Cefalo & Associates is now Cefalo Law, but it’s still “the people’s law firm,” principal Karl Kwak said, before adding, “and we like it that way.”
That final comment is a nod to the firm’s founder, attorney Michael Cefalo, who at age 79 has retired from practicing law after a legendary career spanning more than 55 years.
Kwak is one of three lawyers to whom the firm, located in West Pittston, has transitioned. The other two are attorney George Oschal and attorney Jim Albert. Together they have a combined total of more than 80 years with the firm. Kwak and Oschal have worked with Cefalo since the mid ’80s and Albert has been affiliated with the firm for more than 10 years.
Mike Cefalo’s famous line, “We’re the people’s law firm, and we like it that way,” was more than just a slogan, Kwak said.
“Mike always advertised that our firm was fiercely independent of big business, big insurance firms and corporate America,” Kwak added. “He’d always say we represent the people not the powerful, and he meant it.”
Kwak said that spirit will continue.
“He molded the firm and each of us to be champions of the underdog,” he said. “We were taught that by representing people, just people, one case at a time, we could make a difference in the world.”
Kwak said the U.S. civil court system was designed to give people the opportunity to seek justice when they have been wronged.
“It’s through civil court,” he said,” that we lawyers can help average people fight back. We take that role seriously.”
Counting the three principals, Cefalo Law has a staff of about 13 full-time employees and several others employed part time. “With Mike’s spirit in all of us,” Kwak said.