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Member Spotlight
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On this page we share interviews by Board Member and
Labor & Employment Law Committee Co-chair Tejash V. Sanchala, Esq. 
with WCBA members about their experiences and insights.
The articles were originally published in the Member Spotlight column in
the WCBA's Westchester Lawyer magazine, We hope you are inspired by
their stories!

Tejash welcomes your comments and suggestions for future columns.
He can be reached here.

________________________________________________________________________

 

 

Mona D. Shapiro, Esq. 

 

 

 

 

Tejash: How long have you been a member of the WCBA and what are some of your contributions?

Mona: 25 years. Over that period, I have served as a member and officer of the Bar Foundation, where I was part of the group that conceived, initiated, and developed the WCBF Fellowship (perhaps my proudest accomplishment as a lawyer), and as a member of the Nominating Committee. I am also the Editor-in-Chief of the Westchester Bar Journal, and am currently serving my third term as a member of the Grievance Committee for the 9th Judicial District. I also serve as a Mock Trial judge, which is both fun and challenging. In 2016, I received an award from the WCBF for distinguished leadership.

Tejash: What is your current job and practice area?

Mona: I am a partner in Shapiro Gettinger Waldinger & Monteleone, LLP in Mount Kisco where I concentrate on civil litigation, primarily focused on real property, community associations (condominiums and HOAs), contract, and commercial disputes.

Tejash: How did you become a litigator?

Mona: My father was a litigator. To me, that is what a lawyer is. Litigation satisfies my passion for advocacy, writing, and winning arguments. I despise injustice and pomposity and feel I am in the right venue to go after both.

Tejash: What is one of your favorite legal success stories?

Mona: Most recently, winning summary judgment for a widow (a second wife) whose late husband’s estate sued to set aside a deed to the marital home from the husband on the ground that he was incompetent and she was guilty of undue influence. The attacks by family members were nasty and personal but we held to the high ground, relying on an expert opinion by the husband’s treating physician, the testimony of the lawyer who prepared the deed, another Mt. Kisco comrade, and settled case law, including a case I had won in the Appellate Division 20 years ago, which made victory even more pleasant. The estate is now appealing and I am hopeful that there will be a happy ultimate ending.

Tejash: Who were some of your legal mentors?

Mona:  My father, who cross-examined me regularly at the dinner table and taught me the importance of analytical thought and looking behind the surface. My first employers, Edward L. Sadowsky and Bernard H. Goldstein, who taught me that “the practice of law is the meticulous attention to detail” and that clear, simple, straightforward writing is the modern and best way to practice law.

Tejash: If you were not practicing law, what would you be doing?

Mona:  Selling on eBay (see below), buying things to sell on eBay, playing with my granddaughter, working out, and reading.

Tejash: What might people be surprised to learn about you?

Mona: I am a “Top Seller” on eBay and have an eBay store called “Designed Objects.” I have more than 5000 feedbacks, 100% positive!

Tejash: What do you splurge on?

Mona:  Clothes to wear, goodies to sell on eBay, and visiting my family in Boston (where my granddaughter lives).

Tejash: What is the best hour of your day?

Mona: Early morning when everything is quiet and I am drinking tea, playing Scrabble on my phone, reading, and texting with my best friend.

Tejash: What is your favorite meal?

Mona: Something spicy, with lots of vegetables. Lately I’ve been enjoying Vietnamese food.

Tejash: What are some of your favorite vacation trips?

Mona: My family spends a week every summer at a family camp on Upper Saranac Lake in the Adirondack Mountains. We have been going there for more than 30 years. It is beautiful and we have many precious memories.

Tejash: What is the best advice you have ever received?   

Mona: “I’m not going to let them drive me crazy.” This was said by a co-worker of my husband. He had laminated signs made up with these words emblazoned on them. I have one on my desk and look at it every day.

Tejash: What is the best decision you made to improve your business?

Mona: Choosing to practice with my partners, John
Gettinger,
Steven Waldinger and Greg Monteleone. They are smart, practical and knowledgeable.

Tejash: What advice would you give to new lawyers?

Mona: Keep deadlines but ask for more time when you need it. Try not to be too anxious. Be nice to court staff. Don’t let older lawyers bully you. Don’t forget to look in the pocket parts (do they still have those?) and shepardize your cases!!

Tejash: What is your favorite part of being involved with the WCBA?  

Mona:  Participating in the selection of WCBF Fellows. It is an honor and a pleasure to do that work.

 

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