MEET YOUR NEIGHBORS
      The second Map Member to be interviewed is John N. Spiridakis, an attorney specializing in Personal Injury who was among the first tp participate in the Astoria Comunity Map Project. Born and bred in Astoria, Mr. Spiridakis has a flourishing law practice in the heart of Astoria at 33-04 30th Avenue. He grew up on 28th Street off Ditmars  Boulevard with his family and two brothers.
        Motion Pictures have really been the impetus behind his decision to practice law. As a youth, "Gregory Peck's portrayal of Southern lawyer's compassionate defense of black man in the classic film "
To Kill A Mockingbird" really had an impact on me," he said. "I thought about being a writer or an actor but my younger brother beat me to it... but I got even with him because he really wanted to be a trial lawyer"
        John Spiridakis's younger brother, Tony Spiridakis wrote, produced and co-starred with Kevin Bacon, Joe Montegna and Jamie Lee Cutris in the film "Queens Logic" debuting in 1990. A semi-autobiographical and somewhat nostalgic acount from his perspective of what it was like for a tenager growing up in Astoria. The opening scene is Joe Montegna cruising along the promenade of Astoria Park's waterfront on Shore Boulevard; a favorite hang-out for generations of teenagers here. Brother Tony rarely acts anymore, but has another movie on the horizon, the soon to be released "Tinsel Town." A film that he wrote, directed and produced at Metro Goldwin Studios in Hollywood, near his residence in California.
   It was yet another film that inspired Mr. Spiridakis' decision to specialize in Personal Injury; the 1982 film "The Verdict," in which Paul Newman portrayed an attorney involved a medical malpractice suit in which a young woman was given the wrong anesthesia during child labor and tragically wound up in a coma on a respirator for life. Ironically, Spiridakis's first big settlement involved a woman who died giving birth due to medical malpractice. He won the victim's family 2.5 million dollars. John Spiridakis is known among his peers as a gifted trial lawyer who rarely settles a case before going to trial. This strategy has won his client's big settlements which only few attorney's can surpass.
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       Other major influences in his life have been his family and school. Having attended public school here in Astoria during the 60's, John recalled one of his favorite teachers from Junior High School 141. A young woman he described as "HOT," (who shall remain nameless) whom he said recognized and encouraged what she refered to as his "lyrical poetic talent."
         Perhaps spawning Mr. Spiridaki's "gift of gab;" his mother, a retired educator for the public school system here and his father, having come to the U.S. from the Island of Crete at age of 18, became a respected journalist, and for 25 years a manager of the Greek-America newspaper, the
National Herald (Ethnikos Kirakas)
          Married to a former public school administrator, the Spiridakis' reside in Long Island with their two little boys. His memberships include The American Trial Lawyers Association and NY State Trials Association among others. He maintains his office on 30th Ave. with a staff of five including Kathy, his assistant for over ten years. Mr. Spiridakis also finds time in his busy schedule to teach courses at St. John's University dealing with language and cultue in Law.
           
When asked what his favorite thing about Astoria was?, he replied, "There are my roots, I like the people, they're real."
Meet John N. Sprirdakis, Attorney At Law
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