Williston Park continues to amaze me with the number of world-class professionals that work in this sleepy little hamlet. In fact right here at 2 Hillside Avenue where I have my office I have already mentioned Dr. Bob Paltzik who is a nationally known dermatologist.
Well there is yet another noted professional in our midst and his name is Anthony Capetola. I always need to explain to my patients that the reason our parking lot is so jammed is because we have some very, very successful professionals who work in this building.
Anthony Capetola is usually referred to as one of the top matrimonial lawyers in New York State. Anthony and his staff of 14 lawyers practice matrimonial law as well as criminal law.
Capetola represented the principal defendants in the notorious 1978 Lufthansa heist at Kennedy Airport. That was the robbery made famous in the Martin Scorsese film “Goodfellas.”
I know many lawyers and treated many in my practice but never interviewed one for an article.
After I was settled in his office I opened the interview by asking him what it takes to be a successful attorney.
He told me “to be a success you must have four things. You must be pretty aggressive, you must have intellectual command over the law, you must have high moral standards and you must have physical strength.”
I asked him why physical strength and he said he works six days a week and must function under high levels of stress all day long.
Law is only one of his interests. He also happens to be a well-known restaurateur.
He once owned The Waterview in Bayville and now owns the Carlton at Eisenhower Park, the Temple Bar in Atlantic City and “Olio!” at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
I then asked him what it takes to be a successful restaurant owner and he said “you need to know how to manage, be diligent and be able to communicate with a large staff which varies widely in age and ethnicity.”
It helps that Anthony speaks English, Italian and Spanish.
To get way from the stress he has a boat and an active family life with five kids and a wife Julie Theresa Capetola who is a family court judge in Nassau County.
As I finished up the interview I began to make my own clinical judgment as to why he has achieved such success. When you look at Anthony you see a physically imposing well-dressed man surrounded by all the symbols of success and also symbols of fun.
I noticed the awards and letters of commendation but also the photos from all those Yankees and New York Giants. He presents as forthright and also with an easy smile and has a reassuring and generous nature.
You can see his human side. He is from a family of nine siblings and parents who were first generation Italian.
In the past I have written lots about the Italian character in this column. They have a sense of style, a love of food and warmth and generosity.
So you see in Anthony Capetola a guy that lives La Dolce Vita and a guy that can talk the talk but also walk the walk.
His love of food has been transferred into a thriving restaurant business. So if I ever needed a powerful matrimonial or criminal attorney (and thank God I do not!) he is the first guy I would call.
And his office is only 150 feet from mine so I wouldn’t even have to worry about parking!