About Us

About us

A Brief History

MCB’s origins trace back to 1912 with the partnering of two well-known District Attorneys who established the predecessor firm of Whiteside & Stryker. In 1914, the Firm became counsel to the New York State Medical Society, defending medical malpractice claims brought against its members. The Firm’s name was changed to Martin Clearwater & Bell LLP  in 1952, and for the past seven decades, MCB has dominated the defense of medical malpractice cases statewide.

Over the past 70 years, the Firm has strategically expanded and diversified its legal services and practice areas. MCB currently has six locations and nearly 100 attorneys, including over 30 partners.

A Brief History

Why Choose Us

Why Choose Us

Client Service

Our business philosophy is to build strong and lasting relationships with our clients by developing a deep understanding of their business operations, anticipating their legal needs and providing prompt solutions when needed. Responsiveness is a cornerstone of how we operate, not only while helping clients navigate legal challenges and avoid lawsuit exposure, but also in terms of keeping clients informed and educated about industry trends and risk management protocols.

We continually monitor changes to all pertinent laws and regulations so that we may quickly provide clients with the latest news affecting their businesses and livelihoods.

Investment in Technology

Investment in Technology

To best serve our clients’ needs and to maintain optimal cost-effectiveness, the Firm has heavily invested in state-of-the-art, high-speed data and communications networks. With utmost priority on security, MCB’s network lies within a next-generation firewall, and robust anti-virus and anti-malware software has been installed to further enhance data integrity. Our first-rate IT team conducts regular network scans to identify and remediate any vulnerabilities in real time.

Working remotely has gone from being convenient to being essential during COVID-19, and our Virtual Desktop Infrastructure allows our attorneys to securely connect to their virtual office at any time and on any device. This has enabled MCB to continue operating, without disruption, since the start of the pandemic.


Year after year, MCB and its talented attorneys are recognized by peers and prestigious legal publications and organizations.


24 Partners have been selected by their peers and rated AV Preeminent, Martindale Hubbell's highest rating, based on legal abilities and ethical standards.

American College of Trial Lawyers

Two senior partners are Fellows of the American College of Trial Lawyers; Peter T. Crean and Bruce G. Habian

American Board of Trial Advocates

Four  Partners are members of the American Board of Trial Advocates: Senior Trial Partners Jeff Lawton and Rosaleen McCrory, and Partner Christopher A. Terzian

Best Lawyers in America

Nine of the Firm’s Senior Partners have been selected to Best Lawyers in America 2024: John J. Barbera, William P. Brady, Peter T. Crean, Barbara D. Goldberg, Bruce G. Habian, Kenneth R. Larywon, Jeff Lawton, Michael F. Madden, and Michael A. Sonkin.

Best Law Firms Ranked by Best Lawyers

MCB was named by Best Law Firms® as a Tier 1New York firm in four practice areas in 2024: Health Care Law, and Legal MalpracticeLaw, Medical Malpractice Law, and Personal Injury Litigation (Defendants). The Firmwas also named by Best Law Firms® as a Tier 2 national firm for Health Care Law.

2023 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

MCB Partners were selected to the 2023 New York Super Lawyers list. 4 Partners and 2 Associates were selected to the 2023 New York Rising Stars list.

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