F&P Spotlight on Workers’ Compensation Associate Natalie Johnson

What is your practice area and how did you choose it?

Workers’ compensation defense.  I was a paralegal in the field for many years and I really wanted to see the cases through to the end.

What’s your favorite thing about working with your clients?

The feeling that I am trusted to do a good job and have the knowledge to do so.

What is your favorite aspect of working at F&P?

The people.  Everyone is friendly and willing to help others learn and grow. 

What’s your favorite restaurant/show/event in Baltimore?

I love Tapas Teatro in Charles North.  Get the red sangria on Tuesdays!

What’s your proudest accomplishment?

Somehow managing to attend and graduate law school while working. Whew….

Tell us something about you that few of your colleagues and clients would know.

I dug graves for a pet cemetery that my mother-in-law managed.

What do you like to do outside the office?

Garden, play video and board games, read, explore new restaurants, snuggle with my pets and my hubby, stroll along the streets of my neighborhood: Hampden in Baltimore City.

What is your all-time favorite city or town and why?

Paris. I lived there for a few months while studying abroad in college and it’s just wonderful.  It’s not perfect, which makes it even better.  Its history, people, culture, cuisine, and overall vibe are all fabulous.

What was the best news you ever received?

“It’s not cancer.”  2015 was a rollercoaster of a year.

What is the weirdest thing you have ever eaten?

Beef tongue (yum), a chocolate bar with crickets (meh), jellyfish (meh), tripe (yum), acorn Jell-O (yum), habanero cheesecake (yum)… I’m game to try almost anything once. 

If you could have lunch with anyone in the world who would it be?

Living – Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Deceased –  Lucille Ball

F&P Attorneys Achieve Summary Judgment in Wrongful Death Suit

On Thursday, December 5, 2019, F&P attorneys Imoh Akpan and G. Calvin Awkward, III, successfully achieved summary judgment in a negligent security/wrongful death matter located in Prince George’s County. The case involved a triple murder in an apartment complex. The killer was a known assailant as well as the ex-boyfriend of one of the tenants/decedents. The ex-boyfriend had also been barred from the apartment complex.

The events in the incident transpired as follows. The ex-boyfriend was let into the apartment by the ex-girlfriend’s mother. There was a family gathering going on, and the ex-boyfriend stayed and mingled with the family. After most of the family members left, the ex-boyfriend shot and killed his ex-girlfriend, her mother, and another person. The legal issues were (1) whether there was a duty owed since the murders happened inside the apartment as opposed to the common areas and (2) whether the alleged breach of duty – broken locks on the front door of the apartment building – was the proximate cause of the murders. While there was a perceived dispute about the functionality of the lock to the decedents’ apartment building, there was no dispute that the lock to the front door of their apartment was in working order.

Under Hemmings v. Pelham Wood, LLP, 375 Md. 522 (2003), the fact that an injury happened in the leased premises as opposed to the common area does not absolve or relieve the landlord from its general duty to take reasonable security measures. A plaintiff can claim that failure to remedy a defect in the common area led to an injury in the leased premises. In addition to alleged faulty locks on the front door of the apartment building, the plaintiffs argued that the owner/property manager failed to enforce our barring notice against the ex-boyfriend. Ultimately, the trial court found that there was no proximate causation because even if the ex-boyfriend had entered the apartment building due to the alleged faulty locks, the decedents were still “safe” inside their apartment until they voluntarily let him in.

F&P Attorneys Selected to 2020 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

Super Lawyers has announced its 2020 selections for both Maryland Super Lawyers and Rising Stars. Super Lawyers is a nationally recognized rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Their objective is to create a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of exceptional attorneys to be used as a resource for both attorneys and consumers searching for legal counsel.

Super Lawyer candidates are selected via peer nomination or identification by the research team and are then evaluated using 12 indicating factors. No more than 5% of attorneys in Maryland are selected for the Super Lawyers list and no more than 2.5% are selected as Rising Stars.

2020 Super Lawyers:

Goorevitz, Tamara B. (Transportation)
Handscomb, John J. (Workers’ Compensation)
Jackson, Maija B. (Workers’ Compensation)
Kozlowski, Angela Garcia (Workers’ Compensation)
McKenzie, Laura S. (Workers’ Compensation)
Prokopik, Michael W. (Workers’ Compensation)

2020 Rising Stars:

Akpan, Imoh E. (Civil Litigation: Defense)
Archibald, John K. (Workers’ Compensation)
Bennett, Michael T. (Workers’ Compensation)
Bowen, Renee L. (Transportation)
Rice, Heather A. (Personal Injury General: Defense)
Stewart, Ellen R. (Civil Litigation: Defense)
Temple, III, James J. (Workers’ Compensation)
Toohey, Patrick F. (Civil Litigation: Defense)