Use Our Personal Touch and Proven Experience for Your Personal Injury Issues
Since the formation of Lacy Katzen LLP in 1950, the firm has represented thousands of injury victims in courthouses throughout New York State. Lacy Katzen LLP has experience in all areas of personal injury practice. We have represented accident victims killed or injured in car, motorcycle and trucking accidents, with broad experience in proving that the defendant driver was at fault. We employ investigators, accident reconstruction experts, life care planners, simulations and drawings to establish liability as well as damages.
Lacy Katzen LLP represents victims of medical error in meritorious medical negligence cases and nursing home neglect cases. Our firm carefully investigates any claim before bringing suit, assisted by medical consultants and nurses. Lacy Katzen LLP has successfully represented individuals in a wide range of medical negligence cases, including surgical error and the failure to timely and accurately diagnose serious medical conditions. Lacy Katzen LLP is committed to the highest level of professionalism in these cases.
Lacy Katzen LLP represents those injured as a result of a fall or other type of accident on someone else’s property, if the injury was caused by the fault of the owner or the occupier of the property. The firm has handled hundreds of premises liability cases and diligently prepares using investigators, architects and engineers to establish liability.
Lacy Katzen LLP has extensive experience in construction accident cases. The New York State Labor Law affords construction workers varying degrees of protection for construction related injuries, including falls from scaffolds or elevated work platforms causing injury.
Lacy Katzen LLP has successfully represented those injured as a result of defective products. We have successfully prosecuted product liability cases against major corporations. Product liability claims require not only experience but a commitment to meticulous investigation and research and the use of engineers and highly trained specialists to establish the defective nature of the product causing injury.
New attorneys offer expanded client services
The addition of new attorneys, David Rasmussen, Glenn Fjermedal and Jennifer Mereau offers expanded services to clients.
David Rasmussen has joined the firm as a partner. He earned a BS in Business from the Miami University of Ohio and a JD degree cum laude from the Syracuse University School of Law. He has worked as an internal auditor for Union Pacifi c Railroad Company. Rasmussen worked for Lacy Katzen from 1985 until 1987.
Glenn Fjermedal is a graduate of Colgate University and the Albany Law School. He joins the firm as a partner.
“Bringing former Lacy Katzen associate David Rasmussen into the firm, along with Glenn Fjermedal, expands the firm’s ability to serve clients with commercial, contract, creditor, bankruptcy and related financial issues,” said partner Michael Schnittman, who chairs the firm’s Commercial Practice Group. “This merger strengthens our practice and provides new opportunities to serve current and new clients, particularly in commercial and corporate practice areas.”
“My first legal job out of law school was at Lacy Katzen,” says Mr. Rasmussen. “I know the firm offers a high quality legal product. I am enthusiastic about the expansion of our practice.”
“I am excited about the prospect of growing my commercial litigation and bankruptcy practice with Lacy Katzen, where I can count on support from the fi rm’s highly qualified attorneys and staff to meet my clients’ needs,” says Mr. Fjermedal. “It is an honor to be part of this fine organization.”
Jennifer A. Mereau is an associate in the litigation department who concentrates her practice in the areas of labor and employment law and general litigation. She regularly counsels clients on the full range of employment and workplace issues. She represents clients in federal and state courts and before administrative bodies. She is admitted to practice in New York, Massachusetts, the United States District Court for the Western, Eastern, Northern and Southern Districts, and in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern and Western districts.
Jennifer earned her law degree at Boston College Law School in Newton Massachusetts and B.S. at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York. She is a member of the New York State Bar Association and the Monroe County Bar Association. Jennifer has been a board member for the March of Dimes, Genesee Valley/Finger Lakes Division, since 2004.
Living Will and Health Care Proxy: lessons learned from the Schiavo case
If any good came out of the Schiavo case, where family members were pitted against each other in a life and death struggle, it is the heightened public awareness of the importance of advance directives. The two primary advance directives are the Health Care Proxy and the Living Will. In the absence of an advance directive, family members must petition the court for the appointment of a guardian who will then be forced to make health care decisions with insufficient guidance from the individual directly affected. Guardianship proceedings are expensive and as in the Schiavo case, disputes may arise as to who should be making the decisions and how those decisions should be made.
The simple solution is for each individual to have a Health Care Proxy and possibly, a Living Will. The Health Care Proxy is a written document where you name someone you trust, such as a family member or close friend, to make health care decisions for you if you lose the ability to make decisions for yourself. You exercise your choice to name an agent who best understands you and who you trust to make decisions the way you would have made them. You may also name an alternate or several alternate agents. The Living Will (which can be a separate document or be included within your Health Care Proxy) is a declaration of your wishes with regard to the withdrawal or termination of life support. It may set forth a standard when you wish life support to be terminated and may outline the type of care you wish to receive or not receive under those circumstances. The Living Will provides guidance to your health care agent in making end of life decisions on your behalf. Under New York law, your health care agent may only make decisions about artificial nutrition and hydration (nourishment and water provided by feeding tube or intravenous line as in the Schiavo Case) if your agent knows your wishes from what you have said or what you have written. Accordingly, if you wish the feeding tube to be removed, we recommend that your Health Care Proxy specifically authorize removal of the feeding tube under the circumstances you specify.
The New York State Health Care Proxy form is readily available on line or from your doctor’s office or hospitals. Often you will receive a form Health Care Proxy in the mail when you are scheduled for surgery or are about to enter a hospital. An opportune time to make decisions as to who will be your health care agent, and how to express your wishes for health care is when you are engaged in estate planning. As part of the estate planning process we generally address issues relating to death or disability. We prepare a Last Will and Testament and Durable Power of Attorney. We review beneficiary designations, tax and other planning opportunities. You will be making decisions as to who will be your executor or trustee under your Will, as well as your Power of Attorney. This is an appropriate time also to discuss who you wish to name as your health care agent and how you feel about end of life issues.
In sum, the nightmare faced by the Schiavo family members can be substantially avoided by establishing advance directives such as a Health Care Proxy and Living Will. We recommend that this be done as a regular part of setting up your estate plan and updating your estate plan.
News of the firm
The firm has established direct phone and fax lines for attorneys. The next time you contact your Lacy Katzen attorney, be sure to ask for the direct line.
Founding partner Leon Katzen had a guest essay published in the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle newspaper entitled “Veteran columnist has a history of distorting truth about Middle East.”
Terrance W. Emmens has been been invited to join the Trusts and Estates Executive Council of the Monroe County Bar. “The primary role of the council is to organize and chair continuing legal education programs in the Trust and Estate practice areas for the Monroe County Bar Association,” he said.
Receptionist Ronnelle Harvey has an exhibit of her artwork at City Hall.
Louis A. Ryen was a judge for the international “Images of Hope Photography Competition,” which features pictures illustrating the hope and optimism of cancer patients around the world. He recently provided lectures for the Volunteer Legal Services Program’s DEBT Seminars and updated counselors at the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Rochester about new changes in the debtor-creditor law and how the bankruptcy law affects efforts to help people.
Michael S. Schnittman traveled to France to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Rennes, a Rochester Sister City.