Leo Dikman was born in 1908, the son of Bernard Dykman and his wife,  Sarah.  They originally lived a few years on the upper East Side, but soon moved to Woodhaven, Queens, where the family grew to include a total of four boys, Leo being the oldest. His parents had emigrated in 1904, and thanks to an accidental Ellis Island transformation, the family surname spelling was mildly changed forever.

Leo’s parents had done well over the years with their shop on Jamaica Avenue, specializing in hemstitching, pleating and the sale of ladies’ hats. Mae West, the actress, was a regular customer. She always wanted “more feathers”. They were able to buy a building at 90th Street on the Avenue and in 1918, even a used car. After a succession of vehicles they worked their way up to a 1926 Packard, a formidable car with the status at the time of a Cadillac. Then 1929 came with the great depression. All was lost.

Leo went to law school during this difficult period, graduating in the second class of St. John’s Law School. While studying he was able to land a job for an attorney who, in 1931 after Leo was admitted to practice law, gave him a huge raise to $15 per week! He was the only one in the family with a job. Times were tough, and they all pulled their bootstraps up for many years to make an economic comeback.

Leo met a pretty girl, Dorothy Meyerson, working across the street from him on Jamaica Avenue in a store. After a few years, in 1935 they married. She became pregnant and their son Michael Dikman was born in 1936. Money was a struggle, and Leo could not pay the doctor’s fee of $50. Luckily, the doctor let him take baby Michael home nonetheless, and Leo of course ultimately paid for those services.

In 1950, with business well improved and settling well into his own law practice since 1936, the family, together including beloved daughter Marion moved to a home in Fresh Meadows on 185th Street where  Leo and Dorothy lived for the rest of their lives.

Michael joined his father in the law firm in 1961, leaving briefly in 1966 to become a prosecutor in the Queens County District Attorney’s Office.

Leo was very active in various business and professional organizations. He was President of the Jamaica Lawyers Club in 1956-57, a long time member of the Woodhaven-Richmond Hill Lions Club, a past Chancellor and Commander of the Knights of Pythias – Jamaica Beaver Lodge #492 in 1954, and he was the President of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce in 1967-68.

A Sunday snowstorm in February 1969 lasted for 26 hours and dumped 15.3″ of snow on the City.  Winds  gusted between 25-30 mph creating snowdrifts of two to three feet. This storm became forever known as the “Lindsay Snowstorm” after the outer boroughs went unplowed for days, neglect that nearly toppled John Lindsay in his re-election bid as mayor later in that year.  Residents of Queens were outraged most,  completely disregarded in the aftermath and the county which suffered the highest number of casualties city-wide.

Leo was never a politician, but was nonetheless and suddenly appointed  by Mayor Lindsay on October 2, 1969  to become a Queens Family Court judge in the snowstorm aftermath, shortly before Election Day. Mayor Lindsay won re-election in 1969.  Mayor Lindsay later re-appointed Leo and he could have served on the bench until 1982.  He presided with distinction, fairly, justly and with a great judicial temperament.

Leo decided  to leave the bench in the late 1970’s and rejoin his son in private practice. Between 1990 and 1995, three generations worked together in the firm: Leo, Michael, and  Michael’s daughter Donna, and in 1995, David joined the firm when Donna went on to other endeavors. Hon. Leo Dikman was the legal patriarch who began what has become three generations of Dikman attorneys serving clients in Queens, all other boroughs of the City and Long Island.

Contact Dikman & Dikman today to begin resolving your family law matters with the assistance of a qualified lawyer. David S. Dikman is committed to helping families and individuals work through complicated legal issues, including divorce, paternity, domestic violence, child custody, parenting plans, and asset protection. He carries forth as the third generation of the firm.