In The Press

Leave Policy for Disabled Employees

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has made it clear that under the ADA, employees with disabilities must be provided…

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One Hundred Deadliest Days For Teen Drivers Starts Memorial Day

Memorial Day is the start of what is known as the 100 deadliest days for teen drivers. According to the most recent data from the National Safety Council, …

More

Where should a workers' compensation claim be filed?

Where should a workers’ compensation claim be filed if an employee lives in one state, but works in another? According to an April decision…

More

Understanding Non-Compete Agreements

As part of an employment contract, employers commonly require employees to sign non-compete agreements, which prohibit them from working for…

More

Understanding Non-Compete Agreements

As part of an employment contract, employers commonly require employees to sign non-compete agreements, which prohibit them from working for…

More

Partner Keith Leonard to present at National Business Institute seminar

Keith Leonard is scheduled to give two different presentations at the National Business Institute’s (NBI) two-day course, “Real Estate Transactions…

More

Workplace Harassment

Employers know that racial, gender or ethnic slurs can be the basis for an employee’s claim of a hostile work environment, discrimination…

More

Distracted Driving Recognized in April

The National Safety Council (NSC) recognizes April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month to bring attention to what it calls “an epidemic” fueled…

More

Grammatical Errors Can Be Costly in Contracts

When is a comma not just a matter of punctuation? When a missing comma in a law allows employees to gain overtime pay…

More

Changes To Business Entities Code

On April 1, 2017, all Pennsylvania limited partnerships and limited liability companies must follow new procedural requirements when winding down the company. The changes…

More

SEPTA Strike Explored in March Column

Partner Keith Leonard takes a look back at the November 2016 Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) strike, and the connection it has to feelings of political frustration around the country…

More

Employer obligations under OSHA

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the main federal agency charged with making sure employers provide their workers with a safe workplace. In keeping with that obligation, OSHA requires…

More

Dangers of Daylight Savings

Those tired, sluggish feelings experienced when bodies adjust to daylight savings time also comes with increases in two things: …

More

Tax Amnesty Program

If you failed to pay real estate taxes, corporate taxes, or inheritance and estate taxes prior to December 31, 2015, the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue (“PA DOR”) is giving you the chance to do so under its Tax Amnesty Program …

More

Spring Break Traffic Fatalities

Stay safe on the road this spring break season – studies show that fatal traffic accidents spike this time of year. A study by the University of Miami found …

More

Employee protection under FMLA

Eligible employees can take up to twelve weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave in a year period for specific family and medical reasons…

More

The Interactive Process

Employees in Pennsylvania are protected from disability discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and…

More

Zoning and Motor Vehicle Accidents

The relationship between zoning ordinances and traffic patterns might not be the first thing that comes to mind when considering…

More

Complications Arising From Joint Ownership of A House

Joint ownership of a house, whether between an unmarried couple, friends or business partners, can come with complications…

More

Increase in deadly NJ crashes

New Jersey traffic fatalities rose between 2015 and 2016 by more than 10% according to new numbers …

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A $7,500 Credit Is Available For Those Buying Electric, Hybrid and Alternative Fuel Vehicles

Electric, hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles are often overlooked by the car buying public. For now, buyers…

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Drivers who miss just a few hours of sleep run the risk of injuring themselves or others

Drivers who miss just a few hours of sleep run the risk of injuring themselves or others. A new study…

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Now Is The Time For Interested Individuals To Apply For the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program

With President-elect Donald Trump set to take office in January, the future is uncertain for undocumented individuals…

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NJ Court Ruling Allows Intoxicated Mechanic To Receive Workers' Compensation Benefits

The New Jersey appellate court recently upheld a judge’s decision allowing an injured mechanic to receive workers’…

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Legal Assistance With Immigration Matters

Many immigrants, undocumented or otherwise, are wondering about their status in the United States in light of the views on immigration policy which President-elect…

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Schultz Volunteers At Community Christmas Event

Paul Schultz, a partner with the firm, assisted with the Delran Township Christmas Tree Lighting on December 2, 2016. Mr. Schultz is a member of the Delran Recreation…

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Study Shows Rise in Road Rage, Aggression, Anger

A newly released study revealed that 78% of drivers in the U.S. expressed anger, aggression, or road range within the last year. Aggressive behavior included purposely tailgating…

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Stay Safe on the Road this Holiday Weekend

This Thanksgiving holiday weekend is expected to the busiest in the nation since 2007. AAA expects 48.7 million Americans to travel, whether by car, plane or train…

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Employment with App-Based Transportation Services

The now legal operation of Uber, Lyft and other app-based transportation services throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is opening up…

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Insurance Requirements for Uber, Lyft and other App-Based Transportation Services

The new regulations for Uber, Lyft and other transportation network companies are now in effect in …

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Leonard Sciolla wishes to honor all those who serve and who served in the past.
Thank you for your service!

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Uber to operate legally in Pennsylvania

Popular ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft will soon be permanent features on roads across Pennsylvania…

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Attorney Michael Tinari Obtains Injunction To Protect Hertz Corp Vehicles

Partner Michael V. Tinari, Esquire, recently represented The Hertz Corporation in a matter involving claims of potential fraud against a Delaware County company that tows…

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Partner Michael Tinari Celebrates Twenty Five Years at the Firm

The law firm congratulates partner Michael V. Tinari, Esquire, on celebrating his twenty-fifth year with the firm. Mr. Tinari started with the firm as a 29-year-old associate on October 2, 1991…

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Home Buying and The Value of Legal Counsel

Imagine moving into your newly purchased home only to find out the next day that the farmer next door can legally herd his animals across your land at 5:00 a.m. The best way to…

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Partner Michael Tinari Back In The News in CJC Elevator Case

The most recent Philadelphia Inquirer article about August's elevator crash at the CJC features quotes…

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Judges want assurance of elevator safety at Criminal Justice Center

Almost two months after a sheriff's deputy was seriously injured in an elevator crash at the Criminal Justice Center, the judges who work there have hired an attorney and…

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Slip and Fall Injuries Can Have A Lasting Impact

An injury sustained in a slip and fall accident can have lasting physical and financial repercussions. It may feel as though a fall is your own fault, but…

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Using PIP as a Pedestrian

The number of pedestrians struck by vehicles is on the rise. As a pedestrian, it is important to know who is responsible for paying your medical expenses after an accident…

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ABA Adopts Rule Explicitly Forbidding Harassment and Discrimination

The American Bar Association has recently amended Model Rule of Professional Misconduct 8.4 to explicitly forbid knowing harassment or discrimination…

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Philadelphia Transfer Tax Rate to Increase

The real estate transfer tax Philadelphia will to increase from 3% to 3.1% on January 1, 2017. The tax, collected by the city any time real estate…

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Need Help In Comprehending The New Overtime Pay Regulations?

The new overtime pay regulations go into effect as of December 1, 2016. Employers must be aware of the requirements under these regulations and take the necessary steps…

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Partner, Michael Tinari, was featured on CBS Philly

Partner, Michael Tinari, was featured on CBS Philly on Monday, August 8, 2016, with an update on the condition of the man injured in the previous week's elevator incident at…

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Compensation for Work-Related Injury, Illness, Disability or Death

Employees who suffer from a work related injury, illness, disability or death are entitled to compensation from their employer under the Workers’ Compensation Act (“WCA”)…

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Choose Carefully When Making Choices About Lawsuit Options on Your Auto Insurance Coverage

Drivers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania have options when selecting auto insurance coverage that can affect their ability…

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Injured at a Hospital or Other Healthcare Facility?

Studies show that patient falls are the most common cause of injuries in hospital and healthcare settings. Nearly one third…

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Sleep Deprivation Is A Major Cause Of Workplace Injuries

Sleep deprivation is a major cause of workplace injuries. Studies have shown that sleep-deprived workers are 70% more…

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Corporate Whistleblowers Can Sue on Behalf of the Government

Did you know that citizens can bring lawsuits against corporations on behalf of the government? …

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Be Careful When Choosing Limited Tort Coverage on Auto Insurance

Pennsylvania residents are able to choose between full tort and limited tort coverage when signing up for an auto…

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    Arbitration Provisions in Contracts

    The majority of people sign many contracts during their lives, but how many actually read them? And how many of those people ever try to change the terms of a contract? It is important to read contracts before you sign, and even more important to know what it all means.

    Attempting to change terms in a contract can be in your best interest, particularly now that arbitration provisions are routinely included in them.  This provision requires parties to the contract to arbitrate (bring the matter before an impartial person) rather than litigate (bring the matter into court) any disputes or claims that may arise out of the agreement. In other words, signing an agreement with an arbitration provision means that you are foregoing your right to a jury trial.

    Here is a common example of an arbitration provision: as homebuyers, you rely on home inspectors to help determine what problems, if any, there are with a property you have agreed to buy. The contract might require you to arbitrate a claim with the inspector if he misses a crucial problem during his inspection. It may also limit the inspector’s total liability to the costs of the inspection; however, the problem he missed in your new home will likely cost a lot more to fix than the cost of the inspection.

    Our lawyers have considerable experience preparing and negotiating contracts, and are available to assist clients with a variety of agreements. Call partners John Leonard, Keith Leonard, Steve Labroli, or Paul Schultz at (215) 567-1530 or (856) 273-6679 or contact them through our website.

    Leave Policy for Disabled Employees

    Have you checked your employee leave policy lately? The way a company’s policy is structured can affect whether or not an employee can make a claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

    The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has made it clear that under the ADA, employees with disabilities must be provided with access to leave on the same basis as all other employees. For example, if an employer's sick leave policy does not require any documentation (meaning sick leave requests are granted based on an employee’s statement) an employer that requires a disabled employee to provide documented proof when he/she needs leave time due to a disability is in violation of the ADA. Learn more about the ADA here.

    Our lawyers have assisted clients with a variety of employment matters, including legal compliance issues and employment disputes. For assistance with your workplace policies, contact partner John Leonard, Keith Leonard, Steve Labroli in our Philadelphia office at (215) 567-1530 or call our New Jersey office at (856) 273-6679 and ask for partner Paul Schultz.


    The ability to keep track of people at all times is no longer a futuristic idea. But do you have the right to know when you’re being tracked? Partner Keith Leonard discusses “Big Brother” and GPS tracking in the workplace in his most recent ACtion Magazine column. Click here to read more.

    Learn more about Mr. Leonard and his practice on his attorney profile.

    One Hundred Deadliest Days For Teen Drivers Starts Memorial Day

    Originally posted on 5/26/2016.

    Memorial Day is the start of what is known as the 100 deadliest days for teen drivers. According to the most recent data from the National Safety Council, nearly 1,000 people were killed in crashes involving teen drivers between Memorial Day and Labor Day in 2012. More than half of the people killed were teens themselves.

    The NSC cites several reasons for the spike in accidents during the summer months: teens drive more frequently for recreational purposes; they may stay out later at night when the risk of crash is higher; and they are more likely to be driving with friends. The National Safety Council says passengers increase the risk of a teen driver being involved in a fatal crash by at least 44%.

    In an effort to reduce the risk of accidents, the NSC urges parents to establish guidelines for their teens – and consequences for breaking them – in addition to reviewing their state’s young driver guidelines.

    Leonard Sciolla has experience representing people of all ages who are injured in motor vehicle accidents. Contact attorneys Chris Fleming, Michael Tinari, and Marisa Ciarrocki in our Philadelphia office at (215) 567-1530, or Greg Sciolla and Anthony Leonard in our New Jersey office at (856) 273-6679.

    Where should a workers' compensation claim be filed?

    Where should a workers’ compensation claim be filed if an employee lives in one state, but works in another? According to an April decision from a New Jersey appellate court, a claim can be filed and heard in the state of your residence even if you worked exclusively in the state where you were injured.

    In that case, the employee was injured at his job in New York and filed a workers’ compensation claim in New York.  He later filed another claim in New Jersey. Initially, the New Jersey Division of Worker’s Compensation dismissed the employee’s petition for lack of jurisdiction.  But in April, the appellate court reversed that decision  after finding that the employment contract was created in New Jersey because the employee accepted his job over the phone from his New Jersey residence.

    Our attorneys have considerable experience handling workers' compensation claims as well as third party claims against those responsible for work related injuries. Partners Gregory Sciolla and Anthony Leonard can be reached in our New Jersey office at (856) 273-6679.  For a workers’ compensation matter in Pennsylvania, partners Michael Tinari, Heidi Anderson and Christopher Fleming can be reached at (215) 567-1530.  Our Pennsylvania attorneys work out of both Philadelphia and West Chester.

    Partner Keith Leonard to present at National Business Institute seminar

    Keith Leonard is scheduled to give two different presentations at the National Business Institute’s (NBI) two-day course, “Real Estate Transactions from A to Z.” Mr. Leonard’s presentations, “Curing Title Defects before Closing” and “Handling the Closing: Critical Essentials for Smooth Transactions” will be both be held on the second day of the seminar. The event gives attorneys and other real estate professionals to learn about the latest developments in the industry.

    The seminar will be held at the Holiday Inn at 900 Packer Avenue from Wednesday, June 7 to Thursday, June 8. Mr. Leonard’s hour-long presentations will be held at 10:00 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. on June 8. More information, including details on registration, can be found here.

    Understanding Non-Compete Agreements

    As part of an employment contract, employers commonly require employees to sign non-compete agreements, which prohibit them from working for a competitor, and non-solicitation agreements, which prohibit them from soliciting the employer’s customers, when the employee leaves his/her job.

    But are employees still bound by those prohibitions once the employment contract expires and the employee stays on as an employee at-will? A Pennsylvania appellate court has just reaffirmed that it is possible for a non-solicitation covenant to survive the end of a term of an employment contract when the employee then stays on as an at-will employee. That decision also reaffirms the necessity for both parties to a contract to be very mindful of the terms of it.

    Lawyers at Leonard Sciolla have considerable experience preparing and negotiating contracts and are available to assist clients with a variety of agreements. Call partners John Leonard, Keith Leonard, Steve Labroli, or Paul Schultz at (215) 567-1530 for Pennsylvania matters or (856) 273-6679 for New Jersey matters.  All attorneys can also be reached through our website.

    New NJ Relations on Uber/Lift

    Uber, Lyft and other “transportation network companies” are operating under new regulations in New Jersey after Governor Chris Christie signed a bill into law on February 10, 2017.

    The law provides new insurance requirements for vehicles operating within a transportation network. There are two different minimum insurance coverage levels: one applicable when drivers are logged into the digital network but are not providing a ride; and a second applicable when drivers who are in the process of providing a prearranged ride.

    The new law requires drivers who are simply logged into the digital network to have primary automobile liability insurance in the amount of at least $50,000 for death or bodily injury per person, $100,000 for death and bodily injury per incident and $25,000 for property damage.  Drivers must also have personal injury protection and uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage to the extent required pursuant to New Jersey law. Coverage increases once a driver is engaged in a prearranged ride—the law requires at least $1,500,000 primary automobile liability insurance for death, bodily injury and property damage as well as underinsured and uninsured coverage. These requirements can be satisfied through auto insurance maintained by the driver; insurance maintained by the company; or a combination of the two policies.

    For comparison, under state law, New Jersey taxis are required to maintain insurance coverage for $15,000 for bodily injury or death per person, $30,000 for death and bodily injury per accident and $5,000 for property damage (although certain municipalities have increased minimum requirements).

    If you are involved in an auto accident with a transportation network company vehicle or are inside such a vehicle at the time of an accident, be aware that the law requires the transportation network company driver to provide proof of their insurance policy to you and all other interested parties (including an investigating law enforcement official).  Be sure to ask whether or not the driver was logged into the digital network at the time of the accident, as the driver must disclose this information upon request.

    If you are involved in an accident with transportation network company in New Jersey, contact Leonard Sciolla partners Greg Sciolla or Anthony Leonard. Our lawyers are highly experienced in working with insurance companies to get the compensation our clients deserve. Mr. Sciolla and Mr. Leonard can be reached at (856) 273-6679. For accidents in Pennsylvania, contact partners Michael Tinari or Christopher Fleming at (215) 567-1530.

    Workplace Harassment

    Employers know that racial, gender or ethnic slurs can be the basis for an employee’s claim of a hostile work environment, discrimination and/or harassment. However, they may not realize that political, religious, or social commentary can also be the basis for workplace harassment. An employer’s liability for such workplace harassment can depend on the status of the harasser and the victim to each other.

    Partner Keith Leonard goes in-depth on this topic is his most recent ACtion Magazine column.

    The lawyers at Leonard Sciolla have assisted clients with a variety of employment matters, including legal compliance and discrimination and harassment issues. For any employment matters, contact partners John Leonard, Keith Leonard, Steve Labroli, or Paul Schultz at (215) 567-1530 or (856) 273-6679.

    Distracted Driving Recognized in April

    The National Safety Council (NSC) recognizes April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month to bring attention to what it calls “an epidemic” fueled in part by our access to and reliance on technology. According to the most recent numbers, distracted driving resulted in more than 3,000 deaths and nearly 400,000 injuries in 2015. In a poll released in February, the NSC found that although 83% of surveyed drivers consider driving to be a safety concern, 47% of those surveyed  were comfortable with texting manually or through voice controls. It should be noted that texting from the drivers’ seat is not only unsafe, but also illegal in Pennsylvania  and New Jersey.

    Although there are other forms of distracted driving, including eating and drinking, talking to passengers, using a navigations system, and adjusting the radio, texting is the most dangerous.  Data obtained by the CDC states that, at 55 mph, the average text keeps a driver’s eyes off the road long enough to travel the length of a football field. Many drivers try to stay safe by only using a phone while they are stationary at a stop sign or red light, but this is also a form of distracted driving. A study by AAA  found that mental distractions can last as long as 27 seconds after hitting send on a voice command text, meaning that a stop light text is not much safer than a text sent while driving.

    If another driver is at fault for a car accident, it is important to have an attorney handle your claim to get the compensation you deserve. Contact our experienced partners Michael Tinari or Christopher Fleming for a Pennsylvania accident at (215) 567-1530, or call (856) 273-6679 and ask to speak to Greg Sciolla or Anthony Leonard to inquire about a New Jersey accident.

    Grammatical Errors Can Be Costly in Contracts

    When is a comma not just a matter of punctuation? When a missing comma in a law allows employees to gain overtime pay.

    Pursuant to Maine law, employees are exempt from overtime pay if their jobs involve the “canning, processing, preserving, freezing, drying, marketing, storing, packing for shipment or distribution of” certain food products. Drivers for a milk distributor argued that they should get overtime because they did not do any packaging, while the employer argued that the drivers were involved in the distribution of the products and thus were exempt from getting overtime pay. A federal court recently decided that the absence of a comma after the word “shipment” made the wording of the law ambiguous enough to rule in favor of the employees’ argument. As this milk distribution company learned the hard way, a failure to comply with overtime laws or regulations invites compensation disputes, and possibly litigation, resulting in a big expense for businesses; the judge’s decision could cost the company an estimated $10 million.

    The lawyers at Leonard Sciolla have assisted clients with a variety of employment matters, including legal compliance issues. Call partners John Leonard, Keith Leonard, Steve Labroli, or Paul Schultz at (215) 567-1530 or(856) 273-6679.

    Changes To Business Entities Code

    On April 1, 2017, all Pennsylvania limited partnerships and limited liability companies must follow new procedural requirements when winding down the company.  The changes to the Business Entities Code were signed into law in November 2016.  The most important amendment is to the dissolution procedure for both LLCs and LPs.

    Companies are required to file a Statement of Termination once all debts and assets are resolved in order to remove the company from the State’s records.  LPs and LLCs can file Dissolution Certificates with the state while the company is in the process of being dissolved, but this Certificate no longer removes the company from the State’s records.

    To see all of the changes and determine how they might affect your business, the complete law can be found on the Pennsylvania General Assembly website.

    Our attorneys have extensive experience guiding LLCs and LPs through everything from formation to dissolution and are always up to date on the latest laws governing these filings. Contact partners Keith Leonard and Steve Labroli at (215) 567-1530 for more information on how we can help your business in Pennsylvania.

    SEPTA Strike Explored in March Column

    Partner Keith Leonard takes a look back at the November 2016 Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) strike, and the connection it has to feelings of political frustration around the country, in his March ACtion Magazine column: http://bit.ly/2o1tuOt

    Learn more about Mr. Leonard’s law practice on his profile.

    Employer obligations under OSHA

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the main federal agency charged with making sure employers provide their workers with a safe workplace. In keeping with that obligation, OSHA requires employers to post a particular form on-site which summarizes job-related injuries and illnesses at the company which were logged during the preceding year. Employers are required to keep the logs for five years. Businesses should make sure they are complying with these requirements as the logs provide crucial information for both employers and employees.

    The lawyers at Leonard Sciolla have assisted clients with a variety of employment matters, including legal compliance and workplace injury issues. Call partners John Leonard, Keith Leonard, Steve Labroli, or Paul Schultz at (215) 567-1530 or (856) 273-6679 or contact them through our website.

    Dangers of daylight savings

    Those tired, sluggish feelings experienced when bodies adjust to daylight savings time also comes with increases in two things: motor vehicle accidents and workplace injuries.

    University of Colorado at Boulder researchers studied the period after daylight savings over a 10 year span and found that there is a 6.3% increase in fatal crashes in the week following the spring transition. The researchers believe that this increase in accidents is most likely due to sleep deprivation. We have previously outlined the dangers of sleep deprivation and driving here.

    The change in sleep patterns and lack of sleep also results in an increase in workplace accidents. Researchers at the University of Michigan found that daylight savings results in 40 minutes less sleep for American workers, a 5.7% increase in injuries on the job in the days following the spring switch and 67.6% more work days lost as a result of those injuries.

    Our attorneys have extensive experience representing people injured in motor vehicle accidents and representing employees injured in the workplace. Call (856) 273-6679 for an injury in New Jersey and ask for partners Greg Sciolla or Anthony Leonard, or contact partners Michael Tinari and Christopher Fleming for injuries sustained in Pennsylvania by calling (215) 567-1530.

    Tax Amnesty Program

    If you failed to pay real estate taxes, corporate taxes, or inheritance and estate taxes prior to December 31, 2015, the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue (“PA DOR”) is giving you the chance to do so under its Tax Amnesty Program.

    The Amnesty programs runs between April 21, 2017 and June 19, 2017. During that time, the PA DOR will waive all penalties and half the interest for anyone who participates. If you have unpaid taxes, it is crucial to file during this 60 day amnesty program time period. Those who are eligible but choose not to participate will have a 5% nonparticipation penalty added to their balance.

    The PA DOR has compiled a list of which taxes are eligible under the amnesty program, as well as which individuals and/or businesses qualify. If you believe you are eligible to apply for the program, partner Heidi Anderson can assist you for matters involving an estate and any outstanding inheritance taxes. Ms. Anderson can be reached in our Philadelphia office at (215) 567-1530.

    Spring Break Traffic Fatalities

    Stay safe on the road this spring break season – studies show that fatal traffic accidents spike this time of year.

    A study by the University of Miami found that there is an increase in deadly motor vehicle accidents between the last week of February and the first week of April, the time when many colleges and high schools are on spring break. The study found that the death tolls were 9.1% higher in spring break hot spots around the country compared to other weeks of the year. Fatalities among out-of-state drivers and those under the age of 25 were also both significantly increased.

    The authors of the study recommend that students on spring break use public transportation, including buses, taxis or ride share services. Walking from place to place also cuts down on the number of cars on the road. Pedestrians should remember to stay on sidewalks, cross at designated crosswalks and never assume vehicles can see them.

    Our attorneys are experienced in representing people injured in car accidents by negligent drivers. For advice regarding a motor vehicle accident in Pennsylvania, contact our Philadelphia office at (215) 537-1530 or our West Chester office at (610) 701-6455 and ask for partners Michael Tinari or Christopher Fleming. To speak with partners Greg Sciolla or Anthony Leonard in our New Jersey office, call (856) 273-6679.

    Employee protection under FMLA

    Eligible employees can take up to twelve weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave in a year period for specific family and medical reasons under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). An employer can be found liable for interfering with or retaliating against an employee who elects FMLA leave. It is important to note that an employer may still require a worker to adhere to the company’s call-out policies and can discipline an employee who violates the policies (including terminating the employee for an unexcused absence) while the employee is on an FMLA leave.

    The lawyers at Leonard Sciolla have assisted clients with a variety of employment matters, including FMLA issues. Call partners John Leonard, Keith Leonard, Steve Labroli, or Paul Schultz at (215) 567-1530 or (856) 273-6679 or contact them through our website at www.leonardsciolla.com.

    The Interactive Process

    Employees in Pennsylvania are protected from disability discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA), but it can be difficult to determine specific rights you have as a disabled person. Suppose you are applying for a job and are worried about telling your prospective employer that you are disabled. Or you are already working for an employer and suffer a setback that qualifies as a mental or physical disability. How can the ADA and PHRA help you? What responsibilities does your employer have?

    State and federal law allow for an individual to request a reasonable accommodation i.e., an accommodation that would permit you to fulfill the essential functions of your job. Once notice of a request has been accomplished, the employer has an affirmative duty to participate in the “interactive process”. This judicially-created term requires an employer and employee to engage in an open dialogue to assess the precise limitations of the employee’s disability and determine whether he or she can be reasonably accommodated. If necessary, the employer should ask for additional information concerning the mental or physical disability and discuss options to alleviate the challenges faced by the individual.

    It is important to recognize that individuals with a disability have a legitimate right to equal opportunities as it relates to employment. If you sought a reasonable accommodation from an employer and your request was promptly denied, your legal rights may have been violated. Our attorneys are adept at handling employment discrimination matters and can evaluate your case. Contact partners Keith Leonard or Michael Tinari at (215) 567-1530.

    Zoning and Motor Vehicle Accidents

    The relationship between zoning ordinances and traffic patterns might not be the first thing that comes to mind when considering the factors which contribute to a motor vehicle accident. A recent article in the Philadelphia Inquirer shows that zoning can play a huge part in the likelihood of motor vehicle accidents in a given location. The article focuses on Street Road in Bensalem, which contains an intersection that Time magazine dubbed the most dangerous intersection in the country in 2014.

    Heavy development started on the stretch of Street Road between I-95 and Route 1 in the middle of the last century. Lax zoning laws at that time resulted in close driveways and cross-streets, along with mixed and inconsistent property uses in close proximity. The resulting traffic patterns, combined with a heavy volume of fast-paced cars traveling on Street Road, result in frequent abrupt stops and turns to enter and exit businesses on the four lane road. This abrupt stopping and braking has contributed to a high number of rear-end accidents.

    Regardless of the current status of development along a stretch of road, all drivers have a duty to maintain control of their vehicle by being alert, paying attention, and being able to stop in a safe manner. This includes driving at a speed that will permit a driver to stop their vehicle within a safe distance of vehicles and pedestrians ahead of them.

    Current zoning regulations and ordinances attempt to ensure that a development plan is followed to maintain safety-- including traffic and pedestrian safety— in a designated area. For questions concerning zoning matters in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, contact partner Paul Schultz at (215) 567-1530 or (856) 273-6679. Our attorneys are also experienced in representing individuals injured in motor vehicle accidents. Contact partners Michael Tinari or Christopher Fleming for a Pennsylvania matter (215) 567-1530. For an accident in New Jersey, call (856) 273-6679 and ask to speak with partners Greg Sciolla or Anthony Leonard.

    Complications Arising From Joint Ownership of A House

    Joint ownership of a house, whether between an unmarried couple, friends or business partners, can come with complications that must be considered. It’s important to address a number of issues prior to buying the house, including: Who will be on the title? How much of the mortgage will each person be responsible for? Can each owner buy and sell his or her share of ownership in the property?

    Once those questions have been answered, buyers must choose a form of ownership. Among the most common forms of home ownership are Joint Tenants with Right of Survivorship (JT) and Tenancy in Common (TIC). There are important differences between these two forms of ownership of which buyers must be aware. With a JT, both owners have a full, undivided ownership interest in the home. If one owner dies, the surviving owner receives sole ownership of the home. The deceased owner’s share ends and does not pass to his or her heirs. With a TIC, both owners generally have equal rights to the property, but if one owner dies, their share in the property passes to his her heirs. Therefore, the surviving owner may now be a co-owner of the home with several individuals he does not know. If an unmarried couple buys a home using a TIC but later marries, to avoid a number of potential legal issues, the couple should file a new deed that will place the title in both of their names as a married couple – a form of ownership referred to as a Tenancy by the Entirety.

    Another option for joint ownership is for buyers to form a limited liability company (LLC). This may be a good option if there are more than two homebuyers, or if the property will be used for business purposes.

    Purchasers may also consider a living trust. This option may be useful for joint ownership with family or other individuals (for example, multiple members of a family buying a shared vacation home).

    No matter which option joint owners choose, it is important to be guided by experienced attorneys along the way. An attorney can help owners figure out the best route to take and help with each step in the process. They can also prepare a contract outlining the rights and responsibilities of the owners to help avoid potential problems down the road. Partners Keith Leonard, Stephen Labroli and Paul Schultz have extensive experience representing both individuals and business in real estate transactions and related matters. They can be reached in our Philadelphia office at (215) 567-1530 or our New Jersey office at (856) 273-6679.

    Increase in deadly NJ crashes

    New Jersey traffic fatalities rose between 2015 and 2016 by more than 10% according to new numbers released by New Jersey State Police. A total of 605 people died in 573 car accidents in 2016, compared to 562 deaths from 522 crashes in 2015.

    Vehicle drivers made up more than 50% of those who died in 2016. Pedestrians were the next highest fatalities with 165 killed; 90 vehicle passengers died; and 18 cyclists died in crashes with vehicles. On a county breakdown, Burlington (49), Monmouth (46) and Middlesex (44) had the highest numbers of deadly crashes.

    Our attorneys have extensive experience representing the families of individuals killed in motor vehicle accidents. For a New Jersey claim, contact Greg Sciolla or Anthony Leonard at (856) 273-6679. To inquire about a Pennsylvania matter, contact Michael Tinari or Christopher Fleming at (215) 567-1530.

    A $7,500 Credit Is Available For Those Buying Electric, Hybrid and Alternative Fuel Vehicles

    Electric, hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles are often overlooked by the car buying public. For now, buyers of electric vehicles can still take advantage of a $7,500.00 tax credit. Partner Keith Leonard explores the history of such vehicles and the potential effects on the vehicles during the President-elect’s term in his most recent column in ACTION magazine: http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/macs/action_20170102/#/10

    Visit Keith’s profile for more on his practice.

    Drivers who miss just a few hours of sleep run the risk of injuring themselves or others.

    A new study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that drivers who miss one to two of the recommended seven hours of sleep nearly double the risk of a crash.  Drivers who miss two to three hours of sleep increase the risk of crash by more than four times—that is the same crash risk the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration associates with drivers who operate over the legal alcohol limit.

    Nearly one in three drivers surveyed admitted to driving at least once in the previous month while they were so tired that they could barely keep their eyes open.

    Symptoms of drowsy driving include drifting from lanes, not remembering the last few miles driven, and having trouble keeping your eyes open.  However, AAA recommends not waiting until the symptoms start to get off the road; drivers should prioritize sleep instead.  To stay awake and alert on longer trips, AAA recommends that drivers travel at a time of day when they are normally awake, schedule a break every two hours or 100 miles, take turns driving with a passenger and avoid heavy foods.

    Our attorneys have extensive experience representing people injured in car accidents.  Contact Michael Tinari or Christopher Fleming in our Philadelphia office at (215) 567-1530, or Greg Sciolla or Anthony Leonard in our New Jersey office at (856) 273-6679.

    Now Is The Time For Interested Individuals To Apply For the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program

    With President-elect Donald Trump set to take office in January, the future is uncertain for undocumented individuals. President-elect Trump could revoke or discontinue President Obama’s executive order governing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

    Therefore, now is the time for interested individuals to take action to apply for the DACA program. Under DACA, qualified individuals can obtain a driver’s license and Social Security number, work authorization, and are sometimes able study or travel outside the country.

    • You must meet the following criteria to apply:
    • You came to the United States under the age of 16;
    • You have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2012;
    • You are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a general education development certificate, or have been honorably discharged from the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;
    • You have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety; and
    • You are not above the age of 30

    There is no right of appeal under the DACA program, so it is important that the application is prepared correctly the first time. Attorney Paul Schultz has extensive experience representing qualified individuals in applying for the DACA program. Mr. Schultz can be reached in our Philadelphia office at (215) 567-1530 or our New Jersey office at (856) 273-6679.

    NJ Court Ruling Allows Intoxicated Mechanic To Receive Workers' Compensation Benefits

    The New Jersey appellate court recently upheld a judge’s decision allowing an injured mechanic to receive workers’ compensation benefits despite the fact that he was intoxicated at the time of the accident.

    The employee’s blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal level of intoxication when a heavy lift fell on him. Generally, if you are injured on the job in New Jersey while intoxicated (or if the injuries are self-inflicted), you are not entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits for your injuries. Though there may be recourse against third parties, such benefits are the sole remedy you can receive from your employer at the time of the injury. In this specific case, however, the workers’ compensation judge found that the employee’s intoxication was not the sole cause of the accident. The New Jersey appellate court affirmed that decision upon finding sufficient evidence to support judge’s findings about the accident.

    The lawyers at Leonard Sciolla have substantial experience in handling workers’ compensation matter in New Jersey and Pennsylvania and can assist you if you have been injured in the course of your job. Call Gregory Sciolla, Michael Tinari, Anthony Leonard, or Heidi Anderson at (215) 567-1530 or (856) 273-6679, or contact them through our website at www.leonardsciolla.com.

    Legal Assistance With Immigration Matters

    Many immigrants, undocumented or otherwise, are wondering about their status in the United States in light of the views on immigration policy which President-elect Donald Trump expressed during the course of his campaign. Current immigration laws and policies may be affected by either executive orders or new legislation by Congress.

    Attorney Paul Schultz has extensive experience in the field of immigration, including representing clients for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) application process, permanent residency/green card applications and petitions for naturalization/citizenship. Mr. Schultz has also represented numerous immigrants looking to achieve the American dream of home ownership. The home buying process is complicated for all individuals, but especially so if the various documents are not in someone’s native language.

    If you have an immigration issue in this uncertain time, contact Mr. Schultz at Leonard Sciolla. He is available to discuss your specific needs, questions and options given the impact of the immigration laws. Please contact Mr. Schultz at our Moorestown, NJ office or at our Philadelphia, PA office to discuss the cost of a consultation and to make an appointment. Just call (856) 273-6679 for our New Jersey office or (215) 567-1530 for Philadelphia.

    Schultz Volunteers At Community Christmas Event

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    Paul Schultz, a partner with the firm, assisted with the Delran Township Christmas Tree Lighting on December 2, 2016. Mr. Schultz is a member of the Delran Recreation Advisory Committee, a volunteer group appointed by the Township to plan and run recreational events for Township residents. He provided Polaroid film for pictures with Santa Claus at the event and helped some of Santa’s younger elves navigate the use of Polaroid cameras and film. Mr. Schultz resides in Delran Township with his wife and 9-month-old son and is actively involved in community events.

    Mr. Schultz has a diverse practice at the law firm. He is the Chairman of the firm’s Land Use Practice Group and also handles zoning matters, personal injury cases, civil litigation, immigration and business litigation. For more information, please contact Mr. Schultz at pschultz@leonardsciolla.com.

    Study Shows Rise in Road Rage, Aggression, Anger

    A newly released study revealed that 78% of drivers in the U.S. expressed anger, aggression, or road range within the last year. Aggressive behavior included purposely tailgating, honking, blocking vehicles from changing lanes, and purposefully cutting off other cars.

    The study –– see http://bit.ly/29RQGtW –– done by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, also found that 8 million drivers engaged in what was classified as “extreme incidents of road rage,” including intentionally hitting other vehicles or getting out of cars to confront drivers.

    Stay safe while driving by working to prevent road rage. AAA says to never cause nearby drivers to change speed or direction; be tolerant and forgiving to other drivers; and avoid responding to drivers who are engaging in aggressive behavior.

    The lawyers at Leonard Sciolla have substantial experience helping clients injured in motor vehicle accidents of all types. Contact Michael Tinari, Christopher Fleming or Marisa Ciarrocki in our Philadelphia office at (215) 567-1530, or Greg Sciolla or Anthony Leonard in our New Jersey office at (856) 273-6679.

    Stay Safe on the Road this Holiday Weekend

    This Thanksgiving holiday weekend is expected to the busiest in the nation since 2007. AAA expects 48.7 million Americans to travel, whether by car, plane or train.

    It is important to stay safe on the roads. New Jersey state officials report that Thanksgiving is one of New Jersey’s deadliest holidays on the roads. During the holiday period in 2015, 15 people died in motor vehicle crashes in New Jersey according to a release issued by the Office of the Attorney General. Six of the drivers involved in those crashes were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

    New Jersey State Police offer these tips to stay safe on the roads during the holiday: don’t consume alcohol before getting behind the wheel; buckle up; and stay focused on the road – pull over if you need to check your phone, eat, or tend to your children.

    The attorneys at Leonard Sciolla have extensive experience representing people injured in car accidents. Contact Greg Sciolla or Anthony Leonard in our New Jersey office at (856) 273-6679 or Michael Tinari or Christopher Fleming in our Philadelphia office at (215) 567-1530.

    Employment with App-Based Transportation Services

    The now legal operation of Uber, Lyft and other app-based transportation services throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is opening up a new sector of industry and jobs in the region.  The newly passed law establishes a series of requirements that must be met in order for an individual to be eligible to become a driver for one of these services.

    As a preliminary matter, drivers must be at least 21 years old; possess a valid driver’s license in a state, U.S. district or territory for at least a year; have not had more than three moving violations within the past three years; and cannot have had a limo or taxi driver certificate suspended or revoked in the last five years.

    After meeting the preliminary criteria, potential drivers must submit to background checks at the local and federal levels.  Applicants convicted for a sexual offence, crime of violence or act of terror at any time in their lives will be immediately disqualified. Applicants also cannot have been convicted of DUI, felony theft, felony fraud, and/or a controlled substance felony in the past seven years, or convicted for burglary, robbery or using a motor vehicle to commit a felony in the last 10 years.

    Once the initial background checks are met, transportation networks must confirm driver eligibility one year after the hiring, and every two years after that, to verify that the driver meets all requirements, including background checks.

    After applicants are hired and are working for the services, they must comply with additional regulations, including, what actions the driver must take in the event of an accident; keeping insurance information on hand; displaying proper signage indicating which transport network they work for; and keeping vehicles properly maintained.  Drivers should also be aware that if it is believed that a driver has violated any regulation, that driver can be pulled out of service prior to it being officially determined. Those who violate the zero-tolerance policy on the use of drugs and alcohol will face immediate suspension until an investigation is complete.

    The lawyers at Leonard Sciolla can assist you with any and all employment matters, whether you are an employer looking to set up employment procedures for your app-based transportation network, or an employee. Call John Leonard, Keith Leonard, or Paul Schultz at (215) 567-1530 or (856) 273-6679 or contact them through our website at www.leonardsciolla.com.

    Insurance Requirements for Uber, Lyft and other App-Based Transportation Services

    The new regulations for Uber, Lyft and other transportation network companies (“app-based transportation service”) are now in effect in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; Governor Wolf signed the bill into law on Friday, November 4, 2016. That means new insurance requirements for vehicles operating through an app-based transportation service.

    App-based transportation services are now subject two different requirements for insurance (minimum levels of coverage) based on the status of the driver: one for if they are logged into the network and able to receive ride requests; and a second for when they are actually engaged in a ride.

    When drivers are merely logged into the transportation network, the new law requires primary automobile liability insurance in the amount of at least $50,000 for death and bodily injury per person, $100,000 for death and bodily injury per accident, $25,000 for property damage, and first-party medical benefits for pedestrians as already required by Pennsylvania law. Once a driver is engaged in a ride, coverage required is increased - the law requires at least $500,000 for death, bodily injury and property damage, as well as the same medical benefits for pedestrians. The new coverage requirements can be satisfied by the auto insurance maintained by the driver; the insurance maintained by the company; or some combination of the two insurance policies.

    To put the importance of this legislation into perspective, the insurance regulations on taxis in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania require just $35,000 for death, bodily injury, or property damage.

    If you are involved in an auto accident with an app-based transportation service vehicle or are inside such a vehicle at the time of an accident, be aware that the law requires the driver for the app-based transportation service to provide proof of the insurance policy described above to you and all other interested parties (including the investigating police officer). The driver must also disclose whether or not they were logged into the digital network at the time of the accident.

    If you are involved in an accident with an app-based transportation service, contact the attorneys at Leonard Sciolla. Our lawyers are highly experienced in working with insurance companies to get the compensation our clients deserve. Call (215) 567-1530 for our Philadelphia office and ask for Michael Tinari or Christopher Fleming.

    Leonard Sciolla wishes to honor all those who serve and who served in the past. Thank you for your service!

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    Uber to Operate Legally in Pennsylvania

    Popular ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft will soon be permanent features on roads across Pennsylvania.

    Shortly after the Pennsylvania Senate gave final approval of SB 984 on October 24, 2016, Governor Tom Wolf released a statement stating in part, “I look forward to signing the bill.”

    The bill amends current regulations and laws to regulate “transportation network companies.” The bill lays out regulations for detailed background checks for drivers, including a review of federal and state criminal history as well as driving history for the last three (3) years. The bill also provides special insurance regulations and lays out what drivers must do in the event of a car accident.

    A complete copy of the new law can be found here. Please follow our website and social media over the next few weeks while we breakdown sections of the bill to keep you informed on how the various transportation companies will operate in Pennsylvania whether you are interested in getting rides or in becoming a driver.

    Attorney Michael Tinari Obtains Injunction To Protect Hertz Corp Vehicles

    Partner Michael V. Tinari, Esquire, recently represented The Hertz Corporation in a matter involving claims of potential fraud against a Delaware County company that tows, stores and repairs automobiles and a number of other defendants. Over the course of a year, The Hertz Corporation’s security team investigated multiple automobile rentals out of its Philadelphia International Airport location which were involved in accidents and then towed and stored without authorization from Hertz. Once the investigation was completed, Mr. Tinari filed a civil action against the individuals and entities believed to be involved. The Defendants denied the allegations, but as a result of the lawsuit, the court entered a Permanent Injunction in September 2016 that prevented certain Defendants from ever renting, towing or storing a Hertz automobile, and/or interfering in any rental with Hertz. Additionally, Hertz received $50,000 of monetary compensation for its investigation and attorneys’ fees and costs.

    The Hertz Corporation and other national rental companies have noticed an uptick in car rental fraud over the past few years and have decided to pursue claims criminally and by suing and seeking injunctions in various jurisdictions across the country.

    Partner Michael Tinari Celebrates Twenty Five Years at the Firm

    Michael-Tinari

    The law firm congratulates partner Michael V. Tinari, Esquire, on celebrating his twenty-fifth year with the firm. Mr. Tinari started with the firm as a 29-year-old associate on October 2, 1991. Hired by John Leonard, Esquire and Greg Sciolla, Esquire, Mr. Tinari started with the firm at an office above the Baily, Banks and Biddle jewelry store at 1530 Chestnut Street. He stayed with the firm as it moved from Chestnut Street, to Market Street, to its current Philadelphia office at 1500 John F. Kennedy Boulevard.

    “I never looked back, despite the trials and tribulations of the practice and business of law. I have realized over the years that the core group of individuals, both attorneys and staff, that I have been associated with in this firm are not just excellent co-workers, but also friends and partners,” Mr. Tinari recalled. “It’s this core group of good people that have lasted together for a very long time that keeps the firm moving forward and in the right direction.”

    Mr. Tinari is a litigator who concentrates in complex personal injury matters, property and casualty defense, trademark infringement litigation and commercial disputes. He has handled a multitude of complex cases, mostly in Philadelphia County but also in the surrounding counties, federal court and in New Jersey. His practice has provided him with a wealth of experience and know-how to get the job done.

    Learn more about Mr. Tinari’s practice here /attorneys/MichaelVTinariEsquire/

    Home Buying and The Value of Legal Counsel

    Imagine moving into your newly purchased home only to find out the next day that the farmer next door can legally herd his animals across your land at 5:00 a.m. The best way to avoid this, and any other potential problems while buying a house? Hire an attorney.

    More often than not, the largest purchase you will ever make in your life is buying a home, but far too many people buy one without the assistance of counsel. Having an attorney assist you in buying a home is important from start (the negotiating of the contract) to finish (the closing when you take title to the property). You may find out too late that there are significant problems relating to the property, including easements which interfere with your enjoyment of the property (such as the example with the farmer and his cattle), different boundary lines than you were told or financing concerns. For New Jersey shore properties, an attorney can help you determine if the State of New Jersey is claiming ownership of some or all of the property.

    It is crucial that you understand your rights and obligations, whether they are with regard to the seller, the mortgage company or a third party. You do not want surprises after you have settled on the property. The lawyers at Leonard Sciolla have handled innumerable real estate transactions and can assist you with what to expect as to buying a property and the actual transaction. Call John Leonard, Keith Leonard, Steve Labroli, or Paul Schultz at (215) 567-1530 or (856) 273-6679 or contact them through our website at www.leonardsciolla.com.

    Partner Michael Tinari Back In The News in CJC Elevator Case

    The most recent Philadelphia Inquirer article about August's elevator crash at the CJC features quotes from partner Michael Tinari.

    Judges want assurance of elevator safety at Criminal Justice Center

    Almost two months after a sheriff's deputy was seriously injured in an elevator crash at the Criminal Justice Center, the judges who work there have hired an attorney and an independent expert to evaluate the elevators' safety.

    Also, read the earlier story on partner Michael Tinari's work in this high profile case at http://bit.ly/2dGwLTz.

    Slip and Fall Injuries Can Have A Lasting Impact

    An injury sustained in a slip and fall accident can have lasting physical and financial repercussions. It may feel as though a fall is your own fault, but often they occur due to negligence. The party responsible for your injury may be responsible for covering your medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering incurred as a result of the fall.

    Under Pennsylvania law, property owners and/or the party responsible for maintaining a property can be held legally responsible for any injuries that occur on their property. That is because it is their duty to exercise reasonable care to make sure the property is a safe environment for anyone who enters it. This duty can range anywhere from clearing debris (leaves, snow, etc.) off the ground to making sure sidewalks and stairs are safe. This duty applies to both commercial and private property.

    If you were injured as a result of a negligent slip and fall accident, contact Leonard Sciolla. Our attorneys have extensive experience representing those injured in slip and falls. Contact our Pennsylvania office at (215) 567-1530 for Michael Tinari, Christopher Fleming or Marisa Ciarrocki, or contact Greg Sciolla or Anthony Leonard in our New Jersey office at (856) 273-6679.

    Using PIP as a Pedestrian

    The number of pedestrians struck by vehicles is on the rise. As a pedestrian, it is important to know who is responsible for paying your medical expenses after an accident.

    Pedestrians who are Pennsylvania auto insurance policy holders should make a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) claim, and submit their medical bills to their auto insurance up to the coverage limit on their policy. Any costs incurred after the coverage amount is exhausted can be recovered from the driver of the vehicle in the event of a lawsuit settlement.

    If the injured pedestrian does not have a car, and therefore does not have auto insurance, Pennsylvania statute dictates that they could qualify for coverage if they live with a family member who does have car insurance. However, if this is not the case, then that pedestrian would be eligible for medical benefits through the insurance on the vehicle involved.

    The process to make insurance claims after an accident can be complicated. The attorneys at Leonard Sciolla are here to represent you in obtaining proper coverage for your medical bills and to bring a claim against the driver who hit you. Contact Michael Tinari, Christopher Fleming and Marisa Ciarrocki in our Philadelphia office at (215) 567-1530 or Greg Sciolla or Anthony Leonard in our New Jersey office at (856) 273-6679.

    ABA Adopts Rule Explicitly Forbidding Harassment and Discrimination

    The American Bar Association has recently amended Model Rule of Professional Misconduct 8.4 to explicitly forbid knowing harassment or discrimination on the basis of basis of race, sex, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, or socioeconomic status. Approximately half of states had previously adopted such a rule, but the ABA’s amendment represents what has become the national trend. Although New Jersey’s Rules previously included such a provision, Pennsylvania is now faced with a choice as to whether to follow suit.

    Advocates of the amended rule explain that it will protect female attorneys who have traditionally faced misogynistic remarks at the workplace, even in the court room. But in addition to working towards the elimination of “honeys” or “darlings” that many female attorneys face while trying to professionally litigate a case, the new rule has a broader reach to preclude many forms of discriminatory conduct. The new rule does contain qualifiers to protect an attorney’s need to vigorously represent their clients: the rule applies only where a lawyer knew or should have known that his conduct constituted harassment or discrimination, and the rule does not apply to “legitimate” advocacy.

    If you need an ethical opinion or are facing professional discipline, or if you feel you have been discriminated against at work on the basis of race, sex, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, or socioeconomic status, the attorneys at Leonard Sciolla are experienced at handling such matters. For questions regarding professional ethics, contact John Leonard or Marisa Ciarrocki. If you feel you have been discriminated against, contact Michael Tinari or Keith Leonard. Our attorneys can be reached at (215) 567-1530 or through our website at www.leonardsciolla.com.

    Philadelphia Transfer Tax Rate to Increase

    The real estate transfer tax Philadelphia will to increase from 3% to 3.1% on January 1, 2017. The tax, collected by the city any time real estate is sold, is added to the 1% collected by the state of Pennsylvania. That means as of January 1, the total transfer tax will be 4.1%.

    The local Philadelphia tax rate is one of the highest in the state. The majority of local taxes total 1%. Typically, the buyer and seller split the cost of the transfer tax.

    For questions about real estate issues in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, contact Keith Leonard, Steve Labroli or Paul Shultz. Our Philadelphia office can be reached at (215) 567-1530 or contact our New Jersey office at (856) 273-6679.

    Need Help In Comprehending The New Overtime Pay Regulations?

    The new overtime pay regulations go into effect as of December 1, 2016. Employers must be aware of the requirements under these regulations and take the necessary steps to avoid violating them. Employees should also make themselves aware of the regulations because their eligibility for overtime compensation may change as of December 1st. The regulations impact any employer with executive, administrative, professional, outside sales, or computer employees. Further, job descriptions for all of those types of employees at a particular business should be in writing as well as accurate and complete. Other changes to the workplace should also be considered and put into effect in order to comply with these regulations.

    The lawyers at Leonard Sciolla can assist you with what to expect as to these regulations and other employment matters, whether you are an employer or an employee. Call John Leonard, Keith Leonard, Steve Labroli, or Paul Schultz at (215) 567-1530 or (856) 273-6679 or contact them through our website at www.leonardsciolla.com.

    Learn more details about the regulations here /PressReleases/#labor-salary

    Partner, Michael Tinari, was featured on CBS Philly

    Michael TInari

    Partner, Michael Tinari, was featured on CBS Philly on Monday, August 8, 2016, with an update on the condition of the man injured in the previous week's elevator incident at Philadelphia's Criminal Justice Center (CJC). Mr. Tinari is representing Sergeant Paul Owens, who remains in critical condition after the elevator he was in last Thursday shot upwards, crashing through the building’s top level. In a frightening coincidence, Owen’s wife, Heather James, was also injured in an elevator incident in the same building when she worked there back in 2009.
    Read the entire article as a PDF

    Compensation for Work-Related Injury, Illness, Disability or Death

    Employees who suffer from a work related injury, illness, disability or death are entitled to compensation from their employer under the Workers’ Compensation Act (“WCA”). Typically, these benefits include payments for lost wages and medical expenses incurred as a result of the injury.

    The test for what constitutes a work-related injury in Pennsylvania is more relaxed than what some may believe. For example, in Berro v. WCAB (a Pennsylvania Case) claimant was injured in a work-related accident. He was prescribed physical therapy to treat the work-related injuries. While traveling to one of these physical therapy sessions, he was involved in a car accident and sustained injuries separate from the original work-related injuries. The Court ruled that the claimant was in fact eligible for workers’ compensation benefits for the injuries he sustained in the car accident, because the accident wouldn’t have happened if he hadn’t needed physical therapy for the first work-related injury.

    If you are injured during the course of your employment, the attorneys at Leonard Sciolla have experience maximizing the workers’ compensation benefits available to you. If someone is directly responsible for your workplace injury, our attorneys can pursue a personal injury claim for additional compensation for your pain and suffering. Contact Greg Sciolla or Anthony Leonard in our New Jersey office at (856) 273-6679 or call (215) 567-1530 for Michael Tinari or Christopher Fleming in our Philadelphia office. All attorneys can also be contacted at www.leonardsciolla.com.

    Choose Carefully When Making Choices About Lawsuit Options on Your Auto Insurance Coverage

    Drivers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania have options when selecting auto insurance coverage that can affect their ability to sue after a motor vehicle collision. Pennsylvania drivers who need more information should click here New Jersey drivers, read on.

    Auto insurance policy holders in New Jersey pick between what is called “limitation on lawsuit” or “verbal threshold” and “no limitation” or “zero threshold”. Verbal threshold leads to lower monthly payments, but policy holders – in addition to anyone else who qualifies for coverage under the policy – limit their ability to sue for damages in the event of a collision. Those subjected to the verbal threshold can only attempt to recover damages for pain and suffering in the event of death, dismemberment, loss of a fetus, or a “significant disfigurement” or “permanent injury”.

    “Zero threshold” policy holders can recover damages for pain and suffering regardless of the type or severity of the injuries. Although the monthly payments are more expensive, it can be worth it in the end. Motor vehicle collisions can have a long lasting impact on you and your family’s emotional and mental health in addition to your physical and financial well-being.

    Leonard Sciolla attorneys have extensive experience representing people injured in car accidents. Contact Greg Sciolla or Anthony Leonard in our New Jersey office at (856) 273-6679 or Michael Tinari, Christopher Fleming and Marisa Ciarrocki in our Philadelphia office at (215) 567-1530.

    Injured at a Hospital or Other Healthcare Facility?

    Studies show that patient falls are the most common cause of injuries in hospital and healthcare settings. Nearly one third of those falls result in serious injuries, which can lead to long-term effects like lost time from work, reduced quality of life and disability.

    Falls occur most frequently in rehabilitation, neurology and eldercare departments. Falls are the leading cause of death in individuals age 65 and older, and 10% of those fatal falls occur in hospitals.

    Hospitals and healthcare institutions have policies and procedures to identify the patients most at risk for falls. Measures are employed to prevent and reduce the risk of falls, including: screening patients for risk factors (such as blood clots or osteoporosis); identifying at-risk patients; assessing and modifying the environment for hazards; and training patients to properly use walkers, crutches, and other devices to help them walk.

    If you or a loved one suffered a fall in a healthcare setting, contact Leonard Sciolla. Our attorneys have experience representing injured patients and their families in the healthcare setting. Contact John Leonard, Michael Tinari or Christopher Fleming in our Philadelphia office at (215) 567-1530, or call our New Jersey office at (856) 273-6679 for Greg Sciolla or Anthony Leonard.

    Sleep Deprivation Is A Major Cause Of Workplace Injuries

    Sleep deprivation is a major cause of workplace injuries. Studies have shown that sleep-deprived workers are 70% more likely to be involved in a work accident. Lack of sleep slows reaction time and decreases attention, alertness and motivation.

    Shift workers (workers who provide services 24/7) are more likely to suffer from sleep deprivation because of the disruption to their natural sleep patterns. Those who work extended or unusual shifts – defined as working during the evening, working more than eight hours consecutively, and/or working more than five days in a row – are also at a higher risk for sleep deprivation. This results in accidents, injuries and lost productivity.

    Experts recommend some steps employers can take to try and ensure that their workers are less likely to be injured due to sleep deprivation:

    • provide additional break periods and meals for shifts exceeding eight hours;
    • have employees complete labor intensive and/or concentration intensive tasks at the beginning rather than end of a shift;
    • provide training to recognize signs and symptoms of the health effects associated with shift work.

    If you are injured on the job, the attorneys at Leonard Sciolla have experience maximizing the workers’ compensation benefits available to you. If someone is directly responsible for your workplace injury, our attorneys can pursue a personal injury claim for additional compensation for your pain and suffering. Contact Greg Sciolla or Anthony Leonard in our New Jersey office at (856) 273-6679 or call (215) 567-1530 for Michael Tinari or Christopher Fleming in our Philadelphia office. All attorneys can also be contacted at www.leonardsciolla.com.

    Corporate Whistleblowers Can Sue on Behalf of the Government

    Did you know that citizens can bring lawsuits against corporations on behalf of the government? These whistleblower cases, also known as Qui Tam, uncover fraud and can bring big benefits to the government and whistleblower. Cases can include anything from companies evading taxes to scamming a government organization such as Medicare or Medicaid.

    If you believe you’ve witnessed a company or individuals defraud the government, the attorneys at Leonard Sciolla can help you bring a lawsuit forward. Just call John Leonard, Greg Sciolla or Michael Tinari at (215) 567-1530 or (856) 273-6679, or contact us through our website at www.leonardsciolla.com.

    Be Careful When Choosing Limited Tort Coverage on Auto Insurance

    Pennsylvania residents are able to choose between full tort and limited tort coverage when signing up for an auto policy. Many policy holders pick limited tort coverage because it keeps monthly payments down, but this choice can end up “limiting” your right to file a claim should you become injured in a car accident.

    Policy holders who opt for limited tort – along with anyone who qualifies under the insurance policy – can bring about claims to recover losses for medical expenses, lost wages and property damage. However, they are unable to sue for pain and suffering. Claimants with limited tort can only attempt to recover damages for pain and suffering if they suffered a “serious injury” (defined as “death, serious impairment of body function, or permanent serious disfigurement”), which can be extremely difficult to prove.

    It may seem worth the lower payments to sign up for limited tort coverage, but it is important to remember that car accidents can have a lasting impact on you and your family's physical, emotional, mental and financial well-being.

    Leonard Sciolla attorneys have extensive experience representing people injured in car accidents. Contact Christopher Fleming, Michael Tinari and Marisa Ciarrocki in our Philadelphia office at (215) 567-1530, or Greg Sciolla or Anthony Leonard in our New Jersey office at (856) 273-6679.

    Reading Medical Admission and Release Forms

    When seeking medical treatment, sick or injured patients and their loved ones often do not read the many admission forms they are handed. This can result in an unfavorable situation if the patient later seeks to bring a claim due to the doctor’s negligence.

    For example, some medical facilities have started putting arbitration agreements in their admission forms. This forces the patient to bring a claim for malpractice to an arbitration panel, which often consists of professionals likely to favor the medical facility and providers. By signing the agreement, the injured patient may end up losing his or her right to a jury trial in court.

    It is always important to understand any agreement you are being asked to sign, even one for medical treatment. The lawyers at Leonard Sciolla have substantial experience in helping clients injured in the course of receiving medical treatment. For help with such a case, call Gregory Sciolla, Michael Tinari, Anthony Leonard or Christopher Fleming at (215) 567-1530 or (856) 273-6679 or contact them through our website at www.leonardsciolla.com.

    If you are choosing to walk instead of drive this summer, you are not alone.

    A November 2015 report released by the Government Accountability Office states that there are more pedestrians on the road than ever before: nearly one million more people reported walking or biking to work in 2013 than in 2005.

    Unfortunately, along with the increase in pedestrians comes with an increase in pedestrian related traffic accidents. The Governor’s Highway Safety Association (“GHSA”) estimates a 10%increase in the number of pedestrians killed from 2014 to 2015. The numbers are particularly devastating in our area. Out of all 50 states, New Jersey had the seventh highest rate of pedestrian fatalities in the first six months of 2015. Pennsylvania ranked eleventh.

    It is important to exercise caution whether you are commuting or walking for pleasure. Just as you would avoid driving after consuming alcohol, you should also think twice about walking after drinking. The GHSA estimates that 34% of fatal pedestrian crashes involved a pedestrian with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher.

    Utilize the structures and safety elements that are available: the GHSA recommends staying on sidewalks; using pedestrian overpasses/underpasses; and crossing on high visibility crosswalks. Always cross at an intersection to avoid an accident with a car – the GHSA reports that 74% of pedestrian fatalities occurred at non-intersection locations.

    The attorneys at Leonard Sciolla have experience representing people injured in traffic accidents. Contact Christopher Fleming, Michael Tinari and Marisa Ciarrocki in our Philadelphia office at (215) 567-1530, or Greg Sciolla or Anthony Leonard in our New Jersey office at (856) 273-6679.

    New Law Aids Victims of Spousal Abuse to Divorce Their Partner

    On June 20, 2016, a new law goes into effect that will make it smoother for victims of spousal abuse to divorce their partner.

    Current Pennsylvania law dictates that if one party does not consent to divorce, the court is required to order up to three face-to-face counseling sessions before the divorce is finalized. Without that consent from both sides, it can be two years before the court will allow the case to proceed.

    Under the new law, signed by Governor Wolf in April, victims of spousal abuse will be able to file for divorce and the law will presume consent of the other party if that person has been convicted of committing a personal injury against their spouse. It also keeps victims from having to speak to and see their abusers. They can object to court mandated divorce counseling if the following conditions apply:

    • they have a protection from abuse order
    • the other party has been convicted for a personal injury crime
    • the other party is in an accelerated rehabilitation program due to their behavior

    Victims of spousal abuse should report it to the proper authorities immediately and find a safe haven away from their abuser.

    The attorneys at Leonard Sciolla have experience guiding clients through divorce matters of all kind. Contact Heidi Anderson at (215) 567-1530 in our Philadelphia office or at (856) 273-6679 for our New Jersey office.

    Expert Assistance In Complying with New Department of Labor Salary Threshold Regulations

    The Department of Labor issued new rules in May that update the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act, the law which guarantees a minimum wage and overtime pay for executive, administrative, professional, outside sales, and computer employees.

    The new regulations, which will go into effect on December 1, 2016, increase the salary threshold indicating eligibility for overtime pay from $455 per week to $913 per week (or $47,476 per year for a full year employee). The Department of Labor says the new regulations will extend protections to 4.2 million workers across the country, including 185,000 in Pennsylvania and 132,000 in New Jersey.

    There are several ways employers can respond to the changes. They can pay overtime as dictated by the new salary ranges; raise a salary to at or above the threshold to keep employees at an exempt status; or evaluate workload distribution to keep employees from needing to work overtime.

    The lawyers at Leonard Sciolla can assist you with any and all employment matters, whether you are an employer or an employee. Call John Leonard, Keith Leonard, Steve Labroli, or Paul Schultz at (215) 567-1530 or (856) 273-6679 or contact them through our website at www.leonardsciolla.com.

    Working With The DACA Program

    Young, undocumented individuals – who would otherwise have no legal status in the U.S. – have the opportunity to work in the United States through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA) instituted by the Obama administration.

    There is no guarantee that the DACA program will continue after President Obama’s term ends in January 2017. DACA is an executive program which may immediately be terminated by the next president. That is why it is important to take action now. DACA allows qualifying individuals to postpone for 2 years any enforcement action by the United States Department of Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or Customs and Border Patrol (CBP). Under DACA, the individuals will also be able to obtain a driver’s license and Social Security number, work authorization, and may, under certain circumstances, even allow study and travel outside the country.

    You can apply for DACA if all of the following apply to you:

    • You came to the United States under the age of 16;
    • You have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2012;
    • You are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a general education development certificate, or have been honorably discharged from the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;
    • You have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety; and
    • You are not above the age of 30

    USCIS has unreviewable discretion when reviewing a DACA application. That means that there is no appeal if USCIS determines you are not entitled to deferred action status. It is important to get it right the first time. An experienced attorney can help guide you through the process. Leonard Sciolla partner,Paul Schultz, has extensive experience representing qualified individuals in applying for the DACA program. Mr. Schultz can be reached in our Philadelphia office at (215) 567- 1530 or our New Jersey office at (856) 273-6679.

    One Hundred Deadliest Days For Teen Drivers Starts Memorial Day

    Memorial Day is the start of what is known as the 100 deadliest days for teen drivers. According to the most recent data from the National Safety Council, nearly 1,000 people were killed in crashes involving teen drivers between Memorial Day and Labor Day in 2012. More than half of the people killed were teens themselves.

    The NSC cites several reasons for the spike in accidents during the summer months: teens drive more frequently for recreational purposes; they may stay out later at night when the risk of crash is higher; and they are more likely to be driving with friends. The National Safety Council says passengers increase the risk of a teen driver being involved in a fatal crash by at least 44%.

    In an effort to reduce the risk of accidents, the NSC urges parents to establish guidelines for their teens – and consequences for breaking them – in addition to reviewing their state’s young driver guidelines.

    Leonard Sciolla has experience representing people of all ages who are injured in motor vehicle accidents. Contact attorneys Chris Fleming, Michael Tinari, and Marisa Ciarrocki in our Philadelphia office at (215) 567-1530, or Greg Sciolla and Anthony Leonard in our New Jersey office at (856) 273-6679.

    Is Your Business Ready to Handle Harassment and/or Discrimination Claims?

    The classifications (e.g. race) and statuses (e.g. veterans) of the individuals protected by such policies often vary from state to state, and it is important to make sure your policy addresses the ones it is legally required to cover. Businesses also need to follow laws and regulations determining where these policies are published.

    If you are looking to strengthen your anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies, or you need to create them from scratch, Leonard Sciolla is here to help.  Call (215) 567-1530 and ask for attorneys Keith Leonard, Michael Tinari or Stephen Labroli.  They can also be contacted through our website at www.leonardsciolla.com.

    Ovarian Cancer Resulting From Talcum Powder Use

    Have you or a loved one suffered from ovarian cancer after a lifetime of talcum powder use? Baby powders and products such as Shower to Shower have had talcum powder as an ingredient. Many suits have been filed by victims of cancer, including ovarian cancer, against the manufacturers of products containing talcum powder. The lawyers at Leonard Sciolla can help.

    For more information, contact John Leonard or Michael Tinari at (215) 567-1530 or Greg Sciolla or Heidi E. Anderson at (856) 273-6679. You can also contact the firm by going to www.leonardsciolla.com.

    Medical Marijuana and the Workplace

    Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Act goes into law on May 17, 2016, exactly one month after it was signed by Governor Wolf. The Act establishes a program for residents suffering from a total of 17 serious medical conditions, including cancer, ALS, HIV, AIDS, Crohn’s disease and epilepsy. It is expected to be 18 to 24 months until the program is fully up and running. During that time, it is important for employers and employees to acquaint themselves with their rights under the law.

    Employers cannot “discharge, threaten, refuse to hire or otherwise discriminate or retaliate against any employee… solely on the basis of such employee’s status as an individual who is certified to use medical marijuana.” However, it is important to note that users are not protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The law also does not restrict employers from disciplining workers who use medical marijuana if their conduct falls below the normally accepted standard for their position.

    There are legal limits to what registered medical marijuana users are allowed to do at work if they are under the influence. They cannot use certain chemicals, operate high-voltage electricity, or perform duties at heights or in confined spaces, even if it has negative financial results for them. Employers can also prohibited employees who are under the influence from performing work that they considered life-threatening to the individual or fellow workers.

    There are certain aspects of the law that still need to be worked out. How can employers determine that their employees are under the influence on the job? How does routine pre-employment drug screening factor into the hiring process? These questions and more will likely be worked out as the Department of Health of the Commonwealth releases regulations pertaining to the Act, and through future discrimination cases.

    Death of Prince Brings Topic of Wills To The Forefront

    The recent death of music legend Prince has brought the topic of wills to the forefront. His sister filed documents stating that Prince did not have a will. Now the court is working to determine how to divide his estimated $300 million estate among his siblings and half-siblings.

    This situation highlights the importance of writing a will. Whether or not you have children, it is important to determine who will inherit your assets upon your death. Without a will, state law will determine how your assets are divided. That means increased cost and possible heartache for your family members. Without a will, your property cannot be left to a friend or charity; only certain family members will inherit.

    The experienced lawyers at Leonard Sciolla can guide you through the process of planning your estate and writing your Pennsylvania or New Jersey will regardless of your marital status, number of children and net worth. Contact John Leonard, Steve Labroli or Heidi Anderson at (215) 567-1530 or through www.leonardsciolla.com.

    Have You Been Discriminated Against in the Workplace Due to Your Age?

    Have you been discriminated against in the workplace due to your age? In order to have a potential age discrimination claim under federal law, you must be at least 40 years old. A different age range can bring about a claims in New Jersey under the state’s Law against Discrimination (LAD). It protects employees from age discrimination as long as he or she is between 18 and 70 years old.

    In addition to meeting the age requirement, you must have been adversely affected by an employment action. For instance, you were terminated or did not received a promotion you were qualified for due to your age. Your potential claim may also depend upon the number of employees at the employer. For example, under the federal law there must be twenty or more employees. The lawyers at Leonard Sciolla have considerable experience in helping clients discriminated against at work due to their age in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania. For help with such a potential case, call Keith Leonard or Michael Tinari at (215) 567-1530 or (856) 273-6679 or contact them through our website at www.leonardsciolla.com.

    International Workers’ Memorial Day

    April 28, 2016 is International Workers’ Memorial Day, a day to honor the workers around the world who have died or suffered injuries on the job. Established in 1970 by the AFL-CIO, the goal is to raise awareness of the many health and safety issues that workers face around the globe and to promote campaigns and organizations fighting for workplace safety improvements.

    April 28th also marks the day that the U.S. Department of Labor established OSHA, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, in 1971. OSHA sets and enforces national health and safety standards for men and women across the country. In 2014, 4,679 workers died on the job in the United States. This figure does not include the 50,000 more who die each year from other work-related diseases such as toxic chemical exposure.

    Leonard Sciolla works for injured workers and for the families of workers killed on the job to maximize workers’ compensation benefits available to them. If someone is directly responsible for your workplace injury, our attorneys can pursue a personal injury claim for additional compensation for your pain and suffering. For all workers’ compensation claims and questions, contact Anthony Leonard or Greg Sciolla in our New Jersey office at (856) 273-6679 or call (215) 567-1530 for Christopher Fleming or Michael Tinari in our Philadelphia office. All attorneys can also be contacted at www.leonardsciolla.com.

    Paul H. Schultz, Esquire

    Paul H. Schultz, Esquire, a partner with the firm of Leonard, Sciolla, Hutchison, Leonard & Tinari, LLP recently assisted a small church in obtaining zoning approval from the Planning Board of Edgewater Park, New Jersey to use property at a commercial rental space for worship.

    Mr. Schultz, Chairman of the firm’s Land Use Practice Group, volunteered to represent the church, Assembly of God Ministry, on a pro bono basis. Assembly of God Ministry is a small community church with a congregation that consists mainly of South American immigrants. The church had found a commercial property to rent, but it needed zoning approval for a conditional use variance from the township before it could move forward.

    The church had signed a lease for a commercial property. However, a conditional use variance was required due to the fact that a church could only be permitted to use at this location as long as the property met certain requirements. Since some of these requirements were not met, a variance was required from the Board. Mr. Schultz met with representatives of the church, prepared an application for conditional use variance approval, and represented the church before the Planning Board. Based on the testimony of the church witnesses and the materials submitted by Mr. Schultz at the meeting before the Board, the church obtained the conditional use variance approval that it sought that same evening.

    If you or your business needs assistance with a land use or zoning matter, contact attorney Paul Schultz at (215) 567-1530 or (856) 273-6679. You can also email him at pschultz@leonardsciolla.com.

    We Would Like to Offer an Early Congratulations to All of You Preparing to Say Your Vows This Wedding Season.

    If you are looking to enter into a prenuptial agreement, Leonard Sciolla is here to help. Our attorneys have experience drafting the most amicable agreement for both parties.

    If you are already married and looking for a similar arrangement, it is not too late. Postnuptial agreements can be made to determine what happens to property after you or your spouse’s death or to figure out how you will equitably divide assets in the event of a divorce.

    For all prenuptial and postnuptial needs, contact Heidi Anderson or Stephen Labroli at (215) 567-1530, or head to leonardsciolla.com

    Avoid Potential Liability in Social Media Posts

    Social media is showing no signs of stopping, with users finding value in the ability to post and view almost instantaneously. It’s not just for personal use: commercial and professional users are finding this medium to be a useful tool as well, given its ability to reach a large, targeted audience. Rapid growth has also brought with it the danger of defamatory content. Employers and employees need to be careful about statements posted which could be deemed defamatory to prevent liability.

    Leonard Sciolla is here to help if you or your business is facing a lawsuit as a result of your social media posts or have questions or concerns about what constitutes a defamatory post. Just contact attorneys Keith Leonard or Michael Tinari at (215) 567-1530 or through email at kleonard@leonardsciolla.com and mtinari@leonardsciolla.com.

    Distracted Driving Month

    The National Safety has designated April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Distracted driving takes many forms, and whether it’s a text, Tweet, or call, cell phones are the most common distraction. Research shows that the brain remains distracted for 27 seconds after using your phone or even changing the radio station. Please stay safe by keeping your eyes and mind on the road.

    The attorneys at Leonard Sciolla have successfully represented people injured and the estates of those killed as a result of distracted driving. Our firm has extensive experience helping clients receive compensation for wrongful death and survival damages, medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages and losses associated with motor vehicle accidents. For help with a motor vehicle accident or any other personal injury matter, call Michael Tinari or Christopher Fleming in our Philadelphia office at (215) 567-1530, or Gregory Sciolla or Anthony Leonard in our New Jersey Office at (856) 273-6679. You can also contact us at www.leonardsciolla.com

    Schultz named Chairman of Zoning Board

    Leonard Sciolla is pleased to announce that partner Paul H. Schultz, Esquire, has been elected Chairman of the Delran Township Zoning Board.

    This is Mr. Schultz’s second time as Chairman. He previously served from 2008 to 2011, stepping down from the position when he moved out of Delran Township. Mr. Schultz was reappointed to the Zoning Board upon returning to the area in 2013.

    Mr. Schultz is an active member in the Delran community. In addition to his position on the Zoning Board, he has served on the Recreation Advisory Committee since 2004. He also serves as General Counsel for the Delran Business Association.

    Mr. Schultz is the Chairman of the firm’s Land Use Practice Group. He handles land use and zoning matters as well as real estate matters, personal injury cases, immigration and business litigation. He can be reached at pschultz@leonardsciolla.com, by phone at (215) 567-1530 or through www.leonardsciolla.com

    Gifting Your Home Before You Die: Disadvantages Outweigh Advantages

    One way people try to avoid their estate being probated is making a gift as they get older of their home (when it is their primary asset) to one or more of their children. While doing do so may successfully avoid the probate and estate administration process, the disadvantages in doing so outweigh any such perceived benefit. The person making such a gift may find himself or herself losing that home far too soon through no fault of his/her own. The lawyers at Leonard Sciolla can assist you with planning your estate. For help with estate planning, call John Leonard, Keith Leonard, Steve Labroli, or Heidi Anderson at (215) 567-1530 or (856) 273-6679 or contact them through our website at www.leonardsciolla.com.

    What Constitutes Breach of Contract?

    Are you worried that you may be in breach of a contract? Or, maybe you think that another party has failed to meet the requirements of a contract? Generally, a contract is considered in breach when one or more of the following occurs:

    • something is done that is prohibited by the contract;
    • one party fails to perform or deliver on its promises as specified in the contract; or,
    • one party deters, prevents or hinders the other party in delivering on its contractual obligations.

    LeonardSciolla’s attorneys are experienced in contractual matters of all kinds. For assistance in contract issues, give our attorneys John Leonard, Keith Leonard or Steve Labroli a call at (215) 567-1530 or (856) 273-6679. You can also visit our website at www.leonardsciolla.com.

    Buying or Selling A Business?

    Looking to buy or sell a business? The transaction can constructed as a purchase or sale of stock or of assets. There are reasons to favor one form over the other, including minimizing the liabilities which come with the business. You may have to notify tax authorities in order for the buyer to avoid responsibility for any of the seller’s unpaid tax liabilities. Are there ways to minimize the chances of post-closing disputes between seller and buyer? The lawyers at Leonard Sciolla have substantial experience in business acquisitions and sales. For help with such transactions, call John Leonard, Keith Leonard or Steve Labroli at (215) 567-1530 or (856) 273-6679 or through our website at www.leonardsciolla.com.

    Buying or Selling A Business?

    Looking to buy or sell a business? The transaction can constructed as a purchase or sale of stock or of assets. There are reasons to favor one form over the other, including minimizing the liabilities which come with the business. You may have to notify tax authorities in order for the buyer to avoid responsibility for any of the seller’s unpaid tax liabilities. Are there ways to minimize the chances of post-closing disputes between seller and buyer? The lawyers at Leonard Sciolla have substantial experience in business acquisitions and sales. For help with such transactions, call John Leonard, Keith Leonard or Steve Labroli at (215) 567-1530 or (856) 273-6679 or through our website at www.leonardsciolla.com.

    Collection Problems?

    Collecting accounts receivable is often a difficult process for a business. It becomes even more frustrating when after getting a payment, the customer then files for bankruptcy relief and the business receives a demand on behalf of the debtor for repayment of the monies it received from that debtor. Bankruptcy law provides for the recovery of so-called preferential transfers from certain creditors of a debtor in bankruptcy, but many businesses may not realize that there are multiple potential defenses to such a preference demand. The lawyers at Leonard Sciolla can assist you with determining and bringing any such available defenses in response to a bankruptcy repayment demand. For help with defending against claims brought by a bankruptcy debtor, call Keith Leonard or Steve Labroli at (215) 567-1530 or (856) 273-6679 or contact them through our website at www.leonardsciolla.com.

    Understanding At Will Employment

    Most employees in Pennsylvania and New Jersey are at-will employees. This means that both the employee and the employer can terminate the employment relationship at any time, for no reason, and with or without cause or any minimum advance notice. Is there a company handbook for employees? If so, what impact might it have on the at-will employment relationship? Are there reasons why a person’s employment may be terminated that are improper even if the employee was an at-will employee? The lawyers at Leonard Sciolla can assist you in handling employment related issues. For help with employment matters, call John Leonard, Keith Leonard, or Steve Labroli at (215) 567-1530 or (856) 273-6679 or through our website at www.leonardsciolla.com.

    No Time Like The Present To Plan Estate Administration

    When a loved one dies an estate may need to be administered in order to comply with the law and accomplish the transition of assets. The lawyers at Leonard Sciolla have extensive experience in all facets of estate administration in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and stand ready to assist. If you would like to discuss the estate of a deceased loved one, please call John J. Leonard, Esquire, Keith N. Leonard, Esquire, Stephen J. Labroli, Esquire or Heidi E. Anderson, Esquire at 215-567-1530 or 856-273-6679 or make contact through the firm’s website at www.leonardsciolla.com.

    Leonard, Sciolla, Hutchison, Leonard & Tinari LLP has named attorneys Christopher P. Fleming and Anthony J. Leonard as partners.

    Leonard, Sciolla, Hutchison, Leonard & Tinari LLP has named attorneys Christopher P. Fleming and Anthony J. Leonard as partners.

    The full service law firm is based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with offices in West Chester, Pennsylvania and Moorestown, New Jersey.

    “Mr. Leonard and Mr. Fleming possess the skills, experience and dedication that will allow this firm to continue to succeed and grow throughout the region,” said managing partner John Leonard.

    Christopher P. Fleming, Esquire, joined Leonard Sciolla fresh out of law school. He has since become an experienced litigator in a variety of areas, including business, personal injury, contract and workers’ compensation. He is a member of the bar in Pennsylvania and in New Jersey and has been admitted to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey

    He is a graduate of Widener University School of Law (J. D.) and received a B.B.A. from Temple University.

    Mr. Fleming can be reached at Leonard Sciolla at (215) 567-1530 or via email at cfleming@leonardsciolla.com.

    Anthony J. Leonard, Esquire, came to the firm with vast personal injury litigation experience. In his four years at Leonard Sciolla, he has established himself as a go-to catastrophic personal injury lawyer in this region, who maximizes results for his clients. Mr. Leonard is a member of the bar in Pennsylvania and in New Jersey, and has been admitted to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, as well as the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

    He received a J.D. from Widener University School of Law and he earned a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

    Anthony Leonard can be reached at Leonard Sciolla at (215) 567-1530 or via email at aleonard@leonardsciolla.com.

    Leonard Sciolla Names Christopher Fleming and Anthony Leonard as Partners

    Leonard, Sciolla, Hutchison, Leonard & Tinari LLP has named attorneys Christopher P. Fleming and Anthony J. Leonard as partners. The full service law firm is based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with offices in West Chester, Pennsylvania and Moorestown, New Jersey.

    “Mr. Leonard and Mr. Fleming possess the skills, experience and dedication that will allow this firm to continue to succeed and grow throughout the region,” said managing partner John Leonard.

    Christopher P. Fleming, Esquire, joined Leonard Sciolla fresh out of law school. He has since become an experienced litigator in a variety of areas, including business, personal injury, contract and workers’ compensation. He is a member of the bar in Pennsylvania and in New Jersey and has been admitted to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey

    He is a graduate of Widener University School of Law (J. D.) and received a B.B.A. from Temple University.

    Mr. Fleming can be reached at Leonard Sciolla at (215) 567-1530 or via email at
    cfleming@leonardsciolla.com.

    Anthony J. Leonard, Esquire, came to the firm with vast personal injury litigation experience. In his four years at Leonard Sciolla, he has established himself as a go-to catastrophic personal injury lawyer in this region, who maximizes results for his clients. Mr. Leonard is a member of the bar in Pennsylvania and in New Jersey, and has been admitted to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, as well as the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

    He received a J.D. from Widener University School of Law and he earned a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

    Mr. Leonard can be reached at Leonard Sciolla at (215) 567-1530 or via email at
    aleonard@leonardsciolla.com

    Will A Non-Compete Agreement Hinder Your Career?

    You have accepted a new job which promises better pay and benefits. You get a call from the new employer telling you that they are revoking the job offer because you are subject to an agreement with your former employer which prevents you from working for the new company for some period of time. When you get home there is a letter from that former employer threatening you with litigation if you go to work for the new company. Does every non-compete agreement successfully prevent an employee from taking a new job in the same industry or profession? The lawyers at Leonard Sciolla have handled many non-compete agreement issues. For help with employment matters, call John Leonard, Keith Leonard, or Steve Labroli at (215) 567-1530 or (856) 273-6679 or contact them through our website at www.leonardsciolla.com.

    Customers Injured

    If you were injured while a customer at a business location, the laws of Pennsylvania and New Jersey provide you with special rights against the business owner as a business invitee. The lawyers at Leonard Sciolla have vast experience in representing injured customers in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. If you need legal assistance regarding injuries you sustained at a business location, please call John J. Leonard, Esquire, Gregory E. Sciolla, Esquire, Heidi E. Anderson, Esquire or Anthony J. Leonard, Esquire at 215-567-1530 or 856-273-6679 or make contact through the firm’s website at www.leonardsciolla.com.

    Construction Contractors Face Risk - The Right Contract Documents Can Help

    Construction contractors face the risk of liability for job site accidents every day. Questions of whether the general contractor, a contractor or subcontractor, or other party, are responsible for a worker’s injuries may involve complex legal and factual determinations. While a contractor’s risk cannot be eliminated, having the right contractual agreements in place can help protect your business. The attorneys at Leonard, Sciolla, Hutchison, Leonard & Tinari, LLP have years of experience preparing and negotiating construction contracts, subcontractor agreements and indemnification agreements, as well as providing business counseling on a variety of legal matters. For more information, please contact John Leonard, Esquire, Keith Leonard, Esquire or Stephen Labroli, Esquire at (215) 567-1530.

    Michael V. Tinari, Esq. Named To First Judicial District of Pennsylvania Pro Bono Roll of Honor

    Congratulations to our partner, Michael V. Tinari, Esquire, for being permanently installed on the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania Pro Bono Roll of Honor which is located on the Sixth Floor of City Hall in Philadelphia outside the law library. Mr. Tinari has donated countless hours volunteering to represent those in need and assisting with the administration of justice in the Philadelphia Courts, as a Judge Pro Tempore and Arbitrator. It is an honor well deserved. Mr. Tinari is an outstanding litigator and senior partner in the law firm of Leonard, Sciolla, Hutchison, Leonard & Tinari, LLP with offices in Philadelphia, Moorestown and West Chester.

    What To Consider When Buying A Home

    Whether you are buying your first home or upgrading to the home of your dreams, the purchase of a home can be a time of great joy. However, navigating the home buying process can also be a time of great stress. A buyer faces the negotiation of the contract of sale and the need to understand the risks and benefits of the contract terms. The buyer will also need to investigate to determine whether there are any problems with title to the property, obtain inspections of the property and handle a variety of other matters. While your realtor may be helpful in this process, he or she will not be able to provide legal advice on these or other items.

    At Leonard Sciolla, we have represented and guided numerous families and individuals on their way to the goal of purchasing their home. Our attorneys have years of experience representing home buyers and assisting our clients through every step of the process. For more information or assistance, please contact Leonard Sciolla attorneys, Paul Schultz, Keith Leonard or Stephen Labroli at (215) 567-1530 or (856) 273-6679, or through our website at www.leonardsciolla.com. We also offer staff fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, Lithuanian and Russian.

    Qualifying and Maintaining Tax Exempt Organization Status

    Do you operate a local business association or chamber of commerce? How about an historical society, athletic association or other similar organization? Your organization may qualify for recognition of tax exempt status from the IRS. However, an application must be filed to obtain this status. Many organizations assume, sometimes for years, that they automatically have tax exempt status without IRS recognition. This can create a risk of back taxes and penalties if tax exempt status is not obtained retroactively. The attorneys at Leonard, Sciolla, Hutchison, Leonard & Tinari, LLP are experienced in handling the qualification process for tax exempt organizations and are ready to help you. For more information, please contact John Leonard, Esquire, Keith Leonard, Esquire or Paul Schultz, Esquire at (215) 567-1530.

    Paul Schultz Featured as Speaker at NBI Seminar on Local Government Law

    Paul H. Schultz, Esquire, a partner and Chairman of the firm’s Land Use Practice Group, was a featured speaker and presenter at the “Top Local Government Law Questions Answered” Seminar, presented by the National Business Institute in Cherry Hill, NJ on October 22, 2015. Mr. Schultz spoke on zoning and land use issues such as cell phone tower regulation and variance applications. Mr. Schultz regularly serves as a speaker/presenter for the National Business Institute on seminars for attorneys and other professionals. He has a diverse practice which includes the handling of land use and zoning matters, real estate, civil litigation, immigration and business litigation. For more information, please contact Mr. Schultz at pschultz@leonardsciolla.com.

    Victims Of Medical Negligence?

    Have you or a loved one been injured as a result of medical negligence? If so, prompt investigation and evaluation is needed to secure your full rights. The lawyers at Leonard Sciolla have been handling medical negligence cases for over 30 years in PA and NJ. We have the experience and access to the right experts for such cases. If you would like to discuss your potential medical malpractice case, please call John J. Leonard, Esquire, Gregory E. Sciolla, Esquire, Michael V. Tinari, Esquire, Heidi E. Anderson, Esquire or Anthony J. Leonard, Esquire at 215-567-1530 or 856-273-6679 or make contact through the firm’s website at www.leonardsciolla.com.

    Estate Administration Issues: Are You Ready?

    When a loved one dies, an estate may need to be administered in order to comply with the law and accomplish the transition of assets. The lawyers at Leonard Sciolla have extensive experience in all facets of estate administration in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and stand ready to assist. If you would like to discuss the estate of a deceased loved one, please call John J. Leonard, Esquire, Keith N. Leonard, Esquire, Stephen J. Labroli, Esquire or Heidi E. Anderson, Esquire at 215-567-1530 or 856-273-6679 or make contact through the firm’s website at www.leonardsciolla.com.

    Firm Partner, Paul H. Schultz, Serves Brazilian Community in South Jersey

    Paul H. Schultz, Esquire, a partner at Leonard Sciolla, works closely with members of the Brazilian community in South Jersey and Pennsylvania to assist them in meeting their legal needs. Mr. Schultz has represented members of the Brazilian community for immigration matters, real estate transactions, workers compensation and business matters.

    Mr. Schultz has represented community members on immigration matters such as the Obama Administration’s Deferred Action Program for Childhood Arrivals, applications for permanent residency/green card, petitions for naturalization/citizenship, and a variety of other matters. He continually looks to find the best solution to assist clients in achieving the American dream.

    Another aspect of the American dream which Mr. Schultz helps clients to achieve is home ownership. He has represented numerous Brazilian immigrants and immigrants from other nations in the purchase of their first home. Contracts, title reports, inspections and mortgage documents can be confusing, especially when they are not in a person’s native language. Mr. Schultz works to make this process as comfortable for the client as possible.

    For more information, please contact Paul Schultz at (215) 567-1530 or (856) 273-6679, or through our website at www.leonardsciolla.com. To assist our clients, our firm also offers staff fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, Lithuanian and Russian.

    John Leonard and Marisa Ciarrocki Successfully Appeal PA Denial of Admission

    John J. Leonard and Marisa B. Ciarrocki successfully appealed a denial of admission to the Pennsylvania Bar, securing a license to practice law in Pennsylvania for the client.

    Hugh Hutchison Represents Government of the United States Virgin Islands in Tax Case

    A case in which Leonard, Sciolla partner Hugh Hutchison has been retained to represent the government of the United States Virgin Islands in a dispute over hundreds of thousands of dollars in business taxes owed by a large Philadelphia law firm is the subject of a front page article in the Legal Intelligencer, Philadelphia’s daily newspaper for the legal community. Mr. Hutchison’s litigation practice spans a wide variety of subjects, including complex commercial litigation, intellectual property and issues involving public agencies.Collection Problem

    Paul Schultz Represents Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee

    Paul H. Schultz, Esquire, a partner at Leonard Sciolla, represents a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee handling matters in New Jersey and Pennsylvania in the collection of debts owed to the bankruptcy estate. The representation involves claims for unpaid medical services owed to the estate of a bankrupt medical practice. Mr. Schultz has worked aggressively for the Trustee, pursuing outstanding claims and obtaining recoveries that maximize the value of these claims for the bankruptcy estate.

    Leonard Sciolla attorneys represent bankruptcy trustees, insurers and other institutional clients in the collection of debts and the pursuit of claims. Mr. Schultz represents clients on a variety of real estate, business and litigation matters. For assistance or further information, please contact Paul H. Schultz, Esquire or Keith Leonard, Esquire at (215) 567-1530 or (856) 273-6679, or through our website at www.leonardsciolla.com.

    Legal Steps To Take When A Family Member Passes

    When a family member passes, often an estate needs to be raised to deal with his or her affairs. The lawyers at Leonard Sciolla are skilled and experienced in the administration of estates and can assist your family in doing the job efficiently and in accordance with the law. If you or a family member need legal assistance with the affairs of a deceased loved one, please call or contact John J. Leonard, Esquire or Heidi E. Anderson, Esquire at 1-215-567-1530 or 1-856-273-6679 or at the Leonard Sciolla website: www.leonardsciolla.com.

    Injured On The Job in PA or NJ? Leonard Sciolla Can Help

    Have you been injured on the job in New Jersey or are suffering from a work-related injury? The attorneys at Leonard Scioll represent injured workers. For help with workers’ compensation matters, call Gregory Sciolla, Michael Tinari, Heidi Anderson, or Anthony Leonard at (215) 567-1530 or (856) 273-6679 or through our website at www.leonardsciolla.com.

    You Don't Need A Big Law Firm for Sophisticated Business Transactions

    It is not true that you have to go to a large law firm to have a sophisticated business transaction properly handled. Our clients have entrusted the lawyers at Leonard Sciolla with guiding them through the most demanding business transactions. The experienced and skilled transaction lawyers at Leonard Sciolla have successfully completed hundreds of business transactions ranging from small, to medium, to in excess of 100 million dollars for their clients. The partner in charge personally interacts with the client and the fees charged are reasonable. Next time you or your business needs legal assistance with a business transaction call or contact John J. Leonard, Esquire, Keith N. Leonard, Esquire or Stephen J. Labroli, Esquire at 1-215-567-1530 or 1-856-273-6679 or through the Leonard Sciolla website at www.leonardsciolla.com.

    Paul H. Schultz, Esquire Handles Collection Process for Bankruptcy Trustee

    Paul H. Schultz, Esquire, a partner at Leonard Sciolla, represents a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee handling matters in New Jersey and Pennsylvania in the collection of debts owed to the bankruptcy estate. The representation involves claims for unpaid medical services owed to the estate of a bankrupt medical practice. Mr. Schultz has worked aggressively for the Trustee, pursuing outstanding claims and obtaining recoveries that maximize the value of these claims for the bankruptcy estate.

     Christopher Fleming Secures Settlement for Pet Salon Employee

    A pet groomer working at a Philadelphia location of a pet-services chain suffered chronic sinus congestion as a result of her exposure to the elements in the grooming salon. The employer denied that the injury/occupational disease was work-related, citing medical records which identified sinus complaints prior to her being hired. CHRISTOPHER FLEMING, ESQUIRE, of Leonard, Sciolla, Hutchison, Leonard and Tinari LLP was able to secure a settlement which amounted to more than a year of the client’s wages.

    Leonard Sciolla Attorneys Obtain A Seven Figure Verdict

    Michael V. Tinari, Esq. and Christopher P. Fleming, Esq. recently obtained a seven-figure settlement on behalf of a client against a podiatrist and local medical facilities. The case was highly contested throughout and settled just before trial scheduled in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas. The client is extremely pleased with the result and, with the funds from the settlement plus the receipt of workers compensation and Social Security benefits, he is now able to receive treatment, live comfortably and take care of his family.

    Michael Tinari Wins Verdicts For Philadelphia Parking Authority

    Michael V. Tinari, Esq., a partner with the firm, recently tried two cases in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas on behalf of the Philadelphia Parking Authority, a local government agency. Both matters resulted in the defense verdicts for the agency and its employees.

    Micheal Tinari Settles $250,000 Uninsured Motorist Claim On Behalf of Young Client

    Michael V. Tinari, Esq. settled an Underinsured Motorist vehicle claim with Liberty Mutual in the amount of $250,000.00 on behalf of a young man residing in the Philadelphia area that injured both knees in a motor vehicle accident that occurred in New Jersey. After the underlying claim was settled, Mr. Tinari instituted the Underinsured claim and succeeded in resolving the matter for an amount that provided more than adequate compensation for the client.

    Keith Leonard Teaches National Business Institute Seminar on Litigating Disputes over Easements and Restrictive Covenants

    Keith Leonard, Esquire taught a course at the National Business Institute (NBI) Seminar on Litigating Disputes over Easements and Restrictive Covenants. The specific course which he taught at the Seminar was on the burdens of proof and establishment of a claim to an easement.

    LSHLT Attorneys Negotiate and Assist in Multi-Million Dollar Commercial Real Estate Purchase

    Attorneys in the firm negotiated the agreement for, and assisted a client with, the multi-million dollar purchase of a commercial building in the Philadelphia metropolitan area. The separate negotiation of an agreement for environmental assessments of the property was also involved in connection with the transaction.

    Keith Leonard Counsels Corporate Executive With Executive Employment Severance Agreement

    Keith Leonard counseled and assisted an executive of a publicly traded company with concluding the terms of his severance agreement following the termination of the executive’s employment with the company. The counseling of the client included analysis and negotiation of compensation issues and the client’s options under his employment agreement as measured against the severance agreement.

    Leonard Sciolla Names Joana Gaizelyte-Lacy as Of Counsel

    Attorney Joana Gaizelyte-Lacy, an associate with Leonard, Sciolla, Hutchison, Leonard & Tinari LLP, has been named Of Counsel by the Philadelphia-based law firm. Born in Lithuania and fluent in both Russian and Lithuanian, Ms. Gaizelyte-Lacy is a graduate of Temple University's Beasley School of Law and is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. She represents clients in a variety of business, insurance, environmental, immigration, personal injury and employment matters.

    In addition to her law degree, Ms. Gaizelyte-Lacy graduated summa cum laude from Temple University's Fox School of Business with a B.A. in Economics and Legal Studies. At the Fox School of Business, she was the recipient of the Marvin Comisky Award for attaining the highest cumulative GPA. “As the mother of three small children, time is at a premium. Balancing the demands of motherhood with a full time legal practice are challenging. In an Of Counsel position, I can continue to contribute to the firm, serve my clients, and to be an active mother to my three children.” “Joana is an excellent attorney with a very bright future,” says partner Michael V. Tinari, Esquire. “She has a unique skill set and is specially suited to understand her clients' needs from a business perspective, and to find solutions for clients that are both fiscally and legally sound”.

    PA Senate Invalidates Philly Sick Leave Law

    The Pennsylvania Senate approved a bill on April 14 that would invalidate Philadelphia's new mandatory paid sick-leave law. The bill would preempt local governments from requiring companies to provide workers with paid sick days. The measure's supporters say it is necessary to have uniform rules across the state for businesses. The bill's sponsor, Sen. John Eichelberger (R., Blair), called Philadelphia's sick-leave law "a mistake." Critics of Eichelberger's bill, many from Philadelphia, said it would disproportionately hurt low-income employees, who often work through illness for fear of losing their jobs - and stomps on Philadelphia's right to decide what kind of business climate and practices it wants within its borders.

    The proposal now heads to the House. “When you have government infringing on private sector rights, it's not a government that works," House spokesman Steve Miskin said.

    Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said through spokesman Mark McDonald that  the sick-leave law he signed on February 12 was "consensus-driven" and a "modest step," and that preempting it would "upset the settled expectations of Philadelphia's workers and businesses." Nutter said he would keep imploring legislators to reject the preemption bill. Under the law Nutter signed, businesses with 10 or more employees must provide at least an hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked. Sponsors predicted it would benefit about 200,000 Philadelphians. Workers would be able to use the accrued sick time either for their own illnesses or those of family members, or to seek support in dealing with domestic violence or sexual assault.

    Employees not covered include independent contractors, seasonal workers or those hired for fewer than six months, adjunct professors, interns, government employees, and workers covered by collective bargaining agreements. Businesses that already provide sick pay on par with or exceeding the law's requirements would not need to change their policies.

    Employers that violate the ordinance would be subject to fines, penalties, and restitution.

    Third Circuit Affirms Judgment Obtained by Hugh Hutchison

    The Third Circuit Court of Appeals recently affirmed the United States District Court award of summary judgment in favor of a public agency employer obtained by Leonard, Sciolla, Hutchison, Leonard & Tinari partner Hugh Hutchison. Plaintiff asserted that he was wrongfully terminated from his employment in violation of the Americans With Disability Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act and in violation of his Federal procedural due process rights. Mr. Hutchison was able to establish that the employer’s conduct was based on legitimate, substantive grounds that were not a pretext for discriminatory motives. Mr. Hutchison has broad experience in civil rights cases involving employment issues.

    Schultz Serves as Master of Ceremonies for Delran Township Easter Egg Hunt

    Paul H. Schultz served as master of ceremonies for Delran Township’s Annual Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, March 28th. Mr. Schultz served as the announcer for the egg hunt and later called the drawing for event prizes. The event was organized by the Delran Recreation Advisory Committee, of which Mr. Schultz is a member. Over 300 children attended the event and collected over 7,000 eggs, with over 60 prizes being drawn following the egg hunt. The event included refreshments and appearances by the Easter bunny and other costumed characters.

    Mr. Schultz also serves as Vice-Chairman of the Delran Township Zoning Board. He has a diverse practice which includes the handling of land use and zoning matters, personal injury cases, civil litigation, immigration and business litigation. For more information, please contact Mr. Schultz at pschultz@leonardsciolla.com.

    John Leonard and Marisa Ciarrocki Win Case to Reverse Bar Admission Denial

    In January 2015, John J. Leonard and Marisa Ciarrocki obtained the Pennsylvania law license for a recent graduate of Villanova Law School on appeal from the initial denial of that admission by the Board of Law Examiners.

    Keith Leonard Counsels Clients to Successful Negotiations

    Attorney Keith Leonard counseled and assisted a senior executive of a publicly traded company with his severance agreement in connection with the termination of his employment following a change in control of the company. The counseling of the client included issues related to deferred compensation and the client’s options under his employment agreement prior to termination of his employment with the company.

    In a separate matter, Mr. Leonard assisted a client in the negotiation of nationwide distribution contract on behalf of the distributor. The representation included the analysis and resolution of contractual provisions requiring best efforts and non-compete obligations on behalf of the client.

    Outlook On New Philadelphia Sick Leave Law

    by Stephen J. Labroli, Esq.

    On February 12, 2015, Philadelphia City Council passed, and Mayor Michael Nutter signed into law, the Promoting Healthy Families and Workplaces Ordinance effective May 13, 2015. Under the new Ordinance, with some limited exceptions, employers with 10 or more employees will need to provide up to one hour of paid sick time for every 40 hours worked by an employee in the city. Employers with fewer than 10 employees will be required to provide unpaid sick leave on the same terms. Employers will be required to update their employee handbooks and provide notification to employees of these new provisions by the Ordinance's effective date.

    Covered Employees and Employers

    The Ordinance applies to all full-time and part-time employees who work 40 hours in a year. The Ordinance excludes independent contractors, seasonal workers, adjunct professors, interns, health care professional pool employees, state and federal employees, and employees hired for a term of less than six months. Employees covered by a "bona fide" collective bargaining agreement also are not covered by the Ordinance.

    All chain establishments—those with 15 or more establishments doing business under the same trade name—are also required to provide paid sick leave regardless of the number of employees they have at the establishments in Philadelphia.

    Hugh Hutchison and John Leonard Make December PALaw List of Top Jury Verdicts

    Hugh J. Hutchison and John J. Leonard made the December 2014 PaLaw list of top jury verdicts in Pennsylvania for the $2.6 Million Dollar legal malpractice award in Philadelphia County.

    John Leonard and Marisa Ciarrocki Win Appeal for Denial of Admission to PA Bar

    John J. Leonard and Marisa Ciarrocki successfully appealed the denial of admission to the Pennsylvania Bar, obtaining attorney licensure for the client in November 2014.

    Supreme Court Rules on Hourly Employee Compensation - During Security Screening Before Work

    By Keith N. Leonard, Esq.

    In the case of Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk (decided December 9, 2014), a unanimous United States Supreme Court has ruled that an employer does not have to compensate its hourly wage employees for the time they spend waiting for and actually going through a security screening before leaving work. The employees work in a warehouse and are responsible for retrieving and packaging products for delivery to customers of Amazon.com.

    Under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (the “FLSA”), an employee is entitled to be paid for each hour worked during a workweek, including overtime pay for each hour worked in excess of forty hours in each such workweek. A workweek under the FLSA was defined to include all of the time that an employee is necessarily required to be on the employer’s premises, on duty or at a prescribed workplace. Subsequent to passage of the FLSA, Congress passed the Portal-to-Portal Act which contains exemptions for employers from liability for wage claims which are based upon two categories of work-related activities. One of those categories is walking, riding, or traveling to and from the place where the employee will be performing his/her principal work activity required by the job. The second category covers activities that are preliminary to or postliminary to the employee’s principal work activity(ies).

    In interpreting whether or not an activity is within the foregoing second category of exempt activities, the Supreme Court indicated that an activity must be an integral and indispensable part of the principal activity in order to be included within the term principal activity (and therefore compensable under the FLSA). For an activity to be an integral and indispensable part of an employee’s principal activity, the activity must be one that an employee cannot dispense with if he/she is to perform his/her principal activities. The activity for which an employee is seeking compensation for the time spent on said activity must be an intrinsic element of the principal activity(ies). An example used by the Supreme Court in its decision is the illustration of an employee in a chemical plant who has to change his/her clothes as part of the job. If the changing of the clothes is necessary for an employee to be able to perform the principal activities of the job, then the time spent changing clothes would be compensable under the FLSA. However, if the changing of the clothes was simply a matter of convenience to the employee, then the time spent would not be compensable.

    The Supreme Court found the time spent waiting for and actually going through the security screening was noncompensable because the screenings are not the principal activity to be performed by the employees who commenced the litigation. Such screenings are not an intrinsic element of the job of retrieving and packaging products for shipment. In order to do those jobs, an employee can dispense with the screening process. Instead, the screening process was simply connected to the job and required by the employer to prevent theft. The time spent involved in a search process at your job, whether the search is conducted for employee safety or theft prevention purposes, will not be compensable. The Supreme Court ruled that it is irrelevant to the compensation issue that an employer requires a particular activity. Similarly, the Court has held that it is irrelevant that an employer could take steps to reduce the time spent on such a postliminary activity. The focus instead should be on productive work that an employee has been employed to perform and whether or not the activity at issue is an indispensable element of that work.

    Both employers and employees should be mindful of this Supreme Court decision with respect to the essential elements of the job being performed. Attorneys at Leonard, Sciolla, Hutchison, Leonard & Tinari, LLP are available to assist employers and employees with a variety of labor and employment issues.

    Keith Leonard Leads LSHLT Attorney Team in Restructuring of Credit Facility

    Leonard Sciolla attorney Keith Leonard led a group of attorneys in the firm in assisting multiple related and affiliated businesses in the restructuring of a credit facility in excess of $250,000,000.00. As part of the restructuring process, the term of the credit facility was also extended. The businesses involved in this restructuring are located in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

    Anthony Leonard Obtains Compensation For New Jersey Motorists

    Anthony J. Leonard, Esquire, an associate with the firm, recently obtained a jury verdict in the amount of $66,500.00 in the Superior Court of Camden County, NJ, on behalf of a motorist plaintiff who was injured in a collision with a tractor trailer while he was making a right turn into a driveway. Plaintiff’s injuries included a meniscal tear in his knee and facial scarring. The arbitration award was $45,000.00.

    In a separate case, Mr. Leonard recently obtained a settlement in the amount of $250,000.00 on behalf of another injured motorist. The case involved a rear end accident that resulted in minimal damage to both vehicles. The plaintiff underwent numerous types of treatments in an effort to alleviate his pain and ultimately underwent a cervical fusion surgery. Mr. Leonard is a litigator who concentrates his practice in the area of personal injury litigation.

    President Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration:

    Lithuanian Russian Spanish Portugese

    On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced a series of executive actions intended to allow certain undocumented individuals to remain in the United States without fear of deportation.  Although these initiatives have not yet been implemented and no requests or applications are being accepted at this time, some initiatives will be implemented over the next several months.

    For example, an undocumented individual living in the United States who, on November 20, 2014, is the parent of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident born on or before November 20, 2014, who has had continuous residence in the United States since January 1, 2010 and who is not an enforcement priority for removal from the United States, will soon be allowed to request deferred action and employment authorization.  Also, Current Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients (the “Dreamers”) seeking renewal and/or new applicants, including individuals born prior to June 15, 1981, will be able to take advantage of new relaxed regulations.

    If you believe you may be eligible for one of the initiatives, you can start preparing by contacting our firm to discuss your potential eligibility and request updates when new information is posted. You may also start gathering documents to establish the factors necessary to support your application such as your identity, relationship to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, and continuous residence in the United States.

    Attorneys Tinari and Gaizelyte-Lacy Win Compensation for Elderly Disabled Man

    Michael V. Tinari, Esq. and Joana Gaizelyte-Lacy, Esq. successfully represented an elderly disabled gentleman in connection with a premises liability case and assisted him in receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in monetary compensation and forced a municipality in NJ to repave and repair its streets.

    Leonard Sciolla Attorneys Assist Woman to Force Repair of Handicap Ramps

    Michael V. Tinari, Esq. and Christopher P. Fleming , Esq. represented a woman against a local hospital and other organizations where she received substantial monetary compensation and forced the defendants to repair and renovate their handicapped ramps.

    Michael Tinari and Christopher Fleming Win Compensation for Elderly Woman

    Michael V. Tinari, Esq. and Christopher P. Fleming , Esq. represented an elderly woman in receiving several hundred thousand dollars in monetary compensation against a property owner who failed to remove a tree stump and properly maintain the property.

    Leonard Sciolla Attorneys Defend Trademark of International Company

    Michael V. Tinari, Esq. and Paul H. Schultz, Esq. represented an international multimillion dollar company in successfully defending itself against trademark claims.

    Attorney Michael Tinari Represents Injured Union Laborers

    Michael V. Tinari, Esq. represented two injured union laborers in employment related matters resulting in one settlement in excess of $210,000.00 and one settlement of $300,000.00.

    Attorney Michael Tinari Assists Charitable Foundation Officer to Secure Severance Package

    Michael V. Tinari, Esq. represented an officer of a charitable foundation, involving various work-related issues, and secured for him a valuable severance package that included an amicable resignation, substantial monetary compensation, health insurance and a favorable letter of recommendation.

    Michael V. Tinari, Esq. Wins Client $300,000 Workers Compensation Settlement

    In 1998, an employee/technician with a Fortune 500 telecommunications company died while working on a particular job site. The company denied the claim for workers compensation benefits and firm partner Michael Tinari, Esq., representing the widow of the deceased, litigated the matter for over two years. After a lengthy battle, Mr. Tinari succeeded and a Workers’ Compensation Judge awarded the widow death benefits commencing with the date of death in 1998 and into the future. The matter was appealed by the company but eventually denied by the Appeal Board. With benefits in place, the widow was able to continue on, take care of her family and live a productive life. Recently, after a lengthy discussions with the employer, the widow and the employer agreed to resolve all future weekly payments for one lump sum of $300,000.

    Attorneys Tinari and Gaizelyte-Lacy Commercial Trucking Claim Petition

    After a hard fought, three year battle, Michael V. Tinari, Esq. and Joana Gaizelyte-Lacy, Esq., won a claim petition on behalf of a commercial trucker against the Employer and the Statutory Employer as provided under Section 302 (a) of the Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Act. The Attorneys successfully argued that the client was an employee of the trucking company and not an “independent” driver. Since the trucking company was uninsured, the contractor, for whom the trucking company delivered goods, was held to be responsible for all back pay and medical bills. As a result, the client was able to collect all his due unpaid wages to the maximum extent permissible under the Workers’ Compensation law.

    Schultz Makes Donation to Riverside Historical Society

    Firm Partner, Paul H. Schultz, Esquire, recently donated a family-held copy of the official Bylaws for local historical landmark Zurbrugg Memorial Hospital to the Riverside Historical Society. Zurbrugg Memorial Hospital was founded as a local, non-profit hospital in 1915 through a bequest by Theophilus J. Zurbrugg, a local wealthy industrialist whose businesses included the historic Keystone Watchcase Building, also in Riverside, New Jersey. The hospital continued to serve the local community until its closing in 1995. Mr. Schultz’ mother is a now retired physician who obtained the copy of the official Bylaws during her years of service at Zurbrugg Memorial Hospital. Mr. Schultz presented the Bylaws, dated from 1976, to Alice M. Smith, President of the Riverside Historical Society. Mr. Schultz has a diverse practice which includes the handling of land use and zoning matters, personal injury cases, civil litigation, immigration and business litigation. For more information, please contact Mr. Schultz at pschultz@leonardsciolla.com.

    Gaizelyte-Lacy Forces Insurance Carrier To Provide Personal Injury Protection

    Joana Gaizelyte-Lacy, Esq., was successful in forcing an insurance carrier to provide $250,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage for a Pennsylvania client who was hit as a pedestrian in New Jersey. The client’s Pennsylvania PIP coverage was only $5,000. As a result, the client was able to receive all medical treatment as prescribed by his various medical providers with payment for the medical bills by the insurance company.

    Attorneys Lacy and Hutchison Obtain Summary Judgement To Dismiss Family/Medical Leave Act Claim

    Leonard, Sciolla, Hutchison, Leonard & Tinari, LLP Associate Joana Lacy, Esq. and Partner Hugh Hutchison obtained a summary judgement in the United States District Court dismissing a case in which Plaintiff asserted that he was terminated from his employment with a public agency in violation of his rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act and in violation of his Constitutional Due Process rights. Mr. Hutchison and Ms. Lacy have extensive experience in employment litigation, including the defense of civil rights claims against public agencies.

    Leonard Sciolla Assists in Establishment of American Subsidiary for a European Company

    The firm recently assisted in the establishment of an American subsidiary of a European company. In connection with that representation, attorneys at the firm negotiated a substantial contract on behalf of the client with one of the largest public utilities in the country for the purchase of the client’s products. In doing so the client has been able to obtain a significant customer in the country from which to market its products and services in the United States. The attorneys have also counseled the client concerning its American operations and have prepared its business terms for its products and services being offered throughout the United States.

    John Leonard Aids Telecom Provider To Maintain Customer Service Operation

    John J. Leonard won court ordered permission in an Injunction proceeding for a global telecom corporation to retrieve all of its equipment from its Philadelphia data and voice transmission center. The center was located in the basement of a church that had been condemned and ordered demolished. The client was able to continue its customer services in the Philadelphia area uninterrupted as a result.

    Schultz To Be Featured Speaker at Zoning and Land Use Seminar

    Paul H. Schultz, Esquire, a partner and Chairman of the firm’s Land Use Practice Group, will be a featured speaker and presenter at the “Practical Guide to Zoning and Land Use Law” Seminar, presented by the National Business Institute. Mr. Schultz regularly serves as a speaker/presenter for the National Business Institute on seminars for attorneys and other professionals. The Seminar will be held at the Holiday Inn in Cherry Hill, New Jersey on July 15, 2014. Additional details, including information on attending the Seminar, can be found at the following link: nbi-sems.com/Details.aspx/R-66048ER. Mr. Schultz has a diverse practice which includes the handling of land use and zoning matters, personal injury cases, civil litigation, immigration and business litigation. For more information, please contact Mr. Schultz at pschultz@leonardsciolla.com.

    Paul Schultz Named as "Rising Star" in Land Use/Zoning Law by Super Lawyers® Magazine For Third Consecutive Year

    Leonard, Sciolla, Hutchison, Leonard & Tinari, LLP is proud to announce that Paul H. Schultz, Esquire, a partner with the firm and Chairman of the firm's Land Use Department, has been named a “Rising Star” in the Land Use/Zoning Law practice area by Super Lawyers® magazine’s 2013 Pennsylvania edition. The “Rising Star” category consists of a listing of top lawyers who are under the age of 40 or who have been in practice for 10 years or less, as nominated and selected by their peers, in each practice area. Mr. Schultz also previously received this honor in 2012 and 2013. Mr. Schultz has assisted a variety of clients with zoning and other land use matters in both South Jersey and the greater Philadelphia area. Mr. Schultz represents individuals, small business owners, non-profit organizations, and larger commercial entities, in various capacities before local zoning and planning boards and commissions, county boards and in court. Mr. Schultz seeks efficient and effective solutions specifically tailored to meet his client’s needs. For more information, please contact Paul H. Schultz, Esquire at pschultz@leonardsciolla.com.

    Marisa B. Ciarrocki, Esquire Joins Leonard Sciolla as Associate

    Marisa B. Ciarrocki, Esquire.

    Philadelphia, PA -- Marisa B. Ciarrocki has joined the law firm of Leonard, Sciolla, Hutchison, Leonard and Tinari, LLP as an associate. Ms. Ciarrocki’s practice focuses on civil litigation and commercial transactions. She is a 2013 graduate of Temple University’s Beasley School of Law and received her undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia in 2008. Ms. Ciarrocki is a member of the Pennsylvania and New Jersey bar. Prior to joining our firm, Ms. Ciarrocki served with the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office. During this time she represented the Commonwealth at Preliminary Hearings in Philadelphia, as well as representing the Commonwealth in Municipal Court Trials and Motions. Ms. Ciarrocki also served as counsel for Laurel House, representing victims of domestic violence. Ms. Ciarrocki also served as a Judicial Fellow in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. Media information, contact Peter Ancone Email: peterancone@anconeassociates.com Phone: 484-319-1576

    Paul Schultz Serves as Master of Ceremonies for Delran Twp Easter Egg Hunt

    Paul H. Schultz, Esquire, a partner with the firm, served as Master of Ceremonies for Delran Township's (NJ) Annual Easter Egg Hunt. Mr. Schultz spoke to an assembled gathering of parents and children, started the egg hunt and announced the raffle drawing of prizes following the egg hunt. He also serves at a member of the Delran Township Recreation Advisory Committee and as Vice Chairman of the Zoning Board. Mr. Schultz has a diverse practice which includes the handling of land use and zoning matters, personal injury cases, civil litigation, immigration and business litigation. For more information, please contact Mr. Schultz at pschultz@leonardsciolla.com.

    Paul Schultz Was Featured Speaker at NBI Seminar on Resolving Local Access and Road Disputes

    Paul H. Schultz, Esquire, LSHLT partner and Chair of the firm's land use practice group, was a featured presenter at the National Business Institute's Seminar "Resolving Local Access and Road Disputes,” held at the Holiday Inn conference center in Cherry Hill, New Jersey on December 10, 2013. The seminar focused on a range of valuable topics and issues, including:

    • tips for settling easement and road disputes;
    • distinguishing between licenses and easements;
    • explaining the different categories of easements and how they are created;
    • discussing defenses to the enforcement of claimed easements.

    Mr. Schultz has a diverse practice which includes the handling of land use and zoning matters, personal injury cases, civil litigation, immigration and business litigation. For more information, please contact Mr. Schultz at pschultz@leonardsciolla.com.

    Hugh Hutchison Elected Commodore for Central Atlantic District of the International Lightning Class Association

    Hugh Hutchison, Esquire, LeonardSciolla partner, was elected Commodore of the Central Atlantic District of the International Lightning Class Association and will serve in that position for the next year. He served as the organization's Vice Commodore during the past twelve months. A Lightning class sailboat is one of the most popular and competitive one-design racing classes in the world. Mr. Hutchison is an avid sailor and the former Commodore of the Riverton Yacht Club in Riverton, NJ. He actively races a Lightning in both local and national championships.

    Leonard Sciolla Attorney, Hugh Hutchison, Wins $2.5 Million Verdict in Legal Malpractice Case

    A Philadelphia jury has awarded a $2.5 million verdict to a man who suffered substantial financial losses and mental anguish as the result of substandard legal representation by attorneys from the Malvern, Pa. law firm of Lentz, Cantor & Massey. Following a four- week trial in Kappe v. Lentz, Cantor & Massey, the jury returned the lump sum verdict in favor of Robert J. Kappe after two hours of deliberation. Kappe was represented by Hugh J. Hutchison of Philadelphia-based firm of Leonard, Sciolla, Hutchison, Leonard & Tinari, LLP.

    Tinari and Schultz Defeat Motion for Class Certification of Due Process Claims

    Firm partners, Michael V. Tinari, Esquire and Paul H. Schultz, Esquire successfully opposed and defeated certification of a class action against a governmental entity. Name Plaintiffs sought certification of due process and other claims against the governmental entity and sought to certify a class that they estimated would number several hundred individuals. Attorneys Tinari and Schultz opposed certification on a number of bases, including that the claims asserted by Plaintiffs were not capable of class treatment and required evaluation on a case by case basis. The parties resolved the matter and the case was dismissed shortly after the Court denied class certification to Plaintiffs. Mr. Tinari is a litigator with a diverse practice that includes matters involving complex personal injury cases, commercial litigation, employment and workers' compensation matters, and property/casualty defense. Mr. Schultz has a diverse practice which includes the handling of land use and zoning matters, personal injury cases, civil litigation, immigration and business litigation. For more information, please contact Mr. Tinari at mtinari@leonardsciolla.com.

    Tinari Presents Seminar for International Parking Institute

    Michael V. Tinari, Esquire, a partner with the firm, recently presented a course entitled “Risk Management & General Liability” at the International Parking Institute’s Annual Conference and Expo in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The International Parking Institute (IPI) was established in 1962 and is the largest and leading association of parking professionals and the parking industry. Mr. Tinari regularly lectures and presents seminars at the organization’s annual conferences at various locations around the country. Mr. Tinari is a litigator with a diverse practice that includes matters involving complex personal injury cases, commercial litigation, employment and workers' compensation matters, and property/casualty defense. For more information, please contact Mr. Tinari at mtinari@leonardsciolla.com.

    Schultz Named as “Rising Star” in Land Use/Zoning Law by Super Lawyers® Magazine

    Leonard, Sciolla, Hutchison, Leonard & Tinari, LLP is proud to announce that Paul H. Schultz, Esquire, a partner with the firm and Chairman of the firm's Land Use Department, has been named a “Rising Star” in the Land Use/Zoning Law practice area by Super Lawyers® magazine’s 2013 Pennsylvania edition. The “Rising Star” category consists of a listing of top lawyers who are under the age of 40 or who have been in practice for 10 years or less, as nominated and selected by their peers, in each practice area. Mr. Schultz also previously received this honor in 2012. Mr. Schultz has assisted a variety of clients with zoning and other land use matters in both South Jersey and the greater Philadelphia area. Mr. Schultz represents individuals, small business owners, non-profit organizations, and larger commercial entities, in various capacities before local zoning and planning boards and commissions, county boards and in court. Mr. Schultz seeks efficient and effective solutions specifically tailored to meet his client’s needs. For more information, please contact Paul H. Schultz, Esquire at pschultz@leonardsciolla.com.

    LSHL&T Attorney Michael Tinari Helps To Save Community Store and Immigrant's Dream

    Jorge* recently moved to the United States and leased a small grocery store in North Philadelphia. He hoped that this business would allow him to support his family as well as the community that he served. However, Jorge's hopes were threatened last year when he was sued by a bystander who was injured when a pay phone adjacent to the grocery store broke. The bystander sued Jorge and the property owner. Jorge could not afford an attorney, did not have insurance, and was afraid he was going to lose his grocery store. Jorge felt frightened and alone. Jorge was not alone for long. Michael Tinari, Partner with Leonard, Sciolla, Hutchison, Leonard & Tinari, LLP volunteered to represent Jorge in the premises liability lawsuit. Michael says, "The partners at our firm have the mentality that it is our duty to give back in big ways and small ways. I volunteer through VIP because for the average person, the legal system can be overwhelming. But for an attorney, interacting with the legal system is our job. We are obligated to give back to those less familiar with the courts." Michael related to Jorge because his grandparents and parents were small business owners in West Philadelphia. Michael understood the motivation to own one's own business as well as the problems entrepreneurs face. Michael says, "I was inspired to help Jorge because my parents and grandparents used their profits to give back to the community where they operated. I believed that Jorge would give back to his neighborhood in the same way." Michael not only defended Jorge in the current case, but he was able to counsel Jorge on the laws, regulations and best practices he needed to follow to operate a sustainable business in the city. Michael communicated all of this information to Jorge despite a language barrier. The matter was resolved before the scheduled jury trial even began when the co-defendant property owner settled with the plaintiff. Jorge did not have to contribute to the settlement. Now, Jorge can continue to operate his grocery store, serve his community and support his family. *The name of the client has been changed to protect his privacy.

    Sciolla Selected as “Super Lawyer” by Super Lawyers® Magazine

    Leonard, Sciolla, Hutchison, Leonard & Tinari, LLP is proud to announce that Gregory E. Sciolla, Esquire, managing partner of the firm’s New Jersey office, has been selected as a “Super Lawyer” in the general litigation practice area by Super Lawyers® Magazine’s 2013 New Jersey edition. Mr. Sciolla’s practice focuses on substantial personal injury and workers compensation litigation. He has extensive trial experience in cases involving product liability, fire loss, medical malpractice, automobile, toxic torts, aircraft litigation, and a broad array of casualty claims. Mr. Sciolla is a Certified Civil Trial Attorney in the State of New Jersey. For more information, please contact Gregory E. Sciolla, Esquire at gsciolla@leonardsciolla.com.

    Sciolla Selected as a Top 100 Litigation Lawyer for New Jersey by The American Society of Legal Advocates

    Gregory E. Sciolla, Esquire, Managing Partner of the firm’s Moorestown, NJ office, was recently selected by The American Society of Legal Advocates (ASLA) as a Top 100 Litigation Lawyer for the State of New Jersey for 2013. ASLA membership selection is limited to less than 2% of attorneys nationwide. Last year, Mr. Sciolla was certified as a Certified Civil Trial Attorney for the State of New Jersey. Mr. Sciolla has been actively practicing law in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania for the past 35 years. His practice is centered on civil litigation, particularly personal injury matters, such as automobile accidents, premises liability, medical malpractice, and products liability, as well as worker's compensation matters. For more information, please contact Gregory E. Sciolla, Esquire at (856) 273-6679 or at gsciolla@leonardsciolla.com.

    Leonard Obtains $150K Verdict For Injured Motorist

    Anthony J. Leonard, Esquire, an associate with the firm, recently obtained a jury verdict in the amount of $150,000.00 in the Superior Court of Camden County, NJ, on behalf of a motorist plaintiff who was injured in a rear end collision while he was stopped waiting to make a left turn. The plaintiff was subject to the verbal threshold limitation under his motor vehicle insurance policy, which requires the plaintiff to demonstrate permanent injuries in order to recover damages for pain and suffering. Plaintiff’s injuries included thoracic and lumbar herniations. Defendant also argued to the jury that a subsequent motor vehicle accident accounted for these injuries. No settlement offers were made prior to trial. Mr. Leonard is a litigator who concentrates his practice in the area of personal injury litigation. For more information, please contact John J. Leonard, Esquire at jleonard@leonardsciolla.com.

    Tinari Recognized by LinkedIn© For Top 10% Viewed Profile

    Michael V. Tinari, a partner with the firm, was recently recognized by the world-wide professional networking website LinkedIn© as having one of the top 10% most viewed profiles on the website for 2012. LinkedIn© has over 200 million members consisting of individuals employed in a wide variety of careers and professional occupations. Mr. Tinari is a litigator with a diverse practice that includes matters involving complex personal injury cases, commercial litigation, employment disputes, workers' compensation matters, ERISA claims, and property/casualty defense. For more information, please contact Mr. Tinari at mtinari@leonardsciolla.com.

    Schultz Elected to Partnership

    Leonard, Sciolla, Hutchison, Leonard & Tinari, LLP is pleased to announce that Paul H. Schultz, Esquire has become a Partner in the firm. Mr. Schultz is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar and New Jersey Bar, and is also admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. Mr. Schultz has a diverse practice which includes the handling of land use and zoning matters, personal injury cases, civil litigation, immigration, business litigation and other matters. He served as a member of the Delran Township (NJ) Zoning Board of Adjustment from 2004 – 2011 and from 2013 – present. From 2008-2011, Mr. Schultz served as Chairman of the Board. He also serves as a member of the Delran Township Recreation Advisory Committee and as General Counsel for the Delran Business Association. Mr. Schultz and his wife currently reside in Delran, NJ. Leonard, Sciolla, Hutchison, Leonard & Tinari, LLP is a full-service regional law firm. For more information, please contact John J. Leonard, Esquire at (215) 567-1530 or at jleonard@leonardsciolla.com.

    Leonard, Sciolla, Hutchison, Leonard & Tinari, LLP Named To 2013 List of "Top Ranked Law Firms™" By Fortune Magazine

    Leonard, Sciolla, Hutchison, Leonard & Tinari, LLP is proud to announce that it has recently been named to the 2013 List of “Top Ranked Law Firms™" by Fortune Magazine. The ranking is based on the firm's having been rated as an AV® Preeminent law firm by the Martindale Hubbell® peer review lawyer rating service, the top rating which a firm can achieve from this organization. Only 2,446 firms in the entire United States have achieved this ranking. Previously, in 2012, the firm was named to the list of "Philadelphia’s Top Rated Lawyers®" by the Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper. As it enters its 4th decade, Leonard, Sciolla, Hutchison, Leonard & Tinari, LLP continues to demonstrate its proven ability to provide its clients with extraordinary service, finding effective and efficient ways to assist its clients in reaching their goals. The firm’s clients range from individuals, to small businesses, to large multinational corporations. The firm is proud of the extraordinary breadth of its practice and its proven ability to handle the most complex and demanding of matters while maintaining the benefits of its boutique size. The firm’s practice includes a strong foundation in civil litigation, with firm attorneys having successfully tried cases involving catastrophic personal injuries, breach of contract, business disputes, insurance bad faith, civil rights, employment matters and intellectual property. The firm has secured seven figure jury verdicts in both personal injury and commercial litigation matters. The firm also handles real estate, commercial and business transactional matters. In the past year, the firm has handled hundreds of millions of dollars in business and real estate transactions for clients ranging from individuals to multinational corporations. For example, the firm’s Transaction Group completed the recapitalization of eleven (11) affiliated, closely held companies valued at over $500 million for the purpose of effectuating a long term estate plan and business succession plan. Leonard, Sciolla, Hutchison, Leonard & Tinari, LLP also provides experienced representation in the areas of land use law, estate planning and wealth transfer, workers compensation, immigration matters, family law and professional licensing matters, among other areas of practice. For more information, please contact the firm’s Managing Partner, John J. Leonard, Esquire at jleonard@leonardsciolla.com.

    Schultz Teaches Seminar on Zoning and Land Use Law

    Paul H. Schultz, Esquire, Chairman of the firm’s Land Use Department, recently presented and served as a faculty member along with other distinguished land use practitioners at a daylong educational course entitled “Practical Guide to Zoning and Land Use Law”, presented by the National Business Institute in Cherry Hill, NJ. Attendees included other attorneys, municipal officials and developers seeking to expand their knowledge of land use concepts and current issues. Mr. Schultz spoke regarding special zoning topics (including affordable housing matters, smart growth initiatives and redevelopment litigation), as well as various constitutional bases for challenging land use decisions and ordinances. He also authored two chapters of the book that was distributed to seminar attendees. Mr. Schultz has assisted a variety of clients with zoning and other land use matters in both South Jersey and the greater Philadelphia area. He represents individuals, small business owners, non-profit organizations, and larger commercial entities, in various capacities before local boards and commissions, county boards and in court. Mr. Schultz maintains a diverse practice which also includes the handling personal injury matters, civil litigation, and immigration cases, among other matters. For more information, please contact Paul H. Schultz, Esquire at pschultz@leonardsciolla.com.

    Firm Attorneys Handle Deferred Action Applications for Immigrants

    Deferred Action Program for Immigrants
    LSHL&T provides assistance for interested and qualified individuals seeking to apply for the Deferred Action Program. The Deferred Action Program is an executive policy implemented by President Barack Obama, which is intended to assist undocumented individuals who came to the United States prior to reaching 16 years of age. The Deferred Action Program helps such individuals, who are otherwise not afforded legal status in the United States, by providing them with a two (2) year period, which can be renewed under certain circumstances, during which United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) will not take any action against them due to lack of legal status. Individuals qualifying under the Deferred Action Program may gain the additional benefits of receiving a driver’s license and Social Security number, as well as the ability to work, study and travel abroad.

    Who Qualifies
    To qualify for the Deferred Action Program, an individual must meet several specific requirements and must provide certain documentation in support of his or her application. Some of these requirements are that the person entered the United States prior to reaching the age of 16, that he or she must have been under 31 years old on June 15, 2012, and that he or she must have continuously resided in the United States (certain brief absences for travel may not interrupt continuous residency) since June 15, 2007 to present. In addition, the person must either be in school, have graduated high school, or obtained a General Education Development (GED) certificate, or have served in the United States armed forces. There are number of additional requirements, including certain limitations and requirements in the case of a criminal record.

    How We Can Help
    Our attorneys are well-versed in the requirements of the Deferred Action Program and are ready to assist you with the process, all the way through preparation of the application, related forms and supportive documents, to final approval of the application. In addition, our firm is able to provide individuals fluent in Spanish, Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese, Lithuanian, Russian and Cambodian to assist clients who may not be fluent in English. Please be aware that USCIS has “unreviewable discretion” with regard to the Deferred Action Program, which means that there is no appeal or review of their decision. We therefore strongly encourage you to contact us for assistance if you or someone you know is interested in applying for the Deferred Action Program. For more information, please contact firm attorneys Joana Gaizelyte-Lacy, Esquire or Paul H. Schultz, Esquire at jglacy@leonardsciolla.com or pschultz@leonardsciolla.com, or by telephone at (215) 567-1530.

    LSHL&T Transaction Group Handles Recapitalization of Businesses Valued at Over $500 Million

    The LSHL&T Transaction Group recently completed the recapitalization of eleven (11) affiliated, closely held companies valued at over $500 million for the purpose of effectuating a long term estate plan and business succession plan. The firm's Transaction Group headed up by partners, John J. Leonard, Esquire, Keith N. Leonard, Esquire and Stephen J. Labroli, Esquire has, over the past 25 years developed a highly focused practice representing individuals and companies ranging from small businesses to multinational entities. Our team's extensive experience with such matters, as well as their broad base of experience with the estate planning implications and aspects of such transactions, affords our clients with extraordinary value at a reasonable rate. If your organization or you are in need of legal representation, contact the Transaction Group attorneys at LSHL&T for knowledgeable and experienced help.

    Sciolla and Tinari Recognized as “Top Legal Minds” by Inside Jersey Magazine

    Firm partners, Gregory E. Sciolla, Esquire and Michael V. Tinari, Esquire were recently recognized and named as two of New Jersey’s “Top Legal Minds” in the August 2012 edition of Inside Jersey magazine. Mr. Sciolla is the managing partner of the firm’s Moorestown, New Jersey office, where his practice focuses on substantial personal injury and workers compensation litigation. He has extensive trial experience in cases involving product liability, fire loss, medical malpractice, automobile, toxic torts, aircraft litigation, and a broad array of casualty claims. Mr. Sciolla is a Certified Civil Trial Attorney in the State of New Jersey. Mr. Tinari is a litigator with a diverse practice that includes matters involving complex personal injury cases, commercial litigation, employment disputes, workers' compensation matters, ERISA claims, and property/casualty defense. For more information, please contact Mr. Sciolla or Mr. Tinari at gsciolla@leonardsciolla.com or mtinari@leonardsciolla.com, respectively.

    Hutchison and Schultz Obtain $500K Judgment in Business Partnership Dispute

    Hugh J. Hutchison, Esquire, a partner with the firm, assisted by senior associate, Paul H. Schultz, Esquire, obtained a judgment in excess of $500,000.00 for a small business owner who, despite owning 50% of the business entities with her partner, had wrongfully been denied her share of profits or assets of the business, or any say in operational control of the business, since 2006. Mr. Hutchison's practice is concentrated in the field of civil litigation, where he has established a recognized expertise in cases involving business disputes and insurance issues. For more information, contact Hugh J. Hutchison, Esquire at hhutchison@leonardsciolla.com.

    Schultz Named as “Rising Star” in Land Use Law by Super Lawyers® Magazine

    Leonard, Sciolla, Hutchison, Leonard & Tinari, LLP is proud to announce that Paul H. Schultz, Esquire, a senior associate and Chairman of the firm's Land Use Department, has been named a “Rising Star” in the Land Use Law practice area by Super Lawyers® magazine’s 2012 Pennsylvania edition. The “Rising Star” category consists of a listing of top lawyers who are under the age of 40 or who have been in practice for 10 years or less, as nominated and selected by their peers, in each practice area. Mr. Schultz has assisted a variety of clients with zoning and other land use matters in both South Jersey and the greater Philadelphia area. Mr. Schultz represents individuals, small business owners, non-profit organizations, and larger commercial entities, in various capacities before local zoning and planning boards and commissions, county boards and in court. Mr. Schultz seeks efficient and effective solutions specifically tailored to meet his client’s needs. For more information, please contact Paul H. Schultz, Esquire at pschultz@leonardsciolla.com.

    ANDERSON AND FLEMING OBTAIN FAVORABLE RULING ON FATAL CLAIM

    Heidi E. Anderson, Esquire, a partner with the firm, assisted by Christopher P. Fleming, Esquire, obtained a favorable ruling for a Fatal Claim Petition from Judge Denise Krass of the Department of Labor and Industry Workers' Compensation Office of Adjudication on behalf of an immigrant Brazilian construction worker against his employer who was denying the employment relationship. The worker was fatally injured on the job site where he along with other coworkers was removing a tree in order for a car/boat port to be built at a residence. A forklift was being utilized at the job site. There was an OSHA investigation resulting in Citations against the employer. After hearing the testimony of several witnesses, reviewing depositions admitted into evidence of additional witnesses and the briefing by the parties, Judge Krass entered the favorable Order on March 6, 2012 for the Claimant. The award included fatal claim benefits, funeral expenses, and reasonable attorneys' fees and litigation costs. The award is not being appealed. The deceased worker was survived by a wife and two minor children. Ms. Anderson regularly handles workers' compensation matters for injured workers and has a diverse practice that includes civil litigation, employment disputes, family law matters, and estate administration and planning.

    Schultz Hosts Delran Township Annual Easter Egg Hunt

    Paul H. Schultz, Esquire, a senior associate with the firm and Chairman of its Land Use Department, served as master of ceremonies for Delran Township's 2012 Annual Town-Wide Easter Egg Hunt. The event is organized and held each year by the Delran Township Recreation Advisory Committee, of which Mr. Schultz is a member. Mr. Schultz concentrates his practice in the areas of land use law, personal injury, and civil litigation. He also regularly represents clients on business and corporate matters, real estate transactions, and a wide variety of other matters. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Schultz worked for several years in the banking industry and as a financial planner.

    Sciolla Becomes New Jersey Certified Civil Trial Attorney

    Gregory E. Sciolla, a Senior Partner with Leonard, Sciolla, Hutchison, Leonard & Tinari, LLP, and Managing Partner of the firm's Moorestown, New Jersey office, has recently been certified as a Certified Civil Trial Attorney for the State of New Jersey. Mr. Sciolla has been actively practicing law in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania for the past 35 years. His practice is centered on civil litigation, particularly personal injury matters, such as automobile accidents, premises liability, medical malpractice, and products liability, as well as worker's compensation matters. Mr. Sciolla is a member of the Burlington County Bar Association where he previously served as Committee Chairman on the Civil Practice Committee, as well as serving as an officer on the Worker's Compensation and Civil Litigation Committees. He is also a member of the Camden County Bar Association and the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association. For more information, please contact Gregory E. Sciolla, Esquire at (856) 273-6679 or at gsciolla@leonardsciolla.com.

    Schultz Represents Land Use Clients

    Paul H. Schultz, Esquire, Chairman of the firm's Land Use Department, has assisted a variety of clients with zoning and other land use matters in both South Jersey and the greater Philadelphia area. Mr. Schultz represents individuals, small business owners, non-profit organizations, and larger commercial entities, in various capacities before local boards and commissions, county boards and in court. Mr. Schultz seeks efficient and effective solutions designed to serve the client's needs. Some examples are as follows:

    • Represented a commercial property owner in multi-party litigation in the Superior Court of New Jersey challenging the municipal redevelopment plan of a New Jersey municipality. The municipality's redevelopment plan had designated the area surrounding the client's business as an area in need of redevelopment, leaving it subject to potential eminent domain proceedings. Mr. Schultz worked to obtain a settlement which involved the redrafting of the redevelopment plan to exclude the client's property from the redevelopment area and potential eminent domain proceedings.
    • Represented a non-profit corporation before a municipal joint land use board. The client sought approval of a conditional use variance for use of its property as a social and cultural organization, subdivision of the 11+ acre property into two lots, approval of a minor Site Plan with regard to parking and other improvements, as well as various other submission and design waivers and bulk variances. Mr. Schultz obtained the Board's unanimous approval of all relief sought by the client in one hearing before the Board.
    • Represented a residential property owner as an objector to a use variance application for the construction of a duplex to be used for affordable and low income housing in a single family residential neighborhood. In a hearing before a South Jersey municipal zoning board, Mr. Schultz was able to convince the board to vote unanimously to deny the requested use variance.
    • Represented a regional distributor of motor fuels before a local joint land use board in connection with an application for variances in connection with the installation of signs and the rebranding of a service station. The application also included variances and waivers related to the bulk requirements for lot size and setback requirements. Mr. Schultz obtained the Board's unanimous approval of the relief sought by the client.
    • Represented a real estate management company before a South Jersey zoning board in connection with a major site plan application for the conversion of an existing single tenant building into several flex units, consisting of both office and warehouse space. The client further sought variances and waivers related to the bulk requirements for lot area, lot width, lot coverage, lot improvement, front yard setback and side yard setback, parking space dimensions, number of parking spaces, signage, and stormwater management controls. Mr. Schultz obtained the Board's unanimous approval of all relief sought by the client in one hearing before the Board. Mr. Schultz also represented the client before the County Planning Board, obtaining that agency's unanimous approval as well.
    • Represented a pet boarding, grooming and supply store seeking an interpretation and/or use variance to permit the overnight boarding of animals at the store site. The client further sought waivers of the requirements to provide a property survey and a minor site plan in connection with certain renovations to the interior of the building. Mr. Schultz obtained the Board's unanimous approval of the use variance, as well as all waivers sought by the client.

    Mr. Schultz' experience in zoning and land use matters reaches beyond his representation of clients in his capacity as an attorney. He served as a member of the Delran Township (NJ) Zoning Board of Adjustment from 2004 - 2011, and from 2008-2011 served as its Chairman. Concurrent with this Board service, Mr. Schultz served as a New Jersey Planning Official and was a member of the organization of New Jersey Planning Officials. Mr. Schultz also served on Delran Township's 2009 Master Plan Reexamination Committee, which is responsible for performing the periodic reexamination of the Township's Master Plan, the document which sets forth comprehensive land use, planning, zoning and community development goals for the Township. If you need legal assistance with planning, zoning, redevelopment or any other land use matters, you can call Mr. Schultz, or any other members of our team, for further assistance. To learn more about us, please visit our website at www.leonardsciolla.com.

    LSHL&T Transaction Group Handles Wholesale Distributorship Transactions

    The LSHL&T Transaction Group completed $40,000,000.00 in transactions during the last three weeks for its clients. Two of the transactions involved the sale of a United Kingdom corporation and a French corporation, both in the wholesale distribution industry, owned by one of the firm's United States clients. The third involved the purchase on behalf of another United States client of a corporation in the Southeastern United States that operates eight wholesale distributorships. The firm's Transaction Group headed up by partners, John J. Leonard, Keith N. Leonard and Stephen J. Labroli has, over the past 25 years developed a highly focused practice representing individuals and companies buying and selling wholesale distributorships and related entities. Our team's extensive experience with the nuances of evaluating, financing, structuring and concluding deals in the wholesale distributorship industry affords our clients in that industry with extraordinary value at a reasonable rate. If your organization or you are in need of legal representation in the wholesale distributorship industry, contact the Transaction Group attorneys at LSHL&T for knowledgeable and experienced help.

    The Business and Real Estate Transaction Group at LSHL&T

    The Business and Real Estate Transaction Group at LSHL&T has assisted clients in completing over $200 million in business transactions during the past twelve months. The largest of the transactions was an acquisition of a company for $105 million which required Federal approval under the Hart Scott Rodino Act and involved the acquisition of over 100 wholesale outlets throughout nine states for a national wholesale distributor. Headed by partners, John Leonard, Keith Leonard and Steve Labroli, the group is currently handling the sales of multiple European corporations affiliated with one of its American clients to a European corporation. The firm has also been engaged to represent the owner/developer of a $130 million resort project in Pennsylvania that broke ground earlier this summer. Attorneys in the Group have also recently assisted the owner of multiple regional supermarkets in the restructuring of its financing for its business operations. “Clients are pleased with the quality, responsiveness, efficiency and value of our services in these complex transactions. Our clients are most impressed by the depth and sophistication of our transactional experience, dating back to 1983 and involving hundreds of business transactions”, said John Leonard. If you need legal assistance with a business or real estate transaction, give the professionals at LSHL&T a call for immediate assistance. To learn more about us or the individual attorneys in the firm, please visit our website at www.leonardsciolla.com.

    Tinari and Labroli Obtain Verdict Against Gas Retailer

    Michael V. Tinari, Esquire and Stephen J. Labroli, Esquire, partners with the firm, successfully represented a regional distributor of motor fuels and obtained a verdict in excess of $300,000.00 against a gas retailer with several gas stations in South Jersey. This contract dispute was tried in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, where Delaware law was applied. The verdict following trial compensated the client for millions of gallons of motor fuel sold to the retailer and included an award of interest, costs and attorney's fees in excess of $54,000.00. The case was reported in the most recent edition of the New Jersey Jury Verdict Review & Analysis.

    Sciolla Presents Continuing Legal Education Courses for Burlington County Bar Association

    Gregory E. Sciolla, Esquire, a senior partner at the firm, presented a continuing legal education course entitled: "Summer Hazards" for members of the Burlington County Bar Association on June 8, 2011. Mr. Sciolla's portion of the CLE focused on the potential liability for a private homeowner when owning a swimming pool and the precautions that may be taken, as well as the statutory framework with respect to commercial or community swimming pools. Previously, on March 24, 2011, Mr. Sciolla presented a continuing legal education course entitled: "Back to Basics: Preparation & Performance of the Cross-Examination of Medical Experts" for members of the Burlington County Bar Association. The program focused on developing cross-examination questions to avoid the common obstacles trial lawyers face when confronted with a difficult medical expert witness and/or difficult opposing counsel. The program included simulated cross-examinations of a medical expert to clearly demonstrate how the techniques could be utilized in practice. Mr. Sciolla concentrates his practice on personal injury and workers compensation matters.

    Leonard Honored by Thomas Jefferson University

    Leonard, Sciolla, Hutchison, Leonard & Tinari, LLP is proud to announce that the firm’s Managing Partner, John J. Leonard, Esquire, was recently honored by the Board of Trustees of Thomas Jefferson University in recognition for his service as a Trustee of the University from 2001 through 2009. The Board adopted a Resolution of Gratitude thanking Mr. Leonard for his service to the University. Mr. Leonard was also presented with an inscribed Liberty Bowl award by University President, Robert L. Barchi, M.D., Ph.D. Mr. Leonard's practice includes the representation of businesses and individuals for transactions, contracts, business break-ups, estates, litigation, planning, and counseling. He has extensive experience with closely held businesses, serious personal injury cases, professional licensing, and attorney disciplinary and ethics matters.

    Leonard, Leonard and Labroli Handle $100 million Stock Purchase and Merger for National HVACR Supplier

    Firm partners John J. Leonard, Esquire, Keith N. Leonard, Esquire and Stephen J. Labroli, Esquire, handled all legal aspects of a stock purchase and merger of a regional competitor with our client, a national HVACR supplier. Due to the size of the transaction (in excess of $100 million), governmental approval was required pursuant to federal law under the Hart Scott Rodino Act. The selling entity has over 100 locations, with a substantial portion of the properties being company owned. Contemporaneously with that transaction, our firm assisted our client in the closing on significant increased financing to assist with the merger and post-merger operations. Both transactions were handled on an expedited basis to accomplish the client's goals.

    Sciolla Obtains Six Figure Verdict Against Philadelphia Park Casino & Race Track

    Gregory E. Sciolla, Esquire, a senior partner at the firm recently obtained a jury verdict of $250,000.00 on behalf of a woman in her mid-40s who was injured in a slip and fall accident at Philadelphia Park Casino and Racetrack. The plaintiff was injured as she stepped off an elevator on the fifth floor, when she slipped and fell on a gel-like chemical substance being used to strip the floors of wax. Philadelphia Park neither blocked off access to the fifth floor or placed warning signs as to the condition of the floor where the plaintiff could view them while exiting the elevator. Philadelphia Park claimed that the floor contractor was responsible for insuring that people did not enter the fifth floor during the floor stripping process. As a result of her fall, plaintiff was diagnosed with cervical disc bulging at the C5-C6 level and cervical disc herniation at C6-C7 levels with C8-T1 radiculopathy. Her orthopedic surgeon opined that she may require shoulder surgery in the future. Plaintiff made no claim for lost wages as a result of the accident. Defendant’s orthopedic surgeon contended that the plaintiff exhibited only inflammation of a tendon in her shoulder and that her cervical injuries were degenerative in nature and not causally related to the fall. The jury entered a total verdict of $250,000.00 and found Philadelphia Park Casino and Racetrack 70% negligent and the floor contractor 30% negligent. The plaintiff had previously settled with the floor contractor for $149,000.00. The trial was selected as a featured case by the Pennsylvania Jury Verdict Review and Analysis in its August 2010 issue. Gregory E. Sciolla, Esquire is a partner with the firm. His practice focuses on substantial personal injury and workers compensation litigation.

    For more information, please contact the offices of Leonard, Sciolla, Hutchison, Leonard & Tinari, LLP at (215) 567-1530.

    Tinari Obtains Seven Figure Jury Verdict against UPS

    Michael V. Tinari, Esquire, a partner with the firm, assisted by Christopher P. Fleming, Esquire, obtained a jury verdict of $1.8 Million (reduced by a finding of comparative negligence) in favor of the Estate of a 22 year old and his father and against United Parcel Service (UPS) and a UPS tractor trailer operator. Decedent was traveling on I-95 South when his vehicle experienced engine problems and slowed down in the right lane of travel. His vehicle was struck in the rear by the UPS tractor trailer. Decedent sustained fatal injuries. Evidence showed that the defendant truck driver was not cited in connection with the accident. The Pennsylvania State Police accident report indicated that the decedent was “illegally stopped” in a travel lane and that no action on the part of the Defendant truck driver contributed to the accident. Photographs of Decedent’s gear shifter taken soon after the accident showed that it was in the park position. Defendants argued that the accident was caused solely by the negligence of the decedent who was stopped in the right travel lane at night, without hazard lights and with headlights and running lights on, so that his vehicle appeared to be moving. The Defense further argued that Decedent should have moved his car into the shoulder, instead of allowing it to come to a rest in the travel lane. Witnesses testified that they saw Decedent’s vehicle stopped in the right travel lane with no lights on at all. Despite the findings of the State Police and the evidence presented by UPS, Mr. Tinari was able to persuade the jury that the UPS truck driver had sufficient time and distance to avoid the collision and was negligent in the operation of the tractor trailer. The trial was selected as a featured case by the Pennsylvania Jury Verdict Review and Analysis in its July, 2010 edition. Mr. Tinari’s practice is concentrated in the field of civil litigation with a diverse practice that includes complex personal injury cases, commercial litigation, employment disputes, workers' compensation matters, ERISA claims, and property/casualty defense.

    Schultz Obtains Settlement For Commercial Property Owner in Redevelopment Dispute

    Paul H. Schultz, Esquire, an associate with the firm, recently reached a settlement with a New Jersey municipality on behalf of a commercial property owner during the course of multi-party litigation over a municipal redevelopment plan. The municipality’s redevelopment plan had designated the area surrounding the client’s business as an area in need of redevelopment, leaving it subject to potential eminent domain proceedings. The settlement involved the redrafting of the redevelopment plan to exclude the client’s property from the redevelopment area. Mr. Schultz regularly handles land use and zoning matters, and has a diverse practice including business law, personal injury, civil litigation and other matters.

    Hutchison Obtains Seven Figure Jury Verdict

    Hugh J. Hutchison, Esquire, a partner with the firm obtained a seven figure jury verdict in favor of the owner of a Philadelphia pier and against an insurance company for breach of a property insurance contract. Prior to trial, the insurer refused to pay any sum for the loss of the pier, asserting that the underlying pier structure was so deteriorated that it had no value. A large section of the pier was lost when it spontaneously collapsed while in use as a nightclub and entertainment venue. Mr. Hutchison's practice is concentrated in the field of civil litigation, where he has successfully tried cases on a wide range of issues, including matters involving insurance and complex commercial transactions.

    Leonard Handles $15 Million in Commercial Financings

    Keith N. Leonard, Esquire, a partner with the firm, has worked with numerous clients to close on commercial financings in both the United States and the United States Virgin Islands totaling in excess of $15,000,000.00 in the past six months. Mr. Leonard has a broad based business practice that includes substantial expertise involving real estate, bankruptcy and commercial transactions, as well as general business issues for a variety of business forms including corporations and limited liability companies. In that regard Mr. Leonard has counseled clients about a multitude of issues involving employment, environmental, financing, and contractual matters.

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