F&P Spotlight on Associate Robert Hunt

What is your practice area and how did you choose it?
Workers’ Compensation.  I wanted to be in the courtroom and doing WC got me there the quickest.

What’s your favorite thing about working with your clients?
When a client comes to me with a case that has a bunch of moving parts, they are not sure what they should do, and we develop a plan and they are relieved and appreciative.  The satisfaction of helping that person is the best.

What is your favorite aspect about working at F&P?
It is a place where you develop.  You are not stuck in a basement doing doc review.  You are given cases, discretion, and set on your way. 

What’s your favorite restaurant/show/event?
We moved offices in the last few years so I will give you two places.  In Wilmington – Libby’s.  This is an old Greek diner that is a staple in the legal and local community.  On any given day, you can find a supreme court justice sitting a table over having a turkey club.  We are now in Newark and I found my new favorite pizza shop – Tony’s Café.  This is a tiny shop in a strip mall that you cannot see from the road but it is amazing.  Try the Grandma’s slice!

What’s your proudest accomplishment?
It is a simple thing.  There was one case where I predicted my opponent’s closing arguments so well that my prepared remarks completely refuted their points.  The attorney called me after and congratulated me on the win – before the Decision was issued.

What do you like to do outside the office?
I have two young children so any physical activity that wears them down!  Individually, I like to golf, cook, read, and support my Eagles.

Have you read any good books or seen any good movies this year that you would recommend?
Re-reading the Wheel of Time Series.  Dr. Sleep – the sequel to The Shining – was quite good.

What is your favorite food?
Any kind of pasta.

What is your all-time favorite city or town and why?
Philadelphia.  I grew up nearby and ended up living there for about 10 years during and after law school. 

What was the best news you ever received?
My wife telling me she’s pregnant with our firstborn.

What is the weirdest thing you have ever eaten?
Goat tacos.  Not the greatest of all time.

If you could have lunch with anyone in the world who would it be?
Jack Nicholson.  Just for the stories alone.

F&P Welcomes New Attorneys

Franklin & Prokopik would like to welcome four associates to the firm. 

Matt Healy joins the Baltimore office as a liability associate who also practices in insurance defense. Before joining F&P, Matt worked with another Baltimore firm and handled general civil litigation matters, insurance defense, and legal support to local Maryland governments. Matt was also a Rule 19-217 Student-Attorney in the Post-Conviction and Appellate Advocacy Clinic where he represented indigent criminal defendants on direct appeals of their convictions.

Alexandra Monaco is the newest liability attorney in Richmond. She focuses her practice on liability defense in the Richmond Metropolitan, Central Virginia, Southeastern Virginia, and Hampton Roads areas. Alexandra’s clients range from national companies to small businesses, which she defends against premises, products, construction, commercial trucking, and transportation liability claims.

Prior to joining F&P, Jessica Pupkin represented clients in various civil litigation matters, including accident/injury/tort claims. Jessica has always been passionate about a career in litigation. However, she knew she wanted to focus her civil defense career after clerking for the Honorable John S. Nugent in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City. Jessica is resident in our Baltimore office.

Joining Herndon’s workers’ compensation team, Danielle Takacs previously worked for the Environmental Protection Agency as a Federal Facilities Enforcement Office Law Clerk. She was an articles editor on the William & Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review.

8/20/2020: F&P Attorneys Receive “Best Lawyers” and “Ones to Watch” Accolades

“Best Lawyers” recently announced its designees for “Best Lawyers” and “Ones to Watch” for 2021. Baltimore principal, Ralph Arnsdorf received “Best Lawyers” for Litigation – Construction, and Bert Randall was honored in the categories of Employment Law – Management and Workers’ Compensation Law. Principal Lynn Fitzpatrick, resident in our Herndon office received the designation for Workers’ Compensation Law – Employers.

This year, “Best Lawyers” added a “Ones to Watch” category, and the attorneys selected include:

Jessica Ayd – Construction Law and Insurance Law

James Hetzel – Commercial Litigation and Transportation Law

Elena Patarinski – Product Liability Litigation

“Best Lawyers” is a peer-review process where lawyers are assessed by their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area and who have been in practice for more than 10 years. “Ones to Watch” are awarded to attorneys who have been in practice for five to nine years and is also based solely on peer review. To learn more about “Best Lawyers,” visit www.bestlawyers.com.

8/6/2020: Imoh Akpan Featured in Yesterday’s Issue of DRI’s The Voice

F&P principal, Imoh Akpan, is featured in yesterday’s issue of DRI’s The Voice. His article, “We Have a Responsibility Too” discusses the importance of race consciousness in the legal profession. “If we want to see change and more opportunities for lawyers from underrepresented backgrounds, we all have a role to play and a responsibility to pay forward the opportunities that were bestowed on us,” says Imoh.

To read the entire article, please click on the link http://dri.org/docs/default-source/webdocs/the-voice/2020/july/voice_8_5_20_voices.pdf 

The DRI, the Voice of the Defense Bar, is an organization comprised of defense attorneys and in-house counsel. Imoh is a member of the planning committee for the DRI Diversity for Success Expo. To learn more about the DRI, visit their website at dri.org.


7/7/2020: Steve Marshall Presents at the 2020 CLM Cyber, Management and Professional Liability Conference

F&P principal, Steve Marshall is co-presenting on “Litigation in Sound Bites: How to Prepare a Case in the New Millennium” today, July 7, at the 2020 CLM Cyber, Management & Professional Liability Conference. The presentation addresses technological challenges in today’s world and the best practice for trial and litigation regarding social media in discovery. Steve will also discuss the use of exhibits during litigation, case theme strategies, evaluating a case early for settlement, and “how to avoid the ‘reptile’ plaintiff.”

The CLM is a member of The Institutes with a membership of about 45,000 professionals in the claims and litigation management industries. For more information, visit The CLM’s website at https://www.theclm.org/.



Tamara Goorevitz to Speak On Implications of Liability Claims Amid the COVID Pandemic

F&P principal Tamara Goorevitz is speaking in a two-part webinar series titled “COVID King: Investigating and Defending the Liability Mayhem and Madness” hosted by USLAW on June 9 at 3:0o pm.

As business and government navigate the complex issues regarding re-opening businesses, insurance, and risk management specialists will inevitably face COVID-19 related liability claims and must lay the groundwork on how to investigate and defend these claims. This webinar will also address how the CDC and Executive Orders will impact these extraordinary challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The series will explore the following topics: what are potential liability claims, how do Executive Orders and CDC guidelines affect potential liability, what causation issues may arise, and what to expect regarding experts. Michael Kunsch of Sweeney & Sheehan, P.C., will be co-facilitate with Tamara.

To find out more about this session or to register for Part 2 (June 9 at 3 p.m. ET), click bordering the link REGISTER.

Visit USLAW’s website at https://web.uslaw.org to find out more about USLAW.


Jury Finds Willful Misconduct Bars Compensability in High Exposure Case

F&P attorney Mike Bennett successfully defended a workers’ compensation claim for benefits by convincing a jury that the claimant’s actions amounted to willful misconduct.

The case was tried before the Honorable Dwight Jackson in the Circuit Court for Calvert County on February 13 and 14, 2020. The jury’s decision saved the employer, a treatment facility that provides mental health services exclusively for first responders, considerable exposure due to the nature of the injuries involved in the accident.

The claimant was employed as a nursing assistant and was attempting to gain access to the nurses’ station to assist a patient who had just finished treatment.

The door that normally would have been used to gain access to the station was locked, resulting in the claimant being separated from the station by a barricade that was approximately three feet tall and four feet wide.  The evidence showed that there were numerous options available to the claimant to unlock the door and safely gain access to the station, including three master keys within just a short walk.  Instead of exploring these options, the claimant decided to transverse the barricade with the assistance of the patient, and in the process, ended up with numerous injuries that required multiple surgeries.

Generally speaking, it can be very difficult for employers and insurers to prevail on a willful misconduct defense for a number of reasons.  For starters, there is a statutory presumption that an injured worker did not engage in willful misconduct.  If the defense can overcome this presumption, they must then prove that an accident meets five separate and distinct elements.  If any of those elements fail, so does the entire defense of willful misconduct.

One of the five elements of willful misconduct is that the employer has a rule prohibiting the action that caused the accident. This particular element forced the defense to get creative as the employer did not have an explicit rule against employees climbing over barricades.  Instead, Mike Bennett argued to the jury that there was an implied rule against this specific action.  In order to buttress this position, the defense introduced testimony from witnesses that they collectively have never seen or heard of anyone climbing over a nurses’ station while working in the field.  The jury agreed with Mr. Bennett in convincing fashion, as it took just 15 minutes to reach its verdict.

F&P Spotlight on Associate Patrick Toohey

What’s your favorite thing about working with your clients?
We’re in the business of minimizing risk and saving money for our clients. To that end, a good result is extremely gratifying and our clients aren’t shy about expressing their satisfaction.

What is your favorite aspect about working at F&P?
The comradery. We are all interested in each other’s success.

What’s your favorite restaurant/show/event in Baltimore (city where the person practices)?
Locust Point (“LP”) Steamers. Best crabs in Baltimore.

What’s your proudest accomplishment?
Securing a reversal in my first district court appeal in circuit court.

What do you like to do outside the office?
Play a lot of golf.

What is your all-time favorite city or town and why?
Baltimore, of course. 

Andrew Stephenson is Honored with ACTA Invitation

F&P principal Andrew Stephenson has received the honor of being invited to join the American College of Transportation Attorneys (ACTA). This select group limits membership to only 25 members, comprised of transportation defense lawyers, all serving more than 20 years in the trucking industry. Andrew is a seasoned civil litigator, with a primary focus on defending companies against civil suits involving catastrophic losses. He also defends corporations and individuals in civil matters involving commercial transportation, construction, paratransit, intentional torts, premises, and products liability.

ACTA, a non-profit association, serves as a legal resource to the trucking industry. F&P founding member, Bob Franklin, was also a founding member of ACTA and served until his death in 2013. For more information about ACTA, please visit their website at http://www.actalawgroup.org/.