In December of 2010, Stark & Stark launched the Personal Injury Law Journal as a way to provide clients throughout the state of New Jersey with timely information, news alerts and commentary on recent case law. Our attorneys offer updates on a wide range of legal issues including motor vehicle accidents, wrongful death claims, birth injuries, medical malpractice claims and many more. In addition to written posts, the blog also features podcasts and video-podcasts, individual RSS feeds for each practice area and attorney author and information on upcoming speaking engagements and events.

Congratulations to Stark & Stark Shareholder Tyler Tomlinson for being selected as one of the National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 Trial Lawyers List for 2016*. The Top 100 Trial Lawyers List is “an invitation-only organization,” which is comprised of the foremost trial lawyers across every state and region. The selection process for every candidate is rigorous, and is completed through a “multi-phase objective and uniformly applied process which includes peer nominations combined with third party research.”

Continue Reading Shareholder Tyler Tomlinson Selected for the National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 Trial Lawyers 2016 List

Congratulations to Stark & Stark Shareholders Tyler Tomlinson and Jeffrey Krawitz for their election to the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. Mr. Tomlinson is a new Hearing Member for the District II Bucks County board, while this is Mr. Krawitz’ reappointment to the same aforementioned board.

The Disciplinary Board is a peer-review system, because an attorney is entitled to a hearing in front of a panel of volunteer attorneys before discipline can be imposed on said attorney. Each appointment is a three-year commitment.

Shareholder Tyler Tomlinson is a member of the Accident & Personal Injury Group at Stark & Stark in the Yardley office. Mr. Tomlinson concentrates his practice in wrongful death cases, and has extensive experience handling cases involving automobile accidents and slip-and-fall cases.

Shareholder Jeffrey Krawitz is also a member of the Accident & Personal Injury Group at Stark & Stark in the Yardley office. Mr. Krawitz concentrates his practice in casualty litigation which focuses on complex injury, coverage issues, and bad faith claims.

To learn more about the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, please click here.

Congratulations to the Stark & Stark attorneys who have made the 2016 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list and the 2016 Pennsylvania Rising Stars list. All of these attorneys are Personal Injury attorneys based in the firm’s Yardley office. Visit SuperLawyers.com for more information about the selection process.

The Stark & Stark attorneys who made the 2016 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list include:

The Stark & Stark attorneys who made the 2016 Pennsylvania Rising Stars list:

For more information about our attorneys and practices, please visit www.stark-stark.com.

Stark & Stark is pleased to announce the election of Michael G. Donahue, III, Esq. as Managing Shareholder of the firm, effective May 1, 2016.  In this new leadership role, Mr. Donahue will oversee the day-to-day operations and long-term strategic planning of the firm.  His election to Managing Shareholder coincides with his upcoming June installation as President of the New Jersey Association for Justice (NJAJ) for the 2016-2017 term, where he also serves as co-chair of NJAJ’s Amicus Curiae Committee.

Mr. Donahue, who has been with the firm since 1995, is certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Civil Trial Attorney and focuses his practice on products liability and serious personal injury litigation. He is a prolific legal presenter, a member of several New Jersey-based law associations, and very active in area charitable and philanthropic organizations, including Boheme Opera New Jersey, the Trenton Area YMCA, the Greater Princeton Youth Orchestra, and Theater Exile in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Continue Reading Michael G. Donahue, III, Esq. Elected Managing Shareholder of Stark & Stark

Congratulations to Stark & Stark Shareholder Carin O’Donnell for winning the Bucks Happening 2016 List for the Attorney Category. Ms. O’Donnell is a member of the Accident & Personal Injury Group in the firm’s Yardley office.

The Bucks Happening List is an annual record that is curated as a result of thousands of Bucks County residents voting to determine the most “happening” people, places, businesses, and events in the region. One winner is announced for each of the hundreds of potential categories, along with four runner-ups. Every nominee must reside in Bucks County in order to qualify.

Ms. O’Donnell concentrates her practice at Stark & Stark in representing children and adults who have been seriously injured or killed due to catastrophic accidents which can include those in construction, the workplace, motor vehicle, and motorcycle accidents.

In addition to Ms. O’Donnell’s win in the Attorney category of the Bucks Happening 2016 List, another Stark & Stark Shareholder, Jennifer Gould, was a finalist in the same category. Ms. Gould is a member of the Bankruptcy & Creditors’ Rights Group and is also located in the Yardley office.

To learn more about the Bucks Happening 2016 List and to see the full record of winners, click here. To learn more about Ms. O’Donnell, please click here.

Stark & Stark Shareholder Tyler Tomlinson and  Associate Ian Abovitz, both members of the Accident & Personal Injury Group, successfully defeated Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment for their client who was injured by a forklift.  They did so by pointing to evidence which suggested the Defendant in question did not fully control Plaintiff’s work.

Plaintiff, who was working at a warehouse, was injured when a cart attached to a forklift ran over his right foot.  Plaintiff was a temporary employee assigned to work at the facility as a day laborer.  Defendants argued that under Pennsylvania’s Borrowed Servant doctrine, Plaintiff was barred from any recovery because Plaintiff was basically an employee of the warehouse.

The borrowed servant doctrine is an outgrowth of the common law rule that a servant who is loaned by his master to a third party is regarded as the servant of that third party while under that third party’s control and direction.  See Shamis v. Moon, 81 A.3d (2013 Pa. Super. 313).  The borrowing employer is therefore, the common-law master of the borrowed employee.  Id.

Prior to trial, the parties were able to resolve this matter for $245,000 at a mediation with Judge Thomas A Wallitsch (ret.) of ADR Options.

Mansfield v. WTW Associates, et al Lehigh County No.: 2014-C-4154.

At times, when a lender gives a loan secured by a mortgage on real estate, something happens in the loan origination or closing processes (whether through mistake, inadvertence, or even fraud), which results in the mortgage being defective, and therefore not a lien on the real estate. Items such as missing signatories to the mortgage and incorrect legal descriptions of the mortgaged property are typical.

The means of resolving such issues is usually the filing of a mortgage reformation action, asking the court to judicially “reform” the mortgage to make right what went wrong. Reformation actions are usually uncontested, and defenses, when proffered, tend to be limited.

However, in a recent reformation case I litigated, US Bank as Trustee v. Finkel, et al. (Court of Common Pleas, Northampton County, #C-48-CV-2011-5023), the defendants raised rarely-seen defenses, specifically, defenses under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, the Pennsylvania Fair Credit Extension Uniformity Act, and the federal Equal Credit Opportunity Act. All of these defenses, in one way or another, alleged that the plaintiff was engaging in debt collection through the reformation action and/or had caused the defendants harm thereby. Although I have litigated numerous reformation cases in Pennsylvania, this was the first and only one I know of to raise these defenses.

The Court granted summary judgment against the defendants, holding, in what seems to be a case of first impression in Pennsylvania, that the subject reformation action (as well as an alternative count requesting an equitable lien on the property at issue), did not involve debt collection, nor caused the harm complained of by the defendants.

Lenders faced with the task of reforming mortgages in Pennsylvania can therefore count on Stark & Stark to effectively analyze and respond to uncommon challenges to such reformation efforts.

In most Pennsylvania counties, it is relatively simple to search through the appropriate recording offices and/or courts to see what liens may be present on a piece of real estate that is currently the subject of a mortgage foreclosure or a sale. However, it’s a rather dangerous assumption to assume that such inquiry will reveal the sum total of all possible liens on such real estate—unfortunately, that’s just not the case.

Instead, a wise individual should order a formal title search on the real estate from a reputable and experienced title searcher. Not only will this search show all of the “record” liens on the real estate, but most title searchers will also go the proverbial extra mile and look into liens that may not show up on record in Pennsylvania. This could include domestic relations arrears, PA corporate tax liens, and/or Department of Public Welfare/Department of Human Services liens for assistance.

A good title searcher will also indicate the presence of a recorded declaration of condominium, or documentation from a homeowners’ association. This information could point the way toward any liened sums due the condominium association or homeowners’ association.

In summation, if you have an interest in a specific piece of real estate, the title search can be worth its weight in gold… not only to see if there’s any public, lien-related documentation on the property, but to find out what most of us can’t see under the surface.

Stark & Stark congratulates Shareholder Carin A. O’Donnell, who was recently elected onto the Board of Governors for the Pennsylvania Association for Justice (PAJustice).

PAJustice began in 1968, originally called the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association. The goal was to create “cohesive and effective statewide organization to uphold and defend the Pennsylvania legal system, including trial by jury.” Since then, PAJustice has become a nationwide leader amongst trial lawyer associations, aggressively protecting citizens’ rights while providing members with a wealth of resources and education.

At Stark & Stark, Ms. O’Donnell is a Shareholder and member of the Accident & Personal Injury Group, and she is a frequent contributor to the Pennsylvania Law Monitor.

Bianca A. Roberto, member of the Business & Corporate and Beer & Spirits Groups, authored the article Raise a Glass: Pennsylvania’s Archaic Liquor Laws are Finally Changing, which was published in the Philadelphia Business Journal on October 27, 2015.

The article describes the impact that local brewers, distributors and retailers of beer have had on Pennsylvania’s economy in the last year. This impact has been both significant and positive, as the beer industry brought more than $9.2 billion into the Commonwealth in 2014. Even more positive, the industry employs nearly 41,000 people, and also helps generate jobs in similarly aligned industries like agriculture, finance, insurance and real estate.

Despite all this growth, Pennsylvania has extremely stringent liquor laws. Luckily, this does seem to be changing slowly, as “the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) declared that beer distributors are permitted to sell 12-packs of beer.” Previous to this, these Pennsylvania beer distributors had been limited to only selling beer by the case or keg, and 6-packs could only be sold in bars, supermarkets or convenience stores permitted to sell them, usually at a higher cost.

Ms. Roberto also added, “the Concord Township Board of Supervisors approved beer sales at the Wawa located at 721 Naamans Creek Road in Chadds Ford. If approved, customers will be able to purchase up to two 6-packs of beer at the Delaware County store.”

You can read the full article by clicking here.