Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Slip and fall attorney

We had a couple days of snow in November, but this morning was the first real "Winter" snow.  As a personal injury attorney, I'm on the lookout for good slip and fall cases and Winter-weather car accidents.

Rear end car accidents are probably the most common, and happen even easier on icy roads.  You also see a lot of accidents where people over-shoot a light or a stop sign, or slide into the oncoming lane.

With slip and falls, on a day like today, parking lots and shopping center sidewalks get icy.  On a day like today, the storm itself is over, and stores are under an obligation to exercise reasonable care to prevent slipping.  That means salt.  Even if the snow didn't stick, If a store's employees don't generously salt the areas where people are walking they are asking for trouble.

For a brief video describing my services as a Suffolk County Personal Injury Attorney, click this link.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Practice Areas

Attorneys are admitted to the New York bar as general practitioners, without any defined specialty.  In fact, we aren't allowed to claim to be a "specialist" in any particular area.  However, lawyers do specialize, and focus on particular practice areas.

The degree of specialization varies from lawyer to lawyer.  There are benefits to both niche and diverse practices.  I generally handle four categories of cases:

PERSONAL INJURY - Personal injury is the area of law where I excel at most. I focused on becoming the best possible personal injury attorney during law school and in my first few years of practice.  I won both a first year award and graduation prize for Torts, competed in multiple mock trial competitions, and was the president of my school's student Trial Lawyer's Association.  After graduation, I worked for a leading personal injury practice, where I tried a number of cases, argued numerous appeals, and worked with accomplished personal injury attorneys to obtain tens of millions of dollars for clients.  Now, I am working on building my own client base.  

MATRIMONIAL / DIVORCE / FAMILY LAW - For the last several years, I have worked with some of Suffolk County's top divorce lawyers.  Over time, I have developed an acumen for the subtleties of this unique area of law.  

EMPLOYMENT - It's an interesting area, which I enjoy practicing.  I took several employment law courses during law school, and in my first years of practice I worked on several notable employment matters. I have represented both plaintiffs and defendants in a wide range of employment matters, and have had a good deal of success in this area.  

COMMERCIAL AND BUSINESS - I am extremely adept with contract and business issues. I excelled in these courses in law school, and the area of law just seems to fit well.  As I've gained experience, I have litigated multi-million dollar cases, and handled multi-million dollar transactions.  

Employment Lawyer

Employment litigation includes an alphabet soup of claims.  There are contract-based disputes, which tend to be more commercial in nature. Most employment claims arise by statute (with overlapping Federal, State and local regulations).  Race and gender discrimination are probably the most well known.  Wage, hour and unpaid overtime claims seem to be an increasing trend.  

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Rear End Auto Accident

On my way to court this morning in Nassau County, I passed a nasty rear-end car accident on the Long Island Expressway.  

It was an obvious rear-end collision, where the rear driver was 100% at fault.  I have a trial coming up soon in a similar scenario, and as far as motor vehicle cases go that is about the best you can get on liability.  

I did not, however, leave a card.  Not only would it be obnoxious, it's unethical.  Generally, in New York, there is a 30-day waiting period before attorneys can contact personal injury victims directly, and even afterwards there are limits on direct solicitation.

The driver/passengers will likely want a PI attorney, and I'm a damn good one, but they'll have to come to me.  

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Products Liability Attorney

Products liability is an area of law I found interesting in law school, and have gained some experience with.  In general, there are three types of claims: negligent design, negligent manufacturing, and failure to warn.

Some of the more common claims involve children's toys, tools and industrial equipment, and consumer products that pose unique hazards (such as fire pots or similar items).  The most active areas of products liability litigation is probably pharmaceutical and medical device litigation, which is a subspecialty I have had some experience with. 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Custody and Visitation Attorney

Lawyers handling custody and visitation have a very different job than many other attorneys. The law is this area is, basically, that the court exercise sound doscretion in determining what is in the best interests of the child or children. There are some general principals, and you gain practical insight with experience, but due to the discretionary and confidential nature of the cases there aren't as many published decisions to use for guidance as in other areas of law.

Seperated parents don't always agree what is in their child's best interest, and all too often there is anger and resentment between them that makes co-parenting difficult.

Cuatody and visitation lawyers advocate for their clients, advise the clients as to the reasonableness of their positions, conference cases with the court for guidance, negotiate fair compromises, and, if all else fails, argue their client's position to the court to aid the judge making the decision.

Disputes ovet custody and visitation present tough situations, but I have helped many people deal with those situations, and I am here to assist you if you need it. Most times, these disputes can been incredibly stressful for the client. But, if you focus on what's best for your child or children, and make their happiness and future your priority, it all works out.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Construction Law Attorney

A broad range of legal issues arise in the construction industry, and experience with many of them.

I have represented contractors, owners, investors, builders, lenders and workers in a wide range of matters. This depth of experience has helped me anticipate and address legal issues that would otherwise be off the client's radar.

At the same time, clients bring their own deep understanding of their businesses, as well as the creativity and accumen that has helped them achieve success.

I work with my clients to help them achieve the results they want, and provide a resource to aid them in reaching their goals.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Legal Malpractice Attorney on Long Island

I have substantial experience as a legal malpractice attorney, and have successfully represented both plaintiffs and defendants.

Legal malpractice can be a difficult area of law.  There are challenges to proving both liability and damages.  Not every mistake will support a lawsuit and, basically, there is a "no harm no foul" rule.  There are, however, meritorious cases out there. Lawyers are human, and sometimes make mistakes.  The system is designed so that in most cases "law office failure" is excusable and can be corrected. Sometimes, however, the statute of limitations or other key deadlines are missed; the lawyers won't admit otherwise fixable mistakes; or the lawyer does something to get a meritorious case or defense thrown out or otherwise severely prejudice a client based solely based on their error. In rare instances, attorneys engage in deceit, collusion, or fraud.  

Most malpractice occurs in litigation, but there are also transactional mistakes, which can be black-and-white bad advice, or documents prepared so poorly that the client is harmed, or other mis- or malfeasance that causes damage to the client. Transactional cases involve unique issues, and the errors sometimes are not caught until years later.

Whether you believe you have been harmed by legal malpractice, or simply need another attorney to take a second look at an issue, feel free to give me a call at 631-482-9700 or send an email to Skreppein@QHMLaw.com.  In some instances, errors are still fixable if caught early, and a "lost" case can be resurrected.  In others, you may be able to recover your losses from your prior attorney or their malpractice insurance carrier.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Insurance Claims Attorney

A growing area of my practice is insurance disputes. I have had some success in the past, and they tend to be interesting cases.

Insurance coverage is a creature of contract. Your policy will have, among other things, covered losses and exclusions. They are carefully drafted by the insurance companies' lawyers, and refined over and over again. But, if there's any ambiguity, it is interpreted in the claimant's favor.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


Clients who are seeking a commercial or business lawyer have a broad range of needs. Commercial and Business law includes both litigation and transactions, with degrees of specialization.

A transactional attorney generally deals with contract drafting. You need to be able to understand what the client wants to do, have the experience to advise them as to their rights and options for structuring the deal, understand the regulatory landscape (or be smart enough to say when you don't), anticipate and plan for potential problems, and effectively craft a contract.

A business litigation attorney may handle internal disputes, third-party claims, government or local issues, or anything else that might be before a court or other body.

There can be subspecialties within both litigation and transactions based on the industry, particularly in more regulated industries, or the type of litigation or transaction.

In my view, litigation and transactions complement each other. Litigation allows you to continually identify new issues and clarify existing ones, giving a better perspective when handling transactions. Handling transactions, on the other hand gives you a better perspective in litigation when attacking or defending a past deal.

I have represented a variety of small and midsize businesses. I do not have a single niche industry. I have significant experience with construction, housing, lending, and legal services.

I have substantial experience with shareholder/membership disputes; employment issues; collection, enforcement, or foreclosure proceedings; third-party claims; and some municipal and state issues.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Employment Lawyer: Employer Fails to Pay Overtime or Give Breaks

July 2013 Update - I have gotten a few more wage and hour cases over the last several months, for both plaintiffs and defendants.  Generally, it is a very good area of law to be practicing in, but there is an enormous range.  In some cases, the employers are generally innocent, and either their are disgruntled employees exaggerating and/or fabricating the story, or there are legitimate issues as to actual hours worked, or worker classification (hourly versus salaried, or independent contractor versus employee).

In some of the employee-side cases I've been seeing, however, the facts have an element of malice, such as larger companies squeezing relatively small amounts time from workers who need the money much more than they do, or small businesses treating employees like indentured servants.

When an employee has a good case, the penalties are significant, including double-damages and attorneys fees.  On top of that, the burden of record-keeping is on the employer.


The Fair Labor Standards Act keeps coming up in my practice, and the more I deal with it the more I want to work on Plaintiff's-side cases.  Not frivolous case, of course, but good cases: with credible complaints of employers failing to pay overtime, or not letting their workers take breaks.  This seems to be a very lucrative area of practice.