Heather M. Palmore
Chief Trial Counsel
Especially in these challenging times, where the legal profession has been called upon to address critical, life-altering issues in our community, I understand first-hand, as an African American woman, the need for communities to not only feel empowered, but are in fact, truly empowered to make identifiable, tangible change. It is recognizing that only working collaboratively, with our peers in this industry, with a shared purpose, that true justice is achieved, not only in our communities, but our profession.
Ms. Palmore was born in Rockville Centre, Long Island, New York and was raised in Amityville and attended Malverne Public Schools. She is a graduate of Cornell University where she was a member of the Cornell Women’s Basketball team and was initiated into the Mu Upsilon chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. At Cornell, she discovered her passion for advocacy when she was awarded the Elsie Van Buren Award, Cornell University’s highest honor for speech and advocacy, and received that distinction for two consecutive years. She was also a member of Cornell University’s award winning Forensics Club, which participated throughout the country in the field of speech and debate. While earning a Bachelor of Science degree, with Honors, in Policy Analysis and Consumer Economics and Housing, she was also selected as a Ford-Mellon Foundation Scholar to Yale University, in which she studied under Dr. Jessie Geller, the reliability of child eyewitness testimony in legal proceedings. It was from these combined experiences, that she decided to pursue a career in law.
Immediately upon graduation from Cornell, Palmore enrolled in Syracuse University’s College of Law. At Syracuse, in her third year of law school, she made history at the College of Law by being selected as the first African American Teaching Assistant to teach first year law students both writing and oral advocacy skills with her own law section. In 1995, Heather graduated from Syracuse University’s College of Law with distinction. She was the Executive Director of the award winning Moot Court program and lead the school to a national championship in Dallas, Texas.
After graduation, Heather entered public service and was appointed as an Assistant to the District Attorney of Queens County, by the late Honorable Richard A. Brown. During this time, Palmore worked s an Assistant District Attorney, where she led the entire office in trial and convictions for two consecutive years. She worked on trials in the areas of homicide, sexual assault, narcotics, and other major crimes. During this time, she was featured as a panelist on Dateline NBC with respect to race and perceptions in the field of criminal law following the Amadou Diallo shooting in New York City.
In 2000, she joined a Manhattan law firm as a Trial Attorney. In 2007, Heather was elected Partner, becoming the first African- American female elected Partner at the firm and becoming the only woman of color to be named partner in the firm’s 60 year history. She was the “go-to” attorney on the firms high exposure cases, including premises, wrongful death, construction/labor law, education law and other related matters. During her tenure Palmore tried over 50 cases to verdict, all resulting in the favor of her clients.
Palmore has also worked at national insurance companies as a Senior Trial Attorney, where she continued to litigate high exposure cases, on behalf of her clients. From 2017-2019, she served as Chair of the African American Employee Network, a national position for a multi-billion dollar, Fortune 500 company. Based in Chicago, Illinois she specialized in high exposure premises, wrongful death, construction/labor law and other related practice areas.
Most recently she was a Partner at a Miami, Florida-based law firm with the largest minority and women owned law firm in the United States.
- Bar Admissions
United States District Court, Eastern District of New York
United States District Court, Southern District of New York
Syracuse University School of Law, J.D.
Cornell University, B.S. Policy Analysis and Consumer Economics
- Awards and Honors
100 Most Influential Blacks in America by CORE Magazine
The Network Journal Magazine’s Top 40 Under Forty Achievement Award
Top 50 Influential Women in Business by Long Island Business News
Elsie Van Buren Award
Ford-Mellon Foundations Scholar to Yale University
Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Drum Major Award
Soror of the Year Award
(Awarded by the Pan-Hellenic Council for her work in both her chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha and in the community)
Malverne Hall of Fame Inductee
North Atlantic Region Citizen of the Year for Alpha Kappa Alpha
- Professional Affiliations
Advancement of Blacks in Sports Founding Board Member and General Counsel
Suffolk County Board of Ethics Chair
Wake University Parents’ Council
Jack and Jill of America, Suffolk County Chapter (Past President)
Roosevelt Board of Education Trustee (New York State Board of Regents Appointment)
Energeia Partnership-Academy for Regional Stewardship at Molloy College Member
Molloy College Trustee
Alpha Kappa Alpha Soroity, Inc. Member (Mu Upsilon Chapter)
- Speaking Engagements
Palmore has been a frequent presenter for CLE courses, conferences, universities and to the state and regional communities, at large.
Featured Speaker, “Evidence in Premises Cases”, New York State Trial Lawyers Association (NYSTLA) Presents Evidence to Win 2022 (Virtual) Panel, April 6, 2022
- Media Appearances
Long Island Man Claims Cops Ripped Off His Prosthetic Leg During Wrongful Arrest, NBC New York (February 15, 2022)
Police rip Black man’s prosthetic leg off during violent traffic stop: “It’s like someone ripping off your skin’, Raw Story (February 15, 2022)
Notice of claim: Police assaulted Wyandanch man at gas station, tearing off prosthetic leg, Newsday (February 11, 2022)
US Family files wrongful death lawsuit against town after high school basketball star killed, Creators Empire (November 18, 2021)
Family files wrongful death lawsuit against town after high school basketball star killed, Pehal News (November 18, 2021)
Family Of Jo-Jo Wright Files $150M Lawsuit Against Hempstead Town, Patch (November 17, 2021)
Family files wrongful death lawsuit against town of Hempstead after high school basketball star killed, CTGPAGE (November 17, 2021)
‘Jo-Jo’ Wright’s family files $150 million lawsuit, Newsday (November 17, 2021)
Family files wrongful death lawsuit against town after high school basketball star killed, Eyewitness News ABC7NY (November 17, 2021)
‘Jo-Jo’ Wright’s Family Files $150 Million Lawsuit, X99news (November 17, 2021)
Family files wrongful lawsuit against town of Hempstead after high school basketball star was killed, news7h (November 17, 2021)
- Representative Cases and Settlements of Note
Some of Palmore’s most recent accomplishments accomplishments include leading the legal team for Travis Williams, owner of HBCU All Stars. Through her work and that of attorney Benjamin L. Crump, they negotiated a multi-million dollar contract with CBS to bring to viewers the first-ever HBCU All Star Game, to air on CBS, during the Final Four© weekend in March of 2022, in New Orleans. This historic endeavor will, for the first time, showcase, nationally, the best student athletes in a cross-section of BCU talent.
Palmore also represented Jennifer McLeggan, the Valley Stream (NY) single mother who was harassed by her neighbors. They were ultimately convicted of their crimes against Ms. McLeggan.
- Other Experience
Conway, Farrell, Curtin & Kelly, P.C.
Quintarios, Prieto Wood and Boyer
Assistant District Attorney (Queens County)