Case by Case: Balance of Power: “Liberal Governor” Vetoes Two Progressive Backed Drastic Tort Bills

Case by Case: Balance of Power: “Liberal Governor” Vetoes Two Progressive Backed Drastic Tort Bills

For many years, the balance of power in Albany in the Legislature was that the Democrats controlled the Assembly and the Republicans controlled the State Senate.  Although the Democrats tried many times, they could not get enough votes in the Republican Senate to pass many bills that they sought.  Over the years this was fairly standard.  The Republicans maintained a narrow majority in the Senate which blocked most of the Assembly’s bills where they could not garner Republican support.  Even when the Senate Republicans lost a straight majority, they managed to cobble together a majority by banding together with some breakaway conservative Democrats who were vilified by their own party for handing the balance of power again to the Republicans.  In 2018 that all changed when Democrats won a majority of the Senate seats thus ensuring that they would be able to pass whatever legislation they saw fit.  This past year, they passed two pieces of legislation which would have greatly impacted civil litigation in New York. General Obligations Law §15-108 The first bill would have amended § 15-108 of the General Obligations Law which sets forth how a settling defendant’s share of liability or payment is to be accounted for when there is a verdict.  As you may know, § 15-108 of the General Liability Law allows a non-settling defendant to reduce their liability to the plaintiff by the greater of the amount of the settlement or the equitable share of damages of the settlor by a verdict.  This calculation would be made after the verdict on damages was rendered against the non-settling defendant.  The new law would...
PMT Winning in Court: Battle Tough and Trial Ready (Jan 2020)

PMT Winning in Court: Battle Tough and Trial Ready (Jan 2020)

What makes a successful trial attorney? There are many people who are able to try cases, but there is a huge difference between trying a case and winning a case. Winning a case requires special skills that not everyone has. Among the skills needed are creativity and confidence. To successfully represent the client’s best interests, it is necessary to be able to see all the strengths and weaknesses of the evidence in the case. Then, develop a big picture so that a compelling story can be told to the jury. Jurors expect to hear a client’s side of the case and the top trial attorneys are able to craft an explanation or a reason why your client is not responsible. What makes our PMT trial attorneys so effective is it they search for and find that creative story and then confidently present it to the jury. This month we highlight two cases which our PMT trial attorneys successfully tried to defendants’ verdicts. These cases demonstrate the creativity and confidence that make our attorneys the best in the business. PMT Partner Lawrence J. Buchman – View Bio Court: Supreme Court, Queens County Judge: Judge Leslie J. Purificacion Case Type: Motor Vehicle Accident Caption: Sue Ann Frias v. NYCTA Index No.: 705139/2017 Verdict Date: Nov. 13, 2019 Decision: Jury Deliberated Defense Verdict On April 13, 2016, Sue Ann Frias, a 68 year old woman, fell on the Q24 bus of the New York City Metropolitan Transit Authority because of an alleged unusual and violent sudden stop by the bus driver near the intersection of Atlantic and Rockaway Avenues.  The plaintiff claimed that...
Changes in Kings County As To Jury Selection and New Mandatory Alternative Dispute Resolution

Changes in Kings County As To Jury Selection and New Mandatory Alternative Dispute Resolution

New trial procedures will be going into effect on January 1, 2020, in Kings County.  When you select a jury after January 1, 2020, when you finish picking, you will immediately report for assignment and be sent out for trial on that day.  Under the new system, “cases will be assigned to a trial judge immediately upon selection of the jury.”  There will no longer be a pick and pass system for Supreme Court, Kings County.  So, hypothetically, if thirty cases are sent out to pick, Administrative Judge Knipel assures the Bar that he will have rooms to pick in the jury selection area.  Judge Knipel also stated that there should not be any “serious problem in terms of a backlog.”  This change was objected to by both the plaintiffs’ and the defendants’ bar. Furthermore, going forward, the “pick date” will be two weeks before Standards & Goals is reached instead of the current three. This change will require earlier planning for witnesses and experts.  It appears that Affidavits of Engagement will not be honored. Kings County has also started a new mandatory Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Plan.  This new procedure is to expedite the early resolution of civil litigation.  In the new system, according to Judge Knipel, approximately 45 to 60 cases will be randomly selected for ADR on a daily basis.  Many of these cases will be chosen for ADR 45 days after a Preliminary Conference is held.  This will result in ADR being held, in most cases, prior to depositions being conducted. This new program went into effect on November 12, 2019.  Based on our limited...
PMT Winning in Court: Battle Tough and Trial Ready (Dec 2019)

PMT Winning in Court: Battle Tough and Trial Ready (Dec 2019)

In our world of insurance work,  we are all aware that above 90% of cases settle before trial.  Indeed, some estimate that the number of cases that settle before trial could be greater than 95%.  The reasons for this are simple and obvious:  parties to a lawsuit, especially where insurance is involved, want to avoid the unknown and sometimes shocking verdicts that juries can render.  And yet we all know that sometimes a case just cannot be settled and must be tried.  Insurance companies, self-insureds and the clients all want to know if you have the experience to take a tough case to a jury verdict.  At PMT, our highly experienced team of trial attorneys is prepared to do just that because our PMT trial team is battle tough and trial-ready. This month we share 2 recent defense verdicts that Emeka Nwokoro received in back to back trials in Brooklyn and Orange County. View Emeka Nwokoro’s bio Jury Verdict on the Issue of Liability Court: Supreme Court, Orange County Judge: The Honorable Craig Stephen Brown Type of Case: Slip and Fall/Premises Liability Caption: Joseph R. Turano and Regina Turano v. Sutton Hill II, LLC, Value Realty, Inc., and Mead Sealcoating & Parking Lot Maintenance, Inc. Index No.: EF003199/2018 Verdict Date: November 6, 2019 Plaintiff Joseph Turano, a 75 year old retired bus driver who lives with his wife Regina Turano in Middletown, New York, alleged that on March 8, 2018, at approximately 7:45 a.m., at the parking lot in front of the residential apartment complex where he lives, while he was clearing snow from his car, he slipped and...