Listed among Tier 1 Best Law Firms 2022 Edition of U.S. News & World Report
A native Vermonter, Amy returned to her home state in 1992, to join the the long-standing Burlington law firm, Sylvester & Maley, after practicing for several years with Morrison, Mahoney & Miller, one of the largest law firms in Boston, Massachusetts. In 2020, Amy and partners, Alan Sylvester and Mark Sylvester, formed the Sylvester Law Firm, PLLC.
Admitted to practice in both Vermont and Massachusetts, Amy represents clients in federal and state courts across Vermont, and before the Vermont Supreme Court, as well as at mediation and arbitration.
Amy concentrates her practice in Probate Administration, handling estate planning matters such as Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney and Healthcare documents, and in the prosecution of personal injury claims.
In 2014, Amy received the highest rating of AV Preeminent from Martindale-Hubbell for Ethical Standards and Legal Ability. Lawyers who receive the AV Preeminent status have been awarded
the highest peer review rating in Martindale-Hubbell for professional excellence.
In late December 2003 she, with Attorneys Alan Sylvester and Mike Brow obtained a federal court jury verdict of $2,522,193.00 in a Wrongful Death case. This remains the largest jury award ever obtained in the state in a Wrongful Death case.
In a case that received national attention, Amy successfully argued before the federal court a case involving the First Amendment and Federal Preemption on behalf of Burlington businesses
challenging city law restricting their business practices.
Amy is a member of the Vermont Association for Justice (formerly the Vermont Trial Lawyers Association), and served on its Board of Governors from 1997-2000. She is also a member of
the American Association for Justice (formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America), American Bar Association, Vermont Bar Association and Chittenden County Bar Association.
She is admitted to practice in Vermont (1992), Massachusetts (1990), U.S. District Court, District of Vermont (1993), U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts (1991), and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit (1992).
Amy graduated from the George Washington University Law School (J.D.) in 1990, where she was a Chairperson of The Moot Court Board. Amy earned her undergraduate degree in Political Science (B.A.) from Middlebury College, cum laude, 1987.
After 59 years of practicing law in Vermont, Alan Sylvester retired, effective September 30, 2022.
Attorney Sylvester has been selected as a New England Super Lawyer for twenty consecutive years since 2007, when New England Super Lawyers® magazine listed him as one of the Top 100 trial lawyers in New England following a multi-step nomination process, which included peer and independent evaluations. Among the factors considered were verdicts, settlements, experience, honors and awards. Alan was one of only 3 Vermont attorneys listed, and the only one who has spent the last 4 decades concentrating his practice on representing injured victims.
Best Lawyers in America®, the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession, has named Alan:
Lawyer of the Year 2012 – Medical Malpractice Law, Burlington, Vermont
Lawyer of the Year 2011 – Personal Injury Litigation, Burlington, Vermont
Alan is one of only 500 lawyers in the United States, and the only one in Vermont, listed every year in Best Lawyers in America® since its first publication in 1983.
Alan has been a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers since 1982. The College is comprised of the best of the trial bar from the United States and Canada, and is widely considered to be the preeminent professional trial organization in North America.
Alan has been recognized by his peers as one of the top personal injury trial lawyers in Vermont for 40 years.
Alan has maintained the highest rating of AV Preeminent in the nationally recognized peer review publication Martindale-Hubbell since 1979.
He has served as President of the Vermont Association for Justice (formerly Vermont Trial Lawyer’s Association), and as a member of its Board of Governors.
Alan has represented several clients in cases of national significance, and has extensive experience in handling complex, serious personal injury cases. He has been successful in recovering by jury verdict and settlement sums ranging between $1 million and $5,400,000 for his clients on 20 occasions.
Areas of Practice
Motor Vehicle/Truck/Pedestrian/Bicycle Accidents
A Sampling of Some of Alan’s More Notable Cases Is As Follows:
$1,650,000 – Recovered in 2018, 2017, 2016 for personal injuries caused by the negligence of another.
$5,400,000 – Recovery for wrongful death caused by the negligent operation of a motor vehicle.
$4,925,000 – Recovery in a single car accident against the driver and liquor server.
$4,850,000 – Recovery in wrongful deaths claims against the operator of a motor vehicle driving at excessive speeds.
$2,800,000 – Recovery for wrongful deaths due to carbon monoxide poisoning.
$2,500,000 – Recovery for wrongful deaths in a recreational boating accident.
$2,500,000 – United States Federal District Court Jury verdict in a wrongful death case against a trucking company. This verdict was reportedly the highest wrongful death verdict ever obtained in the State of Vermont.
$2,000,000 – Recovery for a birth injury against an obstetrician, pediatrician and hospital for negligent care and treatment before, during and after birth.
$1,800,000 – Recovery for wrongful death against the manufacturer of an automobile, supplier of parts, and the operator of a motor vehicle.
$1,750,000 – Recovery for failure to warn of the dangers of diving into the deep end of an in-ground pool that had the appearance of being safe.
$1,500,000 – Recovery for ski area negligence in not keeping its premises reasonably safe.
$1,500,000 – State Court Jury verdict for injuries caused by the negligent maintaining and grooming of a ski trail. This is reportedly the largest verdict for a recreational ski case in the State of Vermont.
$1,500,000 – Recovery for failure to warn of dangers in a recreational diving accident.
$1,100,000 – Recovery for the wrongful death of a 68 year old female pedestrian.
$1,000,000 – Recovery for delay in diagnosing and treating cancer.
$1,000,000 – Recovery for failure to adequately monitor a hospitalized patient.
$1,000,000 – Recovery for failure to monitor a hospitalized patient.
$750,000 – Settlement for a motorcyclist who suffered a broken leg due to the failure of a motorist to maintain a proper lookout.
$750,000 – Recovery for failure of an anesthesiologist to provide adequate care.
Alan has also had scores of verdicts and settlements ranging from $100,000 to $850,000. For a more complete list please click here.
Education and Career
In 1975, Alan Sylvester, along with John Maley, founded Sylvester & Maley, a Burlington, Vermont law firm dedicated to the representation of the victims of personal injury and medical malpractice. In 2013, Alan, along with Sylvester & Maley partner, Michael Brow, and Amy Sylvester Averill, announced the continuation of their personal injury law practice under the name of Sylvester & Brow. In 2016, Attorney Mark Sylvester joined the firm after 17 of practicing personal injury law in Miami, Florida. Alan, Amy and Mark continue to maintain their law practice as The Sylvester Law Firm at 78 Pine Street, in the historic district of Burlington.
Alan was admitted to the Vermont Bar in 1964, the U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont in 1965, the U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit in 1968, and the U.S. Supreme Court in 1980.
He received his BA from the University of Vermont in 1960, and his JD from Albany Law School of Union University in 1964.
He has been a member of the State of Vermont Professional Conduct Committee, and Board of Bar Examiners.
Mark A. Sylvester, admitted to practice in Florida and Vermont, is an experienced trial attorney representing victims in serious personal injury and wrongful death cases. Mark specializes in complex civil litigation involving a wide array of personal injury and wrongful death actions such as those arising out of motor vehicle accidents, boating accidents, medical malpractice, defective products, premises liability, aviation/plane crashes, recreational liability, the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), negligent security, inadequate supervision, drunk driving incidents, sexual and physical assault/battery, negligent entrustment, dog bites, boating and maritime/admiralty accidents, nursing home neglect and abuse, bad faith insurance practices, cruise ship passenger claims, intentional torts, and all other negligence based harms. He has litigated against some of the largest corporations in the world. A native of Vermont, Mark returned to his home State in 2015, after practicing law for over a decade in Miami, Florida. During his legal career in Florida, he was consistently recognized as one of the top lawyers in the State by numerous legal publications including, Florida Super Lawyers, Florida Trend Magazine, and the South Florida Legal Guide. He has achieved the highest rating of “Superb: 10 out of10,” from the lawyer rating service AVVO.com. Among his many activities in the professional community, Mark was elected by his peers in 2004, to the Board of Directors for the Miami-Dade County Bar Association, one of the largest bar associations in the country with over 4,000 members. In 2005, that same organization appointed Mark to the Board of Directors for Legal Services of Greater Miami, Inc., an organization providing legal services to the low income community in areas of housing, employment, government benefits, special education, and community economic development. In July of 2007, Mark was elected Chair of the American Justice Association’s Federal Tort Claim and Military Advocacy Section. He previously held the position of chair-elect in 2006, and secretary of the Section in 2005.Mark is a cum laude graduate of the University of Miami School of Law where he was a member of the University of Miami Business Law Review. He was co-founder of the University of Miami School of Law’s Aviation Law Society and served as the organizations first vice-president and there after president. Mark is a licensed aircraft pilot. He completed his undergraduate studies at Middlebury College (Vermont) where he graduated cum laude and was a member of the NCAA Men’s Varsity Basketball Team, 1991-1994.
Representative Verdicts and Settlements:$40 million verdict for a victim in a negligent security case (Trial team).$24 million verdict in a medical malpractice birth trauma case (Trial Team).
$4.5 million settlement for the wrongful death of minor in recreational vehicle accident.$2.85 million settlement for a wrongful death in a plane crash.$1.6 million settlement for injuries sustained in an automobile accident.$1.5 million settlement for injuries sustained in motor vehicle accident.$1.0 million settlement for injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident.$850,000.00 settlement for injuries sustained in a premises liability case.$825,000.00 settlement for a broken arm injury in a car crash.$750,000.00 settlement for injuries from a fall at a long term care facility.$668,000.00 verdict against Walt Disney World for injuries sustained on premises$500,000.00 bad faith insurance settlement on a $50,000 insurance policy.$425,000.00 Federal Tort Claim Act settlement for an unnecessary surgery.$400,000.00 settlement for back injuries sustained in a fall on a cruise ship.
Education: University of Miami School of Law, Coral Gables, Florida Juris Doctor, Cum Laude, 1999Honors & Activities: Business Law Review Phi Delta Phi Honor Society Vice-President, Co-Founder, Aviation Law Society, 1998President Aviation Law Society, 1999
Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vermont Bachelor of Science, Cum Laude, 1995Honors & Activities: NCAA Men’s Varsity Basketball Team, 1991-1994Journalist for School Newspaper, The Campus
Licensing & Bar Admissions: Vermont Bar Association: 2014Florida Bar Association: 1999
Professional & Community Involvement: Board of Directors: Legal Services of Greater Miami, Inc; (2004-2010)Miami-Dade County Bar Association; (2004-2007)
Member: Vermont Bar Association (2014-Present)Florida Bar Association (1999- Present)Miami-Dade County Bar Association (2000-Present)Miami-Dade Justice Association (2000-2010)American Association for Justice (2000-2010)Chair, Federal Tort Claims Act Section (2007)Miami Beach Bar Association (2005-2010)Monroe County Bar Association (2005-2010)
Specialized Skills: Licensed Pilot – Single engine aircraft.
Publications: Mark A. Sylvester & Ira H. Leesfield, “Bad Call,” Trial, August 2010.Mark A. Sylvester, “Judicial Profiles” – Miami-Dade County Bar Association’s “The Bulletin”: Judge John Schlesinger, April 2009.Judge Thomas S. Wilson, January 2009.Judge Mary Barzee Flores, December 2008.Judge Maxine Cohen Lando, November 2008.Judge David Miller, October 2008.Judge Bronwyn Miller, April 2008.Judge Jennifer D. Bailey, March 2008.Judge Lawrence Schwartz, February 2008.Judge Pedro Echarte, January 2008.
Judge Maria Espinosa Dennis, October 2007.Judge Victoria Platzer, September 2007.Judge Scott J. Silverman, August 2007.Mark A. Sylvester, “Weather Related Crashes: Establishing Negligence Against Air Traffic Control,” American Association for Justice; Aviation Section Newsletter, Summer 2007.Mark A. Sylvester, “Federal Tort Claims and the Discretionary Function Exception,” Association of Trial Lawyers of America Federal Tort Liability & Military Advocacy Newsletter, Vol. 12, No. 1, Fall 2006, pp.5-7.Mark A. Sylvester & Ira H. Leesfield, “Sanctions,” Chapter 20, ATLA’s Tort Litigation, Thompson/West Publishing, 2003.Mark A. Sylvester &Ira H. Leesfield, “Apportionment of Fault in Inadequate Security Cases,” Trial, December 2001.Mark A. Sylvester & Ira H. Leesfield, “Admissibility of Expert Testimony: What’s Next?” Trial, December 2000.
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