Capehart Scatchard Law Firm Names New Executive Committee Member

Capehart Scatchard is pleased to announce that Business & Tax Department and, Estates, Trusts & Wills Department Shareholder Yasmeen S. Khaleel, Esq. has been named to the firm’s Executive Committee.

Ms. Khaleel, a Mount Laurel resident, concentrates her practice in the representation of individuals, business owners, medical, dental and other professionals in the areas of estate planning, estate and trust administration, business succession planning, transactional and tax planning. She routinely handles matters of special needs planning including guardianship applications. Additionally, she is experienced in handling complex business/estate and trust litigation matters in conjunction with the Litigation Group.

She received her LL.M. degree from Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law, her law degree from Seton Hall School of Law, and her B.A. degree, with honors, from Lafayette College.  Ms. Khaleel is admitted to practice law in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Ms. Khaleel is the past president of the Estate and Financial Planning Council of Southern New Jersey, is on the board of directors for the Animal Welfare Association, is a committee member of the Samaritan Hospice and Health Care Planned Giving Committee, and is the president and sits on the board of directors for Asian Indian Professionals, Inc.


Capehart Scatchard Attorneys Recognized As Super Lawyers

Capehart Scatchard is pleased to announce that the following shareholders have recently been named “Super Lawyers” as voted by their peers and facilitated by Law & Politics and New Jersey Monthly: Amy  Goldstein (Family Law) and Betsy Ramos (Business Litigation).  Fewer than 5% of lawyers are named as Super Lawyers.

Additionally, Jessica Anderson (Civil Litigation: Defense), Michael Bileci (Workers’ Compensation), Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev (Schools & Education), Melissa Mignogna (Family Law), Cameron Morgan (Schools & Education), Daniel Robinson (Workers’ Compensation), and Ian Zolty (Workers’ Compensation) were selected as “New Jersey Rising Stars” for 2019.

No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.


Chavez v. Orange Board of Education, et. als., Docket Number ESX-L-451-17

Client: Orange Board of Education

Brief Attorney:  Jessica M. Anderson, Esq.

Plaintiff, a 17 year old senior at Orange High School, left school without permission in the early afternoon to go skateboarding and was injured when he hit a defect in the roadway.  Plaintiff’s claimed injuries included a skull fracture, cerebral hemorrhage which resulted in a crainiotomy and crainioplasty, memory loss, cognitive and neurologic dysfunction, and acute respiratory failure.

We filed a motion for summary judgment arguing that pursuant to Pico and Ogborne, Plaintiff cannot invoke liability under both dangerous condition liability pursuant to N.J.S.A. 59:4-2 and the ordinary negligence standard in N.J.S.A. 59:2-2.  We further argued that Plaintiff’s claim that Defendant allowed Plaintiff to leave school property is not viable because Defendant is immune for failure to enforce the law pursuant to N.J.S.A. 59:2-4, for its exercise of discretion when determining whether and how to apply resources pursuant to N.J.S.A. 59:2-3(d), for injury caused by an escaping person pursuant to N.J.S.A. 59:5-2(b)(2), and even if Defendant was not immune, Plaintiff could not prove the elements of a dangerous condition or negligence because Plaintiff was not exercising due care, Defendant did not have a duty or prevent Plaintiff from leaving school property because he was over the age of 16 and our compulsory education statute limits the age in which a child must attend school to the ages between six and sixteen, and no reasonable jury could conclude that Defendant’s alleged negligence proximately caused the accident.

Plaintiff agreed that dangerous condition liability pursuant to N.J.S.A. 59:4-2 applied, and not the ordinary negligence standard in N.J.S.A. 59:2-2.  However, Plaintiff argued that the immunities did not apply because he was not making an argument that Defendant failed to enforce the truancy laws, but rather was arguing that Defendant failed to adequately follow its own procedures and protocols – i.e. failing to notify Plaintiff’s parents that he was cutting school;  discretionary immunity did not apply because his liability expert outlined the duty imposed on Defendant; and that N.J.S.A. 59:5-2(b)(2) only applies to escaped prisoner or persons under police arrest or police custody.  Plaintiff further argued that the manner in which security was run at the school created a dangerous condition because students would cut class and leave school via the trailer area; Plaintiff’s failure to exercise due care is a question for the jury; and that Defendant proximately caused his accident because they knew students were cutting school by leaving through the trailer area and failed to stop them.

We filed a reply brief arguing that the immunities do apply because failing to enforce truancy laws or failing to notify Plaintiff’s parents that he was cutting school bears no material difference; the duty outlined by Plaintiff’s expert is immaterial as the court must first determined whether an immunity applies before engaging in a liability analysis; and that our courts have held that N.J.S.A. 59:5-2(b)(2) should receive a board interpretation in view of the clear legislative objective of immunity and as such has been applied to public entities beyond police departments.  See Tice v. Cramer, 254 N.J. Super. 641, 648 (App. Div. 1992).  Defendant further argued that Plaintiff has not asserted a viable theory because there is no indication that there was a physical defect in the trailers themselves, Levin v. County of Salem, 133 N.J. 35, 44 (1993); the term “due care” has been interpreted to mean objective, not subjective, due care and Plaintiff has failed to prove that element; and the exclusive proximate cause of this accident was Plaintiff’s poor decision to skateboard down a dangerously steep hill, without a helmet or any protective gear, even after being repeatedly warned by his friend not to, not the condition of the trailers.

The Court agreed with Defendant’s argument and granted summary judgment finding that discretionary immunity applied, that there wasn’t a physical defect in the trailers themselves, and that Defendant’s property was not a proximate cause of Plaintiff’s accident.


Twenty-One from Capehart Scatchard Chosen as Awesome Attorneys

Twenty-one Capehart Scatchard attorneys were named in the December 2018 issue of South Jersey Magazine as “Awesome Attorneys” for excellence in their areas of practice.  Readers of the publication took part in the voting and selection process of the 224 attorneys who were given this title.


The Capehart Scatchard “Awesome Attorneys” for 2018 are:

Administrative Law – Sheila M. Mints
Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights Law – Sergio Scuteri
Business Law – Laura D. Ruccolo
Business Litigation Law – Charles A. Rizzi
Construction Law – Christopher J. Carlson
Domestic Violence – Linda M. Payne
Education Law – Joseph F. Betley and Robert Muccilli
Environmental Law – Anthony T. Drollas, Jr.
Estate Planning/Asset Protection Law – Yasmeen S. Khaleel
Family Law – Amy C. Goldstein and Melissa Mignogna
Intellectual Property Law – Denise L. Sanders
Labor & Employment Law – William R. Burns, Carmen Saginario Jr. and Ralph R. Smith, 3rd
Land Use Law – Alan P. Fox
Mediation Law – Evan H.C. Crook
Personal Injury Law – Alyson L. Knipe
Products Liability Law – Stephen J. Alexander
Real Estate Law – Kelly Ann Dugan


N.P., o/b/o M.B v. Oaklyn Borough Board of Education, (OAL DKT. NO. EDS 10187-18)

Client: Oaklyn Borough Board of Education

Venue: New Jersey State Office of Administrative Law

Brief Attorney: Robert A. Muccilli, Esq.

The parents of a special education student brought a due process petition against the Oaklyn Borough Board of Education seeking, among other things, compensatory education related to allegations that Oaklyn failed to implement certain elements of a Section 504 plan for the student.  Oaklyn made an application that the petition should be dismissed for failure of the parent to sufficiently set forth the facts and proposed remedy in the petition.  Oaklyn prevailed by obtaining an order from the Office of Administrative Law dismissing the petition for failure of the parent to sufficiently allow Oaklyn and the tribunal the ability to understand the nature of the dispute.


M.F. and W.W. o/b/o A.F. v. Collingswood Borough Board of Education, (OAL DKT. NO. EDS 13180-18)

Client: Collingswood Borough Board of Education

Venue: New Jersey State Office of Administrative Law

Brief Attorney: Robert A. Muccilli, Esq.

The parents of a special education student who transferred into the Collingswood School District brought an emergent relief application seeking an order that Collingswood maintain an out-of-district placement at the New Grange School which was the placement contained in an IEP developed by the student’s prior school district.  Collingwood opposed the placement at New Grange and proposed within 30 days of the student’s transfer an alternative placement located in-district.  The Collingswood School District prevailed in obtaining a decision from the Office of Administrative Law denying the parent’s application for emergent relief.


Heather Deitch v. Camden County Educational Services Commission, (OAL DKT. NO. EDU 11837-18)

Client: Camden County Educational Services Commission

Venue: New Jersey State Office of Administrative Law

Brief Attorney: Robert A. Muccilli, Esq.

Heather Deitch alleged that the Camden County Educational Services Commission violated her tenure and seniority rights when it chose not to interview and appoint her to a teacher/media specialist position that was the subject of a shared services agreement between the Commission and the Berlin Borough School District.  The Commission prevailed in obtaining a Commissioner of Education decision dismissing the petition of appeal against it.


Southampton Board of Education v. Southampton Township Education Association, (PERC DKT. NO. C-2018-269)

Client: Southampton Board of Education

Venue: State of New Jersey Public Employment Relations Commission

Brief Attorney: Robert A. Muccilli, Esq.

The Education Association charged that the Board of Education failed to negotiate regarding the scheduling of teacher work days prior to September 1, 2019 and failed to negotiate regarding the impact of establishment of a school calendar that called for teachers to report to work prior to September 1st. The Education Association sought interim restraints against the Board. The Southampton Board prevailed in obtaining an order from the Commission’s Designee denying the Association’s application for interim relief.


Capehart Scatchard Admits Seven New Shareholders

Capehart Scatchard is pleased to announce that seven attorneys were admitted as shareholders to the 142 year old law firm. 

The new shareholders at Capehart Scatchard are:

Dana M. Gayeski – Workers’ Compensation Department

Katherine Hellander Geist – Workers’ Compensation Department

Michael C. Rose – Workers’ Compensation Department

Adam Segal – Workers’ Compensation Department

Lauren E. Tedesco-Dallas – Education and Employment & Labor Departments

Voris M. Tejada, Jr. – Litigation Department

Benjamin H. Zieman – Litigation Department


March of Dimes 2019 Onward and Upward!

By: Vincent T. Cieslik, Esq.

In late December of 2018, the Greater Philadelphia Board of Directors of the March of Dimes met for our annual board retreat at Shriner’s Hospital on Broad Street in Philadelphia.

This particular meeting marked the third time the board had met for an annual retreat since the organization had undergone a metamorphosis, an inward looking and outward re-branding transition throughout the national organization.  The March of Dimes, like many other charitable organizations, had undergone a comprehensive review of its staff, systems, and structure with an eye towards reenergizing its long-standing mission, one that dates back to the days when Franklin Delano Roosevelt was our President, to bring healthy babies into the world.

With a renewed emphasis on healthy babies and healthy moms, a new brand, some new faces and a reinvigorated approach to raising funds, the March of Dimes and the Greater Philadelphia Board had reorganized itself, and in the process, recommitted itself to its important mission. 

For me personally, this was an opportunity for me to increase my participation and my leadership position, from a solely South Jersey impact, to impacting mothers and babies throughout the Greater Philadelphia Region.  It was an opportunity for me to stretch my legs, to get out of my local comfort zone, to meet new and interesting executives, business people, doctors, nurses, and interested parties throughout the tri-state area.  What originally began for me as a way to give back to the doctors and the nurses who helped my family, through many years of difficult and troubled pregnancies, became an excellent opportunity for me to work on a greater scale, and to hopefully impact many more mothers’ and babies’ lives along the way. 

During this period I met and was able to get to know better, representatives of the former Philadelphia Board, whom were dedicated volunteers with backgrounds at great corporate partners like NBC Universal, Philadelphia Insurance Companies, and some of our areas finest hospital providers like University of Pennsylvania, which houses our Prematurity Infant Research Center.  During our transition we brought volunteers throughout the tri-state area together into one Board.   I was able to attend events not just in Southern Jersey but throughout the region, including events at the Union League, at Xfinity Live, black tie affairs in Atlantic City, and one of the area’s largest charitable giving luncheons known as the Transportation Bridge and Construction Luncheon.  I am truly thankful that I decided to get involved in the March of Dimes many years ago.  The March of Dimes is a special organization, and with the transition of the Greater Philadelphia Board and the organization nationwide, we are poised for great things in the New Year 2019.   If anyone is interested in joining the Board or getting involved in one of the Board’s committees, please contact me.

I have been a sponsor and a chairperson for the March of Dimes Walk for Babies in Gloucester County for several years.  This Spring 2019 we will host our third annual 5K run for Babies on the campus of Rowan University.


Vincent T. Cieslik, Esq. is Co-Chair of the firm’s Business Litigation Group and a Shareholder in the firm’s Commercial Litigation and Health Care Groups.  Vince focuses his practice in the representation of individuals, small businesses, not-for-profits and large corporations in complicated and often high-risk litigation. His areas of expertise are in commercial litigation, health care law, and estate law. He is admitted to practice law in the federal and state courts of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, as well as the U.S. Court of Appeals 3rd Circuit and the U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit.

In his personal time, Vince supports the March of Dimes of South Jersey, serves as the Walk Chairman for the March of Dimes Walk for Babies and 5K Run for Babies, and serves as a member of a local school board. He also coaches youth basketball and track, and enjoys long distance running including the Philadelphia, New York, and prestigious Boston Marathon.

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