David A. Cutner

David Cutner

If you asked David Cutner’s clients why they would recommend him to others, you would likely discover a striking similarity in their responses. Clients feel especially comfortable with David because he always takes the time to listen and thoroughly understand their concerns. They're confident he has the knowledge, experience, and empathy to handle their most vital legal issues, and that he'll obtain the best outcome possible.

If there's any one thing that stands out about David, it's his commitment to making sure Lamson & Cutner provides correct solutions and delivers consistent results. Achieving client objectives with a proven, reliable approach is his first priority.

"We only recommend solutions and strategies we strongly believe we can accomplish. We don't want to take aggressive positions that can lead to disputes or expensive lawsuits. Our clients need comfort and care, not uncertainty and stress. So, our advice has to be accurate and dependable. Fortunately, in the Elder Law field, if you know the rules and how to implement them properly, you are going to achieve predictable and advantageous results," says Cutner.

Needless to say, elderly and disabled clients, along with their families, are enthusiastic about legal representation that affords reliability, in what are often fragile circumstances.

Some people know their calling from an early age. David Cutner always knew he'd be a lawyer, and was attracted to the challenge of the law for as long as he can remember. It's interesting to observe the diverse paths of those with a mission in life sometimes travel. As time passes, it becomes clear how all of the varied elements and experiences contribute to an ultimate purpose. In David's case, both professional and personal experience led to his founding one of New York City's top Elder Law firms.

Starting his career at a prominent Wall Street firm in 1970, he began honing the deft and meticulous legal skills he's known for. After several years in private practice, he received an appointment as an Assistant United States Attorney in Manhattan. In this position, he refined the high-powered litigation acumen that would later serve him well when he started his own firm. In addition, it gave him critical insights on working with government bureaucracies, something his Elder Law clientele benefits from today.

Then in 1984, he opened the doors of Cutner & Associates, serving a business and commercial clientele. Although his practice was humming along successfully, unfortunately David was soon involved with helping his family deal with the very same problems he assists clients with today.

His mother, then in her 70's, began to suffer a long decline . . . physically, mentally and emotionally. David and his sister spent many years negotiating a continuing series of hurdles involving hospitals, home care personnel, and nursing facilities. Ultimately, he was forced to confront the Medicaid maze as well.

Professionally speaking, the eventual end result was a change of heart regarding his priorities: he decided to devote his considerable legal talents to protecting the elderly and disabled. "The whole situation with my mother made me realize that good professional legal work on behalf of the elderly was needed," he says. With partner Carole Lamson, he founded Lamson & Cutner, which represents senior citizens and disabled individuals exclusively.

All of his previous experience has paid off for Cutner's Elder Law clients. David knows when and how to fight for a client when business, commercial, or real estate interests affect health and medical care planning. In one instance, for example, a major bank sold a client an annuity that was totally inappropriate for the client’s financial situation. Under the terms of the annuity contract, the client could not withdraw his funds for several years without a significant penalty. David contacted the bank and demanded that the client's money be returned immediately, without any withdrawal penalty. The bank promptly complied, and didn’t raise a dispute.

David discusses the firm's methods and many success stories in a Special Report called “25 Strategies to Prevent Financial Ruin from Long-Term Health Care Costs.” It has received praise from grateful clients and professionals alike, for being an exceedingly clear and easily understandable explanation of Elder Law techniques. It consolidates years of experience accumulated by L & C's partners and staff lawyers, gained from counseling thousands of clients.

David is proud of the consistent track record of success that is the firm's hallmark. "I want our clients to receive the health and medical care they need, and to preserve their money and property so they can continue to live with dignity and in comfort.  At the same time, we want to create effective estate plans for them.  Those are our goals," he says. He attributes Lamson & Cutner's outstanding accomplishments both to the firm's approach, and to the first-class professionals it employs. “We have a great team,” David says, “it would be hard to duplicate their skill and dedication to getting the best results for our clients."

After attending U.C.L.A., David earned his law degree from the University of Southern California, graduating with honors. One of the ten top students in his class, he was a member of the esteemed Order of the Coif and was on the Board of Editors of the school's Law Review.

David is selected by Martindale-Avvo and American Lawyer Media as a "Top Rated Lawyer for Estate Planning, Family Law, Elder Law." Also, under the Martindale-Avvo Peer Review Ratings System, for more than 30 years David has received the top, AV Preeminent, rating given to attorneys who are ranked at the highest level of professional excellence for their legal expertise, communication skills, and ethical standards by their peers.

David loves the outdoors, and particularly enjoys sailing and skiing. He and his family spend much of their leisure time on their sailboat, which is named in memory of his mother. David is also an accomplished pianist, speaks French fluently, and enjoys reading novels and biographies. He lives with his wife and son in Westchester, New York.

Caitlyn W. McStay

Caitlyn joined Lamson & Cutner in 2011. Previously, she worked with SKIP of New York, a respected New York City non-profit organization providing Medicaid advocacy for the elderly and individuals with disabilities, with an emphasis on transitioning clients from nursing homes into the community. She also has experience in appellate litigation, making her a skilled writer and passionate advocate for her clients every step of the way.

Caitlyn is admitted to practice law in the State of New York, and is a member of the Elder Law and Special Needs section of the New York State Bar Association.

Caitlyn was selected as a New York Metro area Rising Star in 2017, 2018 2019, 2020 and 2021 by Super Lawyers, the distinguished rating service of outstanding lawyers.  Rising Stars are lawyers under 40 years old who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.  No more than 2.5 percent of lawyers in the state are named to the Rising Stars list.  Caitlyn was also included in the 2017 Super Lawyers list of Top Woman Attorneys in the New York Metro area.

Caitlyn graduated with honors from Syracuse University College of Law, where she received a Dean’s Merit Scholarship. Prior to attending law school, Caitlyn received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Ithaca College, majoring in Psychology and Politics. While at the College of Law, Caitlyn received a graduation award for her commitment to public interest and pro bono initiatives. It was because of this commitment to public service that Caitlyn discovered her passion for elder law. She served as a volunteer with the Cancer Legal Advocacy Services Project, where she assisted in long term care planning for clients with terminal illnesses. Caitlyn went on to work as a Student Attorney in the Office of Clinical Legal Education’s Elder Law Clinic. Through these positions, she gained experience working with clients in crisis situations, advising clients on planning options, and providing compassionate representation for individuals and families.

In her free time, Caitlyn enjoys being outdoors and loves running and biking. She is also an avid reader, particularly of classic literature.

Julia L. Santo

Julia's passion for Elder Law runs deep.  During her breaks and summers off from college, Julia worked at the Babylon Beach House, an assisted living facility on Long Island.  After spending four years working with the elder population, Julia came to realize that her calling in life was to work in Elder Law.  She credits her time at the Beach House with molding her into the devoted, kind and compassionate advocate she is today.

Julia is admitted to practice law in the State of New York and is a member of the New York City Bar Association, and the New York State Bar Association, Elder Law Section.

Julia graduated cum laude from Binghamton University with a Bachelor of Science in Human Development.  Julia then received her Juris Doctorate from the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University.  During her time at Hofstra, she served as the Head Research Editor for the American College of Trust and Estates Law Journal, a high level academic journal for practitioners of trusts and estates law.  She was also personally selected by the Honorable Gail A. Prudenti to serve as a pro-bono student attorney in a special needs guardianship proceeding. Simultaneously, Julia worked as a law clerk at an Elder Law firm on Long Island.

When out of the office, Julia enjoys serving her community.  Julia is a Rotarian in the Babylon Rotary Club.  Before moving to New York City, she served as the Rotary's Chair of the Dictionary Project, an initiative to increase literacy rates across the nation.  She has been invited to speak at multiple elementary schools on Long Island on behalf of the Rotary Club.  Julia enjoys sitting on the beach and spending time with family, friends, her beloved cats, Franklin and Ella, and her handsome dog, Harry.