The Law Firm of George·Gesten·McDonald, Offering Affordable Justice for All
Attorneys David George, Ryan Gesten, and Chris McDonald founded their law firm George·Gesten·McDonald with a goal of fighting for those who cannot fight for themselves. “Although we have big firm experience, we have a small firm feel and take a personal interest in every client’s case, building very strong relationships,” says George.
George·Gesten·McDonald has a variety of practice groups and offers its clients services in securities fraud and consumer fraud class actions and EB-5 fraud cases, and also in personal injury law, general commercial litigation, landlord tenant disputes, collection matters, business formations and real estate and business transactions. Their law firm is international; while George and Gesten are based in Lake Worth/ Wellington, McDonald, their other founding partner, is based in Virginia. Lori Feldman, Senior partner and talented class action attorney, heads up their class action practice group out of a New York office. We were so lucky to get Lori, said George, as she moved our class action practice ahead several years just by joining us. They also have an affiliated office in Guangzhou, China, as a result of their very busy EB-5 Securities Fraud practice.
What distinguishes them from the many other law firms in the area are two main factors – they take a great deal of time to really listen to their clients and they work with people who cannot afford to pay exorbitant hourly rates. They offer alternative fee arrangements with their clients, including flat fees, contingency fees, reduced hourly rates and hybrid fee arrangements. Thus, their tag line, “Affordable Justice for All.”
“We learn about our clients’ businesses from top to bottom to better serve them and understand their needs. We are on the cutting edge of the law and handle virtually any type of business litigation matter,” says Gesten. “We get to know our client’s business from soup to nuts.”
Attorney Matthew Ciapperini partners with George and Gesten in Lake Worth/ Wellington location and mentions that one of the keys to their success is the diverse range of backgrounds of everyone who works there. “From jobs before law school to what we studied in undergrad, it’s all very diverse.” It helps them think outside of the box when it comes to individual cases. Ciapperini, for example, worked in real estate as a mobile closing agent and worked in sales in the plumbing department of Home Depot. When given a case regarding a burst pipe in someone’s ceiling, Ciapperinni was able to inspect the pipes and quickly determine what was not up to code.
I asked Gesten and George about their backgrounds. Gesten grew up in New York, then went to the University of Miami for his undergraduate degree and law degree. He’s been practicing law for 20 years. “He has an amazing breadth of experience,” says George about Gesten. “He has practiced a wide variety of types of law and is a great resource.” Ryan Gesten and his wife Andrea have two kids who are four and six years old. They love the local area.
David George loves the area too and has raised five children (including two sets of twins) with his wife Doris. They have lived in Wellington for almost 30 years and love “the small community feel” as well as the parks & recreation, the school system and also the equestrian element. George was born in Rhode Island and went to the University of Rhode Island for his undergraduate degree. He then went to the University of Richmond, Virginia for law school, graduating at the top of his class. At a turning point in his career which had been with some very large law firms (with more than 1,000 lawyers), he decided to leave the big firms behind and join a small plaintiffs’ class action firm, where he developed a passion for fighting fraud. “I have been blessed to have been able to lead and be a part of litigation teams that have recovered in excess of one billion dollars for victims of fraud from all over the world,” he says. Now, he is doing it with his hand-picked partners and colleagues.
Within their beautifully renovated office, George has a colorful office, as some of his hobbies include buying and selling comic books and collecting vintage toys. He also collects dated political propaganda and tools, including an old 1930’s New York voting machine.
“He’s one of the most empathetic listeners you’ve ever met,” says Gesten about George. “Our clients always have wonderful things to say about him.” One of the most memorable comments George received was “Thank you for treating my daughter like she was your own.”
“We’re a family here,” says Gesten. “And it shows to our clients and even to our opponents. It’s who we are and it comes through in our work.”
Of course a referral is the highest form of recommendation. George·Gesten·McDonald get over 90% of their new cases by referral. “Some of my favorite compliments didn’t involve saying anything at all – client have given me fresh baked cookies, invited me to their home for family BBQ’s and friends-giving,” says Chiapperini. “One of the best compliments is when my clients refer a friend or family member. I’m always very grateful and do everything I can to ensure their trust is well-placed.”
One of David George’s most memorable cases was one where he was fighting a case for a group of day laborers. He encountered a lot of people who were homeless and remembers realizing, “anyone could be homeless with the wrong turn of events. It humbled me to learn that I needed to change my own point of view on homelessness.” He won the case by the way.
What does it mean to fight for justice aggressively? “You need to litigate every case like you’re a plaintiff’s lawyer, even when you are defending a case,” says George. At George·Gesten·McDonald, they sit with the client, learn everything they can or if it’s a business, they go out to the business to visit them on site. It’s an independent evaluation of the facts including a lot of legal research. “We’re not reactive, we’re proactive,” says Gesten. After all the data is collected, they fight aggressively for their clients. No matter what the case or circumstances, the goal is to “always be the most prepared person in the room.”
For more information, call 833-FIND-JUSTICE or call their local office at (561) 232-6002.
David George, Ryan Gesten, Christopher McDonald
Attorneys at Law
Wellington/Lake Worth office
9897 Lake Worth Road, Suite 302
Lake Worth, FL 33467