On the Pulse . . . Our Roseland, New Jersey Office

Defense Digest, Vol. 24, No. 2, June 2018

By Justin F. Johnson, Esq.*

As the relatively new managing attorney of the Roseland office, when I was asked to provide a summary and some insights of the inner workings of our local office, my first inclination was to review prior additions of Defense Digest to see how other managing attorneys had described their offices. Wendy Bracaglia began her description of our King of Prussia, Pensylvania office as, "Located only minutes away from Valley Forge National Park … . " Martin Sitler began his submission by bragging, "The Jacksonville, Florida office has the most beautiful view of any of our offices. Our 14th floor space . . . overlooks the scenic St. John's River ... ." So how can the Roseland office compete with that? Do I begin by describing our location as "comfortably nestled between the urban cities of Newark and Paterson, New Jersey"? Is there a way that I can describe our office without conjuring images of The Sopranos? The answer, unqualifiedly, is YES! Our Roseland office is, in fact, actually located in a scenic, wooded professional office park that is geographically convenient to most major highways.

Our real strength, however, is not in our location or our travel accessibility. Rather, it is in the breadth and depth of the experience of our legal team and our strive for excellence. These are the hallmarks of Marshall Dennehey’s office in Roseland, New Jersey. We are an eclectic and diverse group of attorneys and paraprofessionals, comprised of 37 attorneys—22 men and 15 women—and a balanced representation of shareholders (17), special counsel (4), associate attorneys (16) and paralegals (8), including a nurse legal analyst. Because of our attorneys' vast knowledge and experience, we have vibrant and significant representation in each of the firm's four practice groups: casualty, health care, professional liability and workers’ compensation.

The largest of our practice groups is the casualty group, which is spearheaded by Matt Schorr, who is also the firm's Assistant Director of the Casualty Department. Our casualty group includes six shareholders—Matt Schorr, George Helfrich, Michael Speer, Art Bromberg, Alicia Calaf and Christopher Block; two special counsel—Tim Jaeger and Jonathan Williams; and five associates—Julie Dorfman, Josie Scanlon, Sara Mazzola, Rick Halmo and Paul Lanza. This robust practice group handles an immensely broad array of cases, ranging from product liability and premises liability to cases involving trucking and transportation, automobiles and even maritime matters. Our casualty group actively participates in marketing the firm's client base and offers presentations for continuing education and continuing legal education credits for clients at seminars and other industry events and conferences.

Our second largest practice group is health care, which is lead by Frank Leanza. Our health care group consists of five shareholders—Frank Leanza, Robert Evers, Justin Johnson, Roz Herschthal and Julia Klubenspies; one special counsel—Eric Grogan; and four associates—Nick Rimassa, Ryan Gannon, Heather LaBombardi and Talia Guida. Our health care practice are very active litigators, as seven of our ten attorneys have served as lead counsel. Collectively, the group has amassed in excess of 400 verdicts. Its attorneys are frequent presenters for hospital groups, insurance company mock trials, and other continuing legal and medical education functions. Two of the attorneys of that group hold degrees in nursing and pharmacy, respectively. The health care group handles a wide variety of legal actions in the defense of doctors, dentists, nurses, hospitals, and nursing home and rehabilitation facilities. They also represent medical professionals in professional board actions.

Our professional liability practice group, which is headed by Will Waldron, boasts nine attorneys, six of whom are shareholders—Will Waldron, Howard Mankoff, Wendy Smith, Patricia McDonough, Sunny Sparano and Christopher Gonnella; one special counsel—Pauline Tutelo; and two associates—Tim Ryan and Dan Algieri. The professional liability practice group, indeed, is an aggressive, thriving set of attorneys with an impressive case load. They handle matters in the pre-litigation setting and in the event that litigation ensues. A large portion of the work entrusted to this group is in the area of architectural and construction defect litigation. With the rise of the economy, there has been an increase in construction and, by fiat, the pursuit of more claims against our clients. The group also represents real estate agents, brokers and title agents. Mr. Mankoff and Ms. Tutelo also handle cases that run the gamut of constitutional litigation, issues involving boards of education and employment law matters.

Our smallest practice group by number of attorneys—but largest in terms of morale and enthusiasm—is our workers’ compensation group, which is supervised by Greg Bartley. This practice group consists of two shareholders—Greg Bartley and Dario Badalamenti—and three associates—Rachael Ramsey-Lowe, Betsey Dietz and Ida Fuda—each of whom handle their own files (irrespective of complexity). This practice group regularly meets internally to hash out issues of concern in their files and is sincerely devoted to rising above and distinguishing themselves from all competitors. The group is well known and respected by clients and courts alike, and Dario is a frequent author of articles for our Defense Digest and What's Hot in Workers’ Comp. The group has grown over the past several years, largely as a result of their willingness to have frequent face-to-face interactions with clients and carriers, which has created and fostered wonderful relationships. The morale of this group is the driving force behind the energy that exudes from the Roseland office, and the group, indeed, enjoys a bright future.

I would be remiss if I did not also include some comments about our paralegals and other staff. We have an extremely resourceful and dedicated group of eight paralegals, serving all four practice groups. These men and women are dependable and dedicated, and they certainly enhance the performance of the attorneys who lean upon them. The Roseland trial attorneys have become increasingly active in utilizing our paralegals for their legal and technical skills at trial. They are an important part of the formula for excellence for which we strive at Roseland. One of our paralegals has received some rather significant law school scholarship offers. We also employ about two dozen administrative assistants and other staff who, under the direction of Keisha Stokes and Margaret Wolf, are to be complimented for their demonstrated abilities to anticipate the needs of the attorneys, keep up with technological advances and maintain a peaceful office atmosphere. Moreover, with respect to our administrative assistants, more than half have worked at our Roseland office for more than 10 years and two have been with us for more than two decades.

We in Roseland are proud to be one of the firm's largest offices. Our greatest sense of pride, however, is the recognition that we receive from clients, carriers, and courts for the quality of legal services which we provide and the professionalism which we exude in all legal arenas in the service of our clients. If you are ever in our area, we would love to have you stop by and see for yourselves.

*Justin can be reached at 973.618.4185 or jfjohnson@mdwcg.com.



Defense Digest, Vol. 24, No. 2, June 2018. Defense Digest is prepared by Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin to provide information on recent legal developments of interest to our readers. This publication is not intended to provide legal advice for a specific situation or to create an attorney-client relationship. ATTORNEY ADVERTISING pursuant to New York RPC 7.1. © 2018 Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be reprinted without the express written permission of our firm. For reprints, contact tamontemuro@mdwcg.com.