Betsy Gilbride DeSoye
“We can’t prevent things from going wrong, as they sometimes will, but we can direct all the energy we have to making things right.”
Betsy DeSoye is a seasoned, passionate, and tireless advocate who brings broad-based experience across multiple disciplines to the firm’s personal injury practice. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Betsy is a cum laude graduate of Brooklyn Law School and a third-generation lawyer. As she notes, the law and using it to fight to make things right is in her blood.
The thread that runs through Betsy’s diverse professional career is advocacy. Approachable and accessible, Betsy is known for her attention to detail and persistence. Since starting at Baker Leshko in 2015, whether it is a court proceeding, a mediation or an arbitration, Betsy is a dogged advocate who leaves no stone unturned in pursuing her client’s interests. Though no two cases are the same and outcomes will vary from case to case, a few examples of some significant outcomes include:
- $2 million settlement for a workplace accident resulting in cervical injuries and the loss of a an otherwise healthy person’s livelihood.
- Policy limits of $100,000 for injuries of client t-boned by another driver. *
- $450,000 for motor vehicle accident resulting in a life altering fracture.
- $525,000 settlement against irresponsible landlord who failed to repair a latch hanging off the hinge resulting in permanent nerve damage and lost economics.
- $475,000 for slip and fall for police officer who fell on ice in response to an aid call.
*Of course, especially with motor vehicle accidents, there are often instances where the other driver has the minimum $25,000 liability coverage. Here, if there is a serious injury, we will fully pursue our client’s own SUM insurance through arbitration.
The practice areas that Betsy handles, including the appellate work that crops up in the course of litigation, include.
- General Municipal Law § 205-a and § 205-e claims
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Premises Liability/ Slip and Falls
- Construction Accidents
- Bicycle and Pedestrian Knockdowns
- Supplementary and/or Uninsured Motorist (SUM) insurance claims
- Community, Grass Roots and Social Issues Advocacy
Pro Bono and Volunteer Efforts
- Non-Profit Westchester, advised on a campaign to foster greater development of workforce housing in Westchester 2021- 2022
- Feerick Center for Social Justice, CLARO advisory program for pro se defendants confronted with consumer credit litigation as a result of dealing with predatory lenders, 2011–2012; 2016-2020.
- Arbitrator/Mediator, White Plains Small Claims Court, 2001–2004
- Trustee, White Plains Public Library, 1996–2002
- Led successful Roof the Rink campaign, resulting in White Plains erecting a roof over Ebersole Ice Rink
- Co-founded and led Fairness in Planning campaign, successfully influencing the decision to locate White Plains’ City Center development in the heart of downtown White Plains vs. the original train station site.
Juris Doctor, cum laude, Brooklyn Law School, Brooklyn, New York Class rank: Top 10%. Awards: Moot Court Competition Finalist; Excellence in Future Interests
Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, Trinity College, Washington, D.C.
BAR ADMISSION & MEMBERSHIPS
New York State Bar
Southern District of New York
Eastern District of New York
New York State Bar Association, Torts, Insurance, & Compensation Law Section
New York State Association of Trial Lawyers
New York State Trial Lawyers Association
Additional background : Earlier Years
After twelve years in private practice, Betsy worked for several years as an advocate on a grass roots level for a number of non-profit causes and organizations. She was then appointed to the staff of the Westchester County Board of Legislators, where over the course of more than seven years, as communications director and then as legislative counsel, she built a deep knowledge base of administrative, municipal, land use, environmental, statutory, and regulatory law. She also co-developed and taught a pilot writing course at Fordham University Law School aimed at teaching law students the discipline of translating complex legal issues to plain English.