Given our litigious society and stringent regulatory scrutiny from licensing boards (whose mission is to protect the health, safety and well-being of the public), professionals must be vigilant in protecting their reputations, assets and their ability to continue providing the best possible service to their patients/clients. Architects, Engineers, legal professionals, health care providers as well as other professionals with extensive formal training need to be cognizant of licensure and regulation, a code of conduct imposing standards beyond those accepted in the marketplace, and a system of discipline for violation of those standards are particularly vulnerable.
In Peter’s 20 years of experience, he has assisted numerous types of professionals with serious liability issues including:
- Defense of professional malpractice claims and lawsuits.
- Confidential counsel for medical professionals on ethics matters.
- Risk management advice for the professional’s practice in an effort to avoid complaints, claims, and litigation.
- Expert witness consultants including testimony in disciplinary proceedings, fee disputes and malpractice actions.
- Analysis, advice and litigation of coverage disputes under professional liability policies and insurance claims.
- Representation before professional state licensing boards for complaints and disciplinary proceedings.
Peter has utilized his years of extensive experience in construction law to represent a wide range of clients in construction litigation in several different states including New York metropolitan area, Pennsylvania and Connecticut and well as Federal Courts. He has successfully represented general contractors, prime contractors, subcontractors, sub-subcontractors, construction managers, owners, developers, architects, and engineers in matters ranging from small payment disputes to multi-million dollar litigation. When confronted with a potential construction dispute by a client, Peter provides a thorough cost-benefit analysis before commencing any civil or business lawsuit, thoroughly explaining the legal options to the client so they are in the best position possible to make intelligent decisions regarding their case — including whether to seek resolution through alternative dispute resolution, negotiate a settlement, or prepare for and proceed to trial, taking pride in helping his clients obtain successful resolutions that are cost-effective and meet their needs. While litigation is never a desirable outcome, strong and swift enforcement and/or action will get you compensated or protect you from paying too much.
Product liability refers to a manufacturer or seller being held liable for placing a defective product into the hands of a consumer. Responsibility for a product defect that causes injury lies with all sellers of the product who are in the distribution chain. In general terms, the law requires that a product meet the ordinary expectations of the consumer. When a product has an unexpected defect or danger, the product cannot be said to meet the ordinary expectations of the consumer.
Peter has the unique experience of successfully handling products liability matters from both sides, prosecuting cases for plaintiffs during the first half of his career. For the past 9 years, Peter has represented defendants in cases including: Product manufacturers; manufacturer of component parts; parties that assembled or installed the product; wholesalers as well as retailers that sold the product to the consumer.
Peter has successfully handled and defended an array of toxic tort claims involving lead-based paint, CO poisoning, mold, toxic spills and leakages, and industrial chemicals and solvents, including benzene. He has represented clients facing the following types of claims: personal injuries, including cancers and “chemical sensitivities;” property damage claims relating to cost of remediation and repair; alleged design and construction errors resulting in claimed contamination; and alleged failure to properly identify and/or remediate claimed hazards.
Successful defense of toxic tort claims requires both legal knowledge (particularly with respect to how courts handle scientific matters) and technical knowledge with respect to the “toxic” substance at issue in a given case. In addition, because the science and the law in this area can be quite complex, it is important to have an attorney that can engage the plaintiff’s expert on scientific matters, and also explain difficult concepts to a jury.
Peter has represented both small and large employers with a wide variety of employment related issues and can handle all types of employment litigation, as well as employment negotiations. He has assisted employers in drafting, reviewing, and implementing policies, handbooks, severance, non-compete agreements, and in conducting investigations into allegations of discrimination or other employment-related misconduct, plus, handles cases involving discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation claims, wrongful discharge, trade secrets, non-compete agreements, and unfair competition.
Labor and Employment Claims
Peter has represented plaintiffs and defendants in civil rights litigation, making him uniquely useful to defendants. He can handle the defense of corporations, individuals, governments and their employees in claims for civil rights violations. Peter’s general philosophy in these types of cases is to be proactive and utilize cost-conscious case management when possible in the successful defense of civil rights and insurance claims. His extensive trial and appellate experience enables a quick analysis of the key issues of liability and immunity defenses that are central to resolving civil rights claims efficiently and with discretion.
Civil Rights Litigation
Peter represents both defendants and plaintiffs in a wide variety of business disputes including those involving: Contracts; partnerships; limited liability companies; corporations and matters relating to their respective partners, members and/or shareholders; trademark disputes; trade secrets; fiduciary duties, and fraud claims, among others.
General Corporate Litigation
Environmental Law is a complex combination of state, federal, and international treaty law pertaining to issues of concern to the environment and protecting natural resources. For example, environmental laws often relate to issues such as pollution of soil, air, or water; global warming; and depletion of oil, coal, and clean water. Before Peter starting working for his law school’s intense Environmental Litigation Clinic, he had a keen interest in this area of the law. To that end, Peter can handle claims and litigation involving the plethora of environmental laws and regulations including the Clean Water Act (CWA), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA), the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), and National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES).
Intellectual property (“IP”) rights are rooted in Article I of the U.S. Constitution. IP litigation involves disputes relating to the protected creations of the human mind, including discoveries, inventions, artistic works, processes, and products. Since IP is protected by state and federal laws, these disputes are litigated in both court systems, as well as by arbitration and other alternative dispute resolution forums. Peter’s experience includes handling IP litigation, unfair competition litigation, and trade secret litigation. Less and less of these cases are going to trial. Therefore, it is critical to identify and focus on the client's’ business objectives and the most cost-effective means of achieving those objectives. If a creative business resolution is in order, Peter will litigate the case in a manner that will direct the case toward such a resolution. He additionally has extensive experience in the use of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms. From the outset of each case, he explores with clients the potential risks, opportunities and costs associated with various strategies for dispute resolution, including litigation, mediation, arbitration, and negotiated settlements.
Intellectual Property Litigation
Insurance litigation involves the representation of insurers, policyholders and other stakeholders in disputes concerning the meaning, scope and effect of insurance policies and related contracts. The issues implicated in insurance litigation span a number of substantive legal areas. Peter’s experience includes resolving coverage disputes in all types of commercial insurance policies, including general liability, business interruption, professional liability, property, business interruption, directors and officers, errors and omissions, auto/truck/livery liability, life and health policies.
Some examples of the types of coverage issues I handle include:
- Delayed payment or claim denial disputes involving possible bad faith practices on the part of an insurance carrier
- Insurance policy review for business startups and established corporations
- Coverage analysis and opinions
- Litigation of contested or denied claims
- Risk management guidance for self-insured businesses
- Insurance bad faith claims
Insurance Coverage Disputes
Peter has experience defending private lawsuits that allege violations of consumer protection and unfair competition laws. Additionally, Peter represents businesses in inter-company disputes involving unfair business practices, false advertising claims, the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (UTPCPL), New York General Business Law § 349 - deceptive acts and deceptive practices,
Unfair Competition Law, and the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act.