Coughlin & Gerhart LLP
Call Today: 800-646-3420
Coughlin & Gerhart LLP
News & Updates 2015

News & Updates 2015

On Behalf of | Dec 11, 2015 | News & Updates

News & Updates 2015

James P. O’Brien Recognized For Client Satisfaction

Coughlin & Gerhart, LLP is proud to announce that James P. O’Brien has been nominated and accepted as a 2015 AIOPIA 10 Best Personal Injury Attorneys in New York for Client Satisfaction.

The American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys has recognized the exceptional performance of New York’s Personal Injury Attorney, James P. O’Brien, Esq. as 2015 AIOPIA 10 Best Personal Injury Attorneys for Client Satisfaction.

The American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys is a third-party attorney rating organization that publishes an annual list of the Top 10 Personal Injury attorneys in each state. Attorneys who are selected to the “10 Best” list must pass AIOPIA’s rigorous selection process, which is based on client and/or peer nominations, thorough research, and AIOPIA’s independent evaluation.

Mr. O’Brien graduated from Syracuse University College of Law and is of counsel with the firm. His civil litigation experience includes intellectual property litigation, patent, trademark, copyright and trade secret matters. His experience also includes commercial litigation and representations of plaintiffs in personal injury cases, defense work for insurance carriers and individuals and corporations.

Coughlin & Gerhart, LLP, which was founded in the 1890s, has grown to be a multi-service law firm, consisting of more than 40 lawyers and a professional support staff. The firm’s main office is located at 99 Corporate Drive, Binghamton. It has convenient branch offices located in Ithaca, Owego, Bainbridge, Hancock, Walton, New York and Montrose, Pennsylvania.

Coughlin & Gerhart, LLP Named Greater Binghamton Chamber’s Corporate Citizen of the Year

[nap_names id=

Coughlin & Gerhart was recently honored with the CORPORATE CITIZEN OF THE YEAR AWARD by the Broome County Chamber of Commerce at the annual Community Thanksgiving Luncheon on November 17. The award is “awarded to a company that has made not only a financial commitment to the Greater Binghamton area, but a commitment to providing leadership and hands-on employee participation.”

Managing Partner Mark Gorgos credited Coughlin & Gerhart‘s staff, associates and partners for pointing out what’s needed and facilitating volunteerism.

“Really, community service is not just the right thing to do,” he said. “It’s really the fabric of our law firm and I’m really proud of my partners for sharing those visions and initiative with us.”

We at C&G thank the Chamber for this award, and thank all of our employees and other individuals and businesses in the community whose efforts and contributions enable us at C&G to give back to the community.

In presenting the award, the Chamber discussed some of C&G’s charitable fundraising and efforts through the year and stated:

“The attorneys and staff at Coughlin & Gerhart have a strong belief that their community efforts and contributions made to those in need enhance the quality of life for everyone. This attitude definitely comes from the strong examples set by the leadership of the firm. This past July marked the 15th annual “Golf for Scholars” tournament that the firm organized and runs. To date, over $180,000 has been raised to benefit local school districts’ scholarship programs. For the second year, Coughlin & Gerhart was the lead sponsor of the Race for Justice 5K to benefit the Legal Aid Society. The firm also paid the registration fee for any employee and their family member(s) who wanted to walk or run the race.

Coughlin & Gerhart contributes to a host of other organizations. They are a major contributor to the United Way, with a different Staff person running the campaign each year. This year, a basket raffle competition between practice groups will be held to help raise money for the campaign. Coughlin & Gerhart is a Lead Sponsor for the Annual Sertoma Club Antique Show; and a consistent sponsor of the Helping Celebrate Abilities (HCA) Tasteful Day fundraiser.

The Firm holds ‘Jeans Day’ every Friday; donations are collected from partners, associates and staff for the ‘privilege’ of wearing jeans to work. All donations are then given to a local charity, suggested by the employees.

They actively support many of the area’s charity golf and basketball tournaments. They also sponsor ACHIEVE’S ‘Growing Spaces, Improving Lives’ building rehabilitation project. Not only are monetary donations made to local organizations, but attorneys and staff are encouraged to give of their time and talents to these organizations. Attorneys are encouraged to become active Board members and to take leadership roles -their involvement includes: Broome County Arts Council, American Civic Association, Binghamton Boys & Girls Club, Roberson Museum and many others.

For several years now, one of the Coughlin & Gerhart staff coordinates the creating and decorating of fleece blankets and stockings, with the help of co-workers and attorneys. These blankets and stockings are then donated to the Children’s Home during the Holiday Season. This one activity alone encompasses the entire year!

Arlene Sanders, of the Legal Aid Society of Mid-New York says: ‘Coughlin & Gerhart demonstrates exceptional leadership and community service and they set an example for all to aspire to.”

Coughlin & Gerhart Attorneys Named to RISING STARS Lists

Chess

Coughlin & Gerhart, LLP is proud to announce that Mark S. Gorgos, Paul J. Sweeney, Robert R. Jones, Joseph J. Steflik, and Beth E. Westfall , have been included in the 2015 Upstate Edition of New York . Only 5% of attorneys practicing in the state meet the criteria to be named to this prestigious list.

In addition, attorneys Rachel A. Abbott, Brady L. Begeal, Keith A. Gorgos, Kristen K. Luce, and Ryan L. McCarthy and have also been named to the list of 2015 Upstate New York RISING STARS , which is limited to no more than 2.5% of the attorneys within the state. New York magazine publishes these lists annually, and bases its evaluations on information gathered from a variety of sources, including peer recognition and professional achievement.

Mark Gorgos, whose primary areas of practice include commercial transactions, education and municipal law, credit union law and creditor rights, has been with Coughlin & Gerhart since 1980 and currently serves as Managing Partner. Mr. Sweeney joined the firm in 1992, following active duty as a Marine Corps judge advocate. He is a member of the firm’s Management Committee and is co-chair of its Labor and Employment Group. He concentrates his practice in labor and employment law and commercial litigation. Mr. Jones joined Coughlin & Gerhart in 1990 and is a member of the firm’s Management Committee. He focuses his practice on litigation, particularly in the areas of motor vehicle/construction site personal injury, estate litigation, gas & oil litigation, and theft of cable and satellite services. Mr. Steflik joined the firm, LLP in 1999 and is co-chair of the firm’s Labor & Employment Group. He focuses his practice in the areas of labor, employment and construction law. Mrs. Westfall joined Coughlin & Gerhart in 1986 and is chair of the firm’s Trusts and Estates Practice Group. She focuses her practice in the areas of estate planning and administration, elder law, municipal law, land use and zoning, and real estate transactions.

Ms. Abbott, a partner in the firm, focuses her practice in the area of plaintiff’s litigation. Mr. Begeal, an associate with the firm, focuses his practice in the area of business and banking law and municipal law. Mr. Keith Gorgos, an associate with the firm, focuses his practice in the areas of litigation and business and banking law. Ms. Luce, a partner with the firm, practices in the areas of estate planning, trusts and estates administration, real estate transactions, and oil and gas law. Mr. McCarthy, an associate with the firm, focuses his practice in the areas of estate planning, trusts and estates administration, and real estate transactions.

C & G Administrator Named ALA Regional Representative

Coughlin & Gerhart, LLP is proud to announce Brenda A. Syle, CLM, MPA, has been elected a 2016-17 Regional Representative by the Association of Legal Administrators (ALA).

ALA Regional Representatives are elected to oversee Association initiatives, activities and finances in six geographically defined areas.

Brenda has been an employee of Coughlin & Gerhart, LLP for 25 years and is the firm’s Administrator of Finance & Operations. Brenda is the current Chair of the Capacity Building Committee for United Way of Broome County, and also serves as Vice President of Membership for the River City Toastmasters in Binghamton, NY and as Area 43 Director for District 65 Toastmasters (central and western New York State).

The Association of Legal Administrators (ALA) was founded in 1971 to provide support to professionals involved in the management of law firms, corporate legal departments and government legal agencies.

Brenda has been a member of ALA for more than 15 years. She is currently a member of the Rochester, NY Chapter of ALA. She has held two previous positions with the national organization: as a member of the Operations Management Team to develop content for an ALA online course in 2015, and as a member of the 2015 Business of Law Conference Committee.

The newly ratified members of the 2016-17 Board of Directors and Regional Representatives will begin their responsibilities in May at the close of the Annual Conference & Expo in Los Angeles, California.

Coughlin & Gerhart, LLP, which was founded in the 1890s, has grown to be a multi-service law firm, consisting of more than 40 lawyers and a professional support staff. The firm’s main office is located at 99 Corporate Drive, Binghamton. It has convenient branch offices located in Ithaca, Owego, Bainbridge, Hancock, Walton and Montrose, Pennsylvania.

C&G Attorneys Present 34th Annual Labor Law Update

Coughlin & Gerhart, LLP presented its 34th Annual Labor Law Update on October 6, 2015 at the Doubletree by Hilton in Binghamton, NY. Over 160 attendees were advised of recent decisions, regulations and other developments in Labor Law, involving the National Labor Relations Act, Family Medical Leave Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, Workers’ Compensation, OSHA, “Ban the Box”, wage and hour laws, medical marijuana and health care reform.

Presenters from the firm’s Labor and Employment Law Group included partners, Joseph J. Steflik, Jr. (Co-Chair), Paul J. Sweeney (Co-Chair), and Lars Mead, as well as associate Angelo Catalano.

Coughlin & Gerhart, LLP, which was founded in the 1890s, has grown to be a multi-service law firm, consisting of more than 40 lawyers and a professional support staff. The firm’s main office is located at 99 Corporate Drive, Binghamton. It has convenient branch offices located in Ithaca, Owego, Bainbridge, Hancock, Walton and Montrose, Pennsylvania.

C&G Attorneys Honored in Best Lawyers in America® 2016 Listing

Best Lawyers Article Image

Coughlin & Gerhart, LLP is proud to announce that eleven of its lawyers were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2016. The lawyers recognized are Mark S. Gorgos (Commercial Transactions/UCC Law, Municipal Law, Education Law, Bankruptcy & Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency & Reorganization Law, and Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships), Joseph J. Steflik, Jr. (Labor Law-Management, Employment Law-Management), Paul J. Sweeney (Labor Law-Management), Robert J. Madigan (Real Estate Law), Gordon E. Thompson (Banking and Finance Law, Real Estate Law), James P. O’Brien (Personal Injury Litigation-Defendants, Product Liability Litigation-Defendants), Richard B. Long (Personal Injury Litigation-Defendants and Arbitration), and Rachel A. Abbott (Personal Injury Litigation-Plaintiffs).

The firm is also proud to announce that Rachel A. Abbott has received the special distinction of the Best Lawyers®’ 2016 Binghamton “Lawyer of the Year” for her respective specialties of Personal Injury Litigation-Plaintiffs for Ms. Abbott.

Since its inception in 1983, Best Lawyers has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which almost 50,000 leading attorneys cast nearly 5 million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas, and because lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed, inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor. Corporate Counsel magazine has called Best Lawyers “the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice.”

Coughlin & Gerhart Race for Justice 5k Run/Walk to Benefit the Legal Aid Society of Mid-New York

Coughlin & Gerhart, LLP is proud to once again sponsor the upcoming Coughlin & Gerhart Race for Justice 5k Run/Walk to Benefit the Legal Aid Society of Mid-New York, to be held on Sunday September 27th, 2015 at 12 noon in Binghamton, NY.

The race begins and ends at the Court St. Bridge/Peacemaker Stage. Register by Friday September 18th to be guaranteed a T-shirt! See the additional details below, with registration available at: http://raceforjustice5k.org/. Join us to help support a great cause!

“In New York State, the vast majority of low-income people do not receive representation for their civil legal problems. Your participation brings us one step closer to bridging the justice gap.”

The race will kick off from the Court St. Bridge/Peacemaker Stage in Downtown Binghamton. Teams compete for the Highly Coveted Justice Cup. First, Second, and Third place awards will be awarded to the Men’s and Women’s Winners of the 5K Run and First in ten-year age groups. The Justice Cup will be awarded to the fastest averaged team.

  • Live Radio Broadcast with Dana Potter and Magic 101.7
  • Great tunes by Russ The BIG Guy
  • Rockin’ After Party at Water Street Brewing Co.
  • Post-Race Refreshments
  • Chip Timing by Triple Cities Runners Club
  • Water Station at Rec Park
  • USA Track & Field Certified Race Course
    hello KG
  • $25 Per Individual Registration
  • $20 per person for Teams of 4 or more
  • Sponsorship Available at the $150, $300 & $500 Levels
  • Register at:
  • http://raceforjustice5k.org/Packet Pickup:
  • Saturday September 26th at Water Street Brewing Co.
    1-4 p.m. or
  • Sunday September 27th at Peacemaker Stage
    11-11:45 a.m.

 

Coughlin & Gerhart Proud to Sponsor FREE Summer
Concert Series

BANDS

Coughlin & Gerhart, LLP is proud to once again sponsor the third annual BROOME BANDS TOGETHER summer concert series, scheduled for Tuesday nights at 6:30 p.m., June 16 to July 21 at Otsiningo Park. Coughlin & Gerhart‘s sponsorship donation will keep the concerts FREE to the public.

The scheduled lineup is: *June 16: Shambles; *June 23: Boondock Rebels; *June 30: Ryan Wilson; *July 7: Outer Reef; *July 14: Los Vega; *July 21: Katie Scott with Persuasion.

“I certainly encourage everyone to come out on those warm, summer evenings,” Mark Gorgos, Coughlin & Gerhart managing partner, said. “It’s just a great event and I’ve been amazed at how attendance has increased from the first year.”

C&G Attorneys Present at Special NLRB Update

Coughlin & Gerhart, LLP presented at a special National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) Update on March 26, 2015 at the Doubletree by Hilton in Binghamton, NY. Over 60 attendees from local businesses were advised of important changes being implemented by the NLRB. The co-chairs of the firm’s Labor and Employment Law Group, Joseph J. Steflik, Jr. and Paul J. Sweeney, spoke on topics including the NLRB’s so-called “Quickie Election” rules, the formation of “micro” bargaining units and the enforcement of social media policies.

Coughlin & Gerhart, LLP represents public and private sector employers throughout New York State.

NYS Court of Appeals Issues Favorable Decision for Coughlin & Gerhart Clients on Critical Oil & Gas Lease Interpretations

Oildisputes

The New York State Court of Appeals issued a landmark decision in a Force Majeure case being handled by the attorneys at Coughlin & Gerhart, LLP, finding that the Force Majeure clause did not extend the leases and that the leases expired by their terms. The case came before the New York State Court of Appeals when the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit certified two questions. This important decision remains very meaningful to landowners for future gas development.

In this lawsuit, Coughlin & Gerhart, LLP represented landowners against three energy companies on the issue of whether the term of expired oil & gas leases can be extended by Force Majeure due to the moratorium on high-volume hydrofracking in New York. The New York State Court of Appeals held that the Force Majeure clause did not modify the habendum clause (term clause) and, therefore, the leases terminated at the conclusion of their primary term. This is a significant victory for landowners and their property rights. The Plaintiffs in this case will now have the opportunity to renegotiate their oil and gas leases when gas development begins in New York and are no longer burdened by the very poor terms of the previous leases. Additionally, landowners who were not a part of this case will benefit from this precedent-setting decision which highlights the importance of having a skilled and experienced oil and gas attorney review an oil and gas lease before signing.

A copy of the New York State Court of Appeals’ decision in the case, Beardslee v. Inflection Energy, LLC, is available here for review.

Coughlin & Gerhart‘s team of litigation and oil & gas attorneys were being led in this precedent-setting case by Robert R. Jones and Kristen K. Luce, and Zachary D. Morahan, who are based out of our law firm’s Binghamton, New York office. Coughlin & Gerhart, LLP has numerous attorneys who are experienced in oil and gas law and welcome the opportunity to assist clients in this always developing area of law.

Coughlin & Gerhart Announces New Special Counsel

Coughlin & Gerhart, LLP is pleased to announce that Lori Grumet Schapiro has joined the firm as Special Counsel.

A cum laude graduate of Albany Law School of Union University, Ms. Schapiro has been practicing law for over 25 years. Her primary areas of practice include Commercial & Residential Real Estate, Financing and Banking. “We are very pleased to have an attorney with Lori’s expertise and experience join our busy practice,” said Coughlin & Gerhart‘s Managing Partner, Mark Gorgos. “She is highly regarded in our legal community and very much respected for her charitable and community work.”

Ms. Schapiro is a member of the New York State Bar Association and The Justinian Law Society and is an officer of the Broome County Bar Association. She is very active in the local community and currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of Hillel Academy of Broome County. She has also served as a board member with the Jewish Community Center, the United Way of Broome County, and as a fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association and Binghamton University Foundation.

Coughlin & Gerhart Announces New Of Counsel Attorney

Coughlin & Gerhart, LLP is pleased to announce that Irene Graven has become of counsel with the firm effective January 1, 2015.

Ms. Graven began her practice of law as a partner at the Law Office of Bartow and Murphy, concentrating in trusts and estates and real property law. She has served as Assistant County Attorney, Assistant District Attorney and Acting District Attorney for Tioga County. She served as the Village of Owego Attorney and is currently the Town of Owego Attorney.

She is a member of the Tioga, Broome and New York State Bar Associations. She serves as Vice Chairman of the Mildred Faulkner Truman Foundation’s Advisory Committee and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Broome Community College Foundation. Ms. Graven will continue her work in the municipal law area as well as returning to her general practice of law, including trusts and estates and real property law.

Coughlin & Gerhart Partner Selected As Editor

Paul J. Sweeney, Esq., a partner in the Binghamton law firm of Coughlin & Gerhart, LLP, was recently selected by Business & Legal Resources to edit its New York Employment Law Letter , a monthly publication that helps employers understand new laws, regulations and court cases.

Mr. Sweeney is the co-leader of Coughlin & Gerhart‘s Labor & Employment Law Practice Group, which represents public and private sector employers throughout New York State. He serves on the Executive Committee of the New York State Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law Section and is the Treasurer of the Northern District of New York – Federal Court Bar Association. He is listed in the Best Lawyers in America and the Upstate Edition of New York.

Coughlin & Gerhart, LLP, which was founded in the 1890s, has grown to be a multi-service law firm, consisting of more than 40 lawyers and a professional support staff. The firm’s main office is located at 99 Corporate Drive, Binghamton. It has convenient branch offices located in Ithaca, Owego, Bainbridge, Hancock, Walton and Montrose, Pennsylvania.

Coughlin and Gerhart Named As A 2015 Best Law Firm

ABestLawFirm_

U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers in America® has named Coughlin & Gerhart as a Metropolitan Tier 1 Best Law Firm for the Binghamton, New York region in the areas of Business and Finance Law as well as Personal Injury Litigation.

Firms included in the 2015 “Best Law Firms” list are recognized for professional excellence with persistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. Achieving a tiered ranking signals a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise.

“For thirty years, U.S. News has provided consumers with accurate, in-depth information and rankings of a wide range of institutions,” says Tim Smart, Executive Editor of U.S. News & World Report. “Law firms are an integral part of our rankings and a natural accompaniment to the law school rankings.”

“For five years, we have combined massive amounts of hard data with peer reviews and client assessments to develop our law firm rankings,” says Steven Naifeh, CEO and Co-Founder of Best Lawyers. “Increasingly, clients tell us that ours are the most thorough, accurate, and helpful rankings of law firms available anywhere.”

Coughlin & Gerhart, LLP, which was founded in the 1890s, has grown to be a multi-service law firm, consisting of more than 40 lawyers and a professional support staff. The firm’s main office is located at 99 Corporate Drive, Binghamton. It has convenient branch offices located in Ithaca, Owego, Bainbridge, Hancock, Walton and Montrose, Pennsylvania.