Burns White attorneys Podheiser, Diaz quoted in Allegheny County Bar Association Lawyers Journal

Pittsburgh, Oct. 8, 2010 – Burns White Member Ira Podheiser and Associate Carlos Diaz were quoted in separate articles in the Oct. 8 edition of the Allegheny County Bar Association Lawyers Journal.

Podheiser’s comments are located on page 8 of a story that begins on the front page titled “ACBA Diversity Initiative sees positive progress and growth,” while Diaz is quoted in the page 4 article titled “Hispanic Attorneys Committee to sponsor Heritage Celebration Oct. 14.”

Click here for the Oct. 8 edition of Allegheny County Bar Association Lawyers Journal.

Burns White Earns National and Regional Acclaim in Multiple Practice Areas

Pittsburgh, Sept. 22, 2010 — Burns White has received both national and regional acclaim in the inaugural U.S. News & World Report/Best Lawyers® Best Law Firms Rankings for 2010. Burns White is one of only 10 out of 120 firms with Pittsburgh offices to receive a first-tier national ranking in any category. It is the only firm in Pennsylvania to receive a First-Tier National ranking in Railroad Law practice and also just one of 16 firms in the entire country to earn this particular honor in the Railroad Law category. “This honor is meaningful because it reflects the dedication of our attorneys and their continued efforts to maximize the return that our clients invest in us every day,” said Founding Member David White. “We take great pride in the partnerships we’ve established with our clients across all practice areas and are flattered to be included among the elite group of firms represented in these rankings,” added David Damico, Transportation Group Practice Head and Member of the firm’s Executive Committee. Burns White’s Pittsburgh office also earned First-Tier Metropolitan rankings in Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants, Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants, and Railroad Law, as well as a Second-Tier Metropolitan ranking in Antitrust Law and a Third-Tier Metropolitan ranking in General Commercial Litigation. The Burns White Wheeling, W. Va., office also earned First-Tier Metropolitan rankings for the Morgantown, W. Va., area in Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants and Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants. The rankings, including 30,322 rankings of 8,782 law firms nationally, in 81 practice areas, are posted online at www.usnews.com/bestlawfirms; the national first-tier rankings will be featured in the October print issue of U.S.News & World Report, which is available for purchase beginning September 27. The methodology for the U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” involved surveying thousands of law firm clients; leading lawyers and law firm managers, partners and associates, marketing officers and recruiting officers. Each was asked about the factors they considered vital for clients hiring law firms, for lawyers choosing a firm to refer a legal matter to, and for lawyers seeking employment. Full data is available online for the law firms that received rankings, from the largest firms in the country to hundreds of one-person and two-person law firms, providing a comprehensive view of the U.S. legal profession that is unprecedented both in the range of firms represented and in the range of qualitative and quantitative data used to develop the rankings. ###

Burns White Earns National and Regional Acclaim in Multiple Practice Areas

Pittsburgh, Sept. 22, 2010 — Burns White has received both national and regional acclaim in the inaugural U.S. News & World Report/Best Lawyers® Best Law Firms Rankings for 2010. Burns White is one of only 10 out of 120 firms with Pittsburgh offices to receive a first-tier national ranking in any category. It is the only firm in Pennsylvania to receive a First-Tier National ranking in Railroad Law practice and also just one of 16 firms in the entire country to earn this particular honor in the Railroad Law category. “This honor is meaningful because it reflects the dedication of our attorneys and their continued efforts to maximize the return that our clients invest in us every day,” said Founding Member David White. “We take great pride in the partnerships we’ve established with our clients across all practice areas and are flattered to be included among the elite group of firms represented in these rankings,” added David Damico, Transportation Group Practice Head and Member of the firm’s Executive Committee. Burns White’s Pittsburgh office also earned First-Tier Metropolitan rankings in Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants, Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants, and Railroad Law, as well as a Second-Tier Metropolitan ranking in Antitrust Law and a Third-Tier Metropolitan ranking in General Commercial Litigation. The Burns White Wheeling, W. Va., office also earned First-Tier Metropolitan rankings for the Morgantown, W. Va., area in Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants and Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants. The rankings, including 30,322 rankings of 8,782 law firms nationally, in 81 practice areas, are posted online at www.usnews.com/bestlawfirms; the national first-tier rankings will be featured in the October print issue of U.S.News & World Report, which is available for purchase beginning September 27. The methodology for the U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” involved surveying thousands of law firm clients; leading lawyers and law firm managers, partners and associates, marketing officers and recruiting officers. Each was asked about the factors they considered vital for clients hiring law firms, for lawyers choosing a firm to refer a legal matter to, and for lawyers seeking employment. Full data is available online for the law firms that received rankings, from the largest firms in the country to hundreds of one-person and two-person law firms, providing a comprehensive view of the U.S. legal profession that is unprecedented both in the range of firms represented and in the range of qualitative and quantitative data used to develop the rankings. ###

Five Burns White Attorneys Selected as 2011 Best Lawyers in America

Pittsburgh, August 10, 2010 — Five Burns White attorneys have been selected for the 17th edition of Best Lawyers in America® for 2011. The Pittsburgh attorneys honored were Michael W. Burns, for Commercial Litigation, Media Law and Railroad Law; David A. Damico for Railroad Law; Daniel B. Donahoe for Railroad Law; and David B. White for Medical Malpractice Law and Personal Injury Litigation. From the firm’s Wheeling, W. Va., office, Patrick S. Casey was recognized for Healthcare Law, Medical Malpractice Law, Personal Injury Litigation and Professional Malpractice Law. This marks the ninth consecutive year Mr. Damico has received this honor, followed by Mr. Burns and Mr. White (five consecutive years) and Mr. Donahoe and Mr. Casey (four consecutive years). Since its inception in 1983, Best Lawyers has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. None of the winners knows when he or she has been nominated or by whom. Because Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which more than 39,000 leading attorneys cast almost 3.1 million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas, and because lawyers are not allowed to pay a fee to be listed, inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor. Corporate Counsel Magazine has called Best Lawyers “the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice.” It is important to note that the lawyers listed in Best Lawyers have no say in deciding which practice areas they are included in. They are voted into practice areas entirely as a result of the votes they receive from their peers. The subspecialties listed after their names are based on information from a variety of sources.

US v Stricker et al

By: Medicare Team

Recently the United States Government, on behalf of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), filed a recovery action against defendant corporations, their insurance carriers and plaintiff’s counsel, following an amicable settlement of a liability action. The case, US v. Stricker et. al., CV-09-PT-2423-E, was filed on December 1, 2009, nearly six (6) years after the settlement agreement was filed in the underlying action on December 2, 2003. The underlying action settled for $300 million dollars in 2003. CMS is asserting that it previously made conditional payments on behalf of 907 of the plaintiffs for medical expenses related to injuries released in the settlement agreement. CMS claimed a right to reimbursement for these conditional payments, plus interest against the defendant corporations as self-insured entities, their insurance providers and numerous attorneys representing the group of plaintiffs. Additionally, CMS asserted double the amount of conditional payments against the defendant corporations and their insurance providers due to the necessity of instigating the lawsuit. This lawsuit reinforces Medicare’s published statutory recovery rights, and should serve as a warning to counsel, insurance carriers and self insured entities as to Medicare’s departure from their prior statements of how they would proceed in collecting on liens in general liability matters. Furthermore, this case illustrates the importance of investigating a Medicare lien early in the life of a claim, so that settlement negotiation may properly account for amounts owed to Medicare. If parties fail to account for a Medicare lien, they may lose their right to appeal the amount of the lien, and as evidenced by this litigation, can face substantial costs years later. Additionally, the responsibility for lien repayment should be unequivocally identified in the settlement agreement and parties should take precautions before releasing payment. Burns White recommends consulting with a Medicare Attorney prior to any settlement, judgment or award where a bodily injury claim has been alleged. Please feel free to contact any of the attorneys in our Medicare Department or Bruce McKnight, marketing & operations manager, at (412) 995-3247 for any and all of your Medicare questions. 01-11-10

Shanicka Kennedy appointed to the City of Pittsburgh Ethics Hearing Board

Pittsburgh, June 14, 2010 – Associate Shanicka Kennedy has been appointed to the City of Pittsburgh Ethics Hearing Board for a two-year term.

This five member board is charged with enforcement and education as to the City’s Ethics Code. The Board issues advisory opinions, and works with the Personnel Department to implement a comprehensive training program, in addition to hearing Citizen Complaints.

Transportation Group’s Brian Mancos wins ballast preclusion argument for Major Railroad Client

April 23, 2010 – Brian Mancos was successful in obtaining an order granting summary judgment in favor of a major railroad client in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania precluding the Plaintiff from arguing that the nature and size of ballast stone used by the railroad caused or contributed to his alleged injuries. This order marks the first time a Court outside of the Sixth Circuit of the United States has adopted the holding of the Court in Nickels v. Grand Trunk W. R.R., 560 F.3d 426 (6th Cir. 2009), establishing that plaintiff’s ballast argument is precluded by Federal Law. The Plaintiff, a 62-year-old former railroad worker, sued the defendant under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) demanding damages for bilateral knee injuries. Through his Motion, Mr. Mancos was also successful in eliminating Plaintiff’s left knee injury claim based on the running of the FELA statute of limitations.

Commercial litigator joins firm

Pittsburgh, March 23, 2010 — Lyle Washowich, a commercial litigator representing clients in the financial, business and manufacturing industries, has joined the Pittsburgh law office. Mr. Washowich defends clients against common law and statutory putative class actions, consumer protection law claims, and alleged financial and other fraud charges. He represents financial organizations in mortgage servicing, purchasing and securitization claims and a wide variety of businesses, manufacturing and public sector clients in matters concerning claims of product liability, suits targeting third parties, unfair competition, tortious interference, and First Amendment and media law. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Allegheny College (1996) with a Bachelor of Arts degree, summa cum laude, Mr. Washowich received his law degree from Northwestern University (1999). At Northwestern, he was associate editor of the Law Review and participated in the school’s inaugural trip to Tanzania to develop a long-term research and idea-exchange partnership. Active in the Allegheny County Bar Association (ACBA), Mr. Washowich serves on the association’s Gender Bias Subcommittee and Women in the Law Division Professional Development Committee.

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