John Lavelle

Cellino & Barnes Personal Injury Attorneys
600 Old Country Rd, Suite 412
Garden City, NY 11530
(516) 214-1235

My experience in the field of Personal Injury litigation began as a high school intern for a Personal Injury attorney. From that time I knew that helping injured people would be the focus of my professional career. I worked diligently on my school work, and obtained full scholarships from St. John’s University for both college and law school. I continued to work at a Personal Injury firm throughout my college and law school years and learned the “nuts and bolts” of how to litigate cases and handle insurance claims.

Once I graduated from St. John’s University School of Law, I began my career as an attorney and quickly learned what it takes to be both proficient and efficient with paperwork and in the courtroom. It became clear that there is no substitute for hard work, diligence, and preparation. I pride myself on strong client communication and accessibility, and will always be happy to speak with clients and address their needs and concerns.

The goal in any attorney-client relationship is to obtain fair and just compensation for the injuries suffered by the client. The Cellino and Barnes cooperative and professional environment gives each client the best chance possible to achieve that goal. With a unique blend of seasoned trial attorneys, skilled paralegals and an unmatched support staff each client will have the care and support they deserve in their time of need. There is no greater compliment that a client can pay their attorney than to refer a friend or loved one. I want every client to feel that we have been fair, considerate and diligent in representing them and made their life a little easier during a difficult time.

As Special Counsel to the firm, my duties include drafting and arguing appeals and reviewing motions for other attorneys. I have successfully argued appeals before the New York Appellate Division (First and Second Departments) and the Superior Court of Pennsylvania  Middle District. I have handled appeals arising from motor vehicle accidents, premises cases and medical malpractice actions. I am particularly proud of my work on the case of Fessenden v. Robert Packer. Based upon our appeal, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania changed the law regarding the need for experts in retained sponge cases where claims are often based on the doctrine of res ipsa loquitor. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania subsequently denied leave to appeal thereby making Fessenden the controlling case law on the issue.


$5,500,000.00 Bronx resident on a motorcycle suffered severe injuries when a van made a left turn in front of him.
$1,175,000.00 School administrator suffered a neck injury that required surgery after being struck by a wrong-way driver.
$800,000.00 Auto parts delivery man suffers a back injury after being struck by a Town garbage truck in Nassau County. Plaintiff had a back surgery on the same level one year earlier.
$450,00.00 Plaintiff falls when a ladder shifts under him at a construction site being run by the LIRR. He suffers a broken wrist.
$400,000.00 Plaintiff falls while descending a cell tower while installing new equipment. He has various injuries including a carpal tunnel release surgery. Defense claims that he fell due to his own error in using his tether.
$400,000.00 Electrician suffers multiple injuries after a ladder collapses at a construction site in Nassau County.
$360,000.00 Plumber suffers a broken ankle when a door closing device closes a door too quickly and strikes his foot.
$360,000.00 Retired man suffers a shoulder injury when he is struck head on by a school district vehicle.
$350,000.00 Plaintiff injures his neck, shoulders and knees when he is rear-ended by a United States Postal Service truck.
$350,000.00 Plaintiff trips over the leg of a high chair at a McDonald’s restaurant and suffers a broken ankle. Defense claims both no defect and that the chair was open and obvious to the gentleman.
$282,500.00 Plaintiff suffers from PTSD following a pedestrian knockdown accident.
$280,000.00 Plaintiff is rear-ended while turning left in Queens. She undergoes neck surgery, but an extensive accident/claim history. Total policy limit was $300,000.00.
$240,000.00 Plaintiff suffers a broken leg when he falls from a balcony when a railing fails. Landlord claims no notice of any issues with the railing.
$235,000.00 Plaintiff is struck by a car and suffered a leg injury while crossing a major roadway between cars.
$235,000.00 Plaintiff falls when the floor in his rental home cracked beneath his weight. He undergoes surgery. Defense claims no defect, no notice and that plaintiff had a myriad of pre-existing conditions including prior surgeries.
$225,000.00 Plaintiff suffers a neck injury in a car accident. She undergoes neck surgery, but defendants put blame on her son who ran a stop sign and had a minimal insurance policy.
$192,500.00 Plaintiff trips and falls in a nightclub parking lot after a night out with friends. She suffers a broken ankle.
$185,000.00 Plaintiff slips and falls on snow outside of a strip mall. The adjoining store had gone out of business and the lease made them responsible for snow removal. Landlord pointed out the fact that it had snowed overnight and the accident happened at 7:00 am.
$175,000.00 Plaintiff is rear-ended and has shoulder surgery and spinal injections.
$175,000.00 Plaintiff slips and falls in an icy parking lot and undergoes shoulder surgery.
$170,000.00 Plaintiff slips and falls on water in a Walgreens pharmacy. Defense claims no notice of the water. Case was settled after a successful appeal to the Appellate Division to get a grant of summary judgment in favor of defendants in the trial court reversed and the case restored.
$165,000.00 Plaintiff suffers a fractured ankle when she is hit by a car while going to wrong way on a one way street in her motorized wheelchair.
$150,000.00 Plaintiff injures his teeth in a contested-liability car accident.
$110,000.00 Plaintiff trips and falls in a school parking lot and suffers a broken finger that requires surgical repair.

I was born in Brooklyn and raised in Williston Park in Nassau County. I reside in Williston Park and enjoy spending my free time with my wife Sophia, our daughter Ava and our dogs and cats.


St. John’s University, Queens, New York  B.S. 2001 (Chemistry/Math) “Summa Cum Laude”
St. John’s University School of Law, Queens, New York  J.D. 2004

Bar Admissions:

New York State Courts
Federal District Court  Eastern District of New York
Federal District Court  Southern District of New York
Pennsylvania State Courts
Federal District Court  Eastern District of Pennsylvania
Federal District Court  Middle District of Pennsylvania
Federal District Court  Western District of Pennsylvania


The National Trial Lawyers  Top 40 Under 40
Million Dollar Advocates Forum
Multimillion Dollar Advocates Forum
Super Lawyers 2015 New York Metro Rising Stars
St. John’s School of Law  Presidential Scholarship
St. John’s University  Competitive, Catholic High School, and Merit Scholarships
Eagle Scout  Boy Scouts of America


New York State Trial Lawyers Association
New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers
Pennsylvania Bar Association
Arc of Dauphin County  Charter Family Member
Garden City Bird Sanctuary