Category Archives: Firm News

Partner Matthew A. Funk Elected New York State Trial Lawyers Association Deputy Treasurer

Partner Matthew Funk

We congratulate Partner Matthew A. Funk on his election as Deputy Treasurer of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. His term will begin on July 1st. Mr. Funk has been practicing law since 1999 and became a partner at the firm in 2007. He is a member of the Injured Workers Bar Association, participating in online round table discussions regarding the rights of injured workers. He is a Workers Compensation Committee member of the New York Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH). Mr. Funk regularly lectures on the workers compensation law to various labor organizations. Currently, he is actively engaged in extensive workers compensation litigation.

 

Senior Partner Catherine Stanton

We also congratulate Senior Partner Catherine Stanton on her election as a Director of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. Ms. Stanton began working with the firm as an attorney in 1990 and became a partner in 1998.  She was the 2012 president of WILG, Workers’ Injury & Law Advocacy Groupthe national non-profit membership organization dedicated to representing the interests of millions of workers and their families who, each year, suffer the consequences of workplace injuries and illnesses. Ms. Stanton has once been named as a Super Lawyer each year from 2007-2013 in the area of workers compensation by Super Lawyers magazine. In addition, Super Lawyers named Ms. Stanton one of the Top Women Attorneys in New York for 2013.

About The New York State Trial Lawyers Association

The NYSTLA was founded in 1953 by a group of trial lawyers who were concerned that New York had no forum for plaintiffs’ lawyers. Today, the New York State Trial Lawyers Association is a 4,000-member trade association.

NYSTLA assures that the wrongfully injured have full access to the civil justice system. The organization is dedicated to the preservation of the federal and state constitution rights to trial by jury. They fight to see that:

  • injured people are not barred from the civil justice system;
  • wrongdoers are not immunized from liability;
  • juries are free to determine the proper amount of compensation without arbitrary legislative interference; and
  • obstacles are not placed in the way of litigating all meritorious actions.

NYSTLA also supports proposals to increase available insurance. When needed, NYSTLA works at the federal level to assure that our clients’ rights are not limited by Congress. NYSTLA does not hesitate to use the courts to advocate on behalf of consumers.

Prior results do not guarantee outcomes.

Legally Speaking – Volunteer Firefighters and Ambulance Workers

Catherine M. Stanton
Catherine M. Stanton

Catherine M. Stanton

Hello friends!  Today’s editorial is going to discuss Volunteer Firefighters and Ambulance Workers and their rights under New York State Workers’ Compensation Law.

While paid New York City firefighters are covered by special contract, and not covered under New York State Workers’ Compensation Law, all New York State active volunteer firefighters in a county, city, town, village or fire district are entitled to benefits under the law if they are injured in the line of duty.  Most New York State active volunteer ambulance workers are entitled to benefits as well.

To be entitled to benefits, a firefighter must be engaged in activities pursuant to orders or authorization that include, but are not limited to, participation in fire drills, parades and funerals; travel to and from fire calls or authorized activities; firehouse duties; property inspections; and maintenance and repair of equipment.

Volunteer ambulance workers must be engaged in duties at the ambulance facility or elsewhere, including but not limited to, public exhibitions and drills; attendance at training school; travel to and from calls directly related to the prevention of accidents or other disasters; delivery of emergency health care; instruction in ambulance duties; or maintaining equipment.  The benefits depend on the seriousness of the injury and the length of disability.

 A determination of the benefits will be made…

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Prior results do not guarantee outcomes.

Legally Speaking – Afraid To File A Claim?

As a 25-year attorney in the field of Workers’ Compensation, I have represented thousands of injured workers and heard all kinds of stories — many involving workers who didn’t file a Workers’ Comp claim for one reason or another. Some of the most frequent reasons I’ve heard from workers who get injured on the job and don’t file a claim include fear of getting fired, or intimidation by a system that seems cumbersome and hard to navigate.

First of all, it is against the law for an employer to fire you in retaliation for filing a Workers’ Compensation claim.  You should know that Workers’ Compensation is a no fault system. In exchange for timely payment of medical and indemnity benefits, workers gave up the right to sue their employer.   These laws went into effect in the early 20th Century as a result of social reform and tragedy.  While every state in the nation has some form of Workers’ Compensation laws, they all vary in scope and date of inception.  In New York, the pivotal event that culminated in the passage of Workers’ Compensation legislation occurred in 1911 after the horror of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, where 146 individuals perished — some burned to death while others leapt to their deaths when they tried to escape the fire and found the emergency exits locked.  This was a preventable tragedy caused by unsafe work conditions and was a catalyst for…

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Prior results do not guarantee outcomes.

Why The Republicans Should Not Cut Food Stamps

Facts about food stamps. Click on this image to see it full size.

Today’s post comes from guest author Paul J. McAndrew, Jr., from Paul McAndrew Law Firm.

I write about a debate now occurring in Congress in which the GOP is threatening millions of American families, including 200,000 Iowa households.  The debate is over food stamps, now known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (“SNAP”).

To understand the problem, we need only review the survey-report issued by the Department of Agriculture on September 4.  (Alisha Coleman-JensenMark Nord, Anita Singh, “Household Food Security in the United States in 2012”).  The report shows that nearly 49 million Americans lived in “food insecure” households last year.  This means family members lack consistent access to adequate food throughout the year.  In short, 49 million Americans (over 16 times the Iowa population) went hungry for long periods in 2012.  Worse, children were found to be hungry in 10% of all U.S. families with children.  The agency found that hunger rates since the 2007 recession are much higher than before. 

Many people have a misunderstanding of this hunger; many think the hungry are the same persons who are homeless.  In fact, in most cases the hungry are persons who work at low-paying jobs or are disabled from work.

The GOP (mostly the House GOP) wants to cut food stamps.  Yet, food stamps have been the centerpiece of our country’s safety net for the poor.  Benefits are adjusted for income.  Recipients can use SNAP benefits only for food, notwithstanding Rep. Steve King’s assertion that he knows food stamps are used for bail and tattoos.  Nearly 48 million Americans now receive food stamps (about 15% of the approximately 314 million Americans), at an annual cost to us of about $80 billion.

No matter what Congress decides, food stamps expenditures will be reduced in November, when a provision in the 2009 stimulus bill expires.  House Republicans, however, propose Continue reading

Prior results do not guarantee outcomes.

We Support Brandworkers

Attending the 2013 Brandworkers Awards Dinner

On Wednesday October 16, several members of our firm attended the Annual Brandworkers’ Dinner held at the Angel Orensanz Foundation in NYC. Brandworkers was founded in 2007 by retail and food employees who identified a need for an organization dedicated to protecting and advancing their rights. The organization was launched based on a simple principle: that working people themselves, equipped with powerful social change tools, were uniquely positioned to make positive change on the job and in society.

By empowering retail and food employees with social change tools, Brandworkers’ Focus on the Food Chain and Legal Defense-Plus programs have recovered close to $1 million in unpaid wages and compensation for discrimination; improved working conditions for hundreds of workers; and have helped workers develop as powerful social change leaders.

We look forward to continuing our  support of their mission!

Prior results do not guarantee outcomes.

Partner Matthew Funk To Be On The New York State Trial Lawyers Association Board Of Directors

Partner Matthew Funk

We congratulate Partner Matthew Funk on his selection as a member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association (NYSTLA). He will be installed to the board at a ceremony on Wednesday, June 26th. Matt has been practicing law since 1999 and became a partner at the firm in 2007. He is currently a member of the NYSTLA’s Legislative Committee, writes for the NYSTLA Decisions program and has lectured on numerous occasions focusing on workers compensation law.

Click here for more information on the installation ceremony and reception and to register to attend.

 
About The New York State Trial Lawyers Association
 
The NYSTLA was founded in 1953 by a group of trial lawyers who were concerned that New York had no forum for plaintiffs’ lawyers. Today, the New York State Trial Lawyers Association is a 4,000-member trade association.
 
NYSTLA assures that the wrongfully injured have full access to the civil justice system. The organization is dedicated to the preservation of the federal and state constitution rights to trial by jury. They fight to see that:
  • injured people are not barred from the civil justice system;
  • wrongdoers are not immunized from liability;
  • juries are free to determine the proper amount of compensation without arbitrary legislative interference; and
  • obstacles are not placed in the way of litigating all meritorious actions.

NYSTLA also supports proposals to increase available insurance. When needed, NYSTLA works at the federal level to assure that our clients’ rights are not limited by Congress. NYSTLA does not hesitate to use the courts to advocate on behalf of consumers. 

Prior results do not guarantee outcomes.

6 Attorneys Named As 2013 SuperLawyers

Victor Pasternack, Barbara Doblin Tilker and Jordan Ziegler (top row). Catherine Stanton, Edgar Romano and Robert Saminsky (bottom row).

We are proud to congratulate each of Victor Pasternack, Barbara Doblin Tilker, Jordan Ziegler, Catherine Stanton, Edgar Romano and Robert Saminsky for being named to the New York Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2013. This is the 8th consecutive year Ziegler has been selected, the 7th consecutive selection for Tilker and Stanton, the 5th for Pasternack and Saminsky and the 4th for Romano. It is an honor to have so many or our attorneys on this prestigious list, as no more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers.

Additionally, SuperLawyers has selected both Barbara Dolbin Tilker and Catherine Stanton as Top 50 Women Attorneys in New York.

Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections are made using a rigorous multi-phased process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates, and peer reviews by practice area.

The first Super Lawyers list was published in 1991.

Prior results do not guarantee outcomes.

Catherine Stanton Interviewed About Medicare Set-aside requirements and the SMART Act

Our own Catherine Stanton was recently interviewed by host Alan Pierce for the May edition of Workers’ Comp Matters. The interview focused on proposed Federal legislation reforming the law regarding the Medicare Set-aside requirements as well as the recently enacted SMART Act.

You can listen to the interview by clicking here.

Prior results do not guarantee outcomes.