Russell M. Yankwitt

Top rated Business Litigation attorney in White Plains, New York

Yankwitt LLP
Russell M. Yankwitt
Yankwitt LLP

Practice Areas: Business Litigation, Civil Litigation, Employment & Labor; view more

Licensed in New York since: 1997

Education: Cornell University Law School

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2011 - 2023

Yankwitt LLP

140 Grand Street
Suite 705
White Plains, NY 10601 Visit website


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

Business Litigation, Civil Litigation: Defense, Employment & Labor: Employer, General Litigation, Personal Injury - General: Defense

Focus areas

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

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

First Admitted: 1997, New York

Professional Webpage:

  • 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
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
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
Educational Background:
  • Connecticut College, phi beta kappa, magna cum laude, 1992
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:
  • Federal Bar Council, Westchester Committee Chair, 2021
  • Westchester County Bar Association Wellness Taskforce, 2022
  • UJA Federation, Westchester Business & Professional Division, Board, 2021
  • Law360 Hospitality, Editorial Board, 2021
  • Westchester County Bar Association, ADR Committee Co-Chair, 2021
  • Westchester County Bar Association, Commercial Division, ADA, Grievance committees, 2021
  • Business Council of Westchester, Board Member, 2021
  • Federal Bar Council Executive Board, Vice President, 2021
  • 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
Representative Clients:
  • JCC of Mid-Westchester, 2022
  • Levitt Fuirst Associates Ltd, Insurance Agency, 2022
  • 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.
  • Westchester Reform Temple, 2022
  • Regeneron Pharmaceuticals , 2022
  • Million Air, 2022
  • 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.
  • , Top Lawyer in Westchester, 914Inc., 2022
  • In Commercial Litigation, Tier 1, White Plains, Best Law Firms , US News - Best Lawyers, 2023
  • , Litigation Star, Benchmark Litigation, 2023
  • , Top Lawyer, Hudson Valley Magazine, 2022
  • Commercial Litigation , Best Lawyers in America, Best Lawyers in America, 2022
  • , Litigation Star, Benchmark Litigation , 2022
  • Firm was named to the list. , Commercial Litigation, Upstate New York, Chambers USA, 2021
  • Honor dates back many years. , AV Preeminent Rated, Martindale-Hubbell, 2021
  • Commercial Litigation, Best Lawyers, Best Lawyers in America, 2021
  • C-Suite Awards, Westfair Communications, 2020
  • Elite Boutique Trailblazers, National Law Journal, 2020
  • Commercial Litigation, Best Lawyers, Best Lawyers in America, 2020
  • Tier 1: White Plains, Best Law Firms, US News & Best Lawyers, 2020
  • 2020, 2021, Gold Client Champion, Martindale-Hubbell, 2019
  • Best Law Firm in Westchester County, Best of the Best, 914 Inc. Magazine, 2019
  • United States Attorney General’s Award for Tax Prosecutions, 2006
  • 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
  • Representing Million Air in a $30+ million suit against Westchester County. , 2022

Office location for Russell M. Yankwitt

140 Grand Street
Suite 705
White Plains, NY 10601

Phone: 914-686-1500

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