Our law firm is the oldest firm in Ulster County, NY. Our New York attorneys specialize personal injury serving Marlsboro and Kingston.
For nearly 150 years, the people of the Hudson Valley have trusted the attorneys at Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner & Martuscello LLP to provide them with high quality legal advice and representation in Ulster County and surrounding areas. Our Kingston & Marlboro personal injury lawyers continue today with the same commitment to integrity and excellence that has marked our firm from its founding.
The firm’s strength lies in the diversity of our areas of practice and our ability to help you with any or all of your legal needs. Our clients whom we have helped in the past return to us whenever the need arises for legal assistance in another area. We make clients for life, which tells us they appreciate the level of attention and quality of service they receive from us.
John G. Rusk graduated from St. Lawrence University (BA 1985) and Boston College Law School (JD 1988). John is a member of the New York, Connecticut and Washington D.C. Bars.
John’s practice concentrates on helping people who have suffered catastrophic injuries, traumatic brain injuries and other injuries resulting from car and truck crashes, construction accidents, dangerous premises and medical malpractice. New York Law Journal and Verdict Search have recognized John for his outstanding results in obtaining a $3.3 million dollar judgment, one of the largest ever in Ulster County and one of the 50 largest in New York State in 2010. John’s courtroom success has earned him memberships in organizations such as “Elite Lawyers of America” and “Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum” for winning large verdicts for his clients.
John has been successful in obtaining significant recoveries for people who have suffered traumatic brain injuries which have caused cognitive impairments. John meets with neurologists, neuropsychologists, and other health professionals to fully understand the nature and degree of his client’s injury.
John is board certified as a civil trial attorney by the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification and has been qualified to receive referrals from the Major Personal Injury Panel of the New York State Bar Association. John has been recognized by Trial Lawyers Care, the largest pro bono legal services program in history, for representing injured victims and their families who suffered injuries during the World Trade Center attacks on September 11, 2001. John has been repeatedly designated as a “Super Lawyer” by Law and Politics Magazine since 2007, which acknowledges the top 5% of lawyers in Upstate New York. John is a member of the New York Trial Lawyers Association, the New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers and the American Association for Justice. John has also been a part time Assistant District Attorney for Ulster County since 1989 and prosecutes criminal cases in the towns of New Paltz and Gardiner.
John served six years on the Committee on Professional Standards for the Appellate Division, Third Department, including one year as chairperson. The Committee investigates alleged professional misconduct by attorneys in the 28 upstate counties.
John has volunteered as the lawyer coach for the Marlboro High School Mock Trial team, which won the Orange County championship in 2007. John also volunteers his time with several church groups and community organizations.
Daniel G. Heppner: Boston College (BS 1970) and Western New England College (JD 1976). Dan works from the Kingston office. He was admitted to the NYS Bar in 1976, US District Court in 1977, and the US Supreme Court in 1994. Dan has taught at Ulster County Community College and served as an Assistant District Attorney in Ulster County for more than ten years. He is a member of the NYS Academy of Trial Lawyers, American Association for Justice, and the Academy of Truck Accident Attorneys. Dan is past President of the Ulster County Bar Association. He is the former Corporation Counsel for the City of Kingston and former Counsel to the Ulster CountyLegislature. Dan’s practice is predominately in the field of litigation, including personal injury, medical legal malpractice, commercial disputes and toxic tort. He is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney by the National Board of Trial Advocacy.* He regularly receives litigation cases on a referral basis from other attorneys. Dan has been selected a member of the NYS Bar Association major personal injury and medical malpractice panel. He is a member of the AAJ Committee on Traumatic Brain Injury.
Dan was named a “Super Lawyer” in 2007. Dan has secured many significant recoveries for his clients over the years including several recent recoveries totaling close to $5,000,000.
Michael Kavanagh served as Assistant District Attorney in New York County for 4 years and then District Attorney in Ulster County for 21 years before being elected as a Supreme Court Judge in the 3rd Judicial District, This district includes Albany, Rensselaer, Ulster, Columbia, Schoharie, Greene and Sullivan Counties. In 2006, he was appointed to the NYS Appellate Division, 1st Department. In 2008 appointed Associate Justice of the Appellate Division, 3rd Department. Not only has Mike served on the NYS Litigation Coordinating Panel and the Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics. Michael Kavanagh has been recognized for his career accomplishments, including Enforcement Man of the Year and his designation as Outstanding Judge by the Albany Bar Association.
Daniel J. Rusk, a partner at Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner & Martuscello, LLP, graduated from Boston College in 1991, and from Albany Law School of Union University in 1994. In 1995, he was admitted to the New York State Bar and began working with the firm. Dan is also a part‑time Assistant District Attorney for the Ulster County District Attorney’s Office and prosecutes crimes in the Justice Courts for the Towns of Lloyd and Plattekill, and also serves as Special Prosecutor for the Towns of Plattekill and Marlborough. Dan’s practice is concentrated in litigation and all aspects of real property law.
Dan’s practice is largely devoted to litigation, including personal injury and commercial litigation. Dan’s litigation practice involves real estate issues, including contract, construction, commercial landlord‑tenant, and property rights litigation. Dan’s litigation philosophy is “pray for peace, prepare for war”, which recognizes that although a prompt and fair settlement is often in his client’s best interest, excellent results are only obtained by demonstrating to his adversary preparation and willingness to go to trial.
Dan is also the firm’s lead attorney as general counsel to Rondout Savings Bank, and represents Rondout Savings Bank, Sawyer Savings Bank and Wallkill Valley Federal Savings and Loan Association in residential and commercial mortgages, foreclosures and general litigation. Dan represents buyers, sellers, lenders, developers and builders in all types of residential and commercial real estate transactions, ranging from the basic transaction to complex development projects.
Dan is a member of The Ulster County Bar Association, The New York State Bar Association, The Real Property Law Section of the New York State Bar Association, The New York Trial Lawyers Association, and the American Association for Justice (formerly Association of Trial Lawyers of America).
Dan resides in Marlboro with his wife Lisa and three sons, Jack, Danny and Tommy. Dan coaches youth baseball and youth basketball and donates a large amount of time and legal services to various charitable organizations in his Hudson Valley community.
Christine H. Guido, a graduate of Albany Law School of Union College (J.D., cum laude, 1997), Marist College (B.S., Accounting, summa cum laude, 1994) Christine was admitted to the NYS Bar in 1998. She is a member of the New York State Bar Association, Ulster County Bar Association, Mid-Hudson Women’s Bar Association, and Hudson Valley Estate Planning Council. Christine’s areas of practice include trusts and estates, estate planning, estate and trust administration, and elder law.
Daniel M. Martuscello received a BA degree from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana and attended Brooklyn Law School in New York City where he received a JD.
Having graduated law school in 1976, Dan started working in our Marlborough Office and over the years moved from an associate to a partner in the firm.
Dan has practiced in courts throughout the Tri-County area of Dutchess, Ulster and Orange. Handling matters in Supreme Courts, Family Courts and Surrogates Courts in each of those Counties.
Dan has been counsel for the Marlborough Free Library and has handled a number of issues for the Town of Marlborough. Dan served as Town Justice from 1979-1981 before being asked to become a part-time Assistant District Attorney for Ulster County which he continues to serve. Dan has also served on matrimonial mediation panels in the Third Department
Dan is a member of the American Bar Association, New York State Bar Association, Ulster County Bar Association and New York Magistrates Association. Dan is a former member of the Mother Cabrini Board of Directors, and is a member of the Father Hanley Chapter of the Knights of Columbus and Marlboro Chapter of UNICO.
Dan’s main areas of concentration have been in Family Law, Real Estate, and Estate Practice.
In the area of Family Law, Dan has handled adoptions, both foreign and domestic, change of name applications, divorce, separation, support, custody, and visitation matters, while trying to help the client work through the emotional upheaval he or she is experiencing and to try to reach amicable solutions.
In the are of Real Estate, Dan has handled both residential and commercial transactions for individuals purchasing and selling homes, business ventures including but not limited to forming different business entities for the purchase and sale of real estate or leasing of properties as well as the sale, merger and acquisitions of businesses.
In the Estate Planning area, Dan has handled matters such as preparation and drafting of wills, life estates, powers of attorney and health care proxies. Dan explores and discusses with his clients guardians for children, trustees and ways to protect a client’s assets or pass those assets on, depending on what stage of life one is at.
Dan and his wife Linda and children live in Marlboro where his children attend local schools. Dan has worked on committees for the school district as well as donating legal work to the Marlborough Pop Warner, Marlborough Little League and other non profit organizations within the community.
Jason joined Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner & Martuscello, LLP in 2004 as an associate. A native of Kingston, Jason attended Harpur College at SUNY Binghamton. While at SUNY Binghamton, he was the President of the Senior Class, a member of the Harpur College Council, and worked for two years as a student assistant to State Sen. Thomas W. Libous. After graduation, Jason attended Syracuse University College of Law, where he was an editor on the Syracuse Journal of International Law and Commerce and The Digest. Jason then clerked for the Hon. Linda Wallach Miller in the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas before he returned to the Hudson Valley, where his professional focus includes wills, estates, and trusts, real estate transactions, bankruptcy, and commercial law. He currently serves as the Ulster Town Attorney. Jason lives in the Town of Ulster.
University of Delaware (BS Business Administration – Marketing 2003), Pace Law School (JD 2009), Pace University (MBA 2010). Admitted to the NYS Bar in 2010. Melissa is a member of the New York State Bar Association, Dutchess County Bar Association, Ulster County Bar Association, and the Putnam County Estate Planning Council. She is a prior President of the Mid-Hudson Women’s Bar Association (a chapter of the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York) and the 2018-2019 President of the Hudson Valley Estate Planning Council. Melissa’s areas of practice include Wills and Trusts, Estate Planning, Elder Law (including chronic care Medicaid applications), and Estate and Trust Administration.