photo by Andrew Hinderaker
Adam D. White is a principal of the firm. He has represented injured cyclists, pedestrians and other accident victims for more than 20 years winning substantial compensation for hundreds of clients through settlements and verdicts. Mr. White has submitted dozens of cases to the jury for its verdict, and in several cases he has delivered multi-million dollar compensation to injured crash victims. In one case, Mr. White won hundreds of thousands in compensation beyond applicable insurance coverage by invoking the rarely-applied rule against insurer “bad faith.” The verdict he won in that case, which he successfully defended on appeal, is considered to set the high water mark for sustainable non-economic (pain and suffering) damages for a knee injury that did not require surgery.
For decades, Mr. White has worked to deliver broader justice for cyclists and pedestrians that goes beyond compensation. One of Mr. White’s earliest achievements in this regard was the successful representation in 2005 of seven cyclists seriously injured by defective expansion joints on the Williamsburg Bridge. Mr. White not only won compensation for the cyclists, but also prompted city officials to fix the hazardous joints. In 2012, Mr. White won justice at trial for the family of a young woman killed by a driver while bicycling, a victim whom the NYPD had blamed for the crash. The jury’s verdict found the driver to be almost entirely at fault. In a 2019 debate, Mr. White called out the highest-ranking uniformed NYPD officer, Chief of Department Terrence Monahan, over the practice of senseless mass ticketing of cyclists in the wake of cyclist traffic deaths, eliciting an historic, on-the-spot repudiation of the practice by the Chief. Amidst of the 2020 Covid pandemic and outcry over police misconduct, Mr. White led a demonstration mourning an undocumented 50-year old father of four killed as a pedestrian, at the NYPD’s 66th Precinct and won an on-the-spot release of his client’s wallet and identification which police had unnecessarily seized and held as “evidence.”
In addition to representing seriously injured individuals, Mr. White is a daily bicycle commuter and long-time advocate for safe streets. He is a frequent guest speaker at cycling clubs and community groups briefing their memberships about everything from basic bike safety to the intricacies of New York Insurance law. His firm also serves as a proud long-time sponsor and supporter of major New York cycling organizations such as Transportation Alternatives, the Five Borough Bicycle Club, the New York Cycle Club, Streetsblog.org and Streetsfilm.org., Recycle-A-Bicycle, and the League of American Bicyclists where he logn served as a member of the Legal Affairs Committee.
Mr. White is a graduate of the Horace Mann School, Brandeis University (A.B. ’86) and The Benjamin Cardozo School of Law (J.D. ’90).
Mr. White is admitted to the Bar of the State of New York, the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, and the United States Supreme Court.
photo by Andrew Hinderaker
Steve Vaccaro is a principal of the firm. He primarily represents seriously injured cyclists and pedestrians, as well as plaintiffs in civil rights and employment disputes. He has settled or taken to trial numerous personal injury claims involving complex scientific evidence and tens of millions of dollars in damages. In a profile of his personal injury practice, the New York Law Journal described Mr. Vaccaro as “perhaps New York City’s best-known lawyer advocate for bicyclist and pedestrian rights.”
On behalf of cyclist and pedestrian victims of motorist negligence, Mr. Vaccaro has secured compensation for scores of clients and brought groundbreaking impact litigation aimed at improving government’s response to traffic violence. He has won orders requiring NYPD to promptly disclose investigative files to crash victims’ families, sued NYPD to require investigation of all crashes resulting in serious injuries, and drafted legislation to impose criminal liability for sober, reckless driver who injure and kill without justification. He sued the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles for improperly applying driver’s license points to cyclists and them for traffic tickets, winning refunds for thousands and ending the practice going forward. He has questioned several high-ranking government officials under oath, including former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly. For his civil rights clients, Mr. Vaccaro won a judgment establishing that the MTA discriminated on the basis of disability, a seven-figure settlement for the family of Shereese Francis, killed in her own home by NYPD officers, court orders requiring sign language interpreters for hearing-impaired hospital patients, and basic mental health l care for a statewide class of prisoners.
A daily cyclist and committed cyclists’ advocate, Mr. Vaccaro has served on the Transportation Alternatives Advisory Council since 2007 and was named TA’s 2010 Volunteer of the Year for his work to bring protected bike lanes to First and Second Avenues on the Upper East Side and in East Harlem. In 2013, Mr. Vaccaro convened and founded StreetsPAC, a registered New York political action committee that supports candidates for public office committed to safe, complete and livable streets, for which he currently serves as Boardmember and General Counsel. Mr. Vaccaro is also a Board Member and ride leader of the New York Cycle Club. He comments regularly on traffic law issues in his “Street Justice” column for Streetsblog, and in the press generally.
Mr. Vaccaro is a graduate of Wesleyan University (B.A. ’86, Women’s Studies & Government), and of the Rutgers School of Law-Newark (J.D. ’96, summa cum laude, Moore Prize in Employment Law). From 1996 through 2010, Mr. Vaccaro practiced law at Debevoise & Plimpton. From 1986 through 1994, Mr. Vaccaro worked as an organizer and business representative for two New York City unions: Local 802 of the American Federation of Musicians, and the Committee of Interns and Residents.
Mr. Vaccaro is admitted to the bars of the States of New York and New Jersey; of the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York and of the District of New Jersey; and of the United States Courts of Appeals for the Second and Third Circuits.
Peter W. Beadle has been Of Counsel to the firm since 2015, winning compensation for dozens of crash victims, and in particular, cyclists and pedestrians injured by defects in the City’s roadways, bike paths and sidewalks. He is an experienced litigator who has been practicing law for over 22 years in New York State and Federal courts. He also served for five years as a Small Claims Court Arbitrator. His experience means he thoroughly understands how the judicial system functions and how insurance companies will evaluate your case.
Mr. Beadle is also a transportation advocate, a former Chair of Transportation Alternatives’ Queens Activist Committee and an active civic leader, serving as the Second Vice Chair of Queens Community Board 6, and as co-chair of its Transportation Committee. He also has volunteered for over 15 years as a Legal Observer with the National Lawyers Guild monitoring interactions between police and protestors. He is committed to the effort of making our streets safer and better forall, and knows from personal experience the issues facing bicycle riders and pedestrians on our busy City streets.
Mr. Beadle is a graduate of Binghamton University (B.A. ’93) and the SUNY Buffalo Law School (J.D. ’96).
Mr. Beadle is admitted to the Bar of the State of New York, and to the United States District Courts for the Southern, Eastern, Western and Northern Districts of New York
Erika Rucker joined Vaccaro & White in October 2020. Prior to joining the firm, she worked as a paralegal with Borah, Goldstein, Altschuler, Nahins & Goidel and Berger & Bornstein, specializing in landlord/tenant and commercial real estate law. Erika is a New Jersey native and a graduate of Rutgers University. She is a music and movie enthusiast and enjoys time with family and friends.
Steve Scofield is a paralegal at Vaccaro and White. His primary responsibilities are obtaining medical records from hospitals and other medical providers to support our clients’ cases, and investigating street conditions and obtaining other on-site evidence at crash locations.
Steve is a retired transportation planner with MTA NYC Transit (1981-2019). He is also a long-time cycling and street safety activist volunteer with Transportation Alternatives, primarily in Queens, and with the New York City Ghost Bike Project. Steve has been biking on New York City streets since he was a child in the 1950s, and worked as a foot and bicycle messenger and dispatcher from 1967 to 1981.
Steve holds a Master of Urban Planning Degree from CUNY Hunter College (1982) and a BA from CUNY Queens College (1975).
Andrew P. Zamudio has been a paralegal at Vaccaro & White since 2016. Prior to joining the firm, he worked as a paralegal with Jones Day and as an editorial assistant with Thomas Publishing. Andrew, born and raised in New York City, has also spent time engaged in safe streets advocacy, including public outreach for Transportation Alternatives. Personal hobbies include orchestral music, opera, and gastronomy. He is fluent in English and Spanish and plays a key role in representing the firm’s Spanish-speaking clients.