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Harwood Lloyd

News & Events

News & Events

News & Events

PARTNER THOMAS LOIKITH SPEAKS AT SEMINAR

May 1, 2017

On May 1, 2017, partner Thomas Loikith was a speaker at a seminar in Newark, New Jersey entitled “Advanced Title Insurance Issues” sponsored by National Business Institute. Mr. Loikith wrote the course materials and spoke on the topic of “Commercial Endorsements”. Mr. Loikith has been an author and speaker at seminars on topics including revised Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code, commercial loan documentation, business entity choice and the New Jersey Revised Uniform Limited Liability Company Act. Mr. Loikith is a partner in Harwood Lloyd’s Commercial Department, concentrating his practice in business entity formation and counseling, commercial transactions, real estate and asset sales and loans, financial services law, foreclosures, collections and creditors’ rights.

Partner Thomas Loikith Elected to Sixth Term as President of Bergen County Bar Foundation

April 27, 2017

On April 27, 2017, Thomas Loikith, a partner in Harwood Lloyd’s Commercial Department, was re-elected to a sixth term as president of the Bergen County Bar Foundation by the Foundation’s Board of Trustees. Mr. Loikith has been a trustee of the Foundation since 2007, served as vice-president from 2010-2012, and was elected president in 2012. Mr. Loikith is also the current president-elect of the Bergen County Bar Association. The Foundation carries out the charitable and educational mission of the Bergen County Bar Association. The Foundation sponsors an annual golf outing and awards dinner, named in memory of Harwood Lloyd founding partner Frank Lloyd, a former Foundation president, to raise money for the Foundation’s scholarship and grants programs. It also sponsors an annual school backpack drive to provide school supplies to Bergen County kids in need of assistance at the start of the school year, and a holiday toy drive to benefit Bergen County families. The Foundation also underwrites educational programs such as the annual Land Use Symposium offered by the Bergen County Bar Association’s Land Use Committee. The Foundation’s website can be found at www.bcbfoundation.org.

Partner Thomas Loikith Speaks to Parents and Children at Annual “Bring Our Children to Work Day”

April 27, 2017

On April 27, 2017, Thomas Loikith, a partner in Harwood Lloyd’s Commercial Department, as president-elect of the Bergen County Bar Association, addressed attorneys and Bergen County Courthouse employees and their children to the 22nd annual “Bring Our Children to Work Day: A Morning in the Courthouse”. The event, co-sponsored by Women Lawyers in Bergen, the Bergen County Bar Association and the Bergen County Superior Court, is designed to introduce children 9 years of age and older, to men and women in authority at the Bergen County Justice Center. At the beginning of the event, the parents and their children were addressed by Hon. Robert P. Contillo, Presiding Judge of the Chancery Division, General Equity Part of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Helayne Weiss, Vice President of Women Lawyers in Bergen and Mr. Loikith on behalf of the Bergen County Bar Association. Mr. Loikith spoke about the various areas of law in which attorneys practice, a typical day in the life of an attorney and the benefits of being a lawyer.

PARTNER THOMAS LOIKITH ELECTED BERGEN COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT-ELECT.

April 20, 2017

At the Bergen County Bar Association’s annual meeting on April 20, 2017, Thomas Loikith, a partner in Harwood Lloyd’s Commercial Department, was elected and sworn in as the Association’s President-Elect. Mr. Loikith has been a trustee of the Association since 2008 and is currently co-chair of its Banking and Business Law and Corporate Law Committees. Mr. Loikith previously served as Secretary, Treasurer, Second Vice President and First Vice President of the Association. Mr. Loikith is also currently president of the Bergen County Bar Foundation, a 501(c)(3) foundation that carries out the charitable and educational mission of the Association.

Partner David Robertson presents Insurance Fraud Seminar

March 29, 2017

Partner, David Robertson, whose practice focuses on insurance fraud, and who has lectured nationally on the subject, recently presented two hour-long presentations to a New Jersey insurance company on the law of insurance fraud in New Jersey. The presentation included a discussion of the New Jersey Insurance Fraud Prevention Act, the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor, the role of the County Prosecutor’s Offices, anti-fraud policy language, cooperation clause policy language, and case law concerning policy fraud clauses, cooperation clauses, and the law of third-party bad faith. The presentation was part of a program to educate claims handlers about the applicable law when adjusting potentially fraudulent claims.

Dave has lectured to national insurance carriers on the issue of insurance fraud, including most recently at meetings of the New Jersey Special Investigations Association, the New Jersey Vehicle Theft Investigators Association and the Society of Investigators of Greater Newark. He also successfully litigated claims and recovered damages pursuant to the New Jersey Fraud Prevention Act. Dave is widely considered by members of the bar to be an expert in this field.

Dave served as a Bergen County Assistant Prosecutor from 1980 to 1984. During that time period he served as Arson Squad Chief, Narcotics Squad Chief, Chief of Grand Jury and Assistant Trial Chief. He thereafter entered private practice and became a Certified Civil Trial attorney. Shortly before Dave entered private practice, New Jersey enacted the New Jersey Insurance Fraud Prevention Act. Dave immediately transitioned his prosecutorial experience into the civil arena investigating potentially fraudulent insurance claims and protecting insurance carriers and insureds against fraudulent insurance claims. Not only have these claims been successfully defended, but on multiple occasions the fraudulent claimants have had to reimburse the victims of their attempted fraud pursuant to the New Jersey Insurance Fraud Prevention Act.

Counsel Andrew G. Toulas attains favorable verdict in Bergen County Law Division, Kim v. Scheetz BER-L-9223-12

November 2, 2016

This case was tried before Judge John Langan in Bergen County from October 31, 2016 to verdict on November 2, 2016. The lawsuit resulted from an automobile accident which occurred on December 30, 2010 at the intersection of High Street and Closter Dock Road in Closter, New Jersey. Defendant was travelling on High Street governed by a blinking red light and stop sign. Plaintiff was slowing down for a blinking amber light on Closter Dock Road when a collision ensued. Liability was assessed at 100% against the defendant.

Plaintiff 58 years old at the time, was immobilized and transported by ambulance to the hospital where he was examined and discharged after XRAYs and CT scans revealed no fractures. He then underwent a variety of conservative therapies for neck and low back pain. The neck pain radiated down his arms and hands causing numbness. Plaintiff underwent 4 epidural injections under anesthesia (2 in the neck, 2 in the low back) after MRIs revealed disc abnormalities, and EMGs revealed evidence of radiculopathy. The plaintiff was involved in a subsequent motor vehicle accident wherein he again injured his neck and back requiring more physical therapy. Plaintiff contended that the injuries suffered in the first accident were permanent. Through expert medical testimony of an orthopedist and neurologist, the defense contended that any disc pathology was commensurate with the plaintiff’s natural aging process, not caused by the trauma of the accident. By a 6-0 count, the jury found that plaintiff failed to sustain his burden of proving that he sustained a permanent injury in the accident as required by New Jersey law and rendered the verdict in defendant’s favor.

Partner Curtis J. Turpan obtains victory on New Jersey Supreme Court in PIP Reimbursement decision. Johnson v. Roselle EZ Quick, LLC, et al Docket No. 075044 July 27, 2016

September 6, 2016

The accident on which this case is based occurred as the plaintiff was driving while intoxicated. Plaintiff, who was seriously injured in the accident, had purchased alcohol at a liquor store hours before the accident occurred. Since the plaintiff was a minor at the time of the purchase, the liquor store was liable for Plaintiff injuries. Harwood Lloyd’s client, GEICO had made $250,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits. It sought reimbursement of this amount from the insurer of the liquor store under a provision of the No-Fault Statute. After plaintiff made his claim for PIP benefits and GEICO paid the benefits, the Legislature amended the statute to provide that the claim of an injured plaintiff must be fully satisfied before a PIP carrier could be reimbursed. Agreeing with Mr. Turpan’s argument on behalf of GEICO, the Supreme Court ruled that the amendment should not be applied retroactively, affirming the decisions of the trial court and the Appellate Division. The high court also agreed with Mr. Turpan and the lower courts that GEICO’s right to reimbursement accrued when the plaintiff first made a claim for PIP benefits, before the statute was amended. Therefore, the Supreme Court ruled that GEICO retained its right to reimbursement. Associate Paul E. Kiel assisted Mr. Turpan in the litigation of this matter.

Harwood Lloyd recognizes and Congratulates their Attorneys listed in (201) Magazine 2016 List of Bergen’s Top Lawyers.

June 8, 2016

Harwood Lloyd recognizes and Congratulates their Attorneys listed in (201) Magazine 2016 List of Bergen’s Top Lawyers.

(201) Magazine presented the results of the annual peer-review survey, including six of Harwood Lloyd’s attorneys in the June issue. We congratulate Alexander Carver, Michael Brady, Peter Mueller, Dave Robertson, Dave Repetto and Joe Scorese on their inclusion in the current list of Bergen’s Top Lawyers. Judge Carver (ret’d.) made the list in the field of Alternative Dispute Resolution while Partner Mike Brady was included in the Banking field, Partners Peter Mueller and Dave Robertson in Insurance, and Managing Partner Dave Repetto and Partner Joe Scorese in Trusts & Estates, Wills & Probate.

The (201) Magazine Top Lawyers survey is conducted by Professional Research Services (PRS) of Troy, Michigan. PRS contacts attorneys who are given the opportunity to recommend colleagues in their given specialty. Each nominee is then evaluated. Those attorneys receiving the highest number of votes make the List.

Partners Evelyn Storch and David Repetto win appeal in a probate matter in a published decision.

May 23, 2016

In the Estate of Byung Tae Oh, a three judge panel consisting of the Honorable Clarkson S. Fisher, Jr. , Garry S. Rothstadt, and Heidi Willis Currier, affirmed a decision by the Honorable Robert P. Contillo, which had granted summary judgment to HL’s client in a matter involving ancillary jurisdiction over property within this State when possessed by an intestate nonresident at the time of death pursuant to N.J.S.A. 3B:10-7. The primary question to be resolved was whether a money transfer made by a now-deceased Korean citizen to a New Jersey limited liability company constituted an investment and, thus, an asset of the decedent at the time of his death, or a gift to his son, the general partner of the limited liability company. The Appellate Division enunciated two key issues of law, which must now be followed by the lower courts: First, “to determine whether the court possessed ancillary jurisdiction pursuant to N.J.S.A. 3B:10-7, the judge was required to resolve the merits of the parties' dispute….” Second, where funds were transferred from the decedent to a limited liability company of which the decedent’s son, the defendant, was the managing member, not to the defendant himself, defendant was not entitled to the presumption that the transfer was a gift but, rather, had to prove by clear, cogent, and persuasive evidence that the decedent’s intention was an inter vivos gift. The Appellate Division affirmed Judge Contillo’s finding that defendant failed to meet that burden, which justified entry of summary judgment in favor of plaintiff.

Partner Greg Irwin obtains favorable defense verdict in Morris County, Copp v Koharski MRS L 2997 13

April 26, 2016

Plaintiff brought this claim against residential homeowners after slipping and falling on ice on the sidewalk abutting their property. Plaintiff sustained a severely fractured ankle requiring an open reduction and insertion of plates and screws. Medical experts on behalf of both parties agreed as to the nature of the injury and the need for the surgical treatment but disagreed as to the outcome, with defendant’s expert noting a full functional return. At issue in the trial was liability: the location of the fall, and whether the action of the homeowners in allowing a sump pump and/or gutter leader to direct water flow onto the driveway contributed to the ice condition alleged by Plaintiff to have caused the fall. Plaintiff’s and Defendant’s respective engineering experts provided contrasting testimony on these issues. After a short deliberation, a unanimous jury agreed that Defendants were not negligent and the Court entered a No Cause verdict.

Partner Thomas Loikith Elected to Fifth Term as President of Bergen County Bar Foundation

April 20, 2016

Thomas Loikith, a partner in Harwood Lloyd’s Commercial Department, was re-elected to a fifth term as president of the Bergen County Bar Foundation. Mr. Loikith has been a trustee of the Bar Foundation since 2007, served as vice-president from 2010-2012, and was elected president in 2012. The Bar Foundation is the charitable and educational adjunct of the Bergen County Bar Association. The Bar Foundation sponsors an annual golf outing and awards dinner, named in memory of Harwood Lloyd founding partner Frank Lloyd, a former Bar Foundation president, to raise money for the Bar Foundation’s scholarship and grants programs. It also sponsors an annual school backpack drive to provide school supplies to Bergen County kids in need of assistance at the start of the school year, and a holiday toy drive to benefit Bergen County families. The Bar Foundation also underwrites educational programs such as the annual Land Use Symposium offered by the Bergen County Bar Association’s Land Use Committee. The Bar Foundation’s website can be found at www.bcbfoundation.org.

Counsel Andrew G. Toulas attains favorable verdict in Bergen County Law Division, Kim v. Kopack BER-L-9225-13

April 19, 2016

This case was tried before Judge Gregg Padovano in Bergen County on April 13, 14, 18 and 19 2016 ultimately on the issue of damages only after liability had been decided by the court after the parties’ testimony that defendant had caused a rearend collision. On October 13, 2012 plaintiff, age 58 at the time, was rearended while slowing down for heavy traffic on Route 17 Southbound at 7 pm when a 3 car chain collision initiated by defendant ensued. The occupants of the middle vehicle were transported to a hospital by ambulance. The plaintiff felt immediate neck, back and head pain but did not seek emergency medical care. He first visited a medical provider 3 days after the accident, eventually undergoing several months of conservative physical therapy and acupuncture. MRIs of the cervical and lumbar spine revealed disc herniations and bulges, and EMGs revealed radiculopathy at multiple levels. The plaintiff had 5 epidural injections in an effort to alleviate the pain. Plaintiff contended that his injuries were permanent. The defense asserted that plaintiff sustained overlapping injuries to the neck and back in prior and subsequent motor vehicle accidents all resulting in similar medical treatment, MRI and EMG findings. Further, through expert medical testimony of an orthopedist and neurologist, it was contended that the disc abnormalities were caused by the natural aging process, not by the trauma as alleged by plaintiff. The jury by an 8-0 count found that plaintiff did not satisfy his burden of proving that he suffered a permanent injury in the accident as required by New Jersey law and rendered the verdict in defendant’s favor.

PARTNER THOMAS LOIKITH ELECTED BERGEN COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION FIRST VICE PRESIDENT.

April 14, 2016

At the Bergen County Bar Association’s annual meeting on April 14, 2016, Thomas Loikith, a partner in Harwood Lloyd’s Commercial Department, was elected and sworn in as the Association’s First Vice President. Mr. Loikith has been a trustee of the Association since 2008 and is currently co-chair of its Banking and Business Law and Corporate Law Committees. Mr. Loikith previously served as Secretary, Treasurer and Second Vice President of the Association. Mr. Loikith is also currently president of the Bergen County Bar Foundation, a 501(c)(3) foundation that carries out the charitable and educational mission of the Association.

Super Lawyers has added 8 of Harwood Lloyd’s attorneys to its ranks in its 2016 review.

April 1, 2016

Super Lawyers has added 8 of Harwood Lloyd’s attorneys to its ranks in its 2016 review. New Jersey Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations.

Each year, no more than five percent of the lawyers in the state are selected as Super Lawyers and no more than 2.5 percent are selected for Super Lawyer Rising Stars. The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations.

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Partner Evelyn Storch Receives 2016 Diversity in the Profession Award from the Bergen County Bar Association and Women Lawyers in Bergen.

March 16, 2016

On March 16, 2016, Harwood Lloyd partner Evelyn Storch received the Diversity in the Profession Award from the Bergen County Bar Association and Women Lawyers in Bergen. The Award was presented to her by Harwood Lloyd partner Thomas Loikith who is Second Vice President of the Bergen County Bar Association and President of the Bergen County Bar Foundation. The Diversity in the Profession Award is presented annually to an attorney, law firm or non-lawyer in recognition of their efforts and achievements in advancing diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.

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Ken Foreman obtains Defense Verdict on the Verbal Threshold in Bergen County, Bower v Berenzweig BER L 7003-13

February 26, 2016

Case involved two automobile accident on Godwin Avenue in Midland Park. Plaintiff, a 54 year old male on disability since 2002, was eastbound on Godwin Avenue. Defendant was exiting the King’s parking lot and struck plaintiff’s vehicle. Plaintiff alleged a disc herniation in the cervical spine at C4-5 as a result of the accident. Plaintiff was taken from the scene by ambulance to Valley Hospital where he was seen in the ER and released. Four weeks later he went to his orthopedic surgeon who two years earlier had performed bilateral hip replacement on the plaintiff. The doctor ordered physical therapy and eventually ordered epidural steroid injections in the cervical spine about 18 months later. Defendant argued that plaintiff had not met the verbal threshold and that any abnormalities in the cervical spine were the result of degenerative conditions. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendant 6-1 that plaintiff did not suffer a permanent injury.

Counsel Andrew G. Toulas attains favorable verdict in Bergen County Law Division, Peralta v. Antonellis BER-L-5060-11

February 8, 2016

This case was tried before Judge Keith A. Bachmann in Bergen County on February 2,3,4 and 8, 2016 on the issue of damages only after liability had been stipulated by defendant who caused a rear end collision and was unavailable because he was active in the military at the time of trial. On December 21, 2009, plaintiff, age 29, was a passenger along with her family in a car stopped in traffic on Route 4 eastbound when the car was struck from behind by defendant’s vehicle. The plaintiff was taken by ambulance to Holy Name Hospital with her family where she was examined and released. She complained of immediate neck and back pain requiring 6 months of chiropractic care. An MRI of plaintiff’s lumbosacral spine taken a month after the accident revealed a herniated disc at the L5-S1 level. Plaintiff contended that her injuries were permanent. The defense asserted that plaintiff sustained temporary soft tissue-type injuries which were not permanent in nature. Further, through expert medical testimony of an orthopedist, it was contended that the disc herniation was the result of the degenerative disc disease process caused by wear and tear as opposed to the trauma alleged by plaintiff. The jury found that plaintiff failed to carry her burden of proving that she sustained a permanent injury as required in this case by New Jersey law rendering its verdict in favor of the defendant.

David Robertson, Partner and Fraud Department Chair, Obtains Declaratory Judgment in Favor of Insurance Company, ACIC v. Johnson, et al., Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Essex County, Docket No. ESX L- 8300-13

January 28, 2016

Dave filed a declaratory judgment action on behalf of ACIC in response to a claim for coverage for a dog bite claim asserted by an innocent party bitten by the homeowner’s pitbull. The homeowner had signed a homeowner’s insurance application denying that she had any animals on the premises. ACIC would not have written the coverage if correct information had been furnished. At a bench trial before the Hon. Christine Farrington, the Court heard testimony from the ACIC agent who took the application, a Senior Regional Personal Lines Underwriter and the homeowner in her own defense. The Court accepted as true the testimony of the agent and underwriter, questioned the credibility of the homeowner, found in favor of ACIC on the claim of intentional misrepresentation and determined that the policy was voided by the homeowner’s misrepresentations.

Partner, Dave Robertson, achieves favorable jury verdict in Bergen County, Frankel v GEICO, BER DC 11698-15

January 21, 2016

Judge Padavano presided over this jury trial wherein Plaintiff claimed that he suffered a compensable loss under his GEICO auto policy when his vehicle was stolen by unknown persons. GEICO investigated the loss and declined payment based on the results of the investigation, where Plaintiff gave conflicting information regarding the details of the alleged theft. After a short deliberation the jury concluded that Plaintiff failed to prove he suffered a compensable loss under the policy. Further, the jury agreed with GEICO’s position that the Plaintiff’s material misrepresentations violated the New Jersey Insurance Fraud Prevention Act.

COUNSEL ANDREW G. TOULAS APPROVED BY THE SUPREME COURT OF NEW JERSEY BOARD ON ATTORNEY CERTIFICATION FOR RECERTIFICATION AS A CIVIL TRIAL ATTORNEY

January 1, 2016

Initially certified by the New Jersey Supreme Court in 2005, and recertified in 2010, Mr. Toulas’ current recertification period extends to November 30, 2020. As a certified civil trial attorney, Mr. Toulas and six other current Harwood Lloyd attorneys have demonstrated sufficient levels of experience, education, knowledge and skill in civil trial practice as recognized by other attorneys and judges familiar with their work. The designation also involved passing a written examination in civil trial law and fulfilling ongoing continuing legal education requirements.

Seth Griep obtains defense jury verdict in Bergen County

November 18, 2015

Seth defended a damages only trial, a personal injury action arising from a motor vehicle accident. The issue was whether plaintiff was permanently injured as a proximate cause of the accident to vault the verbal threshold. Plaintiff alleged a traumatic herniated disc in her cervical spine at C5-6 confirmed on MRI, and a herniated disc in her lumbar spine at L4-5, both herniations impressing the thecal sac. The defense acknowledged the herniations, but argued that they were the result of pre-existing degenerative disc disease, noted by the radiologists who read the CT and MRI studies. The defense IME doctor confirmed evidence of degenerative disc disease based upon his review of the MRI films. Plaintiff's doctor was forced to admit that there was evidence of degenerative disc disease, and acknowledged omitting any reference to it in his report. The defense also argued that plaintiff was treated and released from the emergency room, waited a week to seek additional treatment, only treated with a chiropractor, did not treat with a neurologist or a pain management specialist, did not have any surgeries and had not treated for her injuries in over 3 years. In addition, while plaintiff denied any prior low back pain and/or prior neck pain at her deposition, primary care physician records revealed that plaintiff had treated for her lower back one year before the accident. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendant, finding no permanent injury related to the accident.

Partner Kristine Denning obtains No Cause jury verdict in Bergen County, Petty v. NJM Insurance Co., BER L 4716-13

September 3, 2015

Judge Robert C. Wilson presided over this damages-only, non-verbal threshold trial on August 31, September 1, September 2, and September 3, 2015. Plaintiff, age 53, alleged several spinal herniations as a result of a rear-end hit in Lyndhurst, N.J. In addition to pain and suffering, the Plaintiff claimed a permanent inability to work as a result of the accident with a resulting wage loss claim. Liability for the accident was stipulated. The jury heard from Plaintiff’s family doctor and from a medical doctor board certified in preventive medicine with a specialty in occupational medicine. A neurologist and radiologist retained on behalf of the Defendant disputed any injury or inability to work as a result of the motor vehicle accident. After a short deliberation, the jury found that the Plaintiff did not sustain any injury proximately caused by the accident.

Partner Peter Mueller successfully defends insurance coverage dispute through Appeal attempt (Bergin v. Ruggiero, Auburger v. Ruggiero)

August 18, 2015

Peter represented AIG member company AIU Insurance Company (“AIU”). AIU’s insured collided with a motorcycle, whose occupants suffered significant injuries. Plaintiffs recovered the proceeds of the insured’s primary auto policy. AIU had issued a personal excess policy to its insured. However, the vehicle involved in the accident was not listed in the excess policy, and that policy specifically excluded coverage for unscheduled vehicles. After securing an assignment, plaintiffs sued AIU and the insurance brokers involved. Following discovery, Peter moved for summary judgment on behalf of AIU. The trial court agreed with Peter, found the policy exclusion clear and enforceable and granted AIU’s motion. The court also denied the brokers’ subsequent motion for reconsideration. The Appellate Division denied the motion for leave to appeal, leaving in place the trial court’s ruling that AIU did not owe coverage.

August 13, 2015 Ken Foreman successful again with defense jury verdict, Bergen County Alam v Bartolo BER L 7962-13

August 13, 2015

Plaintiff, a 38 year old New Jersey State Trooper, alleged an injury in the scope and course of his employment on August 5, 2012. The plaintiff had parked his trooper vehicle at an angle in the right lane of the Garden State Parkway northbound, as part of his role in traffic control for an earlier incident located on the right shoulder. While traffic was merging from the right to center lane, the trooper’s vehicle was struck by the defendant. Defendant admitted fault for the accident but disputed causing a permanent injury. Plaintiff alleged two herniations and a disc bulge in the cervical spine. Plaintiff did not seek any immediate medical treatment. He began physical therapy nine days after the accident. He continued to work as a state trooper, taking no time off related to the accident. Plaintiff called as expert witnesses the treating chiropractor and the reading radiologist. Defendant called an orthopedic surgeon who reviewed the MRIs and medical records and performed an examination. The jury returned a verdict in favor the defendant finding that plaintiff did not provide proof of a permanent injury sufficient to vault the verbal threshold.

August 13, 2015 Partner, Evelyn Storch, has been appointed Vice Chair of the District IIA Ethics Committee.

August 13, 2015

Evelyn, a partner in the firm’s Commercial Department where she handles commercial litigation, has been appointed by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as Vice Chair of the District IIA Ethics Committee. She will serve two years in that capacity after which she will serve as Committee Chair for an additional two years.

August 10, 2015 Ken Foreman obtains successful defense verdict in Bergen County Kim v Ferraro BER L 3625-13

August 10, 2015

Plaintiff, a 41 year old female, was involved in a two vehicle rear end accident on July 30, 2011. She was stopped at a traffic light on an interior roadway of the Garden State Plaza when she was struck from behind by the defendant. Defendant admitted fault for the accident but disputed causing a permanent injury. Plaintiff was able to drive from the accident scene. She did not go to an emergency room. She began physical therapy one week post-accident. Plaintiff alleged two herniated discs in her cervical spine and a herniated disc in her lumbar spine. Plaintiff also alleged a left C7 radiculopathy. Plaintiff called her treating physiatrist as an expert. Defendant called an orthopedist and a neurologist. Defendant argued that the alleged herniations were not in fact herniations but were bulges that were not uncommon for a woman of plaintiff’s age. The jury returned a unanimous verdict in favor of the defendant finding that plaintiff did not suffer a permanent injury to vault the verbal threshold.

Partner Joseph Scorese chairs program for NYU School of Professional Studies Summer Institute in Taxation July 20 - 22, 2015 New York City

July 20, 2015

Joe, a partner in the Harwood Lloyd Trusts & Estates Department, again chaired the “Introduction to Trusts and Estates” conference for the NYU School of Professional Studies Summer Tax Institute program. Having chaired the program for more than ten years, Joe designed the conference and assembled a faculty of highly-renowned professionals in the trusts & estates field. In addition, Joe also presented as part of the program, “Multi-Generational Planning and the Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax.” Joe is a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and is a frequent lecturer on sophisticated trust and estate topics for professional and lay audiences.

Partner Joe Scorese presents sophisticated Generation-skipping Transfer Tax program for American Bar Association Conference on July 15, 2015, in New York City.

July 15, 2015

Joe, a partner in the Harwood Lloyd Trusts & Estates Department, again presented a program in advanced topics for the generation-skipping transfer tax at the Real Property, Trust and Estate Section of the American Bar Association’s 2015 Skills Training for Estate Planners at New York Law School in New York City. Joe’s presentation focused on ten areas of problematic tax planning for generational wealth transfers. Joe is a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and is a frequent lecturer on sophisticated trust and estate topics for professional and lay audiences.

Partner Dave Robertson achieves favorable jury verdict in Bergen County, Ramos v Santanagelo.

July 13, 2015

Judge DeLuca presided over this week-long jury trial seeking UIM benefits. Plaintiff, a young woman, alleged a permanent injury as a result of a rear-end collision. Plaintiff had already received the underlying tort limits in settlement ($90,000 of a $100,000 policy). Plaintiff claimed neck and back injuries and underwent extensive medical treatment, including an IDET procedure, discogram, multiple injections, laminectomy and discectomy. She claimed a need for a future fusion as well. Defendant disputed a permanent injury proximately caused by the mva. While the jury disagreed, finding a permanent injury, their award of $20,000 was less than the tort’s limits and thus there was no UIM exposure.

Partner Jeanne Marino obtains No Cause jury verdict in Bergen County, Troyanski v Bilin, BER L 5017-12

July 2, 2015

Judge Lisa Perez Friscia presided over this damages-only verbal threshold trial on June 29, July 1 and July 2, 2015. Plaintiff, age 65, alleged an ulnar neuropathy, cervical herniation, cervical radiculopathy and an aggravation of a prior lumbar injury as a result of a rear-end hit on Route 46 in stop-and-go traffic. Liability was stipulated. The jury heard from an orthopedist on behalf of the Plaintiff who reviewed the pre- and post-accident records and films. He opined that the Plaintiff had permanent injuries as a result of the accident. An orthopedist and a neurologist retained on behalf of the Defendant disputed any permanency caused by the motor vehicle accident. While acknowledging that the Plaintiff did present with an ulnar neuropathy, both opined that it pre-existed the accident based on the available records. After a short deliberation the jury found that the Plaintiff did not sustain a permanent injury proximately caused by the accident.

Partner Jeanne Marino obtains No Cause jury verdict in Bergen County, Kehoe v Kasabwala, BER L 5260-13

June 24, 2015

The matter was assigned to Judge Perez Friscia for trial on June 16, 2015 in this disputed liability and damages claim. Plaintiff, age 35 on the date of loss, claimed cervical and lumbar herniations with a possible need for future surgery, allegedly as a result of a motor vehicle accident. The jury heard live testimony from both parties on the liability dispute, where the Plaintiff was traveling in the roadway at the same time that the Defendant was attempting to back out of his driveway. Neither driver observed the other before the impact between Defendant’s rear bumper and Plaintiff’s rear passenger door. Live medical testimony was presented by Plaintiff’s treating chiropractor, and neuro-radiologist who read the MRIs, both confirmed the herniations, and on tape from Plaintiff’s pain management specialist who administered branch block injections. On behalf of Defendant, testimony was elicited from an orthopedist and a neurologist practicing in the county; both disputed the claim of herniations or any permanent injury caused by the car accident. On June 24, 2015 after deliberations the Jury determined liability at 58% on Defendant and 42% on Plaintiff, and declined to find that Plaintiff had sustained a permanent injury proximately caused by the accident to satisfy the Verbal Threshold.

Partner, Evelyn Storch, was installed as a Trustee of the Board of the New Jersey State Bar Association at the organization’s Annual Meeting Gala on May 14.

May 14, 2015

Partner, Evelyn Storch, was installed as a Trustee of the Board of the New Jersey State Bar Association at the organization’s Annual Meeting Gala on May 14. The oath was administered by New Jersey Chief Justice Stuart Rabner. She will serve a two year term and will be eligible to run for two additional terms.

COUNSEL Andrew Toulas elected trustee of Bergen County Bar Association.

April 17, 2015

On April 15, 2015, Andrew Toulas, counsel with Harwood Lloyd, LLC practicing in the firm’s Insurance Defense Department was elected as a trustee of the Bergen County Bar Association. Mr. Toulas fills the vacancy on the Association’s Board of Trustees resulting from the recent appointment of Hon. Gregg A. Padovano as a Judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey. Mr. Toulas was sworn in with other trustees by Bergen County Assignment Judge Peter E. Doyne at the Association’s annual beefsteak held at the Hasbrouck Heights Hilton on April 16, 2015. Mr. Toulas joins a tradition at Harwood Lloyd of service to the Bergen County bench and bar through the Bergen County Bar Association that goes back to 1940 when Francis Lloyd, father of founding partner Frank Lloyd, was president of the Bergen County Bar Association.

JACK GUERIN ATTAINS NO CAUSE JURY VERDICT IN BERGEN COUNTY LAW DIVISION: KIM v PATEL BER L 8613-12

April 6, 2015

Jack was assigned to Judge Firko for trial on March 30, 2015 in this undisputed liability claim. Plaintiff claimed a shoulder injury, with surgery recommended, allegedly as a result of the motor vehicle accident. An evidential issue arose during trial regarding the admissibility, vel non, of opinions of non-testifying experts found in the medical records, with Plaintiff attempting to introduce the opinion of the need for surgery, over Defendant’s objection. The Court ultimately resolved the issue in favor of the Defendant, thus bolstering the defense case. The jury heard live medical testimony from orthopedists on behalf of each party. After a short deliberation, the jury returned a No Cause verdict on April 6, 2015 agreeing with the defense position that the Plaintiff failed to prove a permanent injury proximately caused by the accident.

Partner Thomas Loikith Re-Elected President of Bergen County Bar Foundation

March 24, 2015

Partner Thomas Loikith was re-elected to a fourth term as president of the Bergen County Bar Foundation. Mr. Loikith has been a trustee of the Bar Foundation since 2007, served as vice-president from 2010-2012, and was elected president in 2012. The Bar Foundation is the charitable and educational adjunct of the Bergen County Bar Association. The Bar Foundation sponsors an annual golf outing and awards dinner, named in memory of Harwood Lloyd founding partner Frank Lloyd, a former Bar Foundation president, to raise money for the Bar Foundation’s scholarship and grants programs. It also sponsors an annual school backpack drive to provide school supplies to Bergen County kids in need of assistance at the start of the school year, and a holiday toy drive to benefit Bergen County families. The Bar Foundation also underwrites educational programs such as the annual Land Use Symposium offered by the Bergen County Bar Association’s Land Use Committee. The Bar Foundation’s website can be found at www.bcbfoundation.org.

Partner Joe Scorese attends ACTEC Annual Meeting

March 15, 2015

Joe, a partner in the Trusts and Estates Department, and a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (or ACTEC) attended his first national annual meeting for ACTEC which took place on Marco Island in Florida. There were approximately 1,500 attendees from all 50 states. ACTEC is the premier national association of trust and estate attorneys www.actec.org. Relationships between member attorneys work to weave a tight national network of practitioners doing the most sophisticated work for clients. These programs help foster skills at the cutting edge of the trusts and estates practice.

Thomas Loikith and Manuel D. Irizarry, Jr. Speak at Seminar on the TILA/RESPA Integrated Disclosures

March 9, 2015

On March 9, 2015, Harwood Lloyd attorneys Thomas Loikith and Manuel D. Irizarry, Jr. presented a seminar on the TILA/RESPA Integrated Disclosures to an audience of attorneys and paralegals at The Stony Hill Inn in Hackensack. The seminar was offered by the Bergen County Bar Association as part of its CLE program and was sponsored by Town Title Agency. The integrated loan disclosures, which become effective on August 1, 2015, were prepared and adopted by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Topics discussed included the background of the integrated disclosures, the contents of the new “Loan Estimate” and “Closing Disclosure” forms, and resources available from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau regarding the new integrated disclosures and their implementation.

Partner, Evelyn Storch, was selected from a crowded field by the New Jersey State Bar Association Nominating Committee.

February 5, 2015

Partner, Evelyn Storch, was selected from a crowded field by the New Jersey State Bar Association Nominating Committee to be an At Large Trustee on that Association’s governing body. Absent a challenge by petition, she will be elected by acclamation and be sworn in for her first two year term at the Association’s Annual Meeting in Atlantic City in May.

Ken Foreman obtains No Cause Jury Verdict in Bergen County

January 20, 2015

Perez v. Moskowitz BER-L-6718-12, Hon. Lisa Perez-Friscia, January 20-21, 2015

This lawsuit involved a two car accident occurring in Bergenfield, September 1, 2010. Plaintiff stopped for other traffic and was struck from behind by the defendant. Plaintiff was able to drive her vehicle from the accident scene. Plaintiff alleged a disc herniation at C3-4, a disc bulge at C6-7 and disc bulges at L4-5 and L5-S1. Her pain management doctor opined she also had a herniation at L5-S1. Additionally she alleged bilateral radiculopathy at C6-7 and L5-S1. Plaintiff underwent chiropractic treatment post- accident and continued treatment until May of 2011. In August of 2013, plaintiff underwent an epidural injection at L5-S1. The trial was conducted on an expedited basis. The plaintiff and defendant each testified. The reports of the treating and examining doctors were moved into evidence and provided to the jury. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendant, finding plaintiff did not suffer a permanent injury based on credible objective evidence.

Jeanne O. Marino, Esq. presents NJ ICLE Civil Trial Practice Seminar.

November 24, 2014

On November 24, 2014 Ms. Marino joined with Michael Maggiano, Esq. and Tom Vesper, Esq. as well as Dynamic Evidence’s Vincent Maggiano and LifeNow Video’s Mitch Riggs in a panel presentation: “Presentation of Evidence: Adding Power & Persuasion With Video”. Approximately 100 trial counsel attended this seminar, which presented issues of demonstrative evidence confronting trial attorneys. The seminar included practical guides from two non-attorneys employed in the field of video presentations. While plaintiff’s counsel discussed the benefits of using visuals to enhance and support liability and damages claims, Ms. Marino presented the problems typically encountered in admitting visual demonstrations, as well as the pitfalls of such evidence.

Partner David Robertson Presents Seminar to Fraud Investigators.

October 21, 2014

On October 21, 2014 partner David Robertson gave a presentation to the New Jersey Special Investigator’s Association at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, New Jersey. His topic was Taking Successful Statements Under Oath of Insureds. The presentation focused on understanding the applicable policies of insurance, understanding New Jersey’s case law and statutes that govern these statements, topics to cover during statements, fraud indicators, protocol, and indicators of fraudulent testimony. The NJSIA is comprised of all of New Jersey’s Special Investigators. Over 200 investigators and attorneys were in attendance at the presentation. The presentation was very well received.

ANDREW G. TOULAS attains favorable verdict in Bergen County Law Division, Salas v. Hammond BER-L-1088-12

April 24, 2014

This case was tried before Judge Lisa Perez Friscia in Bergen County on April 16,17,21,22 and 24 2014 on the issue of damages only after liability had been stipulated by defendant. On February 19, 2010 plaintiff, age 29, was stopped for traffic on Route 46 in Little Ferry, New Jersey when he was struck from behind by defendant and pushed into a flatbed truck in front of him. Plaintiff’s vehicle was towed from the scene and plaintiff was taken by ambulance to Hackensack Medical Center whereupon he was examined and released. He returned to the hospital the next day due to neck pain –XRAYS were negative for fracture. Plaintiff underwent conservative physical therapy including acupuncture for neck and back complaints with a chiropractor which lasted for over a year. He was also treated and examined by an orthopedist, neurologist and pain management specialist. MRIs revealed 3 disc herniations in neck and a bulge in the low back. EMG tests were positive for bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome but negative for radiculopathy. Although recommended by his pain management physician, plaintiff did not undergo epidural injections in the neck. Plaintiff contended that all injuries suffered in the accident were permanent. The defense contended that plaintiff sustained temporary soft tissue injuries which were not permanent in nature. Further, through expert medical testimony of a neurologist and orthopedist, it was contended that the alleged spinal disc abnormalities were in reality normal findings associated with everyday wear and tear. The jury unanimously found that plaintiff failed to carry his burden of proving that he sustained a permanent injury as required in this case by New Jersey law rendering its verdict in favor of the defendant.

Partner Thomas Loikith elected treasurer of Bergen County Bar Association.

April 11, 2014

At the Bergen County Bar Association’s annual meeting on April 10, partner Thomas Loikith was elected and sworn in as the Association’s treasurer. Mr. Loikith has been a trustee of the Association since 2008 and is currently co-chair of its Banking and Business Law Committee. Mr. Loikith served as secretary of the Bergen County Bar Association for the 2013-2014 term. Mr. Loikith is also currently president of the Bergen County Bar Foundation, a 501(c)(3) foundation that serves as the charitable and educational adjunct to the Association.

Partner Thomas Loikith Receives “Good Scout Award” from Northern New Jersey Council of the Boy Scouts of America

March 26, 2014

On March 26, 2014, partner Thomas Loikith received the “Good Scout Award” from the Northern New Jersey Council of the Boy Scouts of America at a reception held at Solari’s Restaurant in Hackensack, New Jersey. The Good Scout Award recognizes an individual, company or civic group that exemplifies Scouting in the community. Funds raised in connection with the event will be used to further the ideals of Scouting in youth through citizenship, personal fitness and character development. Harwood Lloyd founding partner Frank Lloyd stressed the importance of the firm’s attorneys giving back to the community and the profession, and many partners and associates at Harwood Lloyd serve as volunteers to boards and organizations including the Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation, the Northern New Jersey Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Youth Consultation Services of New Jersey, the New Jersey State Bar Association “Wills for Heroes Programs”, the Bergen County Bar Association and the Bergen County Bar Foundation, and numerous youth sports teams. Mr. Loikith is a partner in Harwood Lloyd’s Commercial Department, concentrating his practice in business entity formation and counseling, commercial transactions, real estate and asset sales and loans, financial services law, foreclosures, collections and creditors’ rights. Read Tom's Speech

Associates Eileen P. Kuzma and Corey S. Zymet obtain summary judgment dismissal in Hudson County action.

March 1, 2014

Plaintiff, a passenger in the insured’s auto, alleged significant injuries as a result of a motor vehicle accident. The accident occurred when a tire on their vehicle blew out as they were traveling on the Garden State Parkway. During discovery no expert opinion as to the cause of the tire blowout was furnished. In moving for summary judgment, the defense argued that tire blowouts are an everyday occurrence which, absent expert testimony, does not speak to the negligence of the defendant driver. In opposition, plaintiff argued res ipsa loquitur – that is, because defendant was solely in control of the vehicle, a jury should determine whether the driver’s negligence contributed to the tire blowouts and his subsequent inability to regain control of the vehicle. Judge Royster was not persuaded by Plaintiff’s opposition, primarily because plaintiff, in making the res ipsa argument, failed to affirmatively rule out other potential causes of the blowout and subsequent collision.

Partner David Repetto Inducted into the Eagle Scout Hall of Fame.

January 9, 2014

At the Northern New Jersey Council of the Boy Scouts of America annual Eagle Scout Recognition Dinner held on January 9, 2014 at Mayfair Farms in West Orange, partner David Repetto received the National Eagle Scout Association Outstanding Eagle Scout Award and was inducted into the Council’s Eagle Scout Hall of Fame. The Outstanding Eagle Scout Award is given to Eagale Scouts who have demonstrated achievement at the local, state and regional level. Mr. Repetto earned his Eagle Scout award in 1975. In May, 2013, Mr. Repetto received the Silver Beaver Award, the council-level distinguished service award of the Boy Scouts of America. Mr. Repetto served as counsel to the Northern New Jersey Council of the Boy Scouts of America, and currently serves on the Council’s Executive Committee.

Harwood Lloyd proudly supported Youth Consultation Service's 14th Annual Festival of Flavors Charity Event on November 11, 2013.

November 11, 2013

Harwood Lloyd proudly supported Youth Consultation Service's 14th Annual Festival of Flavors Charity Event on November 11, 2013. YCS is a non-profit organization that cares for more than 2,000 children each day; keeping them safe and helping them build happy and healthy lives. The Children’s Place, also an avid supporter of YCS, was this year’s honoree at the event. Harwood Lloyd Partner, Kristine Denning, serves on the YCS Northern Region Advisory Council and is a member of the Foundation Board of Trustees. Associate Attorney Victoria Silva is a Mentor for YCS children and served on the planning committee for the Festival of Flavors event.

YCS

Partner, Jeanne Marino, speaks at New Jersey Defense Association CLE seminar: Women and the Law, November 11, 2013

November 11, 2013

Once again, Jeanne Marino, lectured with distinguished jurists and trial attorneys, on issues facing women as they practice in the field of litigation. This year’s program was devoted to topics including Ethics, achieving success in the profession, perspectives on work – life balance, judicial perspectives and women in the courtroom. Ms. Marino joined a panel which included jurists Hon. Mary Costello, Hon. Karen Cassidy and Hon. Lisa Perez-Friscia. litigators Martha Lynes, Esq. and Jae Lee, Esq., and chaired by Marie Carey, Esq. The program drew over 100 women to the Hilton Woodbridge for the 4 ½ hour presentation. The attendees included women throughout the state devoted to litigation, from newly admitted to the more seasoned professionals. The yearly CLE program provides a great networking opportunity as well as a chance for litigants to hear from the Judges they appear before daily, on the pressing issues of the day.

Joseph P. Scorese was elected as a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate and Estate Counsel.

October 27, 2013

On October 27, 2013, Joseph P. Scorese was elected as a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate and Estate Counsel.  ACTEC is the premier organization of top trusts and estates attorneys nationwide.  Membership is granted to lawyers who are known in the trusts and estates field for their depth of practice, competence, experience and commitment to the trust and estate bar by teaching, lecturing, writing and being involved in legislative initiatives.  Joe joins an elite group of 69 trust and estate attorneys in the State of New Jersey and approximately 2,600 attorneys nationally.

Victoria Silva, Esq. obtains defense verdict in Bergen County action

October 21, 2013

Plaintiffs alleged over $25,000 in property damage to their car, driveway, landscaping and roof as a result of fallen limbs and branches from the Defendants tree, which overhung the Plaintiffs property, during Hurricane Irene and Super Storm Sandy. The Court granted Defendants’ motion to bar any expert report or testimony regarding liability and damages at the time of trial. At trial, Plaintiffs introduced several estimates and photographs of the alleged damages. After Plaintiffs presented their case, counsel moved to dismiss. The Court found that plaintiffs failed to produce any expert testimony and pointed to the estimates, that made no reference to the condition of the trees on defendants property. The Court also noted that said damage was contemporaneous with the hurricanes and as such, the Act of God defense applied. Moreover, the Court noted that the damages evidence was questionable as it covered replacing an entire driveway and landscaping along the entire property line. The Court found in favor of the Defendants and dismissed Plaintiff’s complaint for failure to meet its burden of proof regarding any negligence on part of the defendants.

Partner Gregory J. Irwin leads efforts resulting in summary judgment dismissing substantial Underinsured Motorist Claim-New Jersey Superior Court-Law Division, Bergen, Principe v. Isodoro, et al, BER -L10088-11

October 11, 2013

This action arose out of a motor vehicle accident which occurred while the plaintiff was riding his motorcycle and was struck by another vehicle. Plaintiff was injured as a result of the accident and sought underinsured motorist (UIM) benefits under a policy issued to him by Harwood Lloyd’s client, New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company (“NJM”). Plaintiff’s NJM policy provided him with UIM benefits with limits of $100,000, an amount equivalent to the tortfeasor’s liability limits. Under these circumstances, plaintiff was not entitled to recover UIM benefits from NJM because the tortfeasor was not underinsured. Plaintiff, however, claimed that he was entitled to reformation of his NJM policy in order to obtain a higher level of UIM benefits. Plaintiff based his claim for reformation on his contention that NJM had not adequately informed him of his option to obtain an additional amount of UIM benefits. Summary judgment papers filed by Harwood Lloyd on behalf of NJM demonstrated that NJM was immune from plaintiff’s claim for reformation because NJM had sent plaintiff the documents required by law in preparation for every renewal of his policy. Such proof was based largely on the deposition testimony and certification of NJM’s personal lines underwriting supervisor. Accordingly the Hon. Lisa Perez-Friscia, J.S.C. granted summary judgment dismissing plaintiff’s claim against NJM. Based on court-ordered arbitration, the value of plaintiff’s UIM claim was $100,000. Partner Peter E. Mueller and Associate Paul E. Kiel assisted Mr. Irwin in the litigation of this matter.

BERGEN COUNTY BAR FOUNDATION PRESENTS THE 2013 LAWYER COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD TO PARTNER DAVID T. ROBERTSON.

October 3, 2013

 

David Robertson

On October 3, 2013, the Bergen County Bar Foundation presented its 2013 Lawyer Community Service Award to Harwood Lloyd partner David T. Robertson. The award was presented at the Foundation’s annual Frank V.D. Lloyd Memorial Golf Outing and Awards Dinner held at White Beeches Country Club in Haworth, New Jersey. The Lawyer Community Service Award is given each year to a Bergen County attorney who has performed exemplary voluntary service to the Bergen County community. Dave received the award based on his more than 30 years of service to the people of Bergen County. That service includes:

  • Assistant Prosecutor in Bergen County from 1980-1984. While there, he served as Grand Jury Chief, Arson Squad Chief, and Assistant Trial Chief.
  • Demarest Athletic Association: Between 1992 and 2007, Coached 21 Little League Baseball Teams.
  • Demarest Athletic Association: Between 1992 and 1999, Coached 6 Soccer Teams.
  • Demarest Public Pool Commission: Served as Board Member and Volunteer Board Attorney for a four year term in the late 1990’s.
  • Tenafly Presbyterian Church: Served as Deacon from 1995 to 2005.
    Served as personnel Committee Member from 2000 through 2004.
    Served as Chair of the Personnel Committee from 2005 through 2007.
    Served as Liturgist from 2005 through present.
  • Bergen County Ethics Committee:  Appointed by the N.J. Supreme Court to serve on the District Ethics Committee for District IIB from 1991 until 1994.
  • New Jersey Fee Arbitration Committee:  Appointed by the N.J. Supreme Court to serve on the New Jersey Fee Arbitration Committee from 2007 to 2009 and was Chairman of Bergen District IIB from 2009 to 2010.
  • President of the Michael Robertson Foundation:  In this capacity Dave has contributed significant funding to wounded soldiers (Operation Music Aid), nature centers, Challenged Athlete Foundation, Michael J. Fox Foundation, camping for indigents, Veterans Organizations, Rescue Animal Facilities, and several other causes.
  • YMCA of Greater Bergen County:  Member of Foundation Board from 2009 through present.  Vice Chairman of Board from 2010 through 2012.  Chairman of Board from March, 2013 through 2016.
  • Hackensack University Medical Center:  Trustee of the Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation Board, March, 2008 through present.

At Harwood Lloyd, Dave specializes in insurance defense litigation, municipal law, arson and insurance fraud cases, insurance bad faith defense litigation, and legal ethics and professional responsibility. He is certified by the New Jersey Supreme Court as a Certified Civil Trial Attorney. For the past 13 years, Dave’s peers have awarded him the Martindale-Hubbell Preeminent AV Rating, 5.0 out of 5.0. He has been named by New Jersey Super Lawyers® magazine as one of the top attorneys in New Jersey for 2011-2013. Dave was also named in New Jersey Monthly Magazine in 2012 and 2013 as one of New Jersey’s best civil litigators, and was named by 201 Magazine in June, 2013 as one of “Bergen’s Best” attorneys in the fields of civil litigation and insurance law. Dave received his B.A. degree from Dickinson College, Cum Laude in 1977. He received his J.D. degree from St. Louis University School of Law in 1980.

Dave is married to Marilyn. They have 3 children, Michael, Matthew and Joseph. Sadly, their oldest son Michael passed away in 2007.

The Bergen County Bar Foundation’s annual golf outing and awards dinner is named in memory of Harwood Lloyd founding partner Frank V.D. Lloyd who passed away in 2007. Frank was instrumental in establishing and running the Bergen County Bar Foundation for many years. Frank also established a tradition of community service at Harwood, and it is fitting that Dave received the 2013 Lawyer Community Service Award at the dinner named in memory of Frank.

Partner Kristine Denning was elected to sit on the Foundation Board of Trustees for Youth Consultation Services (YCS) and recognized for her charitable contributions to the community in general at the YCS Annual Meeting on September 23, 2013.

September 23, 2013

Founded in 1918, YCS is a private, non-profit, non-sectarian agency that provides behavioral health and social services to New Jersey children. YCS organizes and run numerous programs including special education schools, autism centers, foster care, therapeutic residences, homes for the developmentally disabled and other community-based services. Ms. Denning is already a member of the YCS Northern Region Advisory Council which participates in planning and organizing fundraising events and providing guidance for the distribution of funds. As a member of the Board of Trustees, she will now devote additional time to providing fiscal oversight, educating the community about YCS’ missions, and other services devoted to the long-term sustainability of this organization.

David Robertson's photograph of his Chocolate Lab Sydney was a top twenty finalist in the International Orvis Cover Dog Photo Contest.

September 1, 2013

Partner, Dave Robertson, has two hobbies: cooking and photography. He recently learned during a one week span that his efforts in both had been rewarded. Dave came in second place in Guy Fieri’s Second Annual Grilling Recipe Contest with his Grilled Jersey Tomato Soup with Garlic Croutons Recipe. Dave’s photograph of his Chocolate Lab Sydney was a top twenty finalist in the International Orvis Cover Dog Photo Contest. The photograph can be seen on the Orvis website at http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid1680442787001?bckey=AQ~~,AAABhuSoclE~,kvzoL-4qOJdh94m-ZX3xJadnexirkBw6&bclid=0&bctid=2553126252001 . Sydney is the first photograph exhibited in the above video. Dave’s photograph was selected from over 10,000 photographs submitted to Orvis from all over the world

Harwood Lloyd's Maritime Group recently won several cases consolidated in Baltimore, Maryland, against a major international shipowner.

September 1, 2013

Harwood Lloyd’s Maritime Group recently won several cases consolidated in Baltimore, Maryland, against a major international shipowner. In the suit, plaintiff claimed a trucker carrying the shipowner’ s ocean-freight container hopped a curb and hit a baby in a stroller. Because plaintiff could not identify the trucker, she filed several claims with the Maryland Auto Insurance Fund (“MAIF”) for uninsured motorist benefits. In turn, MAIF joined the shipowner and claimed it was liable for the alleged tort of the driver.

After several procedural obstacles, and shortly before trial, the Maritime Group obtained permission from the court to file a motion to dismiss. In the motion, the shipowner demonstrated that it does not employ truckers to carry cargo, and, moreover, any trucker that carries ocean freight must execute an agreement in which the trucker indemnifies and insures the shipowner. Accordingly, the shipowner successful argued that, even if the trucker were identified, the shipowner would not be vicariously liable for the trucker. The court agreed, and dismissed complaint against the shipowner.

Christen v Wyka (Appellate Division Docket A 1122-12T1 on appeal from Order of the Law Division, Docket BER L 2865-11)

August 9, 2013

Appellate Division upholds finding of no liability on homeowner for injuries sustained by pedestrian on sidewalk

Jeanne O. Marino, Esq. (Jeanne O. Marino, Esq. and Eileen Kuzma, Esq., on the brief)

On Plaintiff’s appeal the Appellate Division upheld the trial court’s decision granting summary judgment to the homeowner, finding no duty on the homeowner to a pedestrian injured when she fell on the public sidewalk abutting the residence. Plaintiff claimed she fell when she heard the homeowner’s dogs barking and became startled. Plaintiff sustained injuries as a result of the fall and underwent various surgeries to correct them. The Appellate Division refused to impose a duty on the residential homeowner to safeguard pedestrians on public sidewalks from being startled by a dog, barking, from a fenced yard. The court disagreed with Plaintiff that tort liability should be imposed and noted no reported cases imposing liability where there was no contact with the dog and the plaintiff was not on the homeowner’s property.

Partner Joseph Scorese Presides at NYU Tax Conference.

July 19, 2013

Joseph Scorese, partner in Harwood Lloyd’s Trusts and Estates Department, recently coordinated and moderated his ninth consecutive three-day tax conference in New York City for New York University’s School for Continuing and Professional Studies in a program entitled “Introduction to Trusts and Estates.” He also presented “Generational Planning and the Generation-skipping Transfer Tax” at the conference.

Partner Joseph Scorese speaks on Generation Skipping Transfer Tax.

July 18, 2013

On July 18, 2013, Joseph Scorese, partner in Harwood Lloyd’s Trusts and Estates Department, spoke at the Real Property, Trust and Estate Section of the American Bar Association’s annual Advanced Skills Training for Estate Planners in New York City. Mr. Scorese’s presentation was entitled “My, My, Hey, Hey, the GST Is Here to Stay”. Mr. Scorese’s presentation focused on several technical aspects of the tax in light of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012.

Sytsma v. Serignese (Appellate Division Docket No.: A-4776-11T1, on appeal from Orders of the Law Division, Docket No. BER-L-2661-10).

July 17, 2013

Appellate Division Upholds Application of Verbal Threshold to Adult Child Living Out of State.

Seth D. Griep, Esq. (Russell A. Pepe, Esq. of counsel and on the brief; Seth D. Griep, Esq. on the brief and oral argument).

On Plaintiff’s appeal, the Appellate Division upheld the trial court’s decision that Plaintiff was subject to the limitation on lawsuit option (the “verbal threshold”) selected by Plaintiff’s parents in their personal auto policy. At the time of the accident Plaintiff was living in an apartment in New York; he argued that he was not a member of his parents’ household in New Jersey. Following the accident, Plaintiff gave his parents’ address to the responding police officer, used their address again at the hospital and, most importantly, applied for, and received, Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) benefits under his parents’ personal auto policy. Plaintiff also conceded that he used his parents’ address in order to receive important information and bills. The Appellate Division recognized that PIP benefits are typically payable only when the named insured or “members of his immediate family residing in the household” sustain bodily injury as a result of an accident caused by an automobile. In addition to the view taken by the court, this decision was significant because plaintiff’s complaint had been dismissed on summary judgment by the trial court, ruling that plaintiff’s injuries failed to meet the verbal threshold.

Partner Thomas Loikith gives CLE presentation

June 20, 2013

On June 20, 2013, partner Thomas Loikith was a speaker at a seminar in Newark, New Jersey entitled “Limited Liability Companies” sponsored by National Business Institute. Mr. Loikith wrote the course materials and spoke on the topics of “Creating Practical Operating Procedures”, “Control over Transfers of LLC Interests”, and “Converting to an LLC”. Mr. Loikith has been an author and speaker at seminars on topics including revised Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code, commercial loan documentation and business entity choice. Mr. Loikith is a partner in Harwood Lloyd’s Commercial Department, concentrating his practice in business entity formation and counseling, commercial transactions, real estate and asset sales and loans, financial services law, foreclosures, collections and creditors’ rights.

At the 15th annual recognition dinner of the Northern New Jersey Council of the Boy Scouts of America held on May 13, 2013, partner David Repetto received the Silver Beaver Award presented by the National Court of Honor.

May 13, 2013

David Repetto

At the 15th annual recognition dinner of the Northern New Jersey Council of the Boy Scouts of America held on May 13, 2013, partner David Repetto received the Silver Beaver Award presented by the National Court of Honor. The Silver Beaver Award is the council-level distinguished service award of the Boy Scouts of America. Recipients of this award are registered adult leaders who have made an impact on the lives of youth through service given to the council. The Silver Beaver is an award given to those who implement the Scouting program and perform community service through hard work, self sacrifice, dedication, and many years of service. It is given to those who do not actively seek it. Mr. Repetto is an Eagle Scout. Among his many other volunteer activities, Mr. Repetto was Assistant Cubmaster and Cubmaster of Pack 133, and Assistant Scoutmaster of Troop 133, both in Upper Saddle River, New Jersey. Mr. Repetto has just completed his term as counsel to the Northern New Jersey Council of the Boy Scouts of America, and currently serves on the Council’s Executive Committee.

Partner Thomas Loikith Appointed to Montclair State University College of Humanities and Social Sciences Advisory Council.

May 2, 2013

Partner Thomas Loikith has been appointed to the Montclair State University College of Humanities and Social Sciences Advisory Council. The Advisory Council provides guidance, philanthropic support and advocates for the College’s programs with the related goal of ensuring alignment of the strategic plan of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences with the broader vision of Montclair State University. Council members will be a part of ongoing communication of events and activities within the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and general programs at the University.The Advisory Council is comprised of a founding group of 10-12 volunteers who give of their time, knowledge, resources, and experience to take a non-executive role in the activities of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. The Council includes individuals in a variety of professional fields including business, finance, law, marketing, technology, and education. Mr. Loikith graduated from Montclair State College in 1975 with a B.A. in Political Science. He taught in the Montclair State Legal Studies Program for 10 years and is a co-founder of the Montclair State Alumni in Law. He has also served as a member and co-chair of the Montclair State Paralegal Studies Advisory Committee.

Ken Foreman obtains defense verdict in Passaic County, Schaum v Greenblatt, PAS L 2320-11

May 1, 2013

A three day jury trial in Passaic County involving a 42 year old male with an alleged SLAP tear to the left shoulder resulted in a defense verdict based on plaintiff’s failure to meet his burden of proof of permanent injury. Liability was admitted and the case was tried on damages only. The dispute arose from an automobile accident. The defendant came off a highway ramp that required a right turn only. The defendant attempted to proceed straight, attempting to cross three lanes of traffic and in the process struck plaintiff’s vehicle. Plaintiff did not complain of pain at the scene and drove himself home. Plaintiff began to experience left shoulder and left leg pain at home and went to the emergency room the next morning. He began treatment with a physiatrist two and half weeks later. An MRI revealed an alleged tear to the superior labrum of the left shoulder. Plaintiff underwent physical therapy for 18 months and also had two platlet rich plasma injections to the left shoulder. The defense argued that the ER exam of the shoulder was objectively normal. The first treatment record mentioned both shoulders, and the second and third visit records did not mention the left shoulder at all, but discussed neck and back complaints. The defense also argued that the location of the plasma injections was indicative of treatment for impingement and not a SLAP tear. On exam the defense doctor found an objectively normal exam. On review of the left shoulder MRI films, the defense doctor opined there was not a tear, but abnormal signals indicating degenerative changes to the superior labrum. The jury returned a unanimous verdict that the plaintiff did not suffer a permanent injury as a proximate cause of the motor vehicle accident.

Partner Thomas Loikith Elected Re-Elected President of Bergen County Bar Foundation

May 1, 2013

Partner Thomas Loikith was re-elected to a second 1-year term as president of the Bergen County Bar Foundation, effective on May 1, 2013. Mr. Loikith has been a trustee of the Bar Foundation since 2007, served as vice-president from 2010-2012, and was elected president in 2012. The Bar Foundation is the charitable and educational adjunct of the Bergen County Bar Association. The Bar Foundation sponsors an annual golf outing and awards dinner, named in memory of Harwood Lloyd founding partner Frank Lloyd, a former Bar Foundation president, to raise money for the Bar Foundation’s scholarship and grants programs. It also sponsors an annual school backpack drive to provide school supplies to Bergen County kids in need of assistance at the start of the school year, and a holiday toy drive to benefit Bergen County families. Last year, the Bar Foundation dedicated its annual toy drive to providing donations of cash and gift cards to assist Bergen County families impacted by the Hurricane Sandy and contributed to the restoration of the Bergen County Courthouse Child Care Center which was severely damaged by Sandy. The Bar Foundation also underwrites educational programs such as the annual Land Use Symposium offered by the Bergen County Bar Association’s Land Use Committee. The Bar Foundation’s website can be found at www.bcbfoundation.org.

Partner Thomas Loikith elected secretary of Bergen County Bar Association

April 18, 2013

At the Bergen County Bar Association’s annual meeting on April 18, partner Thomas Loikith was elected and sworn in as the Association’s secretary. Mr. Loikith has been a Trustee of the Association since 2008 and is currently co-chair of its Banking and Business Law Committee and Corporate Law Committee. Mr. Loikith is also currently president of the Bergen County Bar Foundation, a 501(c)(3) foundation that serves as the charitable and educational adjunct to the Association.

Partner Jeanne Marino obtains defense verdict in Hudson County Law Division, Olivero-Pena v Gonzalez, HUD L 1160-10

February 5, 2013

Liability for this rear-end hit motor vehicle accident was stipulated; matter was tried on damages only with Plaintiff subject to the Verbal Threshold. The Hon. Lawrence Maron presided. Trial commenced on January 29, 2013. Plaintiff claimed a new cervical bulging disc, an aggravation of pre-existing thoracic and lumbar herniated discs and a nasal fracture necessitating surgery. Plaintiff’s orthopedic expert opined that the Plaintiff had a new, permanent orthopedic injury to his neck and an aggravation of his prior back injuries. Plaintiff’s ENT surgeon causally related the nose fracture to the motor vehicle accident and substantiated the need for reconstructive surgery. Defendant’s orthopedist countered with his finding of a normal physical examination and the lack of significance of a bulging disc. He also disputed the relationship of the nasal fracture to the car accident in the absence of any ER complaint and the lack of a confirming x-ray. Defendant’s expert neuro-radiologist examined the MRI films pre- and post-accident and concluded that no change was shown, thus attributing any findings to a pre-existing condition. Plaintiff, insured under a Special Policy, claimed economic loss of over $32,000.00 in unpaid medical bills. This amount was reduced to $26,000.00 for the jury’s consideration, in light of some of the supporting testimony. The 8 member jury was unanimous in finding that the Plaintiff failed to meet the verbal threshold. They also concluded that the Plaintiff was not entitled to recover any economic loss, rejecting the claim for medical bills.

ANDREW G. TOULAS attains favorable verdict in Bergen County Law Division, KO v. KOLODZIESKI, BER-L-5120-10

January 17, 2013

This case was tried on the issue of liability only before Judge Mark M. Russello in Bergen County on January 14, 15 and 17, 2013. On June 5, 2008, the Plaintiff was struck as a pedestrian by the Defendant’s vehicle while attempting to cross Springfield Avenue at its intersection with Passaic Street in New Providence, New Jersey. Plaintiff claimed that she crossed the street only after pressing the button for the pedestrian walk signal, which changed in her favor. Plaintiff acknowledged crossing near, but not inside, the available crosswalk. At the same time, the Defendant approached on Springfield Avenue in a left turn only lane, with her left directional activated, within the posted speed limit intending to turn left onto Passaic Avenue with the green turn arrow. As she approached, defendant testified that Plaintiff suddenly came out from the front of an SUV vehicle, which was in the lane to the right, and ran into the passenger side of Defendant’s vehicle. In addition to the testimony of the parties, the jury considered photographic evidence of the scene. A unanimous jury found that defendant was not negligent.

The 14th Annual Estate Planning Forum

October 23, 2012

Dave Repetto and Joe Scorese participated as members of a panel of distinguished trusts and estates experts in “The 14th Annual Estate Planning Forum,” which took place on October 23, 2012, presented by the New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick. Joe presented “Trapped on the Cliff! Strategies for Year-End Tax and Estate Planning,” in which he discussed planning ideas in the wake of the expiring tax cuts. Dave was a principal panelist with other expert attorneys for a presentation on the role of multi-party attorneys in complex estate litigation.

Ken Foreman obtains defense verdict, Morris v Gould, Passaic County October 3, 2012.

October 3, 2012

Plaintiff was a bus driver for New Jersey Transit, operating a bus in the scope and course of his employment. He was involved in a collision with the defendant on Skyline Drive in Ringwood. For trial, liability was admitted and the matter proceeded on damages only. Plaintiff was subject to the verbal threshold based on the election he had made on his personal automobile policy, despite the fact that he was operating a bus in the scope and course of his employment at the time of the accident. Defendant was operating an automobile. Plaintiff claimed permanent injury to his back and right hip as a result of the accident. Plaintiff called a general surgeon as his expert. The expert opined that based on her examination two years post- accident and the presence of spasm in both areas of the body, the plaintiff had a permanent injury. Defendant called an orthopedic surgeon and neurologist both of whom opined that plaintiff had a normal exam and exhibited no objective evidence of permanent injury. The jury returned a unanimous verdict in favor of the defendant that plaintiff did not suffer a permanent injury as a proximate result of the accident.

Choi v. Oak, et al, Docket No. A-537-11, 2012 WL 4120268 (N.J. Super. App. Div.)

September 20, 2012

On September 20, 2012, the Appellate Division affirmed the grant of summary judgment in favor of Harwood Lloyd’s client, an attorney sued for legal malpractice.  The client, who had been representing himself, came to Harwood Lloyd shortly before the trial date.  The late Michael Oropollo argued the case at the trial level, before the Hon. Mark Russello, J.S.C.  Partner Peter Mueller argued the appeal, assisted by Associate Eileen Kuzma.  The Appellate Division agreed with Judge Russello that plaintiff’s failure to obtain and serve an affidavit of merit was fatal to his case, affirming the judgment in favor of Harwood Lloyd’s client.

Building Materials Corporation of America v. National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh, PA, 424 N.J. Super. 448 (App. Div.), certif. denied, ___ N.J. ___

September 19, 2012

The New Jersey Supreme Court denied further review of a favorable judgment in favor of Harwood Lloyd’s client, National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA (“National Union”).  The matter was tried in Middlesex County, by Harwood Lloyd partners, Peter Mueller and the late Michael Oropollo, and Kevin Szczepanski and Ben Zuffranieri of Buffalo’s Hodgson Russ, LLP.  Plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury to award her client $64 million in insurance coverage and bad faith damages, but the jury found in National Union’s favor, returning a no cause verdict.  The Appellate Division rejected plaintiff’s appeal last March, and on September 19, 2012, the New Jersey Supreme Court denied plaintiff’s petition for certification.  Messrs. Mueller and Oropollo, and Harwood Lloyd Associate Eileen Kuzma assisted appellate counsel, Paula Carstensen and Barbara Michaelides of Chicago’s Bates Carey and Nicolaides, LLP, in all facets of the appellate process.

Joe Scorese is currently serving as an adjunct professor at Rutgers Law School in Newark, New Jersey

September 1, 2012

September 1, 2012: RUTGERS LAW SCHOOL. Joe Scorese is currently serving as an adjunct professor at Rutgers Law School in Newark, New Jersey, for the fall semester where he is teaching the 4-credit course in “Wills, Trusts and Estates” to second and third year law students.

Kenneth R. Foreman obtains defense verdict on the verbal threshold in Bergen County; Yoon v. Santaite and An, BER-L-1165-10, before Judge Russello

August 14, 2012

Five day trial involving a two vehicle collision in an intersection. Plaintiff was a passenger in defendant An’s vehicle. Defendants agreed to a liability split before trial. The trial proceeded on damages only. The plaintiff was subject to the verbal threshold. Plaintiff, a 20 year old female was 17 at the time of the accident. She alleged a disc herniation at the C5-6 level of the cervical spine. Plaintiff called three expert witness, an anesthesiologist; a neuroradiologist and an orthopedic surgeon. Each of plaintiff’s experts opined that the herniation was caused by the accident and that plaintiff was too young to have degenerative changes. Defendants called a neurologist and an orthopedic surgeon. Both doctors examined plaintiff and reviewed her MRI studies. Both defense experts agreed that plaintiff did not have a herniation but a bulging disc at C5-6 that showed early signs of degeneration. Both defense experts opined that the bulge was not causally related to the motor vehicle accident and that plaintiff did not have a permanent injury caused by the motor vehicle accident. Plaintiff did not have economic damages. The jury returned a defense verdict, voting 6-0 that plaintiff did not sustain a permanent injury proximately caused by the motor vehicle accident.

Andrew G. Toulas has been selected by the Supreme Court of New Jersey for membership and service on the District Ethics Committee

August 9, 2012

Andrew G. Toulas has been selected by the Supreme Court of New Jersey for membership and service on the District Ethics Committee (IIB South Bergen County) for a four-year term beginning on September 1, 2012.  Mr. Toulas will have investigative and hearing responsibilities  over the attorney disciplinary system in New Jersey in hopes of ensuring that our state’s attorneys maintain the highest ethical standards of the legal profession.

Joe Scorese served as chair, facilitator and presenter in the New York University Summer Institute of Taxation.

July 25, 2012

Joe Scorese served as chair, facilitator and presenter in the New York University Summer Institute of Taxation on July 23-25, 2012 at the Westin Hotel and Conference Center in New York City. The program was “ Introduction to Trusts and Estates” and provided in-depth presentations about wealth transmission and the transfer tax system. In addition to moderating the conference, Joe presented a 90-minute program entitled “Multi-generational Planning and the Generation-skipping Transfer Tax. See Attachment

Kenneth R. Foreman obtains defense verdict in Passaic County; Mercedes v Barbour PAS L 2788-10

May 22, 2012

After a two week trial with testimony from four medical experts, a Passaic County jury made no award to Plaintiff, a 34 year old male and passenger in his girlfriend’s vehicle. Defendant made a left turn from a stop sign at a “T” intersection and struck the host vehicle. Based on these facts, liability was admitted. The host was insured with a Special Policy, and Plaintiff had no PIP coverage of his own. $43,000 in boardable medicals were put before the jury. Plaintiff was taken from the scene by ambulance to the ER. He then treated with a chiropractor for neck and back pain, radiating into the arms and right leg along the L5-S1 distribution, sciatic.  There were also complaints of weakness and numbness, but deep tendon reflexes were normal through treatment. Two months later he began to complain of right shoulder pain. Three months post MVA he began to complain of right knee pain. Chiropractic treatment concluded in June of 2009. In July of 2009 plaintiff first sought treatment  for the knee. Plaintiff had a torn medial meniscus and underwent a meniscectomy. The surgeon’s opinion was that neck complaints were from a pre-existing problem, the back exam was normal, and the shoulder was an aggravation of a pre-existing asymptomatic osteo-arthritic condition. The chiropractor never saw the ambulance report, ER records or the knee surgeon’s records. An MRI of the shoulder confirmed arthritis, the back had an L5-S1 HNP with degeneration. There was also facet hypertrophy at all levels of the lumbar spine. The neck MRI reported bulge at C3-4. The knee MRI reported the tear of the medial meniscus.  Plaintiff’s surgeon reviewed the knee MRI. Plaintiff had no expert testimony on the neck, back, or shoulder MRIs. The defense focused on the lack of immediate knee complaints, disputing causality. Mr. Foreman argued that the remainder of Plaintiff’s claims should not be considered because his whole case lacked credibility- factually and medically. Mr. Foreman also argued that Plaintiff did not meet their burden of proof on the neck, back and shoulder claims because the Plaintiff’s testifying experts disagreed regarding symptoms, examination and causation. The jury found that the Plaintiff’s injuries were caused by the accident but gave no award. The jury accepted Defendant’s argument that, despite some temporary soft tissue injury to the neck, back and shoulder, the Plaintiff should not be awarded damages because he lacked credibility on the most significant alleged injury.

Andrew G. Toulas attains favorable verdict in Bergen County Superior Court, Law Division- Spatucci v. Breaks BER-L-643-10

May 10, 2012

After a two week trial involving issues of liability and damages wherein two plaintiffs, a husband and wife both seeking monetary damages for permanent personal injuries sustained in a motor vehicle collision, a jury of eight unanimously found that defendant was not negligent in causing the accident. Judge Mark M. Russello presided over the trial which included testimony from both plaintiffs, their two medical experts, the defendant and her two medical experts. The accident giving rise to the lawsuit occurred in Atlantic City on January 26, 2008. Each party contended that he/she was the favored driver at the intersection of Atlantic and Pennsylvania Avenues. Photographs depicted significant damage to the vehicles.Both plaintiffs initially underwent conservative therapy for multiple disc herniations in the spine, and eventually both had multiple epidural injections performed under anesthesia and fluoroscopic guidance by a neurologist/pain management specialist. Defense medical experts opined that all findings on plaintiffs’ MRI studies were degenerative pre-dating the accident in dispute. The jury determined that the defendant driver was not negligent having adhered to New Jersey’s motor vehicle statute concerning a driver’s duties when travelling through an intersection governed by a traffic signal.

Partners Gregory J. Irwin and Stephen Wellinghorst successfully defend verdict of no cause of action in wrongful death case on appeal.- New Jersey Superior Court-Appellate Division -Lawyer v. Gastrich, et al, A-1159-10T1. May 4, 2012

May 4, 2012

This case arose out of a fatal motor vehicle-pedestrian accident that occurred at the Garden State Plaza Mall. The accident occurred when the deceased crossed a roadway at the Mall but failed to cross at an available cross walk. Partner Gregory J. Irwin represented the driver of the vehicle that struck the deceased and Partner Stephen Wellinghorst represented the owners and operators of the Mall at the trial and on appeal. The trial resulted in a jury verdict of no cause of action in favor of the defendants. The Appellate Division rejected the appeal of the plaintiff estate. It ruled that (1) there was ample evidence for the jury to decided that the deceased’s failure to cross the roadway at an authorized location was a greater factor in causing the accident than the defendant’s driver failure to see the deceased in time to avoid the accident; (2) the defendant driver’s demeanor at trial did not undermine the jury’s impartiality; (3) the trial judge did not err in excluding the testimony of plaintiff’s expert regarding the deceased’s state of mind because it was based on speculation; and (4) even if the trial judge committed error in allowing the Mall’s Director of Security to testify as to location of the crosswalks, which plaintiff argued was beyond his area of expertise, such an error did not have the capacity to taint the jury verdict. Associate Paul E. Kiel assisted in the preparation of the appellate brief on behalf of the driver and Associate Robert L. Delicate assisted in the preparation of the appellate brief on behalf of the Mall.

Partner Tom Loikith elected president of the Bergen County Bar Foundation.

May 1, 2012

Partner Tom Loikith was elected president of the Bergen County Bar Foundation for a term beginning on May 1. The Foundation is the charitable arm of the Bergen County Bar Association, consisting of attorneys and local non-lawyer professionals who volunteer their time to promote legal education to the citizens of Bergen County. Harwood Lloyd founding partner Frank Lloyd was instrumental in establishing the Foundation and the firm has had a continuing, active relationship with the Foundation since that time.

Andrew G. Toulas attains favorable verdict in Bergen County Superior Court, Law Division- Dominguez v. Fonti BER-L-9380-09

April 23, 2012

This automobile negligence personal injury action was tried before the Hon. Mark M. Russello and ultimately a jury of six in Bergen County from April 16, 2012 to April 23, 2012. The jury unanimously rendered a verdict of no cause of action in defendant’s favor finding that plaintiff failed to prove that he had sustained permanent injuries to his neck or back as required by New Jersey’s Verbal Threshold Statute. Liability was stipulated by defendant for causing a rear-end collision on May 18, 2009 in Wayne, NJ. The plaintiff, a 43 year old chef, did not return to his job where he had worked for 14 years allegedly due to pain caused by the accident. He alleged multiple spinal disc abnormalities including herniations and bulges resulting in radiculopathy, all confirmed by MRIs and EMGs. Plaintiff underwent multiple epidural injections after chiropractic treatment failed to improve his condition. The jury agreed with defendant’s medical experts who opined that plaintiff’s disc pathology pre-dated the accident in question, and did not objectively cause nerve damage as alleged.(WWW.JVRA.COM)

Andrew G. Toulas attains favorable verdict - Kim v. Cannone BER-L-6779-08

March 5, 2012

This personal injury action was tried before the Hon. Kenneth Slomienski and a jury of eight in Bergen County beginning on February 27, 2012 and concluding on March 5, 2012 with a verdict of no cause of action in defendant’s favor. Liability was stipulated against defendant for a rear-end hit in an automobile accident occurring on September 2, 2007. The plaintiff, 45 years old, allegedly sustained permanent injuries to her neck and back including disc herniations at C45 and C56, an annular tear at L45 resulting in radiculopathy and 6 epidural injections under anesthesia. The plaintiff had no complaints or injuries to her neck or back before the accident. The jury agreed with the 2 defense experts who opined that the injuries were not caused by the accident, and that the findings on the objective diagnostic tests (MRIS/EMGS) were degenerative in nature pre-existing the accident in dispute.

Kristine Denning, Partner, was honored at the 30th Annual Distinguished Citizens Dinner, hosted by the Ramapo College Foundation on March 3, 2012.

March 3, 2012

The Annual dinner recognizes outstanding citizens for their personal and professional commitments to advancing the goals of higher education, and for providing significant service to their communities. Past honorees have been found from major corporations, from the local community and distinguished alumni such as Kristine. Donations generated from the dinner are used to support student scholarships, faculty research opportunities and other College projects.

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Andrew G. Toulas attains Defense Verdict in Bergen County; Zvanets v. Reyes, BER L 636-10

January 24, 2012

This personal injury automobile negligence action was tried before the Hon. Kenneth Slomienski of the Superior Court, Law Division, Bergen County, and a jury of eight beginning on January 17 and concluding on January 24, 2012. The jury rendered a verdict finding that plaintiff did not sustain a permanent injury caused by a motor vehicle accident occurring on July 24, 2008 in Fair Lawn, NJ. Plaintiff was a 49 year old passenger in her husband's vehicle which was rear-ended. Liability was stipulated by defendant at the time of trial which proceeded on the issue of damages only. Plaintiff had no documented problems or complaints with respect to her neck or low back before the accident. She initially underwent conservative physical therapy for neck and back pain, and thereafter underwent MRIs which revealed disc herniations in the neck and low back. She was treated and examined by a neurologist who performed EMG tests which revealed radiculopathy in the neck and low back in the vicinity of the herniations. Ultimately, plaintiff underwent 5 epidural steroid injections under anesthesia. Plaintiff's testifying expert at trial confirmed that the disc abnormalities and radiculopathy were caused by the accident and permanent in nature. Defendant's two medical experts opined that the MRI findings showed injuries that were degenerative in nature pre-dating the accident in dispute, and any injuries suffered were not permanent. The jury agreed, finding that plaintiff did not prove her case.

Co-Managing Partner Dave Robertson obtains Defendant's Verdict in Union County; Jones and Cardwell v GEICO; UNN L 1879-09

January 18, 2012

This insurance contract action was tried before the Hon. Joseph Perfilio. The plaintiff owners of a 2003 GMC Avalanche, engaged to be married, contended that their vehicle was stolen sometime between 7-20-08 and 7-22-08. Plaintiff testified that he garaged his motorcycle at a friend's house and that he dropped off the Avalanche on 7-20-08 when he took his motorcycle. The Avalanche was found burning on 7-22-08. Plaintiffs made a claim against GEICO under the terms of their Policy. GEICO denied the claim. The defendant denied that the vehicle was stolen and alleged that the plaintiffs either created the loss or orchestrated the loss with others. The defendant supplied proof of an investigation which revealed that there was no evidence of tampering with the ignition and or forced entry. The defendant maintained that the male plaintiff, who indicated that he had lost one of the keys approximately one year earlier, provided a key at the time of the loss which testing revealed did not match the ignition. The defendant further contended that plaintiffs had financial difficulties, were often late on the automobile payments and, after refinancing the loan for the vehicle (with > 100,000 miles), the monthly payments exceeded $728. The defendant counterclaimed under the NJ Fraud Prevention Act, seeking attorneys fees and costs. The jury rejected Plaintiffs claims and found for the Defendant on the counterclaim.

John McDermott obtains Defense Verdict in Passaic County; Bena v. Hernandez, et. al. PAS-L-5359-09

January 11, 2012

This automobile negligence case was tried before the Hon. Anthony J. Graziano of the Superior Court, Law Division, over three days. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendant, finding that the plaintiff's negligence was the primary cause of the accident. Plaintiff alleged that she was driving when Defendant entered her lane of travel from a parked position without signal or warning thereby causing impact between the two vehicles. Plaintiff, 27 years old, alleged TMJ dysfunction, a cervical herniation, a lumbar bulge and radiculopathy in her left lower extremity. Plaintiff, her treating chiropractor and the radiologist all provided testimony. Plaintiff’s experts opined that permanent injuries were sustained and proximately caused by the accident. Defendant’s testimony refuted the claims of negligence. Defendant also presented two medical experts who disputed the findings of permanency and causation to the accident. After a short deliberation the jury returned a verdict in favor of the defense as to liability, never even reaching the verbal threshold issue.

Associate Andrew G. Toulas Judges Mock Trial Competition

January 4, 2012

On January 4, 2012, associate Andrew G. Toulas volunteered as a judge in the 2011-2012 Vincent J. Apruzzese High School Mock Trial Competition sponsored by the New Jersey State Bar Foundation. The competition took place at the Bergen County Courthouse, Hackensack, New Jersey. It provided students access to a real courtroom setting. The students gained firsthand, practical experience in the workings of a trial, conducting opening and closing statements, and examining witnesses. Mr. Toulas presided over the trial, ruling on the participants' objections, determining the winning party using a detailed scoring system established by State Bar Foundation, and providing qualitative evaluation of both teams.

Andrew Toulas obtains Defense Verdict in Passaic County; Norman v Grucela, PAS L 655-10

December 22, 2011

This automobile negligence case was tried before the Hon. Thomas LaConte of the Superior Court, Law Division, starting on December 8 and concluding on December 21, 2011 when the jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendant, finding that the plaintiff did not sustain a permanent injury proximately caused by the motor vehicle accident of September 2, 2004. Plaintiff was stopped, waiting to enter Route 46 in Clifton, when his vehicle was rear-ended by the defendant. The Court directed a verdict on plaintiff's motion in favor of the plaintiff on the issue of liability. Regarding damages, plaintiff, a 54 year old telemarketer, alleged cervical herniations and a labral tear of the left shoulder, both with recommendations of surgery. Plaintiff underwent shoulder injections, but did not have any surgery. Plaintiff was involved in a subsequent accident two years later, also a rear-end hit, and claimed an aggravation of the prior injuries. The two lawsuits were consolidated. Plaintiff presented four medical experts at trial, all via videotape, who opined as to the permanent injuries proximately caused by the 2004 accident, and aggravated by the 2006 accident. Defendant’s three medical experts disputed any permanent injury caused by the 2004 accident, noting the evidence of degeneration pre-dating the accident as shown on the MRI films. The jury agreed, finding that the plaintiff failed to prove his case.

Co-Managing Partner Dave Robertson obtains defense verdict in Bergen County; Beltran v GEICO, BER L 3136-10

December 12, 2011

This insurance contract action was tried before the Hon. Estella De La Cruz over five days. Plaintiff, the lease holder of an Infinity and owner of a financed Honda, insured with the Defendant, contended that the cars were stolen from her driveway in the overnight hours. Plaintiff sought coverage pursuant to her policy with GEICO. The Defendant denied the claim, asserted that the Plaintiff failed to establish that the vehicles were stolen, and also asserted that the Plaintiff made material misrepresentations during the claims process. GEICO contended that these thefts did not occur, but instead, the circumstances suggested an "owner give up" associated with Plaintiff's financial difficulties. The Defendant established that the Plaintiff was chronically late with the payments on the Honda, that she had attempted to return the Infinity to the dealer but could not do so unless she paid $11,000 to the dealer, which she could not afford, and that generally, there was no more than a de minimus balance in the plaintiff's savings account. The cars were both equipped with transponders; an iginition key with a computer chip that matched the car was required for operation. The Defendant maintained that the jury should also consider that the Plaintiff could not account for one of the keys to each vehicle; one vehicle was found with the key inside; and, the other vehicle was photographed traveling through an E-Z pass lane. The Defendant contended that in view of all of the evidence, it was clear that thieves had not taken the cars with a flatbed truck. The jury agreed that the Plaintiff did not establish that the vehicles were stolen and entered a defense verdict.

Partner Greg Irwin obtains defense verdict in Sussex County; Occhfinto v Star Building, et al, SSX L 70-07

November 16, 2011

This construction defect case was tried before the Hon. Edward V. Gannon over twelve days in November. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendant, concrete installer, finding that although this defendant was negligent, that negligence was not a proximate cause of the warehouse collapse. Plaintiff, the owner of a newly constructed warehouse, claimed almost $5 million in damages. Codefendant manufacturer and architect settled out prior to trial. At trial the plaintiff tried to focus the jury's attention on the claim against the concrete sub-contractor, for failing to provide reinforced concrete. Defendant was able to defeat the claim by pointing out the claims made against the settling defendants, as well as the plaintiff's own comparative negligence in acting as the general contractor. The jury determined that the plaintiff was 50% comparatively at fault, and the two settling codefendants each 25% at fault

 

Ken Foreman obtains Defense verdict in Passaic County; Berry v. Danzinger, PAS-L-904-09.

November 14, 2011

This automobile negligence case was tried before the Hon. Thomas LaConte, of the Superior Court, Law Division, Passaic County during the week of November 14, 2011. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendant finding that plaintiff did not suffer a permanent injury proximately caused by the motor vehicle accident of March 9, 2007. Plaintiff was southbound on Route 287 in Mahwah traveling at approximately 65 mph when struck from behind by the defendant traveling at a high rate of speed. As a result of the collision Plaintiff’s vehicle left the road and collided with the median barrier. His vehicle sustained extensive front and rear damage and was not drivable from the scene. Plaintiff, a 43 year old flooring installer, alleged that he had suffered a herniated disc at C4-5 that contacted the ventral aspect of the spinal cord and a disc herniation at C6-7. Plaintiff also alleged that he was unable to continue as a flooring installer and became an estimator following the accident. Plaintiff called as expert witnesses his treating chiropractor and a board certified neuro-radiologist. Defendant admitted liability but denied causing a permanent injury. Defendant’s expert, a board certified neurologist, in addition to his exam and record review, also reviewed the MRI study of plaintiff’s cervical spine. The jury agreed that despite the findings of abnormality in the cervical spine, plaintiff had failed to establish proximate cause because there was no objective evidence of permanent injury on clinical exam by plaintiff's treating doctors or the defense's independent medical exam.

ANDREW G. TOULAS GUEST SPEAKER AT WAYNE, NJ ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

October 21, 2011

On October 21, 2011 Mr. Toulas spoke to Mrs. Ostermann's class at Theunis Dey Elementary School in Wayne, New Jersey about the fundamentals of our nation's legal system and the trial by jury process.  The students participated in a mock civil jury trial taking on the role of jurors, witnesses, litigants and bailiff.  The students were also informed of basic concepts involving attorney ethics, distinctions between our civil and criminal justice system, and were shown tools of the trade.  The student's participation was impressive. The school was most appreciative of Mr. Toulas' efforts.

Bergen County Bar Foundation Presents the 2011 Community Service Award to Co-Managing Partner David M. Repetto.

September 19, 2011

On September 19, 2011, the Bergen County Bar Foundation presented its 2011 Community Service Award to co-managing partner David M. Repetto. The award was presented at the Foundation’s annual Frank V.D. Lloyd Memorial Golf Outing and Awards Dinner held at Apple Ridge Country Club in Mahwah, New Jersey.

The Community Service Award is given each year to a Bergen County attorney who has performed exemplary voluntary service to the Bergen County community.

Dave received the award based on his nearly 30 years of service to the people of Bergen County. That service includes:

  • General Counsel to the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey (2008-present)
  • Counsel to the Northwest Bergen Central Dispatch (2008-present)
  • Counsel to Northern New Jersey Council of the Boy Scouts of America (2009-present)
  • Member, Board of Governors, Ramapo College of New Jersey (2007 - present)
  • Member, Historic Preservation Commission, Borough of Upper Saddle River (2008 to present)
  • Secretary, Board of Trustees, Children's Aid and Family Services (2007-2010)
  • Member, Board of Trustees, Children's Aid and Family Services (2005-2010)
  • Member, Board of Education, Borough of Upper Saddle River (2007-2008)
  • Member, Zoning Board of Adjustment, Borough of Upper Saddle River (2000-2004)
  • Councilman, Village of Ridgewood (1986-1990)
  • Treasurer, Board of Trustees, Ridgewood Public Library (1983-1984)
  • Member, Board of Trustees, Ridgewood Public Library (1980-1984)
  • Lecturer for the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education on the subject of Probate and Fiduciary Litigation.
  • Chairman of the Bergen County District Fee Arbitration Committee.
  • Member of the District II-A Ethics Committee.

The Foundation’s annual golf outing and awards dinner was named in memory of Harwood Lloyd founding partner Frank V.D. Lloyd, who passed away in 2007. Frank was instrumental in establishing and running the Bergen County Bar Foundation for many years. Frank also established a tradition of community service at Harwood Lloyd and it is fitting that Dave received the 2011 Community Service Award at the dinner named in honor of Frank.

Curt Turpan speaks at ICNJ seminar on proposed new PIP regulations.

August 19, 2011

Curt Turpan, a Partner in Harwood Lloyd's Insurance Defense Department and the head of the firm's No Fault/PIP department, spoke at a conference held by the Insurance Council of New Jersey entitled "The Changing PIP Landscape in New Jersey." Mr. Turpan lectured on the impact of new PIP regulations proposed by the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance on both a PIP carrier's duties and operations, as well as the subsequent arbitration of PIP claims. Conference attendees included over 200 representatives of insurance carriers and PIP vendors, as well as many attorneys. The PowerPoint that Mr. Turpan presented at the conference can be obtained by emailing cturpan@harwoodlloyd.com.

Mr. Turpan is a recognized expert in the field of PIP and automobile coverage litigation. He is one of only three defense attorneys serving on the 14 member Forthright Advisory Council for No-Fault Disputes in the State of New Jersey. Mr. Turpan represents and provides counsel to many insurance companies and PIP vendors in New Jersey including Allstate, New Jersey Manufacturers, GEICO, American Commerce Insurance, Amica, Avis/Budget Group, Mercury, Global Liberty Insurance, Concentra Inc. and Auto Injury Solutions. He has appeared before the Appellate Division on numerous occasions and represented the prevailing party in several significant reported cases including Seaview Orthopedics v. NHR, et.al., (upholding a PIP carrier's right to utilize PPO agreements), and Montemayor v. Signorelli, (holding that the tort threshold selected by the named insured applied to the insured's resident children who do not own their own automobile even if the child was an emancipated adult.) He is also a member of the New Jersey Defense Association, the Bergen County Bar Association, the North Jersey Claims Association, the Central Jersey Claims Association and the South Jersey Claims Association.

Evelyn Storch Attends American Bar Association Annual Meeting In Toronto.

August 2, 2011

The ABA Annual Meeting was held this year in Toronto, Ontario. Participants heard addresses by Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer and Canadian Supreme Court Chief Justice Beverly McLaughlin. Chief Justice McLaughlin discussed the similarities between our two countries and the need to continue working together to improve our respective justice systems and the lives of our citizens generally. Justice Breyer delivered a rousing call to arms to educate the public on civics. He blamed the current damaged public discourse on the population’s lack of education on their rights and responsibilities as citizens and on the beauty of the Constitution.

Outgoing ABA President, Stephen N. Zack, addressed the assembly on civility in the law and in life. In Canada, he pointed out, the oath lawyers take includes the obligation of civility, but that is not the case in the U.S. President Zack encouraged each of us to commit to being a force for change toward greater civility in our profession, in our courts, in our politics, and in our communities.

Partner Tom Loikith was re-elected as vice president of the Bergen County Bar Foundation.

August 1, 2011

Partner Tom Loikith was re-elected as vice president of the Bergen County Bar Foundation. The Foundation is the charitable arm of the Bergen County Bar Association, consisting of attorneys and local non-lawyer professionals who volunteer their time to promote legal education to the citizens of Bergen County. Harwood Lloyd founding partner Frank Lloyd was instrumental in establishing the Foundation and the firm has had a continuing, active relationship with the Foundation since that time.

Andrew G. Toulas becomes a member of the Employment Law Committee of the New Jersey Defense Association.

June, 2011

Associate Andrew G. Toulas has become a member of the Employment Law Committee of the New Jersey Defense Association. Mr. Toulas, an active member of the NJDA, and Certifed Civil trial Attorney, practices in the area of insurance defense, as well as defense of employers in various employment claims, including harassment.

John W. McDermott successfully defends “zero threshold”.

John W. McDermottJune 28, 2011

Associate John W. McDermott successfully defended “zero threshold” at a jury trial before Judge Harz in Bergen County. The plaintiff claimed neck and back injuries from a motor vehicle accident, and underwent orthopedic and physical therapy treatment under the direction of Michael C. DiStefano, M.D. Dr. DiStefano testified for the plaintiff; Edward Friedland, M.D. testified for the defense. The jury decided that while the plaintiff had sustained an injury as a result of the accident, the injury was not worth anything. Judge Harz, finding this verdict to be inconsistent with the law, sent the jury back to reconsider its decision. The jury then returned with a verdict of $3,500.00. The de minimus verdict did not warrant filing an appeal.