F&P Spotlight on Workers’ Comp Counsel Jennifer Hare

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

Workers’ compensation and liability defense; workers’ comp chose me!  Following my judicial clerkship, my first private practice associate position included workers’ compensation work and I grew to love it.

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

The people at F&P are wonderful.

What was the best news you ever received?

That I was going to have my son; a couple of years later, that I was going to have my daughter.

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

Is Disney World a city?  It has streets and citizens…

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

Assuming that this question allows for time travel, Jane Austen.  I believe I would enjoy her company immensely.

What is the weirdest thing you have ever eaten?

Chocolate-covered crickets.  Plus, my daughter “cooks” me lots of interesting things in her play kitchen.

F&P Attorneys Continue to Participate in Law School Diversity Programs

F&P associate Vernon Brownlee credits the University of Baltimore’s Fanny Angelos Program for Academic Excellence for helping him achieve his goal of attending law school. Vernon and Adam Shareef, also an associate at F&P, attended a hearing before a Senate panel in support of a bill that would distribute state funds into programs sponsored by Maryland’s historically black colleges and universities. The University of Maryland’s Diversity and Inclusion Scholars Initiative and the University of Baltimore’s Fanny Angelos Program for Academic Excellence would be beneficiaries of this funding.

F&P has been a longtime supporter of Fanny Angelos and believes programs such as these are imperative to achieve better diversity and inclusion efforts in the legal industry.  The firm sponsors its annual gala, which principal Imoh Akpan Co-Chairs.

For more information on Senate Bill 335, click on the link to read the complete article which was first published in the Daily Record on February 12, 2020. Senate bill would help fund diversity programs at law schools – Maryland Daily Record

Winter Welcomes New Employees to F&P

Franklin & Prokopik hired two workers’ compensation associates and two liability associates to join our Baltimore and Newark offices this winter.

Megan Berey joined the Baltimore office as a workers’ comp attorney. Before joining F&P, Megan litigated large volume dockets in the district court as an assistant state’s attorney for Baltimore County. Before working with F&P, she worked full time as a law clerk in the Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s Office while attending law school at night, graduating in three years.

Michael Torrice is the newest member of the Newark liability team. He concentrates his practice in the areas of general liability defense, premises liability, trucking, and transportation defense and insurance coverage. Prior to joining Franklin & Prokopik, Michael Torrice defended employers in workers’ compensation cases before the Industrial Accident Board of the State of Delaware and was part of a litigation team defending federal securities fraud matters before the District of Delaware.

Vernon Brownlee joined the liability team in Baltimore after serving as an Assistant State’s Attorney (ASA) for Prince George’s County, Maryland. There he managed large volume dockets, misdemeanor criminal cases, and select high-profile felony cases. Vernon concentrates his practice primarily in the area of liability defense, representing clients in matters such as accident, injury, and tort claims, and property loss matters.

Marleigh Davis joined the workers’ comp team in Baltimore. She knew she wanted to focus her career in litigation after clerking for the Honorable Lawrence P. Fletcher-Hill in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City.  During law school, Marleigh was an Associate Comments Editor with the University of Baltimore Law Review and a Rule 19-220 Student Attorney in the Juvenile Justice Project clinic.


F&P Attorney John Simanski Secures Defense Verdict in Recent District Court Trial

On February 3, 2020, F&P associate, John Simanski, received a judgment in favor of the defense in Baltimore City District Court.  The case stemmed from a July 21, 2018 accident in Baltimore City involving Boma Kollie and a driver employed by the defendant.

The plaintiff alleged that the driver of the fuel truck, who was driving in the left lane on Pratt Street, had veered into the middle lane and struck the plaintiff’s vehicle from the right.  However, the driver’s recollection of the events mirrored the independent eyewitnesses to the accident, which was that the driver never changed lanes and did not veer into the middle lane.  Instead, the plaintiff had made the unsafe lane change.

At trial, Simanski argued that the driver acted as a reasonable person and never changed lanes while operating his vehicle on Pratt Street, and that that the plaintiff breached her duty to the driver when she negligently attempted to change lanes to access the parking lot at the location of the accident. The driver also testified that this was a route he took daily and when he turned onto Pratt Street, he always stayed in the left lane until he reached President Street where he would turn onto the Jones Falls Expressway.  The driver would have no reason to alter his route or change lanes. In addition, the eyewitness testified that the plaintiff stated, after the accident, that she was trying to make a left turn into a parking lot at the intersection of Pratt and South Street.

The judge sided with the defense, finding that the plaintiff attempted to make a left turn onto South Street and did not see the fuel truck, and caused the accident.  As a result, the judge found that the plaintiff was the sole and proximate cause of the accident, ruling in favor of the defense.