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1 presents New York area s top rated lawyers of 2013 presents New York area s top rated lawyers of 2013 presents New York area s top rated lawyers of 2013 presents New York area s top rated lawyers of 2013 oved & oved llp benedict Morelli when results matter Morelli alters ratner always driven for Justice also inside new York law 2013 Page 16 oved & oved llp Page 4 joseph tacopina bruce h. nagel Page 11 powerhouse criminal defense attorney koskoff, koskoff & bieder, pc Page 13 also inside new York law 2013 Page 16 Page 4 Morelli alters ratner bruce h. nagel Page 11 Page 2 presents also inside A SpeciAl AdvertiSing Supplement distributed with new york law journal oved & oved llp koskoff, koskoff & bieder, pc Page 13 appearing with joseph tacopina new York law 2013 Page 15 A SpeciAl AdvertiSing Supplement distributed with new york magazine Page 16 presents appearing with A SpeciAl AdvertiSing Supplement distributed with the wall street journal Morelli alters ratner presents New York area s top rated lawyers of 2013 appearing with presents New York area s top rated lawyers of 2013 bruce h. nagel courtroom warrior: ace at achieving multimillion-dollar verdicts and settlements also inside new York law 2013 Page 16 Morelli alters ratner Page 2 oved & oved llp Page 4 koskoff, koskoff & bieder, pc plaintiffs law firm Page 13 also inside joseph tacopina Page 15 A SpeciAl AdvertiSing Supplement distributed with new jersey law journal presents presents new York law 2013 Page 16 appearing with Morelli alters ratner oved & oved llp bruce h. nagel joseph tacopina Page 4 Page 11 Page 15 Page 2 presents appearing with A SpeciAl AdvertiSing Supplement distributed with connecticut law tribune appearing with koskoff, koskoff & bieder, pc Page 13 presents koskoff, koskoff & bieder, pc Page 11 Page 2 bruce h. nagel joseph tacopina Page 15

2 statia Grossman Morelli alters ratner class actions, Mass torts, employment discrimination, commercial litigation, personal injury From left: Benedict Morelli, Jeremy Alters, David Ratner Benedict P. morelli whether Litigating against the world s largest pharmaceutical companies because they sold defective drugs injuring tens of thousands of people; or standing up for women who are harassed and discriminated against in the workplace; or representing the victims of defective products and medical negligence; or representing consumers who are defrauded as a result of false and deceptive advertising, the lawyers of morelli alters ratner LLp combine their aggressive desire for justice with their compassion for their clients in order to achieve the maximum recovery possible both in and out of the courtroom. with OFFiCes in both new york City and miami Beach, Florida, the firm combines the wisdom that comes with age and experience with the vitality that comes from youthful exuberance. benedict P. MOReLLi and david s. RatneR have over seventy years of hands on trial experience between them. They have litigated against powerful corporations and prestigious law firms in courts throughout the country. in 2011, mr. morelli led a trial team in Federal Court in the southern District of illinois that secured a $95 million verdict on behalf of a young woman who was the victim of sexual assault by her boss and whose complaints about his harassing behavior went unheeded by the company. not only was this the largest single sexual harassment victim verdict ever, but the verdict also sent a message that morelli alters ratner will fight to the end for its clients. trying Cases is a LOst art, because OUR world is based more on mediation and arbitration than litigation, says founding partner Benedict morelli, a pastpresident of the new york state Trial Lawyers association who has been selected for inclusion in the Best lawyers in america annually since But our firm has been established to handle cases from start to finish. in fact, it s our trial experience that has allowed us to litigate important cases against substantial opponents, and, in the process, help victims of corporate america s negligence, misfeasance and malfeasance. the team at MOReLLi alters RatneR LLP is dedicated to enforcing its clients rights and securing for them the justice they deserve. The firm s practice is national in scope, with litigation from new york to California. For example, the firm is currently handling cases against pfizer in alabama over the drug Chantix, as well as cases in Texas and new Jersey against Johnson & Johnson and other manufacturers over defective metal-on-metal hip implants. The firm also has filed cases in Florida, new york, and new Jersey against companies that sell and install spray polyurethane foam insulation, which has been shown to cause health and property damage. in OtHeR words, we will take On industry giants to help our clients, notes David ratner, the firm s managing partner. and it is because of our acknowledged ability to present cases to juries that we have been given leadership roles in many of these cases by judicial appointment. MOReLLi alters RatneR s OFFiCe in the trendy miami Design District is the hub of the firm s class action litigation practice. Jeremy alters s philosophy has been to always fight on behalf of innocent consumers, such as those who have been victimized by the predatory practices of banks. in 2012, he helped secure one of the largest class action settlements against Bank of america for $410 million. the FiRM is CURRentLy Litigating CLass actions against red Bull, kind Bar, several banks for their overdraft practices, L oreal, and Dial soap. in addition the FiRM COntinUes to be in the forefront of several mass torts including Transvaginal mesh, propecia, Testosterone replacement therapy, and metal on metal hips. FinaLLy the FiRM is extremely PROUd OF the work it did on behalf of kevin Dwyer, a cystic fibrosis sufferer who was denied coverage for a costly life-saving drug by his health insurer. we secured him coverage, the drug worked, and we saved his life, ratner said. what could be better than that? 950 ThirD avenue, 11 Th FLoor, new york, ny ph: ; FaX:

3 Statia Grossman oved & oved llp commercial litigation, real estate, corporate & intellectual property law Seated, from left: Edward C. Wipper, Aaron J. Solomon, Colin C. McNary, Michael Krisher, Jacob Imir, David I. Yedid, Terrence A. Oved Standing, from left: Andrew J. Urgenson, Eugene Goyfman, Gil Benedek, Alicia Ramoutar, Christina Cappello, Joe Jensen, Darren Oved from Left: XXXXXXXXXX, XXXXXXXXXX, XXXXXXXXXX darren oved terrence a. oved we don t JUst answer the questions, we question the answers. we are game changers. attorneys whose presence dramatically alters the dynamics of any transaction or litigation. our lawyers are the finest in new york City. we are a full service, multidisciplinary, boutique law firm that has secured and negotiated multimillion-dollar settlements and transactions on behalf of our clients in litigation, real estate, corporate and intellectual property matters. in litigation, our firm s success rate is exceptional. while justice may be blind, we are pleased it often sees things our way. we have earned the reputation of commanding both respect and reverence from our peers and adversaries alike. we continue to maintain the highest possible rating of av by martindalehubbell, the country s leading lawyer rating service. OUR PHiLOsOPHy is simple. PUt PeOPLe FiRst. always. which is why, on every assignment we undertake, we are motivated by one consistent goal to understand our client s objectives and work with each client as if we had no other. our clients welcome this approach and have helped build our sterling reputation for insightful counseling, timely advice and constructive contributions to their business. our part in earning that reputation has been founded on knowing our clients business, so they don t have to teach us about it. we are trusted LegaL advisers in COMPLex transactions and major disagreements. emerging businesses trust us to guide them through their growth and development. Businesses involved in disputes turn to us to develop and implement effective litigation strategies. our legal advice is straightforward, pragmatic and based upon articulated risks and rewards. we are innovative, creative, relentless and unwavering in our commitment to the achievement of our clients objectives. This dedication to client service defines our firm s culture and drives our professional success. To our clients we devote the legal talents and skills of our attorneys, delivered with hard work, excellence and integrity. Beyond diligence and expertise, our lawyers bring sound business judgment, imagination, open-mindedness and accessibility, thereby augmenting our effectiveness as both advisers and counselors in the service of our clients objectives. These are values that enhance value. OUR CLients RePResent the diverse and sophisticated nature of our practice and range from all major businesses and industries. we are privileged to work with the world s most recognized, reputable and respected individuals and institutions as well as many start up entrepreneurs, visionaries and risk takers. unwilling simply to answer the questions, we persist in questioning the answers until our clients are satisfied with the result. There is no nobility in apathy. we not only identify with our clients matters but align ourselves 100% with their goals and concerns so that they are never alone. our mathematics is simple, our clients + us = 1. we COntinUe to ReFLeCt On OUR accomplishments with a deep and dual sense of gratitude and humility. as always, we gratefully acknowledge the everpresent and beneficial hand of the one above for the numerous and wondrous blessings with which he has favored us. we are privileged to be one of new york City s preeminent firms and honored to be recognized as Top rated Lawyers. OVED & OVED LLP 401 GREENWICH STREET NEW YORK, NY 10013

4 law offices of anthony a. capetola child custody, criminal, family anthony a. capetola the Law OFFiCes OF anthony a. CaPetOLa is One OF the PReMieR firms in Long island and new york City for family law, corporate law, civil litigation, and criminal defense. Led by experienced trial attorney anthony a. Capetola, the firm provides clients with committed service and skilled crisis management. CLients know that they Can ReLy UPOn Us to achieve the best possible results, says Capetola. a former client recently ed me saying, i wanted to express my deep thanks to you and your office for providing me with such great service. i experienced great professionalism, smart decisions, respect and great service from each and every colleague of yours. That s the result we strive for with each and every client. with MORe than 40 years OF trial experience, MR. CaPetOLa focused his practice on matrimonial law since along with his associates, he has been recognized as being among the finest family law practitioners in nassau, suffolk, and new york Counties, and is often sought out to handle complex custody and visitation matters, having tried international custody cases pursuant to the hague Convention. i Have tried HUndReds OF Cases, as an assistant PROseCUtOR and in private practice. no challenge is too great, we cannot be intimidated and we often shine when the odds are against us, says Capetola. in PRaising anthony CaPetOLa FOR His superior LegaL PROwess, a new york supreme Court justice recently stated: The plaintiff s attorney, anthony Capetola, esq. represented his client with skill and professionalism. mr. Capetola is a practiced and competent attorney. he is one of the principals in a highly respected law firm and appears on matrimonial cases on behalf of the firm s clients on a regular basis. he has successfully tried or negotiated numerous cases before this Court. he enjoys a superior reputation in the legal community in the area of matrimonial law. MORe than JUst a LitigatOR, CaPetOLa is HigHLy sought after to share his knowledge with others, having lectured extensively at various law schools and bar associations. he is a member of the nassau County, new york state, and american Bar associations. he has been included in super lawyers since 2010, and recognized as one of the area s top matrimonial attorneys by long island pulse magazine. in addition to RUnning a successful Law PRaCtiCe, mr. Capetola has also achieved recognition as a boxing promoter, real estate developer, restaurateur and community activist. when not engaged in the practice of law, he can often be found at The Carltun, a high-end Long island restaurant and catering facility that he opened in being a seasoned entrepreneur, it s second nature to Me to weigh all potential benefits when deciding which course of action to take in a litigation. recognizing that our actions are likely to have a lasting impact on a client s life well beyond whether they win or lose their case, our approach is more of a holistic one, he says. we seek to situate clients on a path that will yield long-term benefits for them once we are no longer representing them. Two hillside avenue, BuiLDinG C, williston park, ny ph: FaX:

5 ALM LEGAL GROUP Director, Sales & Business Development, Custom Projects Carrie Tuck Account Executives Tony accetta Jerry Cohen Lauren DeCosimo James D Imperio Mike Filson Laura Gunawan Pamela Jeffers Bridget McDonald Marcy Palacios Jason Romano George Schwimmer Joe Turley Graphic Designers Sammy Elfatrany Ashley McKevitt Content Manager Justin Smulison cover photo statia grossman Profiles Writer Sean Stonefield Vice President, Inside Sales Steven R. Andreazza Senior Vice President Kevin Vermeulen To order reprints of New York Area s Top Rated Lawyers of 2013, please contact or Publishers do not warrant that the information contained herein is complete or accurate. ALM Media, LLC (or either party s affiliates, employees, officers, directors or agents) does not assume, and hereby disclaims, any liability to any person for any loss or damage caused by errors or omissions herein, whether such errors or omissions result from negligence, accident or any other cause. This magazine includes paid attorney advertising. Consumers should contact the state bar for verification and additional information prior to securing the legal services of any attorney. ALM, Top Rated Lawyers, and Top Ranked Law Firms are trademarks of ALM Media Properties, LLC. Welcome to the 10 th edition of New York Area s Top Rated Lawyers, a publication featuring local legal talent from the metropolitan areas of Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York. The attorneys featured here and in the accompanying online edition have all achieved the peer reviewed rating of AV Preeminent by Martindale- Hubbell, the company that has long set the standard for lawyer ratings. The AV Preeminent rating is a significant accomplishment and demonstrates that a lawyer s peers have ranked them at the highest level of professional excellence. Our online edition of New York Area s Top Rated Lawyers, accessible at includes the complete directory of all of the New York areas AV Preeminent rated attorneys, listed by their practice areas. In addition to insightful profiles on many Top Rated attorneys, this publication features articles on current trends in the law. As such, it is a valuable resource in finding top legal talent and making more informed legal decisions. Sincerely, Steve Andreazza vice president, inside sales Highlights in this issue: Medical Negligence and Malpractice How Can You Protect Yourself? selecting a good lawyer for your banking and finance needs know your child custody and visitation rights whistleblower rewards to fight government fraud A basic introduction to personal injury lawsuits in new york end of year and new year: top 10 things to do now sharing personal injury awards in a divorce social media and juries: A delicate sitution foreclosure consultants: pros and cons some medical devices can hurt more than help what to do after a car accident what to do if you are the victim of identity theft a brief introduction to class action lawsuits new york law 2013 protect yourself in a merger

6 MARTIN CLEARWATER & BELL llp medical malpractice, employment & labor, health care law Steven m. Berlin nancy J. Block william P. Brady Peter t. crean JoSePh l. demarzo Sean F.x. dugan Bruce g. habian erik kapner kenneth r. larywon JeFF lawton John l.a. lyddane michael F. madden kevin P. mcmanus rosaleen t. mccrory anthony m. Sola michael a. Sonkin robert t. whittaker standing, from left: Rosaleen T. Mccrory, Thomas a. Mobilia, Joseph L. demarzo, Robert T. Whittaker, Jeff Lawton, William P. Brady, Kenneth R. Larywon, John J. Barbera, Jeffrey a. shor, Nancy J. Block, Michael a. sonkin. seated, from left: Peter T. crean, John L.a. Lyddane, anthony M. sola, Bruce G. Habian, sean f.x. dugan MANHATTAN 220 east 42nd street New york, Ny NAssAU CoUNTY 90 Merrick avenue east Meadow, Ny WesTCHesTer CoUNTY 245 Main street White Plains, Ny NeW JerseY 744 Broad street Newark,NJ

7 new york area s top rated lawyers in need to know MeDicAl NeGliGeNce AND MAlPrActice how can You protect YourSelf? each year, countless medical procedures are performed in the United States. Many of these are necessary and improve or save patients lives. A portion of medical treatments are performed that may not be necessary, or complications arise from them. If you are a victim of a treatment that led to short or long-term effects on your health, you may be able to receive compensation for hospital bills, loss of income, or pain and suffering caused by the procedure. It is important to know where the blame lies in these cases so that you can protect yourself in the future. NeGliGeNce vs. MAlPrActice what s the DiffereNce? While negligence and malpractice are often used interchangeably, there are some important differences between the two. Negligence is defined broadly as conduct that fails to meet the standard of care for a patient, whereas malpractice is considered improper, illegal, or negligent professional activity or treatment. It is possible for medical negligence to fall under the category of malpractice. Treatments that are classified as negligence rather than malpractice usually involve a lack of action on the part of the physician. For example, if a patient entering the hospital is wearing a medical alert bracelet which the staff fails to notice, and that person receives improper treatment as a result of this, the hospital can be sued for negligence. In comparison, a doctor who misdiagnoses a condition and then performs surgery might be accused of malpractice if, based on the evidence, other competent doctors would not have made the same mistake. DutY of care If you re suing someone for negligence, one of the fi rst elements to establish is their duty of care. You must show that the defendant didn t follow the duty of care required by the law. It is defined as the legal obligation to act in a standard or reasonable way. The duty of care is difficult to assess in emergency situations. In the emergency room, doctors face this dilemma daily. The fear of missing something and then being sued often leads to extra tests and scans for many non-threatening aliments. These scans are not only expensive, placing strains on insurance claims, but often subject the patient to high levels of radiation. However, in the small chance there is a life-threatening condition, these tests are necessary. Duty of care can be a flexible concept. In order to have a successful claim, it is important to prove that a duty existed in the first place. While it can be an easy concept to prove for some typical claims, it can also be muddled and confusing. The duty often will depend on the specifics of each case and having a good lawyer. lack of informed consent One kind of medical malpractice is based on a doctor s failure to adequately inform you about a proposed medical procedure or treatment. You have the right as a patient to determine what you want done to your body. Without the right information, you can t make a good, educated decision about whether to go ahead with the plan. If you re not given the right information and you re injured during the treatment, you may have a medical malpractice case. Consent merely means your doctor gives you information about a medical treatment and you agree to it. You may consent verbally or by an act showing consent - like nodding your head. However most states require written consent; it is not enough for you to merely sign your name or say Yes. You must give informed consent - need to be told about and understand many things before treatment begins, including: The name of the doctor performing the procedure and their qualifications. Your medical condition. The purpose of the proposed procedure. The risks involved. Any alternative treatments or procedures and the risks involved. The chances of the procedure s success. The expected recovery time. The approximate cost of the procedure and whether it is likely to be covered by your health insurance. Signing an informed consent form doesn t mean your doctor or the hospital can t be liable for malpractice. It is not like saying: I ll take the procedure as is. If the doctor exceeds the consent you gave, it may be malpractice. Proving your doctor didn t get your informed consent is not always enough to win a medical malpractice lawsuit. There must be a connection between the lack of informed consent and your injury. You must prove that, with the right information you would not have consented to the medical treatment and the medical outcome would have been different. unnecessary surgical ProceDures All surgeries come with the risk of complications such as hemorrhage, damage to organs, infection and anesthesia errors. When the surgery was not necessary in the first place, these costs hit especially hard. Many analysts feel that the increasing number of unnecessary surgeries is linked to the increasing number of doctor-owned outpatient surgery centers. If you feel you have been unnecessarily subjected to surgery, you could be entitled to compensation for expenses related to the surgery, plus lost income as well as pain and suffering. A doctor who turns to surgery right away instead of suggesting non-surgical options to the patient might be considered negligent. Before undergoing surgery, a patient should always get a second or third opinion. If a lawsuit is filed, the patient s medical records will most likely be turned over to a third-party expert who will determine if 10 new york area s top rated lawyers \ continued on page 12 To See A Directory of All AV Preeminent Rated Attorneys in the new york area visit

8 nagel rice, llp complex litigation, Medical Malpractice, serious personal injury, class action Bruce h. nagel Jay J. rice Barry m. Packin diane elizabeth SammonS nagel RiCe, LLP is One OF the new york metropolitan area s premier Trial Firms, having recovered nearly $1 billion in settlements and verdicts over its 30-year history, including more than 100 cases in excess of $1 million. The firm has appeared 15 times before the new Jersey supreme Court, and its high-profile cases have helped mold the law of medical malpractice, wrongful birth, personal injury, trial practice, class action, consumer fraud and business litigation. we are true courtroom warriors, observes founding partner Bruce nagel. we have the skill, resources, and guts to try the toughest cases and that s what sets us apart from the rest of the field. the FiRM Has achieved HistORiC ResULts in many areas of the law, including over $400 million in medical malpractice and personal injury settlements and verdicts, over $300 million in class action settlements, over $50 million in wrongful birth settlements and verdicts, $50 million in recoveries against credit card companies over fraudulent credit protection plans. some of the firm s successful results include a $16 million recovery in an austrian train fire which killed several americans, an $11 million settlement in estate litigation, a $9.75 million recovery on behalf of a man killed in a turnpike accident, a $7.1 million consumer fraud judgment, and a $9 million jury verdict in a medical malpractice case. The firm has also recovered millions from celebrity eye surgeon Dr. Joseph Dello russo over negligent Lasik procedures. nagel RiCe is HigHLy RegaRded in the LegaL community and receives a substantial amount of its cases from other lawyers, who refer the most complex and difficult cases to the firm s attorneys. managing and founding partner Jay rice notes, The best evidence of our success is the dozens of attorneys who refer their litigations to us. For years, judges throughout the state have also referred friends and family members. nagel and RiCe are RegULaRLy included in the Best lawyers in america and super Lawyers, and have both been named in the new Jersey Top 10 super lawyers list. nagel was recently featured in newsweek magazine as one of the best medical malpractice attorneys in the country and has appeared before the new Jersey supreme Court 12 times. rice is frequently court-appointed to act as a fiscal agent or discovery master or serve in other roles in business disputes. both nagel and RiCe are PROLiFiC LeCtUReRs and authors in many areas of the law. nagel is an adjunct professor at seton hall Law school and has lectured thousands of attorneys on trial practice, medical malpractice and wrongful birth. rice frequently lectures on the areas of partnership disputes and chancery litigation, and has authored the equity practice section in the new Jersey practice series. 103 eisenhower parkway, roseland, nj ph: FaX: park avenue, suite 1000, new york, ny ph:

9 new york area s top rated lawyers in continued from page 10 the doctor s decision to recommend surgery complied with standard practice. The issues surrounding filing a medical malpractice lawsuit for unnecessary surgery is extremely complicated. Plus, the facts of each case are unique. This article provides a brief, general introduction to the topic. For more detailed, specific information, please contact a medical malpractice lawyer. wrong-site surgery Despite procedures to prevent it, wrongsite surgery is on the rise. The Joint Commission estimates wrong-site surgery happens 40 times a week on average. The number of cases reported to the Joint Commission nearly doubled in 2010 as compared to Wrong-site surgery comes in a couple of varieties. A surgeon might operate on your left knee instead of your right. A surgeon might perform the right procedure on the wrong patient. A surgeon might do a hip replacement where a knee replacement was intended. Health care providers should have procedures in place to eliminate the risk of wrong-site surgery. Hospitals, administrators, nurses and surgeons must follow guidelines set out by the Joint Commission. The Joint Commission gives accreditation - a seal of approval - to hospitals in the United States. According to the Joint Commission s policies, hospitals are supposed to follow a triple-check system before conducting any surgery. Before even entering the operating room, the hospital is supposed to check: If they are treating the right patient. The right part of the body. The right procedure has been recommended. In the operating room, the protocol requires a time-out and final verification of what s to be done before beginning surgery. During this check, all of the professionals involved must agree unanimously on the proceedings. To prevent wrong-site surgery, become educated about your procedure, and ask for a second opinion before it is done. Be patient with the nurses and other surgical staff as they ask you questions about your procedure it is better to take the time to go over it now than suffer longterm consequences. PAtieNt AbANDoNMeNt Imagine you re on the operating table, prepped for surgery and sedated. You wake up, thinking you re ready to go on with your recovery. You re shocked to find out that your doctor never showed up to perform the surgery, and you re going to have to go through the process all over again. This is an extreme example of patient abandonment, when a doctor fails to provide necessary medical care to a current patient without cause. Once a doctor-patient relationship is created, the doctor is obligated to treat the patient until the relationship ends. The doctor s duty to treat a patient includes coverage for the patient when the doctor is away or otherwise unable to attend to the patient. Abandoning a patient in need of attention without making reasonable plans for care isn t only unprofessional, but it is considered medical malpractice. Examples of abandonment include: Failing to transfer a patient to an appropriate level of care. Failing to respond to calls from a hospital regarding a patient. Refusing to care for a patient after arranging the patient s admission. Failing to treat a patient until new coverage is arranged. If you believe your doctor abandoned you during treatment, you must show that: Your doctor had a duty to treat you - a duty was created when the physicianpatient relationship was established. You had a reasonable expectation that your doctor would treat you. Your doctor failed to treat you although he or she was obligated to do so. You suffered injury as a result. conflicts of interest A conflict of interest occurs when someone s involvement in more than one activity or project may lead them to make decisions that favors one while hurting the other. A good example is a lawyer who represents both spouses in a divorce. Can they really look out for both sides best interests? Usually not, and that s why most states have ethical rules barring attorneys from doing it. The same rules apply to medical practitioners doctors are meant to perform on behalf of their patient. Unfortunately, recent trends dictate that this is not always the case. According to a 2010 professional report, a large percentage of doctors across the country have some sort of a relationship with outside companies, specifically pharmaceutical manufacturers. Some doctors AS SEEN ON need to know are being paid millions of dollars by big drug companies to promote their products. While in some circumstances this might be to the benefit of the patient, there are many cases where newer medications have been prescribed with a lack of sound research regarding their side effects. It is recently become common for doctors offices to buy their own equipment for tests like MRIs and CT Scans. Sometimes doctors even open their own outside testing facility, run the tests themselves, and collect the fees. This is a practice called self-referrals. Doctors who run their own site are required to inform patients of this, as well as provide a list of other sites in the area where they can receive the same treatment. It is up to you to guard yourself. Whether or not you have a reason to think your doctor is acting in his own best interests instead of yours, when a medication is prescribed or a test is ordered: Ask for an explanation of why the drug or test is needed. Ask how often the doctor prescribes or orders it, too. Answers like, It is just routine, or All the time, may be an indication that a second opinion is needed. When it comes to drugs, ask if the doctor is paid in any way by the drug s maker. If an MRI, CT Scan, or another imaging test is ordered, ask if the doctor has an ownership interest in the testing site. If you suspect a doctor is acting improperly, contact your state s medical board and file a complaint. You may also consider filing a Medicaid/Medicare fraud complaint with the federal government and your attorney general s office. Ask the right QuestioNs Protect yourself against malpractice and negligence- do not be afraid to ask your doctor questions or to walk away if something doesn t feel right. Questions for your attorney How is the hospital responsible for a surgeon if they are negligent during an operation? 12 new york area s top rated lawyers \ To See A Directory of All AV Preeminent Rated Attorneys in the new york area visit

10 koskoff, koskoff & bieder, pc civil litigation, personal injury, Medical Malpractice Statia Grossman christopher d. Bernard richard a. Bieder william m. BloSS JameS d. horwitz JoShua d. koskoff michael P. koskoff Joel h. lichtenstein kathleen nastri antonio Ponvert iii JameS wu established MORe than 75 years ago by legendary trial lawyer Theodore i. Ted koskoff, the firm koskoff, koskoff & Bieder, pc has become one of the country s leading plaintiffs firms by continuing to honor its founder s legacy. the LessOn FROM ted is that we as trial lawyers play an important role in looking out for people who have been seriously injured, explains managing partner Jim horwitz. our origin is as a family firm, so it s important to us that our clients are treated as part of that family. the FiRM is known FOR HandLing some OF the most complex cases in the country, and has secured six of the 10 largest personal injury verdicts in Connecticut history, including the largest medical malpractice verdict in the state. in addition, koskoff is widely known for its expertise in areas such as products liability, civil rights, financial scams, and commercial fraud. OveR the Past year, the FiRM Has achieved several headline-making verdicts. included among these is a case involving a 20-year-old woman who sued the private boarding school she was attending when she contracted Tick-Borne encephalitis during a school trip to China in a jury awarded her damages exceeding $41.7 million, the largest non-medical malpractice verdict in Connecticut history. their ReCORd OF defending victims OF HOsPitaL malpractice speaks for itself. in april, the firm secured a $6.5 million award for the family of a man who died in a Danbury hospital when his sodium levels were not properly monitored. koskoff attorneys also won a $9.3 million verdict in a case against Bridgeport hospital where a woman was permanently handicapped as a result of a blood thinner overdose. the FiRM Has won MaJOR awards FOR victims outside the medical sphere, as well. in 2012, a $2 million verdict was handed down to a client who suffered extreme emotional damage after discovering hidden surveillance equipment that had been installed in her home by a man she had been dating. koskoff attorneys are currently representing passengers who are seeking damages from may 2013 when the metro north train on which they were riding derailed. The injuries they sustained in the accident include fractured leg bones, spinal injuries, a closed head injury, occasional hearing loss, and post-traumatic stress disorder. attorneys FROM across the COUntRy ReFeR cases to us, horwitz notes. we re fortunate to have many accomplished lawyers at the firm, and we make a point of working together to achieve positive outcomes for our clients. indeed, every Case at koskoff benefits FROM weekly meetings attended by all of the firm s 18 lawyers 10 of whom are av preeminent rated by martindale-hubbell. members of the firm are also included in the Best lawyers in america, and superlawyers, and serve in leadership positions for the inner Circle of advocates, Connecticut Trial Lawyers association, and american association for Justice. BRidGePoRT office: 350 FairFieLD avenue, BriDGeporT, CT ToLL-Free: ph: danbury office: 1 moss avenue, DanBury, CT ph: NeW HaveN office: 27 elm street, new haven, CT ph: stamford office: 1172 BeDForD street, stamford, CT ph:

11 new york area s top rated lawyers in need to know SelectinG a lawyer for Your banking AND finance NeeDs if you have a banking or finance problem and don t have a list of lawyers you might hire, a great place to start your search is on Lawyers.com. There you can find a list of banking and finance attorneys in your area, complete with contact and background information. You can also check with your local bar association for reccomendations. once You have A list of PoteNtiAl lawyers Look for a list of representative clients. Does the lawyer represent other businesses similar to yours? Do they represent any of your competitors, or someone you may have to sue? Run internet searches on the attorneys names. You may find articles about them, legal cases they ve handled, or blogs they ve written. This type of information can tell you a lot about the attorneys experience and reputation. Make some phone calls if you can t find enough information online. Most attorneys gladly take the time to talk to potential new clients and answer any general questions, like how long they ve been a lawyer, how much banking or finance work they do, etc. Ask if the attorneys or law firms have a brochure or literature to mail to you. Ask for references. You want to talk to people who can give an opinion on the lawyer s skills and trustworthiness. Get a reference from a bank and from other lawyers. Check with your state s bar association and your local bar association to see if the attorneys on your list have ever been disciplined and if they re licensed to practice law in your state. In some states, attorneys may be certified by the state bar association as specialists or experts in banking or finance law. This usually means they have advanced training and experience. It doesn t necessarily mean they re the best in the field, but it s a good indication a lawyer knows their business. Consider the costs. Depending on your case, an attorney may charge you an hourly fee where you pay a certain amount for each hour she works on your case. Some attorneys may charge a flat fee - a pre-set price to work on your case from beginning to end. As you research the attorneys on your list, look for information about how they typically charge their clients and consider which fee arrangement best fits your budget. Consider any special needs you have. For example, could you benefit from an attorney who speaks a language other than English? keep in MiND After your initial research is done, start narrowing the list by focusing on your specific problem and needs. You probably want a business lawyer who either handles lawsuits (called a business litigator) or handles contracts and corporate matters (called a transactional lawyer). Think about hiring a lawyer or a law firm with expertise to cover all of your anticipated business needs. It s not a bad idea, for example, to look at a full service firm that does both transactional work and litigation. It can be difficult for individuals and small businesses to find a lawyer to help with banking and finance problems. Lawyers are sometimes hesitant to take on a lawsuit against a bank or financial institution because they can afford to hire good lawyers and wage long legal battles. If there are consumer protection laws involved in your case, such as truth-in-lending laws, you may have better luck finding a lawyer to represent you. Look to see if a lawyer is connected with business- or finance-related organizations, too. For example, most bar associations have sections in business law and related legal fields. Having a lawyer who s involved in a state or local chamber of commerce or other local organization may also be a good sign, depending on your legal needs. After you ve narrowed your list to three or four attorneys, start making phone calls to set up meetings to talk about your case face-to-face. If you did your homework, you should be well on your way to finding the right attorney to handle your case. PrePAriNG to Meet with A lawyer It can be a big waste of time for both you and the lawyer if you re not prepared for your first meeting. You have to be ready to discuss the problem and help the lawyer understand what needs to be done. Be prepared with the following to make the transaction a smooth one: Any and all loan or financing documents you have, including loan agreements, title policies, insurance policies, promissory notes, security agreements, guaranties, UCC filings, deeds of trust, mortgages, and notices of default. Truth-in-lending documents and other forms that you have signed. Any information you have to show your payment history - bank statements, canceled checks, money orders, receipts, etc. The originals and a copy of all correspondence you may have sent to or received from financial institution(s). Dates can be critical- get a calendar and mark down dates of when things happened and when you received any notices or other documents. Bring the calendar to your meeting to use as a reference. Copies of any guaranty documents, as well as contact information for the guarantor. The names, phone numbers, and business titles of anyone you talked to at the bank or financial institution All letters, memos and other correspondence or notes - even s - that relate to your problem with the bank. Organize everything in a folder or envelope. You re less likely to lose or forget anything, and it shows your attorney you re serious about your case and are willing and able to help. AS SEEN ON 14 new york area s top rated lawyers \ To See A Directory of All AV Preeminent Rated Attorneys in the new york area visit

12 tacopina seigel & turano, p.c. criminal law, civil litigation, corporate law OveR His MORe than two decades OF PRaCtiCe, trial attorney Joseph Tacopina has become known as a lawyer who thrives in the courtroom. as the founder and managing partner of the manhattan-based law firm Tacopina seigel & Turano, p.c., he has tried nearly 100 cases to verdict, often representing defendants in highprofile criminal cases. FROM the beginning i gravitated toward trial work because of what comes with the territory high stakes and a lot of pressure, Tacopina says. The work is challenging, but i need to be passionate about what i m doing in order to do it well, and there s nothing more satisfying to me than having a jury come back in my client s favor. tacopina is widely ReCOgniZed as One OF the country s premier criminal defense lawyers. some of his most well-known cases include representing former new york state senator hiram monserrate, who was acquitted of assaulting his girlfriend, and achieving an acquittal for a former nypd officer accused of rape and burglary in a case that garnered national and international media attention. Tacopina is currently representing yankees star alex rodriguez in his appeal of a 211-game suspension imposed by major League Baseball for allegedly using performance-enhancing drugs. when i RePResent someone, especially someone under siege like alex, i try to embrace them and walk in their shoes; i take personally anything that is done unfairly to them, and that helps me to really fight with everything i have, Tacopina says. tacopina FiRst became interested in HandLing criminal cases as a college student after reading fatal vision, the true crime book by Joe mcginniss about an army doctor who killed his pregnant wife and two daughters. Fascinated by the book s courtroom drama, Tacopina decided to work as a prosecutor in the kings County District attorney s office following law school, where he prevailed in 39 out of 40 trials. JoSePh tacopina in 1994 tacopina went into PRivate PRaCtiCe, and he quickly displayed a talent for both criminal defense and civil litigation. indeed, he recently secured one of new Jersey s largest monetary civil verdicts of the past five years. The issues are obviously different in criminal and civil cases, but ultimately trial work is trial work, Tacopina notes. i have a sixth sense when it comes to crossexamination, and then coming from immigrant parents and having never left my roots, i m comfortable talking to jurors from all different walks of life, from professionals to bus drivers. tacopina also attributes His success to the dedication he brings to his clients cases. whether i m representing someone in a civil or a criminal case, my goal is to always work harder than anyone else, he says. That commitment led gq magazine, in a six-page profile for its power section, to describe Tacopina as the bestdressed, smoothest-talking, hardest-working criminaldefense attorney going. another profile in the new york times referred to Tacopina as the Donald Trump of the defense bar. among His PeeRs, tacopina Has been recognized with an av preeminent rating from martindalehubbell and the italian american Bar association s man of the year award, following the previous year s recipient, Justice antonin scalia. still, Tacopina says of these recognitions: while i have a competitive streak in me, at the end of the day my motivation is being able to make a difference in my clients lives. 275 madison avenue, new york, ny ph: FaX: To See A Directory of All AV Preeminent Rated Attorneys in the new york area visit New York Area s top rated lawyers / 15

13 new york area s top rated lawyers in Abrams, Fensterman, Fensterman, Eisman, Formato, Ferrara & Eniger, LLP Steven J. Eisman Family Law, Divorce, Civil Litigation, Appeals Page 62 Adria S. Hillman, Attorney at Law, P.C. Family law Page 72 Advocates for Justice Chartered Attorneys Arthur Z. Schwartz Employment Law, Discrimination, Environmental Law Page 49 Alan L. Zegas Criminal Defense, Appellate Law Page 76 Ambrogio, Pletter & Associates, LLC Timothy M. Pletter, Esq. Bankruptcy Law, Real Estate, Business & Commercial Page 73 Andrew L. Weitz & Associates, PC Andrew L. Weitz, Harvey Weitz Personal Injury Litigation Page 29 F E A T new york area s top rated lawyers New York Area s Top Rated Lawyers helps take the mystery out of locating a high-quality advocate to protect you, your family, your business and all other assets. The lawyers in this comprehensive list are considered first-rate in their field and are available to help. U R I N G Anthony J. Harwood, Attorney at Law Commercial Litigation, Intellectual Property, Securities Page 64 Arye, Lustig & Sassower, P.C. D. Carl Lustig III, Michael J. Sassower Personal Injury, Construction, Medical Malpractice Page 49 Avelino Nitkewicz LLP A. Jude Avelino, LL.M. Estate planning, tax & corporate law Page 70 Bachner & Associates, P.C. Michael F. Bachner Securities, Arbitration, White-Collar Criminal Defense Page 70 Barbara A. Mentz Arbitrator and Mediator Arbitration, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Mediation Page 73 Bashian & Farber, LLP Trusts, Estates & Business Planning and Litigation, Guardianship Litigation Page 70 Beckman, Lieberman & Barandes, LLP Michael Beckman, Robert Barandes Real Estate, corporate, secured transactions and entertainment Page 60 Beranbaum Menken LLP Labor & Employment, Discrimination, whistleblower litigation Page 74 Bonina & Bonina PC Andrea Bonina, John Bonina Medical Malpractice, Personal Injury Page 77 Breslin and Breslin, PA Donald A. Caminiti Personal Injury, Medical Malpractice Page 70 Brown & Whalen, P.C. Rodney A. Brown Business Litigation, Trade Diversion and Anti-Counterfeiting Litigation Page 70 Butterman & Kahn, LLP Family Law Page 74 Cassisi & Cassisi, P.C. frank j. cassisi personal injury Law Page 60 Charles A. Ross & Associates, LLC Criminal Defense, White Collar Defense Page 74 Charles G. Eichinger & Associates, P.C. Personal Injury, Medical Malpractice, General Practice Page 71 Clark, Gagliardi & Miller, P.C. henry g. miller, lucille a. fontana, robert j. frisenda, john s. rand commercial litigation, personal injury litigation Page 27 Cohen Rabin Stine Schumann LLP Family Law Page 50 Collins, Dobkin & Miller LLP stephen Dobkin Real Estate Law, Appellate Law, Litigation Page 71 Congdon, Flaherty, O Callaghan, Reid, Donlon, Travis and Fishlinger civil and commercial litigation defense Page 74 Connors & Sullivan Attorney at Law, PLLC Michael N. Connors Elder Law, Probate, Wills, Trusts & Estates Page 70 Cox Padmore Skolnik & Shakarky LLP steven d. skolnik arbitration, commercial litigation, litigation Page 75 Cozen O Connor Menachem J. Kastner Residential Real estate, commercial real estate, landlord-tenant Page 72 Creizman LLC eric creizman White-Collar criminal defense Page 70 Curt Arnel & Associates FAMILY and MATRIMONIAL LAW Page 60 Cutler & Parlatore, PLLC Bruce Cutler, Timothy Parlatore Criminal Law, Civil Litigation, White-Collar crime, Entertainment Law Page 70 Danziger & Markhoff LLP Michael Markhoff, Esq. Estate Law Planning, Trusts & Estates, Taxation Page 72 David A. Kapelman, P.C. Personal Injury, products liability, medical malpractice Page 72 David N. Adler, Esq. Trusts & Estates, Taxation, Estate Law Planning Page 58 De Feis O Connell & Rose, P.C. White-Collar Criminal, Regulatory, Complex Civil Proceedings Page 71 DLA Piper LLP John altorelli Mergers & acquisitions, corporate finance, private equity Page 31 Gerald Rokoff Tax Law, Real Estate, Business Law, Investments Page 73 Dornfield & Nassis, LLP Commercial Real Estate, Commercial Litigation, Personal Injury, Nursing Home Abuse Page 66 Dougherty, Ryan, Giuffra, Zambito & Hession james e. ryan, esq. admiralty, maritime, transportation, insurance, commercial litigation Page 74 Egan Law Firm, LLC susan egan labor and employment, discrimination Page 51 Eisner & Associates, P.C. Eugene G. Eisner labor and employment, contracts Page 62 Fishman & Mallon, LLP James B. Fishman Consumer Law, Tenant Law, Class Actions Page 71 Fitzpatrick & Hunt, Tucker, Collier, Pagano, Aubert, LLP Products Liability Defense, Claims Prevention, Aviation Page 50 Frank J. Glinsky, PC Trusts & Estates, Probate, Elder Law Page 51 Frazer & Feldman, LLP Jacob S. Feldman, Florence T. Frazer Education, Labor & Employment Page 71 Frommer Lawrence & Haug LLP INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY, COMMERCIAL LITIGATION, BUSINESS & COMMERCIAL Page 52 Garr Silpe, P.C. Ira E. Garr, Steven M. Silpe, Jordana Barish, Family Law Page 51 Ginsberg & Wolf, P.C. Robert M. Ginsberg, Martin Wolf Plaintiffs Personal Injury Page 62 Glenn Backer Law Commercial Litigation Page 70 Godosky & Gentile, P.C. Personal Injury, Medical Malpractice Page 52 Goldfarb Abrandt Salzman & Kutzin LLP David Goldfarb, Michael S. Kutzin Elder Law, Trusts & Estates, Adult Guardianships Page 75 Goldfarb & Fleece LLP Real Estate, Construction Page 54 Goldstein, Rikon, Rikon & Houghton, P.C. Michael rikon Eminent domain and condemnation law Page 55 Gurfein Douglas LLP Richard A. Gurfein, Preston J. Douglas Personal Injury, Medical Malpractice, Products Liability Page 55 Hach & Rose, LLP Michael A. Rose Personal Injury, Construction Accidents Page 74 Hill, Betts & Nash, LLP Admiralty, maritime, transportation, aviation law, commercial and tort litigation, insurance, bankruptcy, equipment leasing & financing Page 53 Himmelfarb & Sher, LLP Norman D. Himmelfarb, Ronald A. Sher, Seth J. Pruss Real Estate, Cooperative & Condominium Law Page 66 Hoffman & Pollok, LLP WHITE-COLLAR CRIMINAL DEFENSE, CRIMINAL APPEALS, COMMERCIAL/ SECURITIES LITIGATION Page 57 Isaacs & Associates, PLLC Mark J. Isaacs Real Estate, Corporate Law Page 75 Joseph & Smargiassi, LLC mario alex joseph, john smargiassi divorce, family law, partnership matters Page 65 Katsky Korins LLP Warren Esanu Corporate, Trusts & Estates, Real Estate Page 62 Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP Karen Artz Ash Intellectual Property Page 67 Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder, PC Civil Litigation, Personal injury, medical malpractice Page 13, 43 Lamb & Barnosky, LLP Education, Labor & Employment, Banking & Finance, Business & Commercial Page 67 Law Office of Annette G. Hasapidis Appellate Law Page 71 Law Office of Bonnie P. Josephs Litigation, Appeals, Transactions, general practice Page 72 Law Office of Irene C. Warshauer Alternative Dispute Resolution, Business & Commercial, Securities Page 76 Law Office of Robert B. Marcus P.C. Personal Injury - Plaintiff, General Practice Page 72 Law Offices of Anthony A. Capetola Child custody, criminal, family Page 6, 7 Law Offices of Clifford A. Meirowitz, PLLC Elder Law, Trusts & Estates, Estate Planning Page 72 Law Offices of Douglas T. Tabachnik, P.C. Business bankruptcy, commercial litigation Page 69 Law Offices of Duane M. Fiedler Medical Malpractice Page 59 Law Offices of Jonathan D. Sands Personal Injury - Plaintiffs, Litigation Page 74 Law Offices of Richard B. Herman, P.C. White-Collar Criminal Defense, Complex Business Litigation, Personal Injury Page 64 Law Offices of Steven L. Kessler asset forfeiture, rico, white-collar criminal law Page 72 Levy Phillips & Konigsberg LLP Asbestos litigation, plaintiffs products liability, personal injury, qui tam litigation Page 35 Lipman & Plesur, LLP Robert D. Lipman Litigation, Labor & Employment Page 65 Louis F. Burke P.C. Commercial Litigation, Securities, Commodities Litigation Page 60 Malecki Law Jenice Malecki Securities Arbitration, Regulation & Whistleblowing Page 72 Mark E. Seitelman Law Offices, PC Personal Injury Plaintiffs Page 68 Markewich and Rosenstock LLP Eve Rachel Markewich, Lawrence Rosenstock Trusts & Estates, Commercial Litigation Page 59 Martin Clearwater & Bell LLP medical malpractice, employment & labor, health care law Page 9 Michael H. Schwartz, P.C. Bankruptcy Page 67 Miles Feinstein Criminal defense Page 71 Miller, Meyerson & Corbo Criminal law, family law, personal injury Page 75 Morelli Alters Ratner Benedict p. morelli Class actions, mass torts, employment discrimination, commercial litigation, personal injury Page 2, 42 Moss & Gilmore LLP Commercial Transactions, Complex Litigation Page 76 Nagel Rice, LLP Bruce H. Nagel, Jay J. Rice, Barry M. Packin, Diane Elizabeth Sammons complex Litigation, medical malpractice, serious personal injury, class action Page 11, 45 Napoli Bern Ripka Shkolnik LLP Marc J. bern Personal Injury, Asbestos Litigation, Pharmaceutical Litigation Page 39 Neufeld & O Leary Litigation, Trusts & Estates, Civil litigation Page 76 Outten & Golden LLP Labor & Employment Page 56 Oved & Oved LLP Darren Oved, Terrence A. Oved Commercial Litigation, Real Estate, Corporate & Intellectual Property Law Page 4, 5 Paul B. Weitz & Associates Personal Injury Litigation Page 25 Phillips Nizer LLP steven h. thal International Corporate, Commercial, Comparative Law Page 75 Polly N. Passonneau, P.C. Family Law Page 73 Quadrino Schwartz Insurance, Health Care, ERISA Page 68 Rabin, Panero, Herrick, Esqs. Corey B. Rabin Trusts & Estates, Real Estate, Business Law, Page 73 Raff & Becker LLP David Raff Labor & Employment Page 73 Richard H. Rosenberg Criminal Law, Civil Rights Page 66 Rivkin Radler LLP insurance Law Page 73 Robert G. Smith, PLLC family law, matrimonial law, divorce law Page 75 Rosenberg & Estis, P.C. Real estate: transactional, litigation, administrative, appellate Page 31 Russo Tumulty Nester Thompson & Kelly, LLP Howard O. Thompson, Esq. Solar, Energy, Corporate, Business and Banking Page 76 Russo & Toner, LLP Alan s. russo. insurance law, products liability, general liability defense Page 74 Saltzman Chetkof & Rosenberg LLP michael chetkof, lee rosenberg family law Page 66 Sanford Heisler, LLP David W. sanford Class action, labor & Employment, whistleblower litigation Page 21 Schlissel Ostrow Karabatos, PLLC Stephen W. Schlissel, Michael J. Ostrow, Elena Karabatos Family Law, Taxation, Business & Commercial, Real Estate Page 19 Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C. Stephen J. Schwartzapfel Personal Injury, Construction Accidents, Workers Compensation Page 69 Seiden & Kaufman Steven j. seiden personal injury, products liability, wrongful death Page 67 Sepe & O Mahony, PLLC Michael Sepe, William O mahony Commercial litigation, personal injury Page 61 Silberstein, Awad & Miklos, PC Joseph A. Awad, Joseph Miklos medical malpractice, personal injury Page 32 Sokoloff Stern LLP steven c. stern civil litigation, civil rights, labor & employment Page 61 Stagg, Terenzi, Confusione & Wabnik, LLP Litigation, Bankruptcy and Foreclosure Page 68 Steinbach & Associates, P.C. Harold I. Steinbach Business & Commercial, Real Estate, Trusts & Estates Page 75 Stone & Magnanini LLP David S. Stone Civil litigation, intellectual property, false claims act Page 54 Tabak Mellusi & Shisha Ralph J. Mellusi, Esq. Maritime law, admiralty Page 73 Tacopina Seigel & Turano P.C. Joseph Tacopina Criminal law, civil litigation, commercial litigation, corporate law Page 15, 75 Thatcher A. Stone, Esq. Business & Commercial, Litigation, Personal Injury Page 68 The Jacob Fuchsberg Law Firm Alan L. Fuchsberg, Rosalind Fuchsberg Kaufman Personal Injury litigation - plaintiffs Page 37 The Law Firm of A.J. Temsamani Family and Matrimonial Law Page 75 The Law Firm of Connors & Connors P.C. John P. connors, Jr. Personal Injury defense Page 63 The Law Offices of Andrew Presberg, P.C. Real estate, business & commercial, commercial litigation Page 56 The Law Offices of Dennis Angel Intellectual Property, Entertainment Page 69 Uscher, Quiat, Uscher & Russo, PC Michael E. Quiat DISABILITY, LIFE AND ERISA LTD INSURANCE CLAIMS Page 73 Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP J. Philip Rosen REAL ESTATE, MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS, PRIVATE EQUITY, HOSPITALITY & GAMING Page 74 Weg and Myers, PC Dennis T. D antonio insurance litigation, Civil Litigation Page 63 Wigdor LLP Douglas H. Wigdor Labor & Employment, Discrimination, Whistleblower Litigation Page 57 Wiggin and Dana LLP Mary A. Gambardella Labor & Employment Page 71 Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENTS, CONSTRUCTION, MEDICAL MALPRACTICE, PERSONAL INJURY Page new york area s top rated lawyers \ To See A Directory of All AV Preeminent Rated Attorneys in the new york area visit

14 new york area s top rated lawyers in need to know DivorceD parents: know Your child custody AND visitation rights losing full-time access to your children in the wake of a divorce can be a difficult experience. Unless a court has terminated your parental rights, you still have the right to limited visitation and participation in the welfare of your children. All state courts make custodial decisions based on the best interests of the children involved. Each state defines a child s best interests in different ways, and not all of them list exact criteria in their family law codes. The bests interests standards in most states protect children from being plucked out of one home and forced to move into another because their parents are divorcing. If parents live separately for a while before filing for divorce, the parent the children have been living with usually has the advantage, especially when that parent stays in the family home. When parents have not been living separately, the one who previously took care of the children on a regular basis during the marriage may be favored. best interests of the child In deciding which parent becomes the custodial parent, the courts consider the best interests of the children. This usually means the best care and the least amount of change. The parent who can offer the children the least amount of disruption in their lives will receive physical custody, which includes familiarity with the house, neighborhood, and schools. When both parents are incapable of caring for a child, non-parental custody can be granted. Judges in some states will consider a child s wishes when deciding a custody case. While they will not automatically place the child with the preferred parent, they will include a child s wishes in their decision. This is particularly true when the children are teenagers. Judges in some states must consider if either parent has a history of domestic violence. False accusations, however, can work against the parent who makes it. Your visitation rights The court will issue a written custody order that sets out your rights as a noncustodial parent. Even if you disagree with the custody order, it has the force of law and you could face legal consequences for violating its terms. The custody order will explain your visitation rights in detail and outline responsibility for transportation to your home or another location where you will spend time with your children. Your family s visitation rights Grandparents and stepparents can grow very close to the children in their lives. When this relationship is disrupted by divorce or other separations, all parties suffer. A custodial parent might, for example, attempt to prevent visits with the parents of the non-custodial parent, or with an ex-stepparent. Until recently, only natural or adoptive parents enjoyed the legal right to post-divorce visitation. Now, however, courts in most states will grant visitation rights to other relatives, such as grandparents and stepparents, as long as they can demonstrate that this visitation is in the best interests of the child. MAkiNG important DecisioNs Most states recognize two types of child custody: physical custody and legal custody. If physical custody is granted to only one parent, the child will live with that parent most or all of the time. Legal custody is the right to make important life decisions for your children. These include matters of religious upbringing and school selection. enforcing the custody order If the custodial parent refuses to comply with the custody order, keep a written record of each violation. With this information, your attorney may be able to convince the court to enforce the custody order. Keep in mind that requesting court intervention is a serious decision, and it may have legal consequences that could make a strained relationship even more difficult. remarriage of the NoN-custoDiAl PAreNt If you did not request or receive custody of your children in a divorce, your remarriage can change the picture in a positive way. If your home life is now more stable and welcoming than it was when you divorced, most courts will give you additional visitation if requested. Many states will consider the wishes of minor children in custody and visitation decisions along with many other factors. If you want to change custody because your ex has remarried, you ll also have to give the court proof of negative impact of this change on your children. This can be done by hiring a custody evaluator to talk with your children, or by showing that their grades are dropping or that they ve been acting out and misbehaving since the development. some issues DoN t Affect custody Spouses often believe that the other parent s bad behavior should influence a judge s custody decision. Although some state courts weigh issues such as a parent s moral character, judges generally may not consider these things unless the parent s behavior has a direct effect on the child. For example, a parent might have had an affair, but if the children were not aware of it, the judge probably will not consider it in a custody decision. A parent with a history of drinking and driving, on the other hand, might be denied custody because such habits put the children at risk. AS SEEN ON 18 new york area s top rated lawyers \ To See A Directory of All AV Preeminent Rated Attorneys in the new york area visit

15 S O K LAW SCHLISSEL OSTROW KARABATOS, PLLC EXCELLENCE. INTEGRITY. CREATIVITY. front, from left: stephen W. schlissel o, elena karabatos, Michael J. ostrow o Back, from left: Hillary reinharz, Lisa r. schoenfeld, Neil s. Cohen, Joseph A. demarco, Jennifer rosenkrantz, Jeanine M. elbaz SCHliSSEl OStROW KaRaBatOS, PllC celebrates recognition by its peers: The continued inclusion of three of its lawyers in: the Best lawyers in america new york super lawyers Ten Leaders, matrimonial & Divorce Law of Long island Continuation of two of its partners as Diplomates of the American College of Family Trial Lawyers, whose membership is limited to 100 lawyers nationally. Joseph A. DeMarco s selection as a super lawyers rising star Lisa R. Schoenfeld s selection as a super lawyers rising star Stephen W. Schlissel s being named recipient of the 2013 Distinguished service medallion, the highest honor bestowed by the nassau County Bar association ( ncba ) Elena Karabatos election as Secretary of the NCBA Elena Karabatos election as Treasurer of the New York Chapter of the American academy of matrimonial Lawyers Stephen W. Schlissel s selection to the Independent Judicial Election Qualifications Commission for the 10th Judicial District (nassau & suffolk Counties) Jennifer Rosenkrantz appointment as First Vice Chair of the NCBA s Matrimonial and Family Law Committee sok lawyers years of experience places the firm in a unique position to deal with the complicated tax, accounting and business issues involved in addressing the valuation of businesses, real estate, professional practices and other marital assets and holdings, as well as the complicated issues presented in custody, parental access or support matters. although experienced trial lawyers, sok also addresses issues by alternative resolution methods, including negotiation, mediation, arbitration and collaborative law. Fellow, american academy of matrimonial Lawyers o Diplomate, american College of Family Trial Lawyers 200 Garden city Plaza Garden city, Ny ph: SETTING THE STANDARDS IN FAMILY LAW.

16 new york area s top rated lawyers in need to know whistleblower rewards to fight Government fraud after nearly 15 years in court, two former Johnson & Johnson drug salesmen, Dean McClellan and, posthumously, Mark Duxbury, could make millions if they succeed in proving their allegations of fraud against Ortho Biotech. By blowing the whistle on one of the biggest Medicare fraud schemes involving more than $3 billion in fraudulent claims, these whistleblowers could receive 15% to 30% of the amount recovered for the government under the False Claims Act. The False Claims Act is one of the most important protections American citizens have to recover the billions of dollars stolen through fraud from U.S. government programs every year. Under the Act, anyone who submits or causes another to submit false claims for government funds will have to pay high penalties. The penalties are up to three times the government s damages plus $5,500 to $11,000 per false claim. AGAiNst capitalized In 2009, a federal court reinstated a False Claims Act lawsuit filed by former pharmaceutical salesmen Mark Duxbury and Dean McClellan against Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ortho Biotech. The men claim that Ortho Biotech cheated Medicare by giving doctors kickbacks to prescribe the anti-anemia drug Procrit. Doctors were allegedly given discounts, rebates and other perks to prescribe and administer the drug while Medicare was charged full price to reimburse prescriptions. The case is still pending in U.S. District Court. rewarding whistleblowers The False Claims Act dates back to the Civil War when unscrupulous suppliers overcharged the Union Army for lame mules. President Lincoln s administration knew that insider knowledge was needed to expose the swindlers schemes. So in 1863, Congress passed the False Claims Act with qui tam provisions that reward private citizens suing for fraud on behalf of the government. Almost 150 years later, the False Claims Act still serves as an effective tool to combat government fraud. In fiscal year 2008, the federal government recovered $1.34 billion in settlements and judgments under the Act, and relators were awarded $198 million. The largest recoveries came from pharmaceutical companies for Medicare fraud. report GoverNMeNt fraud You may wish to consult a qui tam attorney if you suspect that a drug company, a government contractor or anyone else is defrauding the federal government. Strict time limits and legal procedures apply to these types of lawsuits, so it is important to contact a knowledgeable attorney as soon as possible. The fraud need not involve millions of dollars to make reporting worthwhile. You could receive $1,000 simply by reporting Medicare fraud to the Medicare Fraud Hotline: Whistleblowers need to understand that the likelihood of winning a Federal or State False Claims Act, IRS or SEC case depends primarily on the quality of the evidence they provide. Any useful information that the whistleblower has to offer should be given to their attorney. Reliable evidence can come in the form of: hard copy documents electronic evidence such as s, letters, or faxes, marketing brochures contracts proof of violations requests for payment to the government Before contacting government officials as a whistleblower, you must fully understand your case and what you will be disclosing. Prior to making the decision, ask yourself these questions: Is the evidence you have critical to establishing a statutory fraud case? Is there direct proof of the Defendant s liability? What are the risks of losing the case? Are there any limitations on investigations once the case is filed? What are the circumstances under which the government might seek to deny you any recover? unintended consequences In October of this year, the SEC awarded its largest whistleblower award to date in the amount of $14 million (the SEC s average payout for similar cases is about $125,000). It s important to remember, however, that it s uncommon for whistleblowers to win massive recoveries. Some whistleblowers come forward for reasons that have nothing to do with a payout, but find that they lose more than they gain. Offi cer Craig Matthews of the New York Police Department has spoken out recently about the negative treatment he received from his commanders after he expressed concerns about illegal arrests. He and several other current and retired officers are now participating in a law suit against the city for violation of their First Amendment right. They argue that whistleblowing is discouraged in the NYPD, and those who do are punished by having overtime denied, being taken off major cases, and being singled out as a rat. The city has taken the stance that because officers are expected to report misconduct as part of police procedure, their constitutional rights are not in question. The decision in the suit could determine whether or not future NYPD whistleblowers will be encouraged to come forward, or reinforce the idea that it s better for their careers if they remain silent. Questions for your attorney What are some other types of Medicare fraud besides drug company kickbacks to doctors? What kind of legal protections exist for whistleblowers who report government fraud? AS SEEN ON 20 new york area s top rated lawyers \ To See A Directory of All AV Preeminent Rated Attorneys in the new york area visit

17 statia Grossman...premier brand in representing plaintiffs in class action lawsuits alleging bias - and winning - LAWANDMORE.COM Sanford Heisler, LLP is a 30-attorney public National Law Journal Named Sanford Heisler 2013 D.C. Employment Litigation Department of the Year 2013 Hot List Litigation Boutique interest law firm in New York, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco, specializing in class action Title VII, wage and hour and whistleblower litigation. Sanford Heisler has recovered approximately $1 Billion for plaintiffs throughout the United States in the past 10 years. Top Settlement in New York in 2012 Top Jury Verdict in New York in 2010 Best Employment Practice (Law 360) Largest Non-Intervened Qui Tam Settlement in U. S. history $762 million Qui Tam Whistleblower Settlement in 2012

18 new york area s top rated lawyers in need to know a BaSic introduction to PersoNAl injury lawsuits in new York if you were injured in an accident, you may have a legal remedy against the party who caused it. A personal injury claim asserts that someone s negligent, unlawful, or intentional conduct caused your accident or contributed to it, and as a result of that conduct, you suffered fi nancial, physical, and/or emotional damages. Typical personal injury claims include car accidents, slip and falls or premises liability, medical malpractice, product liability, and wrongful death. the New York PersoNAl injury statute of limitations Lawsuit filings have time limits, so you may not sue for a personal injury claim against a defendant after a certain time has passed. You could be barred from obtaining compensation for your injuries unless certain factors exist for extending the time limit. In New York, you have three years from the date of the accident to file for most personal injury actions. A wrongful death action must be filed in New York within two years of the date the victim died. For medical malpractice claims, however, the deadline is 30 months from the date of the negligent act by a medical professional, but you only have one year to file from the time a foreign object was found in your body cavity. This time limit can be extended to one year from the time the object should have been discovered under the discovery rule. The discovery rule may also be extended to exposure cases where you may not have been diagnosed with a condition such as mesothelioma or asbestosis until many years after being exposed to a toxic substance. Before filing a lawsuit against the state of New York or any state government entity, you must provide written notice within 90 days of the negligent act and file suit within one year and 90 days. what You should expect To start a claim, you have to contact the defendant or the defendant s insurance company to notify them of your claim for damages alleging that the defendant was responsible for causing your injuries. To file a lawsuit through an attorney, you first complete and file a Summons and Complaint in the proper New York court. These documents contain: the name and address of the defendant, the facts surrounding the accident, allegations that the defendant was responsible, the causes of action being alleged, the damages being sought, and notice that the defendant must fi le an Answer within 30 days or face a default judgment. These papers are served to the defendants who generally retain a personal injury attorney or turn them over to their insurer to provide a defense. You Must Prove certain elements A personal injury case is usually based on negligence, intentional tort, or strict liability. To prove negligence, you must prove that the defendant failed to fulfill a duty to you and that this failure caused an accident in which you were injured. You can prove an intentional tort by showing that the defendant acted with the intention of harming you. In some cases you can win based on strict liability, without proving the defendant was at fault. Strict liability may apply if you were injured by a defective product. it is less Difficult to win A PersoNAl injury case In a criminal prosecution, the legal standard is guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In a personal injury case, the legal standard is a preponderance of evidence. This means all you have to prove is that the defendant is more than 50 percent likely to be responsible for your injury. These different standards explain why defendants who are acquitted in criminal cases often lose personal injury lawsuits based on the same evidence. DAMAGes Are Not limited to MeDicAl bills You can claim damages for many different aspects of your injury, including past and future medical bills, lost work time, and pain and suffering. Damages for pain and suffering are often several times as large as damages for medical bills and lost work time. In negligence cases, your damages may be reduced if the accident was partially your fault. In a few states you cannot receive any damages if the accident was even one percent your fault. Most personal injury lawsuits are resolved through private settlements rather than courtroom verdicts. Most states are generally uniform on the type of damages awarded in personal injury cases, though each typically imposes limits on whether punitive damages may be awarded; damages may be capped in cases such as medical malpractice. New York is one of 15 states that does not impose a cap on how much you can recover in any type of personal injury case, including medical malpractice. New York allows you to collect losses for medical expenses, wage loss, and property damages if you prove they were caused by the defendant s negligent or wrongful act. Loss of consortium is permitted if you show that intimate relations with your spouse have been diminished. You can also collect for pain and suffering and for your loss of enjoyment of life based on any permanent disability you may have suffered. Damages in wrongful death cases are more difficult to determine and can involve complicated issues. You Must ProviDe Access to Your records Your medical records can provide proof 22 new york area s top rated lawyers \ To See A Directory of All AV Preeminent Rated Attorneys in the new york area visit

19 need to know of your damages. Records from the hospital, doctor s office, physical therapist, and other providers can show what injuries you suffered, how much pain you experienced, what treatment was given, and how the injury affected and will continue to affect your life. Seek medical help immediately after any injury. Earlier medical records can show your condition before the injury, including previous injuries that might have affected the same part of the body. Although your medical records are usually private, you must provide access to them if you fi le a personal injury claim. Your lawyer needs to review the records to determine the strength of your evidence. If a claim is filed, your lawyer must also provide copies to the other side. Federal and state laws require you to sign a medical records release form allowing the providers to share the records with your lawyer. the DefeNDANt MAY request A MeDicAl examination Many insurance companies routinely ask for an independent medical examination in personal injury cases. The insurance company hires a doctor to examine you and report on any fi ndings. The doctor may request laboratory and x-ray tests as well. The doctor will issue a report detailing the extent of your injury, its effects on your life, and what treatment you will need in the future. Your own doctors can also provide letters and reports to support your claim. be careful when You talk About Your condition You must always be truthful in answering questions about your medical history and about the injury. If you have concerns about providing certain information, discuss the issue with your lawyer. Your lawyer can ask the court to limit access to certain information that has nothing to do with your injury. You also need to remember that the doctor hired by the other side will be looking for information that could be damaging to your case, so answer questions briefly but honestly. consult A PersoNAl injury lawyer Personal injury lawyers commonly take cases on a contingency fee basis, so you may not be charged a fee for consultations. This means the lawyer is paid from a percentage of the money you receive in judgment after trial or in settlement of your case before trial. Until then, or if that doesn t happen at all, you owe nothing in attorney s fees. You also don t have to pay as you go for additional time meeting with your lawyer, or for time as your lawyer works on your case. During your meetings with lawyers you will explain how you were injured. You will explain what medical treatment you ve had, and what your doctors say about your recovery. It is important to give all the details, including the facts that might show you were in part to blame for the accident. The consultation is a two-way process. Just as you should be thinking about whether this lawyer is right for you, the lawyer will be deciding whether the case, and you, are right for them. Remember, the lawyer will not get paid except from your judgment or settlement. This means the lawyer may decline your case if you are unlikely to win. This also holds true if you might win but your settlement or judgment would be too small to compensate you and pay the contingent fee. More About contingent fees As mentioned above, personal injury lawyers work on a contingent fee basis. This differs from lawyers in most other types of practice, where hourly and fl at fees are usual. If you don t recover any money from a judgment or settlement, you don t owe the attorney s fees. The fee will be a percentage of your recovery. The percentage may vary depending on where you live and case type. In general though you can expect to pay something like 33 percent if your case settles before trial. If your case is tried to judgment, you probably will pay 40 percent. You should think twice about pursuing your case if you cannot find a lawyer to take it on a contingency basis. This indicates your case might not be worth the resources needed for a lawsuit. expenses Are separate from fees The costs of a personal injury lawsuit aren t limited to fees. Other costs include: Copies of records and reports, like medical records and police reports Copying, fax and other office expenses Legal research costs Court costs, such as filing and deposition fees Fees for investigators and expert witnesses You will not have to pay these out of pocket. The lawyer will pay for these items as the case progresses. As with the lawyer s fee, the lawyer will be repaid these costs out of your settlement or judgment. The order of payment is fees first, then costs. So the fee is a percentage of the gross settlement. A lawyer may or may not advance medical costs for you, according to the bar rules in your state. If these costs may not be advanced to you by the lawyer, the lawyer may recommend other sources of funding if you cannot afford them. DeterMiNG the right AttorNeY for You Personal injury litigation can take many months or longer to settle or set for trial. During this time, financial pressures may mount on you, and you can become frustrated. A good client-lawyer relationship is based on communication. State your concerns to your lawyer. Find out what is holding up your case, or why your lawyer s outlook has changed. If the answers don t make sense or aren t satisfactory, it is time to get a second opinion. If you are not satisfied with the answers you get from your lawyer, there s nothing wrong with talking with another lawyer for a second opinion. You will want to learn what a new lawyer would do differently in your case. Changing lawyers is likely to involve going over the same ground twice, and may even prolong your case at first. If changing lawyers makes sense, your new lawyer will contact your former lawyer and arrange for the transition. Questions for your attorney Can I still file a lawsuit if I accepted a settlement offer from the other person s insurance company before I contacted you? The insurance company seems to be taking me and my injuries seriously. Why do I need to hire a lawyer? Is the other person s insurance company entitled to look at my medical records without my permission? Should I let it have access to my records? AS SEEN ON

20 new york area s top rated lawyers in need to know end of Year and new Year: top 10 things to Do Now it is easy to forget about legal documents and reports that should be reviewed annually. Taking some time to do them now can save you and your family aggravation. 1. review AND update Your will You should look over your will each year to make sure that it s up-to-date. Did you get married this year? Divorced? Did you have a baby or adopt? Are your children now young adults? Your will needs to be updated for these and other life events. Check your powers of attorney as well. Make sure the person you ve named to take care of your affairs (your attorney in fact ) is still willing and able to do so. Don t have a will or any other estate planning tools? You can find most of these resources online. Whether you re married or single, a good place to start is a planning worksheet. If you have questions or concerns, talk to an attorney. Don t forget about your digital assets, like online bank accounts and passwords to social media and other web sites. Make a list of them and keep them in a safe or safety deposit box with your other important papers. 2. insurance There are many kinds of insurance matters that need to be taken care of annually: Homeowner s and Renter s insurance Did you make any improvements to you home, like remodel a kitchen or finish your basement? Did you buy a new TV? Check to make sure that your homeowner s or renter s insurance covers them. Car insurance In most states, it s illegal to drive without auto insurance. You can save a few dollars over the year by reducing your coverage on an older car or one that s been paid off. You can also save some money by increasing the amount of your deductible the amount you have to pay when you make a claim against your policy. Life and health insurance Do you have enough life insurance to take care of your family in case something happens to you? Talk to your insurance agent about your new baby or a change in your marital status. The same thing goes for health insurance make sure your HR department is aware of necessary changes to your coverage. 3. start GettiNG ready for the irs It s never too early to start gathering receipts and other documents for next year s taxes. Most employers send out W-2 s or earnings statements before January 31st, so if you re ready before then, you can file fast and get your refund early. Preparation is especially crucial if you itemize deductions, such as out-of-pocket medical expenses, mortgage interest and expenses related to your child s college education. You ll want to gather your paid medical bills, billing statements from schools, prescription receipts and receipts for cash donations you made to your church or favorite charities. 4. credit reports Each year you re entitled to one free report from each of the major reporting companies (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion). Any errors, like credit accounts that you didn t open, should be reported to the agency in writing. The agency will investigate the matter, usually within 30 days, and will let you know how the matter was resolved. 5. credit cards Check the terms of your credit cards. Rearrange your budget and try to pay off your cards in full. 6. licenses, PerMits AND leases Many important documents have expiration dates. Here are few to keep in mind: Driver s license These usually expire every few years on your birthday, so check the date on yours. Driving with an expired license may lead to points against your license and higher insurance rates. Business license and permits Many professions and trades require you to have a license. Attorneys, electricians and plumbers usually need one. Bars and restaurants typically need a permit to sell liquor or sell food. You may have to pay fine if they expire, and you may even be barred from practicing for a period of time. Leases As the expiration date on your home or apartment lease nears, contact your landlord to see if a rent increase is planned for the next lease term and try to negotiate. As a car renter, you should check the mileage to see if you re in danger of going over the number of miles given by the lease. 7. in the u.s. on A visa? Be certain to check the expiration date on your visa if you re in the US temporarily. Start the renewal process early because it could take some time. You may be deported for being in the US after your visa expires, and you may not be able to return to the US for a period of time. 8. computer security It s always a good idea to keep your computer s security settings and software up-to-date. Shopping online or using a software program to prepare your taxes and online banking makes your computer a treasure trove of valuable information. 9. what About the kids? If you don t already do so, maybe it s time to monitor your kids computer and cell phone activities. Finding security and protection programs for their connected devices can also help you keep some peace of mind. 10. Get A check-up on Your health It s a good idea to see your family doctor at least once a year for a regular check-up. You can also get a copies of your medical records and ask your doctor about how your electronic medical records are kept safe. AS SEEN ON 24 new york area s top rated lawyers \ To See A Directory of All AV Preeminent Rated Attorneys in the new york area visit

a special advertising section a special advertising section benedict Morelli always driven for Justice also inside new York law 2013 Page 16

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