Ralph M. Kirk, Esq., has represented injured workers and disabled individuals in all aspects of workers’ compensation, Social Security Disability (SSDI), SSI, and industrial accident claims for almost 40 years. He graduated from St. Francis Xavier University, the leading undergraduate institution in Canada, in 1974. Mr. Kirk obtained his law degree in 1977 from Dalhousie Law School in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He was admitted to practice in the courts of the State of New York in 1978, and has also been admitted to practice in the Federal Courts of the Northern District of New York.
Mr. Kirk argued the groundbreaking workers’ compensation case of Spyhalsky v. Cross Construction (294 A.D.2d 23), where for the first time in New York, an insurance carrier was required to pay for medical treatment for a party other than the injured worker, in this case his wife. A catastrophic back injury had rendered the client incapable of impregnating his wife without surgery. Mr. Kirk successfully argued to the Workers’ Compensation Board and Appellate Division, Third Department, that the insurance carrier was required to cover the wife’s related medical bills. Mr. Kirk also argued the landmark compensation case of Peziol v. VAW of America (245 A.D.2d 877). At a time when insurance carriers were aggressively asserting that a pre-existing non-compensable injury or condition reduced their liability, Mr. Kirk successfully argued that the insurance company was entirely responsible when the client was able to effectively perform their job duties prior to the work injury despite any pre-existing injury or condition.
Mr. Kirk has published, together with his partner, two articles in the New York State Bar Association Journal. In January 2013, they published Revisiting the Collateral Effects of Agency Determinations in Subsequent Legal Proceedings, which explored the complex relationship between official findings of the Workers’ Compensation Board and their impact outside of the Workers’ Compensation system. In March/April 2014 they expanded upon this subject in Auqui v. Seven Thirty One Limited Partnership: An Update on Preclusion Issues in Work-Related Injury Cases.
Mr. Kirk is a long-time member of the American Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association, the Ulster County Bar Association and the Injured Workers’ Bar Association. He is also a sustaining member of the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives (NOSSCR). On April 19, 2013 he was appointed to a five-year term as a member of the Committee on Character and Fitness for the Third Judicial District in the State of New York.
Mr. Kirk’s vision and mandate, for his firm and attorneys, is to provide the highest level of professional and ethical legal representation to injured workers and disabled individuals, utilizing the firm’s collective experience, dedication and hard work in order to accomplish the best possible outcomes for injured workers and their families.