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Capehart Scatchard Admits New Shareholder

Capehart Scatchard is pleased to announce that Michael P. McCaffrey was admitted as a shareholder to the 145 year old law firm.

Mr. McCaffrey represent insurance carriers and employers in the defense of workers’ compensation claims at all stages of litigation. He received his law degree from Rutgers School of Law in Camden and a dual B.A. degree in Economics and Political Science from Rutgers University in New Brunswick.  Upon law school graduation, he worked as a law clerk to the Honorable Anne McDonnell, J.S.C. in the New Jersey Superior Court, Gloucester County.  He is admitted to practice law in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

 

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Hunter Sacco vs. Nordstrom

Client: Nordstrom

Court: Workers’ Compensation 

Brief Attorney: John H. Geaney, Esq. and Keith E. Nagy, Esq.

Trial Attorney: Keith E. Nagy, Esq.

**Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances**

The petitioner filed a Claim Petition alleging that he punched a wall and injured his hand after being yelled at by his manager. The matter was denied from the outset as the injury was not compensable given that the injury did not arise out of and in the course of employment and the petitioner’s injury was intentionally self-inflicted.

The parties proceeded to a bifurcated trial on the issue of compensability with the respondent relying on the binding precedent of Klein v. New York Times Co., 317 N.J. Super. 41 (App. Div. 1998).

During trial, the petitioner testified that he did not intentionally punch the wall but that he was “gesticulating” after he had a verbal altercation with his manager when his hand accidentally hit the wall. The respondent presented the witness of the manager who testified that the petitioner stated that he punched the wall. The respondent also presented the witness of a co-worker who testified that they often joked about the petitioner being a “boxer” and never denied punching the wall.

Following post-trial briefs, the Court found that the petitioner was not credible and that his story lacked logic. The Court further noted that the petitioner’s Claim Petition was a judicial admission binding the petitioner to the description that he punched the wall. The Court also found that the respondent’s witnesses were credible and logical. The matter was dismissed with prejudice.

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In the Matter of the Tenure Hearing of Greg Janicki and the Washington Township School District, Gloucester County

Client: Washington Township Board of Education

Court: Tenure Arbitration Hearing 

Brief Attorney: Joseph F. Betley, Esq.

Trial Attorney: Joseph F. Betley, Esq.

**Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances**

Tenure charges against Gregory Janicki, a High School Music Teacher, were successfully prosecuted by the Washington Township Board of Education. In an award issued on August 31, 2021 Arbitrator Gary Kendellen sustained several charges against Mr. Janicki and ordered that he be removed from his teaching position with the District. As the Board Solicitor, Mr. Betley established that Mr. Janicki engaged in a pattern of intolerance and antagonism against individuals based on their sexual orientation as well as their gender identity and expression. The District showed that Mr. Janicki surreptitiously distributed a document at the High School main office that was offensive to the LGBTQ community, and lied about it when school officials investigated the incident. The evidence also supported the charge that Mr. Janicki had a pattern of intentional misrepresentations to administrators during investigations of misconduct. Finally, the arbitrator sustained the charge that Mr. Janicki intentionally recorded a private conversation that Mr. Betley had with administration regarding the underlying investigation. The District sustained its burden that the unbecoming conduct justified Mr. Janicki’s dismissal as a tenured teacher.

Mr. Betley expresses his thanks and appreciation to the administrative staff and teachers who testified truthfully and courageously at the arbitration hearing.

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Melissa and Patrick Markhorst v. Liberty Mutual Mid-Atlantic Insurance Company

Client: Liberty Mutual Mid-Atlantic Insurance Company

Court: Superior Court of New Jersey, Burlington County

Brief Attorney: Edward F. Kuhn, III, Esq.

**Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances**

Plaintiffs filed a lawsuit in Montgomery County, PA for injuries she suffered in a car accident. Plaintiff agreed to a binding arbitration with high/low parameters. The high was the defendant’s liability policy limits of $100,000. Plaintiff then filed a separate lawsuit for underinsured benefits from Liberty Mutual in Burlington County, NJ.

Plaintiff was awarded less than the defendant’s policy limits in the Montgomery County binding arbitration. Liberty then moved for summary judgment arguing that Plaintiff should be collaterally estopped from further pursing her underinsured claim against Liberty Mutual since the defendant’s policy limits were not exhausted.

The trial court agreed with our position that Plaintiff was barred by the collateral estoppel doctrine as Plaintiff has a full and complete opportunity to present her case to the arbitrator and the amount of Plaintiff’s damages were found below the defendant’s policy limits. As such, Plaintiff’s underinsured claim against Liberty Mutual was dismissed.

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Linda Keeler v. George Puckhafer, Index No. 65847/2020

Client: Ameritrust Group

Court: New York Supreme Court, Westchester County 

Brief Attorney:  Alyson L. Knipe, Esq. 

**Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances**

Plaintiff alleged personal injuries from exposure to carbon monoxide in her apartment and commenced a law suit against the superintendent of the building.  In a decision dated November 18, 2021, Hon. Alexandra D. Murphy, J.S.C. found that the defendant established, as matter of law, that he did not cause the plaintiff’s juries, was not on actual or constructive notice of a dangerous condition in the apartment, and that plaintiff’s medical records did not show any evidence of carbon monoxide toxicity.

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ADINA MCAULAY v. BLASKO LEASING SERVICE INC and “JOHN DOE”

Client: Ameritrust Group

Court: New York Supreme Court, Kings County, Index No. 520203/2020

Brief Attorney:  Alyson L. Knipe, Esq. 

**Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances**

Blasko Leasing Service Inc (BLS) is a New Jersey car dealership that sold a vehicle to a New York resident.  That vehicle was subsequently involved in an accident in New York.  The police accident report indicated that BLS was the registered owner and as such, Plaintiff commenced a lawsuit against BLS arguing that BLS was subject to vicarious liability under New York Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 388.

Defendant BLS submitted an Affidavit of its owner with supporting documents to establish that it did not own the vehicle on the date of the accident and that it verified proof of financial security when the vehicle was sold.

On November 4, 2021, Honorable Loren Baily-Schiffman granted Defendants BLS’s summary judgment motion, dismissing Plaintiff’s Complaint against BLS.

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Capehart Scatchard Participates In Day Of Service Event

Capehart Scatchard is pleased to announce that the Diversity & Inclusion Committee at the firm, in conjunction with Burlington Country Bar Association (BCBA), collected monetary donations as well as donations of gift cards, costumes, treats, and pumpkins to ensure the children receiving services from Providence House Domestic Violence Services have a fun Halloween.  In addition, on October 16, 2021, thirty volunteers from the firm and BCBA rolled up their sleeves to paint a gazebo, plant flowers, spruce up the yard, and clean the kitchen and playroom at a safe house run by the organization.

Providence House Domestic Violence Services, which is based in Westampton, provides comprehensive services for victims of domestic abuse and their children free of charge at outreach offices and emergency safe houses in Burlington and Ocean Counties.

 

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Capehart Scatchard Sponsors South Asian Bar Association Annual Gala

PHOTO: SABA-NJ Executive Board and Trustees

 

Capehart Scatchard was a sponsor of the Annual Gala of the South Asian Bar Association of New Jersey (SABA-NJ), held at the Marigold in Somerset, NJ on October 1, 2021.  The Gala featured South Asian food and music and celebrated the work of the organization and its leaders within the South Asian legal community in New Jersey.  Paul Grewal, Esq., Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary for Coinbase, was the keynote speaker.

Shareholder, Sanmathi “Sanu” Dev, is a SABA-NJ trustee. The organization is a voluntary association of attorneys and professionals in the New Jersey area dedicated to the needs, concerns and interests of the South Asian community in New Jersey.

Ms. Dev concentrates her practice on school law and labor and employment law. She is experienced in representing, advising, and defending boards of education and charter schools in all areas of school law including: labor and employment, special education, Section 504, student discipline and civil rights. She leads Capehart Scatchard’s School Law Blog, which focuses on cases, court decisions, and current developments affecting education law in the state of New Jersey. Ms. Dev is the Chair of the Firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, which seeks to facilitate the Firm’s efforts to achieve and maintain a diverse and inclusive workplace at every level of our organization. Ms. Dev also serves as the Firm’s Hiring Shareholder. She received her law degree from Rutgers Law School at Camden and her B.A. degree from Boston University.

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Capehart Scatchard Shareholder Recognized As A “Woman Of The Week” By Women’s Advisory Council

Capehart Scatchard is pleased to announce that the Burlington County Women’s Advisory Council has selected, shareholder Sanmathi “Sanu” Dev, to receive the “Woman of the Week” award for the week of September 27, 2021.  Ms. Dev was nominated for the award by a member of the Advisory Council for her outstanding service to the Burlington County community.

Ms. Dev, a Burlington County resident, concentrates her practice on school law and labor and employment law.  She is experienced in representing, advising, and defending boards of education and charter schools in all areas of school law including: labor and employment, special education, Section 504, student discipline and civil rights.  She leads Capehart Scatchard’s School Law Blog, which focuses on cases, court decisions, and current developments affecting education law in the state of New Jersey.  Ms. Dev is the Chair of the Firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, which seeks to facilitate the Firm’s efforts to achieve and maintain a diverse and inclusive workplace at every level of our organization.   Ms. Dev also serves as the Firm’s Hiring Shareholder.  She received her law degree from Rutgers Law School at Camden and her B.A. degree from Boston University.

In addition, Ms. Dev serves as a Co-Chair of the Burlington County Bar Association’s Diversity, Inclusion, and Leadership Committee and is a Trustee of the South Asian Bar Association of New Jersey. She also serves on the Rutgers Law School Dean’s Council and is a member of the Rutgers Alumni for Diversity, Community-Building, and Access in the Law. Throughout her career, Ms. Dev has mentored law students and young attorneys particularly those from underrepresented backgrounds.

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Andrea Schlafer Appointed Board Member Of The National Workers’ Compensation Defense Network

Capehart Scatchard Shareholder, Andrea L. Schlafer, Esq., was recently named a member of the board of the National Workers’ Compensation Defense Network (“NWCDN”).  The NWCDN is a network of law firms dedicated to protecting employers in workers’ compensation cases in 45 states and Canada.

Ms. Schlafer represents insurance carriers in the defense of workers’ compensation claims at all stages of litigation.  She received her law degree from Rutgers Law School in Camden and her B.S. degree in Business Administration and Finance from the College of Charleston, cum laude.  Upon law school graduation, Ms. Schlafer worked as a law clerk to the Honorable Kevin T. Smith in the New Jersey Superior Court, Gloucester County Vicinage.

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