Originally from South Carolina, Mr. Swerling became interested in the law at a young age. His father, Jack Swerling, is considered to be one of the top trial lawyers in the world and is a member of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers—an organization limited to only 500 lawyers worldwide. Spending many summers working in his father’s firm, Mr. Swerling found his father to be his greatest mentor and eventually discovered that he shared his father’s enthusiasm and passion for the law.
While at Syracuse University, Mr. Swerling began to lay the foundation for going to law school by majoring in Political Science and History. However, when he took a writing course and achieved the highest class honor, he was persuaded to move to Los Angeles for a summer to study screenwriting at UCLA’s prestigious film school with the “guru” of screenwriting, Richard Walter.
Mr. Swerling’s short jaunt to Hollywood quickly turned into a career and over the next several years, his livelihood would entail working for some of the biggest names in show business including, John Davis (former head of Fox Studios), Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriquez, Bettina Viviano, one of Hollywood’s most well-known literary managers and producers, Ray Ruff, (former President of Curb Records), Denny Diante, (former head of A&R for MCA), and Patrick Peach (producer of Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s Project Greenlight).
Throughout Mr. Swerling’s extensive production and development career he has been involved with film, television, and music projects such as:
- From Dusk Till Dawn, written by Quentin Tarantino and Directed by Robert Rodriquez
- Bombshell, starring Henry Thomas and Frank Whaley
- Suicide Kings, starring Christopher Walken and Denis Leary
- Three to Tango, starring Matthew Perry and Neve Campbell
- Strange Hearts, starring Rose McGowan
- 100 Kilos, starring Glenn Plummer
- CBS’s sitcom Maggie Winters, starring Faith Ford
- WB’s Movie Stars, starring Harry Hamlin and Jennifer Grant
- G. Shepard’s album Nothin’ On But the Radio; and
- Elvis Presley’s A Private Moment with the King
Creatively, during those years, Mr. Swerling, along with Jamie Rhonheimer (writer/producer of Will and Grace, How I Met Your Mother and The Ranch), co-authored The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Winning a Cold War, which was optioned for production by Colleen Camp Goldwyn, a producer at Paramount Pictures and subsequently by Alex Barder of Strategic Film Partners.
Mr. Swerling also authored and/or co-authored for producers:
- Weapons of Mass Destruction
- To Russia For Love
- The Weight
- The Dean’s List
- The Jimi Hendrix Story; and
Mr. Swerling has also performed voice over work and acted in:
- Suicide Kings
- 100 Kilos
After several years in Los Angeles, Mr. Swerling, while producing a film with Bettina Viviano, became heavily involved in the legal aspects of the entertainment industry. Finding himself once again fascinated by the law, he decided to pursue his Juris Doctorate back in New York.
While at New York Law School, Mr. Swerling started off by focusing his energies on studying entertainment law. Mr. Swerling, a star member of the Moot Court Honor’s Team, studied under current New York State Supreme Court Judge, Gerald Lebovits. While on the team, Mr. Swerling wrote and argued papers on Fair Use, Joint Works of Authorship, and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. He also took copyright classes with, Paul Adler, the then head of business and legal affairs for ASCAP and learned book publishing law from, Martin Levin, the legendary book publisher who was responsible for Erica Jong’s bestselling Fear of Flying.
After his first year of law school, he attended law school in Florence, Italy where he studied Comparative Civil Practice and Comparative Constitutional Law with The Honorable Anthony Scirica, a Reagan appointee to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. During the summer after his second year of law school, Mr. Swerling worked for the Queens County District Attorney’s Office where he wrote complex memorandum of law and studied criminal trial advocacy skills in the courtroom on a daily basis. Finally, in his third year of school, Mr. Swerling took a trial advocacy course with former Assistant United States Attorney and current member of the American College of Trial Lawyers, Avraham Moskowitz. In this class, Mr. Swerling became the top student and he finally realized, like his father, that his future was not in contractual work, but in a courtroom advocating for clients.
In his final year of law school, Mr. Swerling co-authored, along with David Wygant, the book, Always Talk to Strangers, a book about communication skills, which was published by Penguin/Putnam and to date has sold over 20,000 copies. He was represented by Jennifer Joel at International Creative Management on the book deal.
Additionally, over the years, Mr. Swerling has also managed the career of Mr. Wygant, one of the nation’s leading life success coaches and dating experts. Largely as a result of Swerling’s efforts, Wygant has been featured in over a hundred media outlets, including, but not limited to: Dateline NBC, MTV’s Made, and The New York Times.
After law school, Mr. Swerling was hired by two of New York’s most prominent litigators, Lenore Kramer, the former President of the New York State Trial Lawyer’s Association and Denise Dunleavy, who the National Law Journal called one of America’s top 50 female litigators. Under their tutelage, Mr. Swerling worked on a wide variety of fascinating personal injury and medical malpractice cases with an emphasis on women’s issues. Such cases included, but were not limited to a doctor’s failure to diagnose breast cancer, a landlord’s liability to a sexually assaulted woman due to their building’s faulty security, and a nightclub owner’s liability to a patron who was assaulted by an intoxicated minor patron.
In 2005 Mr. Swerling opened his own law practice where he mainly focuses on personal injury and civil rights law. Since 2005, Mr. Swerling has procured MILLIONS of dollars in settlements and verdicts for his clients from some of the biggest corporations in the world, and has been quoted or featured in over 100 local, national, and international publications and news outlets. (See News Section)
Mr. Swerling was first selected to Super Lawyers in 2013 and 2014 as a Rising Star in the New York Metro Region which meant he was considered to be in the top 2.5% of attorneys in the New York Metro Region under the age of 40. Since 2015, Mr. Swerling has been selected to Super Lawyer’s every year and is now on the blue ribbon committee of attorneys who review other attorney’s qualifications.
In 2019, Mr. Swerling was selected by The National Trial Lawyer’s Top 100 as one of the top 100 trial lawyers in New York. Further, on several occasions, Mr. Swerling’s cases have been featured in the New York Law Journal’s Top Verdicts and Settlements. In 2012, Mr. Swerling had the second largest settlement in the State of New York in the category of Premises Liability-Negligent Repairs at $3,250,000.00. In 2013, Mr. Swerling had the second largest verdict in the State of New York in the category of Intentional Torts, at $1,415,000.00.
Mr. Swerling has also co-authored lecture materials for the New York State Bar Association’s CLE Proving and Defending Damages at Trial: Effective Trial Techniques for Plaintiff’s and Defendant’s Counsel: What You Can (Cannot Say) About Damages in Opening and Closing Arguments.
Mr. Swerling is admitted to practice law in:
- The State of New York
- The United States Southern District
- The United States Eastern District.
Mr. Swerling is a member of:
- The American Association for Justice
- The New York State Trial Lawyers Association
- The Queens County Bar Association
- The Brooklyn Bar Association
Mr. Swerling continues to aggressively practice law and is a true believer in America’s judicial system. He is a zealous advocate for those who can’t fight for themselves and like his father, believes in treating every client as if they were family. If you would like a free consultation with Mr. Swerling, click here.