3/27/2018: Laura McKenzie Named to Kids’ Chance of MD Board of Directors

F&P principal Laura McKenzie has recently been named to the Kids’ Chance of Maryland’s Board of Directors.  The firm has been an active supporter of Kids’ Chance for a number of years, sponsoring their Educational Scholarship Fundraisers and recently became one of the organization’s annual Silver Sponsors.

 Part of the national Kids’ Chance of America organization, Kids’ Chance of Maryland provides college scholarships to the children of Maryland’s injured workers. Every year, thousands of workers are disabled by on-the-job injuries and, tragically, about 60 workers in Maryland lose their lives every year. Kids’ Chance provides an opportunity for the children of these workers to pursue their higher education, reach their goals, and fulfill their dreams for the future.

3/6/2018: F&P Principals Support Second Harvest Food Bank Project at NRRDA Conference

Last Wednesday, February 28, F&P principals Andrew Stephenson and Angela Garcia Kozlowski volunteered at the Second Harvest Food Bank’s Service Project in their Community Kitchen.  Second Harvest Food Bank provides food access, advocacy, education, and disaster response to 700+ community partners and programs across 23 parishes.  Building upon last year’s support, the outing took place in conjunction with the National Retail and Restaurant Defense Association’s annual conference in New Orleans, LA.

The NRRDA Annual Conference is a collaborative event that aims to provide attendees the opportunity to learn and share information in one place. This year’s three-day event covered a variety of subjects that range from workplace investigations, public relations, chronic pain, employment law updates, accessibility, return to work strategies, and cyber threats on the dark web.  Attendees include risk managers, loss prevention specialists, in-house counsel, defense counsel, claims managers, TPAs, underwriters, HR personnel and insurance carriers.


2/20/2018: F&P Employees Become Game Changers for a Day

Last Friday, February 16, Franklin & Prokopik employees volunteered their time at one of the Living Classrooms’ Healthy Cities Game Changers events. The program was designed to expand the scope and scale of Living Classrooms’ existing initiative to bring nutrition, fitness, and wellness education to a targeted area of East Baltimore known as the Baltimore Target Investment Zone (TIZ).  The events take place on days when Baltimore City schools are closed and provide children a safe and healthy environment.

Throughout the day, children ages 6 through 14 along with volunteers representing companies throughout Baltimore participated in activities such as yoga, volleyball, capture the flag, soccer, jump roping and crafting at the Under Armour House at Fayette.  There was also the opportunity to go ice skating at nearby Patterson Park.  Many of the students had never been on skates before and our employees had the opportunity to share this “first” with them.

Living Classrooms relies on their volunteers to ensure the success of this program. F&P is honored to have had the opportunity to work with this organization and with the bright and gifted youth of Baltimore City.

For more information on Living Classrooms mission, visit their site at https://livingclassrooms.org/.


Game Changers Volunteer Event https://www.flickr.com/photos/franklin_and_prokopik/albums/72157693623511135

2/6/2018: Associate Renee Bowen to Present at MMA February Retreat

Franklin & Prokopik associate Renee L. Bowen is slated to present at the Maryland Motor Coach Association Board of Directors’ retreat next week. She will speaking on the hot button topics of medical marijuana in the work place and the dangers of distracted driving. Renee concentrates much of her practice on liability defense within the trucking and transportation industry as well as premises liability and employment law.

The MMA “Winter Meet & Retreat” will be held February 11-13, 2018 at the Nemacolin Woodland Resort in Farmington, Pa. The MMA is an active trade association representing bus operators as well as the Maryland travel industry in general. For more information about the Maryland Motor Coach Association events, activities or membership please visit www.marylandmotorcoach.org.

1/3/2018: F&P Announces 2018 Attorney Promotions to Principal and Counsel

Franklin & Prokopik rings in the new year announcing that three of the firm’s counsel have been promoted to firm principal and one associate has been promoted to counsel.  Demonstrating their acumen both in the courtroom and at F&P, they have distinguished themselves within the legal community.  The firm congratulates these four members of the F&P family and thanks them for their hard work and dedication.

Franklin & Prokopik’s new principals and counsel are:

Jennifer Helsel, principal, Herndon

Gregory Kennedy, principal, West Virginia

Sarah Lemmert, counsel, Baltimore

Barbara Thompson, principal, Baltimore

12/21/2017: F&P and BCA Celebrate the Holidays with Donations to Toys for Tots

The Baltimore Claims Association (BCA) held its annual holiday party on December 14, 2017. As active members of this organization, several representatives from F&P attended the yearly festivities.

The BCA teams with Toys for Tots for this event and asks that each guest bring a new unwrapped toy to be donated.  Several years ago, administrative assistant, Wanda Shaw, believed that F&P could play a larger role and instituted a Toys for Tots program in the Baltimore office. Each November, boxes are set up near the reception desks and employees have a month to fill the boxes with goodies to make the holiday brighter for area children. This year, more than 100 new toys were collected by F&P employees and were given to the BCA to be donated to Toys for Tots. F&P thanks all the employees who participated this year and we look forward to giving gifts and smiles each holiday season to come.


12/15/2017: Delaware Decision Prohibits “Owned-but-Uninsured” Exclusion from Restricting and Insured’s UIM Coverage

Delaware courts continue to refine the case law related to uninsured (“UM”) and underinsured motorist coverage (“UIM”) as codified in 18 Del. C. § 3902.  In proceeding with a UIM claim, an insured bears the burden of establishing that a particular loss falls under the coverage provisions of the applicable insurance policy.  If met, the burden then shifts to the insurer to establish that a policy exclusion applies to preclude such coverage.

In a recent decision by the Delaware Superior Court, the Court concluded that “owned-but-uninsured” exclusions in insurance policies are invalid as they relate to the availability of UIM coverage.  In Jessica Lee v. GEICO Choice Insurance Company, Plaintiff filed a claim for UIM coverage after settlement with a tortfeasor for damages she incurred in a motor vehicle accident.  Upon submission of the claim, Plaintiff learned her policy had been canceled prior to the accident for failure to make premium payments.  At the time of the collision, Plaintiff resided in the same household as her sister, who had a separate insurance policy with GEICO that also provided for UIM coverage.  Plaintiff submitted a claim under her sister’s policy, which was denied by GEICO, and the lawsuit followed.

The Court evaluated Plaintiff ’s claims in the context of prior UIM case law.  As Delaware courts have held, UIM coverage is personal to the insured, rather than vehicle-related.  The Court first found it to be “undisputed” that Plaintiff qualified as an insured under her sister’s policy, which was defined to include “[r]elatives of [the named insured] if residents of his household.”  The burden then shifted to GEICO to establish that the owned-but-uninsured exclusion applied to preclude coverage.

The Court evaluated the nature of UIM coverage as personal to the insured in the context of Frank v. Horizon Assur. Co., which also held other-motor-vehicle exclusions void as against public policy.  Unlike Delaware’s no-fault insurance law, 18 Del. C. § 3902 does not include language authorizing the use of exclusions “customary to the field”. The absence of this language led the Courts in Frank and, subsequently, Lee, to conclude that any exclusions and/or restrictions to UIM coverage must be specifically authorized by statute.  Furthermore, the Court in Lee held that owned-but-uninsured exclusions are contrary to the public policy behind § 3902, which is “the protection of innocent persons from the negligence of unknown or impecunious tortfeasors.”  In light of this holding, the Court said it need not address the coverage status of Plaintiff ’s own vehicle.

Although the Lee decision does not significantly alter the landscape of UIM case law, it underlines Delaware courts’ emphasis on the public policy behind UM/UIM coverage as codified in 18 Del. C. § 3902.  As the courts continue to adjudicate cases involving UM/UIM coverage, insurers must be mindful of the expansive nature of the statute and the court’s deference to the protection of insureds who contract for such coverage. For more information on this article, contact Noelle Torrice at  ntorrice@fandpnet.com

11/22/2017: Tamara Goorevitz Covers Shramm v. Foster Case at 50th Transportation Law Institute

On November 10, 2017, Franklin & Prokopik principal, Tamara Goorevitz spoke in Norfolk, Va. at the 50th Transportation Law Institute (TLI). Tamara has worked extensively in trucking and transportation law, including liability defense and insurance coverage actions.  Tamara’s panel was titled “ The Jubilee Panel! Half-Century Game Changers that Rocked the Transpo World! And How They Impact Our Practices Today,” which explained the top 10 transportation-related, regulatory, statutory and case law developments that have shaped our transportation and logistics practices over the last 50 years. Specifically, Tamara covered the topic of Schramm v. Foster: The Decision that Ushered in the Era of Broker Liability. This case found that shippers may be liable for negligence when hiring truckers.

The TLI program includes an innovative and forward-looking curriculum designed to keep attendees abreast of the latest developments and to prepare for future challenges as transportation attorneys. Encompassing material of interest for attorneys specializing in every mode of transportation, the program covered cargo and casualty, litigation and corporate practice, and, ethics.  The Transportation Law Institute is hosted by the Transportation Lawyers Association who works with transportation attorneys to educate them on legal changes affecting the transportation community. For more information, visit https://translaw.org/Pages/default.aspx.

11/10/17: Imoh Akpan Co-chairs UB’s Fanny Angelos Program Gala

F&P was proud to sponsor and attend last night’s Fannie Angelos Program for Academic Excellence 4th Annual Gala.  The event is co-chaired by F&P principal Imoh Akpan.

Each November, the gala is held in an opulent setting at the Belvedere Hotel and features dinner, drinks, and wonderful speakers from throughout Maryland’s legal community.  This year, speakers included Kurt Schmoke, president, University of Baltimore, Kristen Clarke, president and executive director, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and Kai Jackson, Anchor for Fox 45 News.  The event is a celebration of the unique, history-making program, which won the American Bar Association’s 2017 Diversity Leadership Award.

The Fannie Angelos Program for Academic Excellence is the result of a unique collaboration between the University of Baltimore School of Law and Maryland’s four Historically Black Colleges and Universities (Morgan State, Coppin State, Bowie State, and University of Maryland Eastern Shore). The Program helps prepare top undergraduate students both to enter law school and to excel once they are admitted. The Program, one of the most successful of its kind in the nation, has helped over 90 students gain admission to Law School.

11/3/2017: Sarah Lemmert to Speak at Upcoming NBI HR Law Seminar

Associate attorney Sarah S. Lemmert will be speaking at the National Business Institute’s “Human Resource Law from A to Z” seminar on November 14-15.  The seminar will take place at the the Holiday Inn in Timonium, MD, and Sarah will be speaking on both “Workers’ Compensation Basics” and “Marijuana and Opioid Use in the Workplace.”

The NBI HR Law seminar is an extensive two-day course that covers all of the hot-button issues that every HR professional should know, not only to avoid lawsuits, but to ensure that all employees are happy and productive.  Experienced faculty will show attendees how to handle such issues as employee leaves, problem behaviors in the workplace, and what essential information should be included in employee handbooks.  For more information, visit https://www.nbi-sems.com/ProductDetails/77194ER.

NBI holds live, in-person seminars in all 50 states and Puerto Rico and has one of the largest and most diverse catalogs of legal courses, taught by experienced practitioners from local areas with state-specific content and resources.  They serve professionals in the legal industry as well as business, banking, insurance, accounting, human resources, real estate, education and government.