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Media reports & commentary

Yannacone has been the subject of widespread media attention since 1960. Over the years many journalists have covered his major litigation and public interest efforts. To get some idea of what has been written about him, check out some of the following stories.

“NY ME wasted $10M on faulty body-tracking software” New York Post reporter Susan Edelman chronicles the decline and fall of the once proud Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of New York City.
An environmental pioneer Yannacone comments on the move from environmentalism to fund raising on the part of many “environmental” organizations.
“A gap in the law” Patchogue Village Justice Victor Yannacone identified a gap in the law and then filled it.
Lowering Houston Electricity rates. Yannacone steps in to represent two HL&P whistleblowers who single-handedly forced HL&P to the brink of a full-scale rate hearing.
1992 Man of the Year. From his first public interest lawsuit to regain public access to North Shore beaches,” Yannacone’s “legal career was measured not by how much his cases changed the size of his bank account, but rather changed people’s perceptions and righted wrongs that he saw in the system.”
“An historic victory for Yannacone” Congress finally vindicates Yannacone’s efforts to establish the relationship between exposure to dioxin contaminated Agent Orange in Vietnam and the illness and death of Vietnam combat veterans years later.
“Lead! Follow! Or get out of the way! Come on, do something!” Yannacone demanded Patchogue Village tighten local laws for better enforcement and offers to help the village attorney rewrite new codes and lead the effort to make fully qualified Village Constables “peace officers” under New York State law.
“Comp family dynasty spans three generations” Free-lance journalist and radio reporter Jon Kalish details a little known aspect of Yannacone’s career in the law.
“A New County Should Bloom in Brookhaven” Yannacone led the Committee which evaluated the costs and benefits of whether Brookhaven, a Town larger than Nassau County, should become an independent County in New York.
“Coming Home to War” C-Span” video of Yannacone and other public figures commenting on the sacrifices of the Vietnam combat veterans and the meaning of the Vietnam War.
“…BugOff on Pesticide Proposal” Yannacone returns to the problem of mosquito control and warns again of the unintended consequences of certain pesticides.
The Agent Orange relational databases which Victor and Carol Yannacone designed for managing the medical records of Vietnam combat veterans during the Agent Orange litigation were the first real time large scale relational data bases.
“Victor Yannacone: Case makes a lawyer a star and a vocal critic too” Journalist Karl Grossman comments on Yannacone, DDT, and the Agent Orange litigation.
Profiling Yannacone in action during the Agent Orange litigation.
Fighting to save the Jarrah forest Yannacone sued Alcoa and the other aluminum companies strip-mining bauxite and destroying the unique forest and watershed for Perth in Western Australia, in an American Court. The State Department and Attorney General of the United States together with the Australian government opposed the lawsuit. Nevertheless, it had the effect of toppling the administrations in the State of Western Australia and soon after the Australian national administration with the new governments rescinding the “sweetheart” deals which permitted the mining and legislating to protect the Jarrah forest forever.
“Poisoned Patriotism” When Vietnam veterans charged Agent Orange had poisoned them and deformed their children, the chemical companies balked and the government ordered studies. Victor Yannacone sued.
Souvenir of war “The Agent Orange case is what public interest litigation really is”, Yannacone said.
“A killer comes home” Yannacone raises public concern for the Vietnam combat veterans and the effects of dioxin contaminated herbicide use in Southeast Asia.
Battling an “Agent” of tragedy Newsday Columnist John Pascal writes about Yannacone at the start of the Agent Orange litigation.
“blames defoliant for birth defects” Yannacone files the first claim of polygenetic birth defects due to Agent Orange.
The Lake_Placid Olympics were possible because Yannacone was appointed by the Adirondack Park Commission to determine the environmental impact of the Games on the Park. In month of bitterly controverted all day and evening hearings Yannacone resolved all the issues allowing construction of the 70 and 90 meter ski jumps while preserving the John Brown historyscape and protecting the trout fishing environment of the Ausable River. As a result, the 1980 Winter Olympic Games were held at Lake Placid and the Miracle on Ice happened.
“OldTimer Defends Pesticide Ban” “…engaged in a David and Goliath encounter in which he is depending on only one stone—Blackstone. Victor J. Yannacone, jr. whose interest in the legal aspects of Ecology predates by one year the publication of Rachel Carson’s action-provoking Silent Spring…is now defending Huntington Township’s ban on certain pesticides and insecticides.
Suffolk Zoning Challenge by Yannacone in a class action demanding a halt to sprawl development on the grounds that local zoning laws were ecologically unsophisticated, environmentally irrelevant, socially irresponsible, and politically naive.
DDT on Trial: the Wisconsin Chapter Yannacone was the concertmaster for what was really an international debate over pesticides.
DDT: Critics attempt to ban its use in Wisconsin Science reports Yannacone’s success in presenting substantial credible evidence in a courtroom that DDT and its principle environmental metabolite DDE are worldwide dangers to fish and wildlife.
“The Florissant Fossil Beds are to geology, paleobotany, palynology and evolution what the Rosetta Stone was to Egyptology. To sacrifice this 34 million year old record—a record you might say write by the mighty hand of God—for 30 year mortgages and the basements of the A-frame ghettoes of the 70s is like wrapping fish with the Dead Sea Scrolls!” Yannacone told the US Circuit Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit. The bulldozers were halted; the fossil beds were saved, and the Florissant National Monument was established by Congress.
Dramatic evidence of the thin egg shell phenomena. Thin eggshells, a dead eaglet, and the DDT contaminated fish from Lake Michigan. Science  recognizes the impact of Yannacone and his Environmental Defense Fund in “DDT. The Critics attempt to ban its use in Wisconsin.”
“All He Wants to Save Is The World”  Sports Illustrated writer Gilbert Rogin describes Yannacone’s efforts during the first frenetic year of “Environmental” litigation and his efforts to launch the Environmental Defense Fund as a national organization committed to bringing rational science into the Courtroom to protect the Environment.
“The smell of money” In Missoula, Montana—long before Congress decided “Clean Air” might be important—Yannacone filed the first class action claiming the sovereign People of the United States have an absolute right to the cleanest air that industry can provide.
“Lawyer drags conservation cases into court!” Yannacone and the beginnings of the Environmental Defense Fund.
“It happened on Long Island” Carol A. Yannacone represented by her attorney husband Victor Yannacone sue to stop DDT use in Suffolk County. The success of that lawsuit marked the beginning of the Environment Movement and the foundations for an Environmental Defense Fund.
The Environmental Movement at the beginning. And the end?
Yannacone launches the Environmental Defense Fund At the October 1, 1967 annual meeting of the National Audubon Society, Yannacone called for creation of an Environmental Defense Fund and the members approved with a rousing voice vote.