June 07, 2011
Law Offices of Joseph J. Tock: Celebrating 20 years serving the Mahopac community
Joseph J. Tock is passionate about three things: his family, the law and the community in which he lives and serves.
After attending an accelerated program at St. John's University in Queens, he began practicing law at a very young age. By 24, he was already Assistant District Attorney in the Bronx DA's office. While he was still working in the Bronx, Tock moved to Mahopac with his wife, Jean, a mixed-media artist. After serving for six years as Assistant D.A., in 1991, Tock opened up his own firm, the Law Offices of Joseph J. Tock, which is located on Route 6, near the center of town.
His practice focuses on criminal defense, personal injury, estate planning and litigation, real estate, and landlord/tenant law. With a loyal staff (his associate attorney and three paralegals have all been with him for over a decade), he smoothly handles the diverse cases that come his way on a daily basis.
One such assignment included pro bono work with Trial Lawyers Care, a foundation that has provided over $200 million worth of legal work – absolutely free – for the families of 9/11 victims. He also handles sensitive small-town cases and drug and alcohol based crimes.
"It is especially rewarding if we can point a young person in the right direction in terms of treatment," Tock said. Tock helps young people in a variety of other ways as well. Each year, he mentors an intern from the Mahopac High School WISE Program. In fact, several of his interns have gone on to law school, including one who is currently an Assistant DA in New York County. Just as importantly, some realize a career in law isn't for them. One such student is now a physician.
Tock notes that it's important for students to try different things while they're young.
"My advice is that each student should major in an area in which they have a passion," he said. "Law school does not require a pre-law or political science background."
Tock cites his proudest career moment as being recognized as the 2006 Businessperson of the Year by the Greater Mahopac-Carmel Chamber of Commerce, of which he has been a member for 16 years, helping to cofound the annual Mahopac Street Festival. For the past 12 years, he has also served as the Chamber's counsel.
Tock is also on the Board of Directors for the Putnam County Bar Association, as well as on the Board of Trustees for the Mahopac Public Library. The Law Offices of Joseph J. Tock has acted as a corporate sponsor to many local charities, including the Mahopac Sports Association, the Women's Resource Center, the Putnam County 4-H Fair and the Relay for Life.
Still, Tock is a family man at heart, and says his greatest hobby is acting as a roadie for the Mahopac Jazz Band.
"My wife is musical, and my kids are just so talented," he said of his children, Will, 20, Stephanie, 16 and Greg, 13. "I carry the drum set from place to place." His son, Greg, is also a member of the popular local band, Dead End.
He jokes that growing up in Queens, anything north of the Bronx will always be "upstate" to him. "Even my parents still say I live upstate," Tock said. "But I truly love the Hudson Valley. I have my vegetable garden, the woods and space for my dog to run around."
His dog, a German short-haired pointer, is just more proof of his love for law. Her name, of course, is Justice.
Law Offices of Joseph J. Tock (http://www.tocklaw.com/)
963 Route 6; Mahopac, NY 10541
Bronx Office (by appointment only)
1978 Williamsbridge Road; Bronx, NY 10461
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