Peter Rodgers and David MacKight Named to Best Lawyers in America
The firm is proud to announce the selection of Managing Partner, Peter Rodgers and Associate, David MacKnight to the upcoming 12th edition of Best Lawyers in America, 2007. Published since 1983, this resource is highly regarded as the foremost referral guide to the legal profession in the United States.
What is the significance of this distinction? The American Lawyer describes it as “The most respected referral list of attorneys in practice.” The current edition is based on more that 400,000 detailed evaluations of lawyers by their peers and the Best Lawyers list is featured in more than 50 magazines. An article profiling each attorney will also appear in the July 3, 2006 special double issue of New York magazine on Sale June 26.
This referral guide is subscribed to by more than 4000 of the leading law firms in the U.S. and abroad and by more than 1000 major corporations throughout the world. And because lawyers are not permitted to pay a fee for a listing, Best Lawyers has gained the respect of the legal profession as the most reliable and unbiased resource of attorneys anywhere.
Reflecting about his recent selection, Peter Rodgers said. “I dedicate myself to the meticulous and forceful presentation of each case.”
Mr. Rodgers has represented clients in trials involving personal injury, medical malpractice, wrongful death, product liability and business disputes. His work has involved cardiac, neurological, obstetric, surgical, orthopedic and infectious disease lawsuits including the failure to diagnose cancer, heart disease and infectious disease. He has also represented those injured or killed in auto, premises or workplace accidents.
Along with these legal services comes the experience of an attorney who will provide the personal attention and dedication every client deserves. Call Mr. Rodgers on his direct line at 324-5707.
Described as a ‘lawyer’s lawyer’ by colleagues, David MacKnight is widely respected for his knowledge expertise in bankruptcy and creditors’ rights along with insolvency matters and commercial litigation. He is an integral member of a team of lawyers dedicated to providing the best legal representation to clients involved in commercial matters throughout New York State. Clients include regional and national lenders, businesses, both large and small, as well as individuals. Mr. MacKnight will provide you with high quality representation and personal attention. Contact him on his direct line at 324-5724.
Update your Auto Insurance
By Jacqueline Thomas
Since a large part of my practice involves personal injury matters, I often encounter clients with severe injuries. Unfortunately, I also often encounter clients who are woefully underinsured and by the time I tell them what coverage they should have bought, it is too late. Too often our focus in purchasing insurance is only upon the liability coverage amounts. After all we buy insurance to protect us if we negligently harm others, right? True, but focusing on only the liability coverage leaves you vulnerable if you are the one who is injured by someone else’s negligence.
The most common problems I see are related to “Supplemental Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist” (SUM) coverage and Spousal coverage. SUM coverage comes into play if you are injured in an auto accident and the other driver has little or no coverage. Drivers are required to carry liability insurance of at least $25,000 in New York. How long would $25,000 last you if you were out of work for an extended time? If you purchase SUM coverage, you can make a claim under your own insurance policy if you are badly injured and the other driver has little or no liability insurance.
NY law requires that all auto policies provide SUM coverage in the amount of $25,000. However, since SUM coverage only kicks in to bring the total insurance available to the level you have purchased, the $25,000 amount would only be available if the other driver had no insurance at all. For example, if you have the minimum SUM coverage of $25,000 and the other driver has a $25,000 policy, you get no additional coverage. If you were to purchase $100,000 in SUM coverage and the other driver has $25,000 in coverage, you would have an extra $75,000 of insurance available to make a claim upon if you have serious injuries. I recommend that my clients purchase as much SUM coverage as their own liability limits. If you have $100,000 in liability coverage, I recommend your carry $100,000 in SUM coverage.
Most people have never heard of spousal insurance coverage. Every auto policy in New York contains an exclusion for injuries caused by the negligence of a spouse. If a husband is driving with his wife as a passenger and his negligence causes her devastating injuries, she cannot make a claim for the negligence. The purchase of spousal coverage would allow the spouse to make a claim for her injuries that would be covered under the liability policy.
For example: Husband and wife are traveling by car for a family vacation. The husband is driving the car and falls asleep at the wheel striking a tree. The wife is killed. Husband is a stay at home father, caring for 4 children. His wife had a very successful career and was the sole bread-winner. Although the couple had a million dollars of liability coverage, they had not purchased spousal coverage. The husband and children will get a small death benefit available under their policy. Had they purchased spousal coverage a claim could be made under their auto policy for the benefit of the children.
A colleague who recently took my advice on this topic told me it cost him less than $50 per year to add both coverages to his policy. Please take a few extra moments to look at your own policies sure you have adequate coverage. If you have questions, please feel free to call me at 324-5717.
Business Today: More Than a Handshake
The days of the firm handshake between business associates are gone forever. There are steps you can take to assure reimbursement payment for services rendered or materials provided. Establishing a contract containing specific language is an essential first step. When doing business, it is important to know your legal rights as you proceed. It is recommended that the service provider or creditor ask its customer to complete and execute some form of agreement or application prior to providing services or materials.
This agreement or application should incorporate the following concepts:
- The name of the customer and whether it is a corporation, LLC, partnership or individual with an assumed name. Other pertinent information must include the business address, telephone number and name of a contact person in Accounts Payable. The business should also include the names of the officers, shareholders, partners or members.
- There should be a provision in the agreement/application for attorney’s fee in the event of a default in paying past due invoices. This provision protects the creditor in the event of a default and gives the creditor the right to seek reasonable attorney’s fees in a court proceeding. If this language is not included in the agreement/application, as the creditor, you may not recover your collection legal costs.
- In addition, there should be a clause regarding finance charges. These charges are added to the customer’s obligations and in the event an account is past due, specific language must be included in the agreement/application in order to charge a finance fee.
- Lacy Katzen also recommends a personal guarantee of any start up business. This personal guarantee may be written on a separate page of the agreement/application and it is typically signed by the president of the corporation, or a member of the LLC, or a partner in the partnership. You should be select a personal guarantor with the ability to pay for the financial obligations due to you.
Incorporating these four concepts in a business application will help to insure more timely collection of debt.
If you are providing services or material to a customer that is either part of the a public project or real estate development, additional information is necessary. Be sure to include the following:
- The name of the owner of the real estate project or the public authority who is charged with the project.
- If you are a sub-contractor, the name of the general contractor involved in construction of the project.
- If this is a public project, the project number should be noted and also the name of the public authority responsible for payment.
- If a bond is being provided for the project, the name of the bond company and its contract information should be obtained.
After all information is gathered, it is critical to have a process in place for the service provider to collect accounts receivable. We recommend that a time frame is set in which a person is responsible for knowing when payment is due and for recognizing when accounts receivable are overdue 30-60 days or more. The individual is responsible for turning over any overdue account to your attorney or collection agency for immediate action.
We recommend this time frame to turn over the account for collection, since any legal proceeding will take additional time and the goal is to receive payment as quickly as possible. For the reason, it is important to have someone in charge to set the process in motion.
Partners Jennifer Chadwick and Mark Stein are available to assist you in protecting your business and collecting accounts receivable. Mark Stein is a partner in the Collections and Creditor Rights Department at Lacy Katzen LLP. He handles both commercial and retail collections for financial institutions, national department stores and regional and locally owned businesses. He has been with the firm since 1992, and has had experience in this area since then. Please contact Mark Stein at 324-5706.
Jennifer Chadwich is a partner in the Corporate Department and represents a variety of the clients in the areas of corporate banking and real estate law. Since 1997, she has assisted many of her corporate clients with collections of accounts receivable. Ms. Chadwich may be contacted on her direct at 324-5721.
Founder, Leon Katzen, honored by Lifespan
Lifespan, a local organization offering information and services to seniors, recently held a luncheon to honor older adults who break the age-stereotype by contributing to their professions or to the community. At the luncheon, co-founder of the firm, Leon Katzen, was honored with the Eli Rudin, Second Half Hero Award after being nominated by associate, Lisa Arrington.
In her tribute to Mr. Katzen, Ms. Arrington discussed many reasons why Mr. Katzen fulfills the definition of successful aging. “Mr. Katzen continues to work every day providing his clients with the same vigorous and unparalleled advocacy and service that has become his trademark.” Maintaining his youthful outlook, he has ridden his bicycle to work for many years during the non-winter months. And unlike some who are intimidated by 21st century computer technology, he welcomes it as the newest learning challenge.
Calling him the “Patriarch” of the firm, she is inspired by this availability to give advice and mentoring to young lawyers. And, even at age 87, he continues his steadfast commitment to provide the same level of service and support to this clients.
Throughout his years of service, Mr. Katzen has been a member of these and other worthwhile organizations: Monroe County Bar Association Trustee, American Bar Association, Monroe County Trial Laywers’ Association President, The Association of Trial Lawyers of America and the City of Rochester Planning Commission. Mr. Katzen was an adjunct professor of Real Estate Law at St. John Fisher College, teaching brokers and sales persons to qualify for license. He als served honorably in World War II and was awarded 5 battle stars and the Purple Heart.
Leon Katzen co-founded the law firm in 1950 with partner Herbert Lacy. He has created a regional, full- service firm representing each client with unmatched advocacy.
At a reception prior to the luncheon, Mr. Katzen’s long-time client Marsha Senges spoke about his personal commitment to client interests first and always. This philosophy has become the inspiration and trademark of Lacy Katzen LLP.
Ms. Arrington ended her testimonial by writing, “He serves as a role model to all who know him simply by doing what he does every day. He has opened my eyes to the possibility that with the right attitude, I can continue doing what I love beyond “retirement age”, and that it is possible to have a full and invigorating lifestyle well beyond age 65! Mr. Katzen is my hero. He is hero to all of us at Lacy Katzen.”
Mark H. Stein has been elected Board President of Delphi Drug and Alcohol Council, Inc. The organization is committed to assisting the Greater Rochester/Finger Lakes area in coping with the decisions, consequences and alternatives to substance use and misuse from prevention to recovery. It provides prevention education to school age children through professional training seminars and on-site counselors successfully assisting children and their families by working to find solutions to these serious problems. Stein has been a board member for over five years.
Managing partner, Peter Rodgers is chairing a seminar sponsored by the New York State Bar Association entitled “Ethics and Professionalism.” This program is intended to “inform, guide and engage practitioners in relation to frequently encountered ethical problems.” The program will update recent developments in the area of professional responsibility, and address modification of the New York Lawyer’s Code of Professional Responsibility that has been submitted for consideration by the New York State Bar Association.
Louis Ryen recently completed a 35 picture exhibit by a recent trip around South America from Rio de Janeiro, south through the Strait of Magellan and north to Santiago, Chile.
He was guest speaker at the opening of an exhibit in Buffalo of his photo essay about Prague and Terizin during the Holocaust in the era of 1939-1945. The preserved Jewish Quarter in Prague and a concentration camp in Terizin were the subjects of the photos. Due to the historical value of the exhibit, arrangements have been made to continue the viewing at two local schools in Buffalo and at colleges in the Rochester area.
Dan Bryson was recently elected Chairman of The ARC Foundation of Monroe. The Foundation is the endowment/fundraising arm of the ARC of Monroe County which has been serving individuals with developmental disabilities for over fifty years. Mr. Bryson is also a member of the ARC Guardianship committee.
Mark Stein has been elected board member for Irondequoit Country Club. He has been a member there since 1989 and is serving on the board for the first time.
Lisa Arrington has been elected to the Board for the Cobblestone School. She has also been appointed to the position of By-laws Chairperson for Greater Rochester Area Partnership for the Elderly. Lisa was formerly the secretary in that organization.