As a result, Smith Law Office has seen an explosion in the number of wrongful death lawsuits filed against them, according to court records.
The rise in the practice, which includes wrongful death cases filed against the law offices of several prominent New York City lawyers, began in March after a lawsuit was filed against a local law firm.
In the past year, the New York office has filed more than 100 lawsuits, according an Associated Press analysis of court records, and more than 40 percent of the suits are related to the death of a client, who had been the subject of an alleged wrongful death lawsuit.
The practice was initially introduced by a prominent New Jersey attorney, but it has expanded in recent years to include other lawyers in the region.
Smith Law office also handles wrongful death claims against the NYPD, the FDNY, the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office, the police department, the county health department and several other government entities.
Smith Law Office declined to comment for this story.
Some of the most well-known wrongful death lawyers in New York are also Smith Law offices, including Daniel Bovino, who was charged in 2012 with second-degree manslaughter in the death last year of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man who was allegedly choked by a police officer in New Jersey.
Bovini, who is now a New York Superior Court judge, pleaded guilty in 2013 and is awaiting sentencing.
The rise in lawsuits against Smith Law was first reported by the New Yorker, which also cited a report by the nonprofit New York Civil Liberties Union.
The paper said the uptick is the result of a growing number of high-profile wrongful death suits, and that the rise has been especially notable in New Orleans, where a number of former New Orleans police officers have sued Smith Law for wrongful death.
“I think the number and the number, I don’t know, has been way up,” said Michael O’Donnell, an attorney who represented the former police officers in the Garner case.
“And I think the people who are doing it are the ones that have been hurt the most, and the ones who have lost a lot.”
O’Malley, who now heads the New Orleans Civil Liberties union, said the rise in wrongful death suit activity is in line with the city’s reputation as a violent and dangerous place.
He noted that in recent months, the city has experienced more than 1,000 homicides and more killings than it has in the last decade.
Other law offices have also seen an uptick in wrongful deaths, according for instance to the National Lawyers Guild, which represents about 1,300 civil rights attorneys across the country.
According to the organization, the number in New England has grown by more than 5,000 people in the past two years.
Lawyers who work for the law firms of New York’s top law firms, like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, have also had to adjust their work schedules to accommodate the rising number of lawsuits.
The firms are also facing increased scrutiny from state attorneys general over their alleged handling of cases involving police officers, who are accused of killing civilians and civilians in the line of duty.
Last year, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed a lawsuit accusing the New Yorks attorney general’s office of failing to adequately investigate claims of excessive force against police officers.
In the suit, Schneiderman alleged that some New York police officers and prosecutors, including the head of the state’s criminal division, were not properly investigating claims of misconduct against police and were “lying about and hiding evidence” in an attempt to avoid legal consequences for police officers who engaged in misconduct.
The attorney general said in a statement that the suit was filed after a review of nearly 100,000 pages of documents that were previously withheld by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s office.