We regret to inform of the recent death of founding partner and leading member of the Bar, Clifford Bartlett, Jr. Cliff died just two days shy of his 86th birthday, which would have been celebrated on this St. Patrick’s Day.
Cliff was recognized as one of the original defenders of doctors and healthcare institutions in the New York area, and in more than 50 years of practice, forged a formidable courtroom presence and was considered to have “a huge personality” in New York Trial Bar. He possessed an original drive and spirit of competitiveness that was hardly diminished since his days as a professional football player for the Montreal Alouettes, for which he played fullback in the late 1950s. Cliff was also a proud United States Marine. After separating from the Marine Corps, he took a daytime job as a bank teller. He eventually decided that banking wasn’t for him and although he considered tax law, early on in his legal education, he recognized the ultra-competitive drama of litigation. Upon graduating from law school, he joined Travelers Insurance and in 18 months, defended 33 property damage cases and won 32 of them. By the late 1960s, even before the medical malpractice explosion, Cliff was already focusing on defending such claims.
He was one of the original members of powerhouse medical malpractice defense firm, Bower & Gardner. In 1992, he formed the Bartlett, McDonough, Bastone & Monaghan firm with offices in Manhattan, White Plains and Garden City. Bartlett LLP as it is now known, just celebrated its 31st year in existence. The firm continues to aggressively defend its clients as Cliff did, with the enthusiasm and level of preparation Cliff always expected of his partners and associates.
Cliff was a longtime member of the American Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association and the Nassau County and Suffolk County Bar Associations and the Nassau Suffolk Trial Lawyers Association. He was first admitted to practice law in the New York State Courts in 1963. He was admitted to no fewer than four U.S. District Courts (the Southern, Eastern, Northern and Western Districts of New York) and was also admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit and the United States Supreme Court. Over the past four decades, Cliff wrote and lectured widely on trial law issues and is uniformly considered to have contributed to the evolution of the law in substantial ways. He freely mentored young lawyers and was known to offer fashion tips to colleagues in Court. In a word Cliff was an “icon” in our profession.
Cliff is survived by his loving wife, Eileen, eight children and 19 grandchildren.