(1929 - 2020)
During his four years at Columbia College, Peter DeBlasio played on the football, baseball, basketball and golf teams, was the University-wide handball champion, and in 1947 was part of the legendary Columbia squad to defeat #l-ranked Army 21-20, still considered by some to be the greatest upset in college football history.
After a stint in the Navy, Peter entered Columbia Law School and upon graduation went straight to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York where he was a federal prosecutor for four years. The rest of his 50-year career was devoted to defending his fellow New Yorkers as one of the state's leading personal injury plaintiff's lawyers. Peter took more than 500 cases to trial, among those was the first eight-figure verdict in New York history ($10 million dollars for Betty Crabb in 1982), the highest plaintiff verdict in Westchester County ($25 million Dollars for plaintiff Ken Tanabe in 1993), the highest verdict in Rockland County ($20 million dollars for David Braun in 1990), and the highest loss of consortium verdict in New York State ($3 million dollars for Mrs. Baumgarten in 1996).
On five occasions Peter represented criminal defendants, including one of the two men charged with the 1975 abduction of 21-year-old Samuel Bronfman, heir to the Seagram fortune, which kidnapping and subsequent trial gained intense national attention in an era before the internet. He won acquittals at all five of those criminal trials.
Peter was indeed a marvel to behold. A genius in the courtroom where many gathered to witness his performances which were full of wit, wry humor, rapid-fire questioning, and heart-rendering summations. He was fiercely competitive and in full command of the courtroom. He was revered by the bench, fellow trial lawyers, and grateful clients alike.