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Legal Notes



            Legal Notes
                                                                                                 Ryen &
                                                                                                 Mittleman, LLP

September 2003

In this issue:                                        Personal-injury services focus on
Personal-injury services                              helping people when they need it most
focus on helping people
when they need it most
Firm members care about injured clients

New office serves eastside
Linden Oaks site is convenient to
Brighton, Pittsford, Penfield and more

Protecting your investments
Firm offers broker-accountability services

Computer system changes
mean better service for you
Technology improvements                                 Jacqueline Thomas and Peter Rodgers —
create service improvements                                  caring about clients in crisis.

                                                                    hen people think of          where I spend most of my time is in
Firm news                                                                                        personal injury.”
                                                                    personal-injury cases
Achievements and honors                                             or lawyers, their first           Rodgers sees personal injury as
                                                      reaction may not be positive. At           an arena with both emotional and
Our attorneys                                         Lacy, Katzen, Ryen & Mittleman,            intellectual rewards: “This is a
                                                      LLP, this important area of the law        challenging area of the law,” he said.
Louis A. Ryen           Jacqueline M. Thomas          reflects only the highest standards of     “Every case is unique and different,
Ronald A. Mittleman     Herbert W. Lacy
Michael S. Schnittman         (1920-1989)             professionalism and service to clients.    and presents new challenges. I enjoy
Peter T. Rodgers        Leon Katzen                        “I have the unique opportunity to     the complexity of each new case,
Sally A. Smith          ---------------------------   help people when they are in the           especially medical ones — I often
Karen Schaefer          David D. MacKnight            greatest need of legal help — often at     have to learn about something
Richard G. Curtis       Denine K. Carr                                                           completely new. I enjoy that intellec-
Lawrence J. Schwind     Matthew A. Ryen
                                                      the most difficult point of their lives,
David E. Anderson       Jennifer L. Chadwick          when their livelihood or good health       tual challenge.”
Craig R. Welch          Joanne Constantino            has been taken away and they need               Over the years, according to
Christopher B.          Lara R. Badain                representation to right a wrong,” said     Rodgers, the firm has handled more
     Mumford            Suzanne L. Cognata            Managing Partner Peter T. Rodgers,         than a thousand personal-injury cases.
Leslie W. Kernan Jr.    Kevin A. Morabito
Terrance W. Emmens      Daniel S. Bryson              Esq. “I’ve been practicing law for 27      Some people come to Lacy, Katzen
Mark H. Stein           Lisa C. Arrington             years, as a trial lawyer. The area                  Continued on page 2
Personal injury, continued                                                                       Thomas brings a unique perspec-
for help with such cases because they            Bringing a personal-injury case            tive to the personal-injury practice,

already have retained the firm for                  f you are considering a personal-       because she represented insurance
their other legal needs; others because             injury case, keep these tips in         companies in the past. Her knowledge
they have been referred by friends,                 mind.                                   of insurance-coverage issues and how
clients of the firm and even other                  • Contact us promptly— don’t let        insurance companies handle cases are
lawyers. “A lot of these matters come          time run out on a legitimate personal-       invaluable tools in helping clients.
                                               injury claim. We may need to give
to us from first-time clients,” Rodgers                                                          Clients may recognize Thomas
                                               prompt notice of your claim.
noted. “An injury is likely to be a                 • Collect and organize your             from a photo in a display at the
rather unusual event in someone’s              records; “the more information you           Rochester International Airport
life.”                                         can provide, the easier it is to proceed     promoting St. John Fisher College.
     The firm handles all types of             and the better we can serve you.”            “Fisher wanted to start a society for
personal-injury cases. The most                     • Don’t talk to others about your       graduates with legal careers, and
common cases involve automobile                case.                                        asked me to be on a steering commit-
accidents; injuries on a premise or                 Once you contact Lacy, Katzen           tee to get the society off the ground,”
property; product liability — injuries         for help, we will:                           she recalled.” A feature on law and
from unsafe or defective products,                  • Meet with you to discuss your         justice for a commencement brochure
including consumer items and drugs;                                                         became the airport promotion.
                                                    • Assess the case and its potential
hospital- and medical-negligence; and          for success.                                 “Seeing it was a shock, since it’s
nursing-home negligence.                            • Help you deal with related            ‘larger than life,’ but I’ve gotten lots
     “We only take those cases that are        insurance issues and paperwork.              of compliments from people.”
meritorious,” noted Rodgers.“There                  As is the standard in the legal              A new mom, Thomas has found
has to be real wrongdoing to the               profession, Lacy, Katzen handles             that parenthood has affected her view
client. We often advise people not to          personal-injury cases on a contin-           of the law and the work world by
initiate a case, because we will not           gency basis; you only pay for legal          giving her a greater appreciation for
take frivolous cases.”                         services if we win your case.                the consequences of injuries on an
     The firm looks at what an inci-                To talk about a case, call us at        entire family, rather than only the
                                               (585) 454-5650.
dent may have cost someone before                                                           injured person. “It is very rewarding
accepting a case. “The nature of                                                            to be able to help people through
disability, lost earnings, future lost            “What I find most rewarding               difficult times in their lives,” she said.
earnings, current and future medical          about personal-injury work or cases is             Rodgers and Thomas define
expenses — all of these are factors,”         helping people who have serious               personal-injury law in terms of the
said Rodgers.                                 problems in their lives,” said Thomas.        client: “A person whose life has been
     The other key player in Lacy,            “They’ve been hurt, are often unable          changed because of another’s negli-
Katzen’s personal-injury practice is          to work, and don’t know whom to               gence feels a deep sense of injustice.
Jacqueline M. Thomas, Esq., known             turn to for help. We often are their          The tort law allows an individual to
as a strong advocate for her clients.         only port in a storm.”                        seek justice in a civilized manner.”

                                    “Who’s who” — Rodgers and Thomas
      • Peter Rodgers has a BA from Fordham University;           York State Trial Lawyers Association; Genesee Valley Trial
 earned his juris doctor degree from the State University of      Lawyers Association; and Association of Trial Lawyers of America
 New York at Buffalo; and has been admitted to the New            and its American Board of Trial Advocates. He is a trustee of
 York State Bar and the U.S. District Court, Western              McQuaid Jesuit High School.
 District of New York. He joined the firm on graduating                Rodgers enjoys bicycling, skiing and running — he ran in a
 from law school in 1976, and has written and lectured            marathon in Dublin, Ireland — and spending time with his wife
 frequently on how to develop, present and try personal-          and two sons.
 injury cases.                                                         • Jacqueline Thomas has been practicing law since 1991. She
      Rodgers serves as chair of the Grievance Committee          is a Rochester native; one of the first class of girls to go through
 for the 7th Judicial District, which reviews complaints          The Aquinas Institute; and a graduate of St. John Fisher College
 against lawyers involving violations of ethical and              and Union University’s Albany Law School. She joined Lacy,
 professional rules. He has served as a trustee of the            Katzen in 1994, after working for a firm in Albany but finding that
 Monroe County Bar Association; chair of the                      she and her husband preferred to return to Rochester, where they
 association’s Courts Committee; and member of its Bench          were born and raised. She serves on the Aquinas board of trustees,
 & Bar and Personal Injury Law committees. He is a                and has been a volunteer trainer with the Humane Society of
 member of the New York State Bar Association, New                Rochester.
                                                                                       The duty of your stockbroker
New office in Linden Oaks makes it
                                                                                                uring the past three years, many
                                                                                                individuals have suffered losses
easier for “eastsiders” to receive service                                                      in their brokerage accounts due
                                                                                       to downturns in the stock markets. Your
                                                                                       brokerage firm and your stockbroker are
                                                                                       not guarantors of investments made on
                                                                                       your behalf, even if they were responsible
                                                                                       for recommending the investments. How-
                                                                                       ever, they are obligated to determine your
                                                                                       investment objectives and recommend
                                                                                       investments that are suitable, based upon
                                                                                       your age, financial situation and invest-
                                                                                       ment objectives. Your brokerage firm and
                                                                                       your stockbroker may be held account-
                                                                                       able for losses sustained as a result of
                                                                                       investments that are determined to be
                                                                                       unsuitable for you.
                                                                                            The next issue of Legal Notes will
                                                                                       feature our services in the area of
                                                                                       stockbroker duty. In the meantime, if you
                                                                                       have concerns in this area, please call to
                                                                                       see how we can be of service.

                                                                                       Expanded technology
                                                                                       to result in better service
         lients on the “eastside” of the   new space regularly. “I have many

         Rochester area have a new         clients in the Brighton-Penfield-                    acy, Katzen will respond to
         resource from Lacy, Katzen.       Pittsford area. This new site should                 clients’ calls and requirements
The firm recently opened an office at      be especially convenient for them,”                  a little faster and ever-more
the Linden Oaks complex to better          Bryson said.                                efficiently in the near future, thanks
serve clients in areas such as                  The new office is another ex-          to a new computerized case-manage-
Brighton, Penfield, Pittsford/Palmyra      ample of the firm’s philosophy that         ment system.
and other eastern sections of the          “no matter whom you need for any                 “We won’t become too high-
metropolitan area and county.              legal issue, our attorneys will be          tech,” promised Suzanne Mayer, the
     “This is basically a convenience,     happy to meet clients at the site most      firm’s director. “We are focusing on
to make it easier for our clients to       convenient for you,” said Ryen.             developing more sensitive responses
meet with their attorneys,” said                Please note that there is no           to clients. The new system supports
Karen Schaefer, Esq. “People living        “walk-in” service at Linden Oaks; to        these efforts by making it easier to
on the eastside could come downtown        meet with a Lacy, Katzen attorney           handle the details and specifics of
to our main office or go out to the        there, clients must call first. Just call   each case.”
Canandaigua office, but this will be       (585) 454-5650.                                  The new system will
closer for many people. It’s ideal —                                                   be installed in three
we picked this site because it’s right                                                 segments over the next
off I490 at Route 441, and visible                                                     few months. “As we
from the highway. It’s also accessible                                                 invest in new equip-
via 390 and 590.”                                                                      ment and training, please be
     Schaefer, who concentrates her                                                    patient — there may be a few
practice in business law and estate                                                    glitches or delays as we get used to
planning, wills and related areas, will                                                this new system and environment,”
be the main partner onsite at Linden                                                   noted Mayer.
Oaks. Matthew Ryen and Dan                                                                  If you have suggestions about
Bryson, who practice in real estate                                                    how we can continue to improve our
law; and Suzanne Cognata (formerly                                                     services, please feel free to contact
Amico), who practices matrimonial              Karen Schaefer, Matthew Ryen and        Mayer at (585) 454-5650, ext. 1246,
and family law, also expect to use the                Suzanne Cognata.                 or
Firm news                                         • Denine Carr is the new Member-           sponsored by The Council and Lorman in
     • Lacy, Katzen, Ryen & Mittleman        ship chair for the 2003-2004 year for the       September and November respectively.
LLP has been recognized for high             Greater Rochester Association for                    • Founding Partner Leon Katzen
professional legal standards and ethics in   Women Attorneys (GRAWA). She                    celebrated his 85th birthday in July.
the 2003 Bar Register of Preeminent          received the President’s Award in May                • Karen Schaefer has been elected
Lawyers, 87th Edition.                       2003 from last year’s outgoing president,       to the Business Law Section council of
     • The Rochester Business Journal        now Magistrate Judge Marian Payson,             the Monroe County Bar Association.
ranked Lacy, Katzen #8 of the 25 largest     acknowledging her work as last year’s                • The firm newsletter has a new
local law firms. The listing was published   chair of GRAWA’s Family and Careers             editor, Ruth E. Thaler-Carter, whose
in the August 15, 2003, issue.               Committee.                                      family is a long-time firm client. She is
     • Lisa Arrington is serving as               Carr spoke about “Sexual and Other         an award-winning freelance writer/editor
secretary to the executive board of the      Unlawful Harassment” at a recent                who specializes in newsletters and
Greater Rochester Area Partnership for       seminar sponsored by the Sterling               communications for associations, not-for-
the Elderly (GRAPE).                         Institute, and will speak at seminars           profit organizations and businesses.

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