Lawyer Spotlight – Todd J. Leonard
BY Kerrie Spencer
Meet Todd J. Leonard. Mr. Leonard is a personal injury lawyer with a practice in New Jersey. We caught up with Mr. Leonard and had a chat about his career as a personal injury attorney. He shared some of the highlights of his career in the legal industry with us during our discussion.
Mr. Leonard was born and raised in New Jersey and has devoted his entire career to personal injury law. He continues the legacy of his father, who was also a personal injury attorney.
Mr. Leonard was admitted to the New Jersey Bar in 1988 and has not looked back since. He is well known and respected for his single-minded drive to give each client the best possible outcome for their case in terms of verdicts and settlements.
In 2019, he was again selected to the New Jersey Super Lawyers® list, for the eighth time, being previously selected in 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. He is certified by the New Jersey Supreme Court as a Certified Civil Trial Advocate, a certification achieved by only 3 percent of New Jersey attorneys.
While working with his late father, trial attorney Alvin R. Leonard, he witnessed a compassion for clients and a zeal to help them recover. Along the way, he learned some very valuable life lessons about how important it is to treat clients like family.
There is something about Mr. Leonard that not everyone knows, and that is he has been coaching the Special Olympics Basketball program for Morris County for over 20 years, run through the Arc of Morris County, New Jersey. Five teams competed in the Special Olympics North Sectional Basketball Tournament in 2019, and two of the teams won, advancing to the finals. Mr. Leonard welcomes others wishing to join the Special Olympics team to contact him for more information.
BLF spoke with Mr. Leonard, and below are some of the highlights of our discussion.
Lawyer Spotlight (LS): During your 30 years of practicing law, what are the highlights that stand out the most for you? Specifically anecdotes that you recall that arose during your career that you clearly remember as possibly teaching you a lesson.
Todd J. Leonard, Esq: Being an attorney is the highlight of my life and something that I love to do. It’s not just a “job” it’s an integral part of me. I have been blessed to help families who have lost loved ones and help them get the justice they deserve. I’ve been very fortunate over the last three decades to have the honor of representing many clients, and have tried over 30 cases to conclusion and settled thousands.
Each case and each client is unique and one memorable one that comes to mind is a trial on a serious construction accident case. The client’s daughter had the jurors in tears discussing the changes in her dad. It was a total game changer and brought home the fact that you need to know your clients, their family and how an accident impacts their lives.
In another case, I represented the mother of a young girl who was killed as a result of a road defect. She was ridden with guilt that she may have had some responsibility for the accident, but the trial proved the government was solely at fault.
I was also privileged to represent a severely brain injured client and as a result of settling the case, she was fully protected for life.
Lawyer Spotlight (LS): How are you able to keep a fresh outlook on your practice and the law in general?
Todd J. Leonard, Esq: Each day I feel so lucky to help our clients and do our best to be there when they need us the most. I have never really considered what I do as work but rather something I love to do.
Lawyer Spotlight (LS): Are there any pitfalls that snag attorneys that have a long record of serving the law?
Todd J. Leonard, Esq: Some attorneys who have practiced for long periods of time lose their interest and enthusiasm in handling cases. They can be complacent and overlook important details.
Lawyer Spotlight (LS): What made you decide to become an attorney and what motivated you to choose personal injury law? Was it solely due to working with your father or were you motivated by other factors as well, such as a passion for personal justice to right a wrong?
Todd J. Leonard, Esq: I was very fortunate to watch my father practice personal injury law as I grew up. He was my hero and inspiration. I really took great pride in how the clients, Court, and fellow attorneys respected his dedication and skills. I recognized at a very young age that this was my calling and his love in helping his clients and hard work ethic was something I wanted to continue. I strongly believe that when someone is seriously injured or has lost a loved one in an accident that I can help them get the justice they deserve.
Lawyer Spotlight (LS): What are some of your most memorable case highlights?
Todd J. Leonard, Esq: I have handled a lot of cases over the years and the wrongful death cases are the most challenging and rewarding. I recall taking on a case that five other law firms rejected and I was able to get a multi-million settlement. Another case involved a fatal apartment fire and sadly a 3-year boy perished. It was heartbreaking to learn all the mistakes that the defendants had made that cost his life and that of his grandmother.
Lawyer Spotlight (LS): Tell us about some of your marketing successes.
Todd J. Leonard, Esq: We have been very active with Internet marketing and Custom Legal Marketing (CLM) has done a great job in drawing many visitors to our site daily.
Lawyer Spotlight (LS): Tell us about the highlights of some of your recent million dollar settlements/awards.
Todd J. Leonard, Esq: In the last few months, I have been able to successfully resolve a number of million dollar cases, including: 1) a $3.1 million slip and fall accident, 2) a wrongful death car accident for over $1 million and 3) another slip and fall accident for $1 million for the full policy limits.
Mr. Leonard was chosen by the National Trial Lawyers to be on the list of Top 100 Trial Lawyers for Civil Litigation from 2013 to 2018, has been appointed to the Board of Trustees for the Trial Attorneys of New Jersey (TANJ) and holds a lifetime membership in the Million Dollar and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
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