7

NEWS FOR
THIS WEEK

December 31, 2015
Thursday

COMMENTARY: A few thoughts as the year ends and some suggesions for next year.

DECISIONS: There are no decisions from the Third Department this week but seven new cases have been added to the Third Department's January hearing calendar.

Week
#367

Issue
#1

Contact The Insider at:    TheInsider@InsideWorkersCompNY.com                                                                         212-734-9450

THE INSIDER’S

TOP ATTORNEYS FOR 2013

Michael J. Reynolds, Esq.

March 20, 2014: Congratulations are in order to The Insider’s top attorney for 2013:

MICHAEL J. REYNOLDS, Esq.
of counsel to Weiss, Wexler & Wornow (NYC).

who exemplifies the high quality of legal representation in the workers compensation community in the State of New York.

Actually, Michael Reynolds, who won in 2012, came in on top of the list this year because, of the five attorneys representing non-government entities who won two cases this past year, he has as one of his prevailing arguments one of the 16 reversals issued by the courts in 2013. None of the attorneys representing private firms or claimants appeared more than twice this past year so, in one sense, everyone won.

And a Special Mention is due to Sharon Bland, who as a pro-se claimant, prevailed over the Board by winning a reversal. And she did so by pointing out that the Board either basically ignored its own procedures or simply did not read the dates on the documents that were filed by the claimant, an altogether far too common complaint I hear about all the time in my e-mail.

While there are more than 10,000 administrative law judge decisions appealed yearly in which workers compensation attorneys argue the merits of their respective sides for resolution by a panel of three commissioners, it is at the Appellate Court and Court of Appeals that major issues are argued and cases decided.

The list of attorneys which follows is those who presented the prevailing arguments in the New York State Workers Compensation decisions posted in 2013 by the Appellate Court, Third Department and the Court of Appeals. This list can be used to settle cocktail party arguments and to answer various trivia questions but, in reality, is no way reflective of the quality of the attorneys listed (or not listed) or their arguments. As for those whose arguments did not prevail, they are not listed: many take on cases which they know have a very small likelihood of winning and they certainly should be neither criticized nor publicized for that.

Attorneys from the Office of the Attorney General are not included because they are automatically a party to a substantial number of cases: prevailing in 25 cases (with one reversal and two appeals denied or dismissed).  Since the Court affirms the NYS WCB about 70% of the time, regardless of which side they represent, they are automatically on the winning side 70% of the time.

Because they participate in so many cases, the attorneys for the State Insurance Fund and Special Funds are also not included although the Special Fund’s Jill Singer, prevailing in 15 cases, continues to convince the Court to reverse the Board’s decisions, with five reversals among her prevailing arguments.

This does not take away, however, from  recognition of the attorneys for the Office of the Attorney General, State Insurance Fund, or Special Funds.

For, as one winner so clearly noted, this list does not give credit to all those on the staffs of all the attorneys listed below without whom they would not have been successful.

As the “Winningest Attorney of 2013“, Michael J. Reynolds, acting of counsel to Weiss, Wexler, & Wornow PC of New York City, represented employers/carriers in prevailing arguments:

Jarovic v Icon Restoration: REVERSED the Board by finding that the Board had improperly ruled that the carrier was entitled to a full credit against claimant's third-party settlement recovery.

Swanko v Darlind Construction: AFFIRMED the Board's ruling that WCL §44 apportionment did not apply as injury was caused by an accident, not an occupational disease.

Honorable Mention is given to the following, with two affirmances each:

  • Lauren Bilasz of counsel to Weiss, Wesler & Wornow (NYC)
  • David Faber of counsel to Cherry, Edson & Kelly (Carle Place)
  • Alexander Osborne of counsel to Connors & Ferris (Rochester)
  • Theresa Wolinski  counsel to Foley, Smith, O'Boyle & Weisman (Hauppauge)

Although there were 18 reversals issued by the Third Department in 2012, no one attorney won more than one, with the exception of one attorney who appeared frequently at the Court: Jill B. Singer of the Special Fund who had four reversals among her 13 successful appearances.

Ammerman, Alisa (SIF)___
________________________
Becker, Daniel  (SIF)___
________________________
Bilasz, Lauren (P)______
________________________
Bland, Sharon (Pro-Se)__
Bretas, Jared  (NYC)____
Buchalski, Jeremy  (P)__
Burke, William  (P)_____
Caezza, Michelle  (PS)__
Carbonaro, Paul (P)_____
Carlton, Jason (P)______
Clarke, Linda  (AG)_____
________________________
Conte, Tommasino (AG)___
Crossett, William (P)___
Dickinson, Daniel (P)___
Magnetti, Ralph  (P)____
Faber, David (P)________
________________________
Fernandez, Donya (AG)___
________________________
________________________
________________________
Geyer, Robert (P)_______
Gilbert, Gregory (P)____
Gould, Kimberly (P)_____
Gracey, Daniel (P)______
Groenwegen, Paul  (AG)__
Hartman, William (SF)___
Heuser, Kristina  (P)___
Holstein, Richard (P)___
Kenyon, Mark (SF)_______
Kenyon, Mark (P)________
Kenyon, Mark  (SIF)_____
Leff, Marjorie (AG)_____
________________________
________________________
________________________
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Levitt, Amy (P)_________
Scotti, Steven  (P)_____
Mead, Matthew  (P)______
Morehouse, Christine  (P
Naviasky, Laurence (P)__
Obertubbesing,Edward(Sif)
________________________
Osborne, Alexander (P)__
________________________
Penna, Jacklyn (P)______
Phillips, Thomas (P)____
Pro-se (PS)_____________
Ramsey, Leith  (P)______
Reynolds, Michael  (P)__
________________________
Roth, Benjamin (NYC)____
________________________
Schoenborn, Holly (P)___
Schulman, Mark (P)______
Scofield, Christine  (P)
Segall , Steven  (AG)___
________________________
________________________
________________________
________________________
________________________
________________________
________________________
________________________
________________________
Singer, Jill (SF)_______
________________________
________________________
________________________
________________________
________________________
________________________
________________________
________________________
________________________
________________________
________________________
________________________
Skivington, Peter (P)___
Steel , Iris (AG)_______
________________________
________________________
________________________
________________________
________________________
________________________
________________________
Stoltz, William (P)_____
Teff, Justin  (P)_______
Terzulli , John  (P)____
Thomas, Sarah  (P)______
Violando, Michael (P)___
Wecker, David (P)_______
Weinberg, Steven  (P)___
Whiting, Brent  (P)_____
Wolinksi, Theresa (P)___
________________________
Zaragoza, Paul (NYC)____

A--Rolleri v Mastic Beach Ambulance
A--Boaro v Kings Park Psychiatric
R--Williams v Lloyd Gunther El Serv
R--Williams v Lloyd Gunther El Serv
A--Canfora v Goldman Sachs

A--Cerda v NY Racing Assn
R-Bland v Gellman Brydges & Schroff
A--Toledo v Admin for Children Servs
A--Swanko v Darlind Constr
A--Swanko v Darlind Constr
A--Caezza v Via Health
A--Good v Brutus
A--Hinovic v Greenstar Coop Mkt
A--Borgal v Rochester-Genesee RTA
A--Rodriguez v C&S Wholesale
A--Casale v City of Rye
R--Ballou v Southworth-Milton
A--Dickinson v Cape Vincent VFD
R--Surianello v Con Ed
A--Estate of Velasquez v NGA Const
A--Pengal v Chloe Foods Corp
A--Dickinson v Cape Vincent VFD
R--Ballou v Southworth-Milton
A--Leslie v Hartford
A--Sandell v Frito Lay
A--Robinson v Franklin Cty Soc Servs
A--Camby v System Frgt
A--Brittain v NYS Ins Dept
A--Keefe v Aramatic Refresh Servs
A--Held v NYS WCB
A--Brown v B&W Elec Contrs
A--Coleman v Compass GroupChartwells
A--Jones v UEF
A--Cartuccio v NYS Dept of Corr
A--Denman v Cobblers Rest
A--Bailey v Binghamton Precast
A--Camby v System Frgt
A--Good v Brutus
A--Morelli v Tops Mkts
A--Willard v O-At-Ka Milk Prods Coop
A--Perez v Mondial Tiles
A--Steuber v Home Props
R--Surianello v Con Ed
A--Veeder v NYS Police Dept
A--Tawil v Fallsburg CSD
R--Riley v P&V Sadowski Constr
R--Scalo v CD Perry & Sons
R--Mason v Glens Falls Ready Mix
A--Morelli v Tops Mkts
A--Willard v O-At-Ka Milk Prods Coop
A--Mazzaferro v Fast Track Structures
A--Beth V v NYS Off of Child&Family
R--Bland v Gellman Brydges & Schroff
A--Schworm v Frito Lay
R--Jarovic v Icon Restoration
A--Swanko v Darlind Constr
A--Banton v NYC Dept of Corr
A--Wolfe v NYC Dept. of Corr
A--Borgal v Rochester-Genesee RTA
D--Jaindl v Robert Green Chev-Olds
A--Howard v Stature Elec
D--Hosler v Smallman
A--McCluskey v Certified Moving
A--Aska v United Jewish Appeal
A--Bailey v Ben Ciccone
A--Banton v NYC Dept of Corr
A--Coleman v Compass GroupChartwells
A--Kigin v NYS
A--Poulton v Griffin Mfg
A--Toledo v Admin for Children Servs
A--Wolfe v NYC Dept. of Corr
A--Beth V v NYS Off of Child&Family
A--Caezza v Via Health
R--Capodagli v West Seneca CSD
A--Denman v Cobblers Rest
A--Kigin v NYS
R--Korthals v Valu Home Ctrs
A--Pawlitz-Delgaizo v Comm Gen Hosp
A--Schroeder v US Foodservice
A--White v Con Ed
A--Hartman v Tops Mkt
R--LaDuke v Schenectady ComActProg
A--Minichelli v Maine-Endwell CSD
R--Wieneck v Bakery
A--Leslie v Hartford
A--Brittain v NYS Ins Dept
A--Bednarek v Caring Prof
A--Canfora v Goldman Sachs
D--Jaindl v Robert Green Chev-Olds
A--Mallette v Flatterys
A--Rankin v Half Hollow Hills CSD
A--Stratton v NYS Comptroller
A--Stratton v NYS Comptroller
R--Bin Wang v De Ding Zheng
A--Messina v Hudson News
A--Rodriguez v Metal Cladding
A--Fatima v MTA Bridges & Tunnels
A--Cameron v Crooked Lake House
A--Dixon v Almar Plumbing
R--Dow v Silver Constr
R--Runge v National Baseball
A--Cucinella v NYC Transit Auth
A--Swanko v Darlind Constr
R--VanAusdle v NYC Police Dept                       

The letters following the attorneys’ names indicate Private practice, AG (Attorney General), SIF (State Insurance Fund) and SF (Special Funds). The letters in the third column are Affirm, Reverse, and Deny.