Attorneys

Jeffrey B. Gold

Partner

Jeffrey B. Gold received his law degree from Fordham University in 1987. After graduation, he worked at two mid-size New York law firms, Mound, Cotton & Wollan and then Rivkin, Radler & Kremer, handling complex litigation matters in NY, NJ, MI, PA and KY.

Christopher J. Benes

Partner

Christopher J. Benes is a 1979 graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School. Mr. Benes joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Fraud/General Crimes Unit.

Rhonda Wiener Breakstone, Esq.

Associate

Rhonda Wiener Breakstone, a graduate of Brooklyn Law School, was admitted to the New York bar in 1981. Also admitted to the United States Supreme Court and the United States District Courts of the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, Ms. Wiener Breakstone brings to Gold, Benes extensive experience in personal injury practice and litigation. Trained in one of New York’s pre-eminent trial firms, that experience includes case investigation and trial preparation in both automobile and premises matters.

Ms. Wiener Breakstone has utilized her abilities not only for her clients, but for the educational community as well, serving in leadership positions with Bellmore Parent-Teachers Associations, including those of President and Legislative Chair. For those efforts, she was honored with Lifetime Membership in the New York State Parent-Teachers Association.

Suzanne M. Ragone, Esq.

Associate

Suzanne M. Ragone, is a 1997 graduate of Binghamton University and received a Juris Doctorate from St. John’s University School of Law in 2001. She is admitted to practice before the Courts of the State of New York, the United States District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.

Suzanne is a skilled litigator with experience defending clients in cases involving premises liability, construction accidents, vehicular negligence, medical malpractice, nursing home liability and attorney malpractice. Prior to joining Gold Benes LLP, she gained experience working in private practice in the areas of personal injury litigation, criminal law, matrimonial and family law. Suzanne is a member of New York State Bar Association.

Garris L. Williams, Esq.

Associate

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Karen C. Higgins, Esq.

Associate

Karen C. Higgins, a 1987 graduate of St. John’s University School of Law, was admitted to the New York bar in 1988, and shortly thereafter to the United States District Courts of the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. Ms. Higgins brings to Gold, Benes extensive experience in all types of litigation, specializing for much of her career in insurance coverage litigation. In her prior experience working at larger firms in New York City and on Long Island, Ms. Higgins has prepared numerous motions, appellate briefs, discovery, and opinion letters on various issues for a variety of clients, big and small.

Outside the office, Ms. Higgins spends much of her time giving back to her community through her work with the Massapequa Takes Action Coalition (fighting the opioid and addiction crises), and various environmental and political causes.

Christopher C. Carr, Esq.

Associate

Christopher T. Carr, Esq. completed his undergraduate studies at Hofstra University where he earned a B.A. in Psychology. Mr. Carr is a 1989 graduate of the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University. He is admitted to the bars of New York and New Jersey and is also admitted to the United States District Courts of the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York. Mr. Carr is a member of the Queens County Bar Association.

Prior to joining Gold Benes, LLP this year, Mr. Carr completed a long and rewarding career in public service at the Social Security Administration (SSA). During his 27-year tenure with SSA’s hearings and disability adjudication branch, Mr. Carr held the positions of senior attorney and supervising attorney. Serving in these positions provided him with the great satisfaction of not only being able to assist the public but also the opportunity to train, develop and mentor several of the Agency’s dedicated employees.

Jodi Nyear Gurdus, Esq.

Associate

Jodi M. Nyear is a graduate of Hofstra Law School and was admitted to the bar in 2003. She graduated from SUNY Albany with honors. She is also admitted to the Eastern and Southern District Courts of the United States. Ms. Nyear has extensive personal injury defense experience, as both in-house and outside counsel, including trial work. She is experienced at case investigation, litigation and trial preparation for premises liability and automotive cases on behalf of both individual and corporate clients.

Roseann Madonna, Esq.

Associate

Roseann Madonna is a 1997 graduate of Brooklyn Law School. Ms. Madonna has significant insurance defense experience, having worked for prominent law firms. In addition to insurance defense, Ms. Madonna also has experience in handling plaintiff’s personal injury matters, foreclosure defense and consumer collection matters. Her areas of expertise include premises and automobile negligence.

Robert J. Stone, Jr., Esq.

Of Counsel

Robert Stone, Jr., Esq. Of Counsel to Gold Benes, LLP. Attorney with over 20 years of experience handling civil litigation matters in New York courts, practicing primarily in the areas of personal injury and property damage defense, insurance coverage, and commercial litigation. J.D., cum laude, from Georgetown University Law Center, and a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. Admitted to practice in New York State courts, the federal Second Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.

Melissa B. Levine, Esq.

Of Counsel

Melissa Levine is a general practitioner, admitted to practice law before the New York State Courts since 1991; and is admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the United States District Courts for the EDNY and SDNY.

Ms. Levine received a BA from SUNY Binghamton, in 1986 and a JD from Hofstra University School of Law, in 1990.

Melissa has been with Gold Benes LLP and its predecessors since 2004. She is the head of the collection practice for the firm, with an emphasis in collecting monies owed to commercial landlords and other businesses. Her other areas of practice include real estate closings, overtime wage claims, mortgage foreclosure defense and representation of creditors in bankruptcy.

Leanna DeGiulio

Office Manager/Paralegal

Leanna DeGiulio is the manager of Gold Benes, LLP, as well as a Paralegal since late 2014. She received her degree in Legal Studies from Nassau Community College in 2013. Before joining Gold Benes, LLP and working her organizational and managerial magic at this firm, Ms. DeGiulio worked at a law firm representing Plaintiffs personal injury litigation and at a medical malpractice law firm.