawyers: 2011 - 2021

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    About Russell Yankwitt

    Admitted: 1997, New York

    Professional Webpage:


    • Gold Client Champion, Martindale-Hubbell, 2019
    • United States Attorney General’s Award for Tax Prosecutions, 2006
    • Best of the Best, Best Law Firm in Westchester County, 914 Inc. Magazine, 2019
    • Best Lawyer in America, Commercial Litigation, 2020
    • Environmental Protection Agency Award for Commendable Service for Leading a Team of Assistant United States Attorneys
    • Russell received the 2008 "NOAA" Bronze Medal Award for "displaying leadership, teamwork and innovation to successfully settle" a complex enviornmental bankruptcy for $125 million.
    • NOAA Award for Environmental Protection

    Bar/Professional Activity:

    • State of New York, 1997
    • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, 2000
    • State of Connecticut, 2012
    • State of New Jersey, 2017
    • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, 1999
    • U.S. Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit, 2003
    • United States Supreme Court, 2016
    • State of Pennsylvania, 2011
    • U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York, 2008
    • U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut, 2016
    • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey, 2017

    Pro bono/Community Service:

    • Westchester County Bar Association - Nomination Committee for Officers and Directors, 2020
    • Grievance Committee, Westchester County Bar Association
    • Executive Leadership Committee for Light The Night, a fundraiser for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. , 2019
    • Founder and Chair, Federal Bar Council, Westchester Committee
    • Board Member, Legal Services of the Hudson Valley
    • Assistant Treasurer, Federal Bar Council  
    • Member, The Supreme Court Historical Society
    • Chair, Federal Bar Council, Membership Committee
    • Board Member, Westchester Bar Foundation

    Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

    • Note Editor, Cornell International Law Journal, 1996
    • To alleviate the strain on both parties and overburdened trial courts, we propose amending the CPLR to encourage discretionary stays of the underlying trial while an appeal of a dispositive summary judgment motion is pending., Co-Author, Controlling Litigation Costs: Automatic Trial Stays Pending Appeal of a Summary Judgment Denial, New York Law Journal , 2019
    • To combat the tension between litigation and skyrocketing litigation costs, the authors propose amending the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to comport with the position taken by many state courts, including New York, to stay all discovery upon the filing of a dispositive motion to dismiss a complaint., Co-Author, Balancing Litigation Costs: The Need for Automatic Discovery Stays,", New York Law Journal, 2019
    • Adjunct Assistant Professor of Law, Cardozo Law School, 2004-2009

    Representative Clients:

    • Landry's Inc., in various employment, contract, construction and premise liability actions brought in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania; Hillstone Restaurant Group; Crazy Annie's; Cathay Bank; Christie's; Council on Accreditation for Children and Family Services; David's Bridal, Inc.; Downtown Capital Partners; First Command Financial Services, Inc.; Peachtree Settlement Funding, Inc.; Phoenix Capital Advance LLC; The Keymasters Inc.; The Rockefeller University; Voya Financial; Westrock Development; Former Trustees of the Veronica Atkins Marital Trust; Independent directors of Jennifer Convertibles.
    • We are privileged to represent some of the most outstanding restaurant chains in the country, including Landry's, Inc. (Morton's, Chart House, McCormick & Schmick's) and Hillstone Restaurant Group. In addition, we also proudly represent large and small business and hedge funds throughout Westchester and New York City in breach of contract actions, employment litigations, and all types of commercial disputes, for companies such as Heineken, USA, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, and Bloomberg, Inc. We are also privileged to represent celebrities such as Stephen Baldwin, Adrienne Lawrence, and high net-worth individuals throughout the state.

    Other Outstanding Achievements:

    • Yankwitt LLP, along with co-counsel, successfully represented a real estate development company in land use and contract litigation in New York State Supreme Court. Following a multi-week trial, the jury returned a unanimous liability verdict in Plaintiff's favor and awarded $2.4 million in damages.
    • On the smaller plaintiff-side employment cases and personal injury litigaiton, I have waived or substantally reduced my fee to help the plaintiff in need. 
    • Russell led his trial team to victory representing an international manufacturing company that was sued for $23,000,000 in federal court (SDNY).  After a two week jury trial, the jury deliberated for just six hours before dismissing every count in the complaint and awarding Plaintiff zero dollars, 2015


    • Yankwitt LLP provides a quarterly series of updates reviewing decisions from the Federal District Court and State Supreme Court (Commercial Part) judges located in White Plains. These articles review decisions from each quarter, beginning with the fourth quarter of 2013. These updates can be found on the Publications & Resources page of the website., Yankwitt LLP Quarterly Updates

    Educational Background:

    • Connecticut College, phi beta kappa, magna cum laude, 1992
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    Office Location for Russell M. Yankwitt

    140 Grand Street
    Suite 705
    White Plains, NY 10601

    Phone: 914-686-1500

    Fax: 914-487-5000

    Russell M. Yankwitt:

    Last Updated: 4/13/2021

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