- Article | 3.17.23
At long last, Governor Ron DeSantis is poised to sign House Bill 837, companion to Senate Bill 236, into law in the upcoming days, finalizing significant tort reform in the state of Florida. As currently written, House Bill 837 will dramatically shift the landscape of civil litigation in Florida. Specifically, HB 837 will alter the comparative nature of the current framework to a modified system, standardize the evidentiary threshold necessary to prove damages for medical expenses in certain civil actions, require certain disclosures with respect to claims for medical expenses for treatment rendered under letters of protection, reduce the statute of limitations for negligence actions, standardize bad faith actions, and alter presumptions in certain negligent security matters. Herein, we will provide insight and analysis of the proposed changes.
- Firm News | 3.6.23
Trial lawyer Nick Donzuso has joined the New Jersey office of Wood, Smith, Henning & Berman. Actively sought out by clients for his trial prowess, Nick brings to WSHB a wealth of experience handling the most complex civil litigation matters from inception to verdict.
- Article | 3.3.23
The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) and the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers Act (the "PUMP" Act) were signed into law by President Biden on December 29, 2022. These two new laws require covered employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions as well as providing defined accommodations for nursing mothers. The purpose of this legislation is not to replace existing statutory protections, but rather to enhance safeguards already in place by further eliminating pregnancy discrimination and advocating for women's health and economic security. This legislation provides employers more specific guidelines regarding accommodations and policies that should be implemented by employers.
- Firm News | 1.26.23
WSHB is proud to celebrate partner Domingo Tan being named a 2023 Leader of Influence: Minority Attorneys by the Los Angeles Business Journal.
- Firm News | 1.9.23
Wood, Smith, Henning & Berman is thrilled to announce the promotion of several outstanding associates to Senior Counsel. These exemplary attorneys have demonstrated their first-class legal skills and case handling in consistently contributing to the success of the firm as well as achieving favorable outcomes for clients.
- Firm News | 1.9.23
WSHB encourages and cultivates multiple degrees of advancement within the firm partnership. We are thrilled to announce our newest class of partners who have been promoted to the next level within our partnership: Defined Equity Partnership.
- Firm News | 1.9.23
It is with great pride that WSHB announces the elevation of twenty attorneys to the level of partnership effective January 1, 2023. The new partners are Alexi Antoniou (Fresno), Edward Baldwin (Northern California), Christopher Chapaneri (Dallas), Andreea Custurea (Los Angeles), Jenna Melton Fowler (Atlanta), Christopher Heo (Phoenix), Tudor Jones (Sonoma County), Mindy Kulikov (Los Angeles), Christina Loni (Rancho Cucamonga), David McDonough (Northern California), Molly Moyer (Atlanta), Cole Munson (New York), Ryan Neri (Chicago), Jacqueline Murphy (White Plains), Ilon Oliveira (Northern California), James Parish (Dallas), Trevor Peck (Atlanta), Susana Santana (Las Vegas), Richard Young (Las Vegas), and Megan Zlokas (North Carolina).
- Resource | 12.29.22
Insurance professionals in California will need to take note of a new law going into effect on January 1, 2023. California Insurance Code section 1725.5 was amended by SB 1242 and requires most insurance producers to include their license number in their email signature. Before Senate Bill 1242 was signed into law, agents and brokers were required by statute to include their license numbers on business cards, premium quotes and print advertisements for insurance products distributed exclusively in California. Now, that mandate is being extended to emails.
- Article | 12.16.22
Today, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed sweeping property insurance reform bills into law. The new legislation effectively ends one-way attorneys' fees, invalidates assignments of benefits under policies issued after January 1, 2023, and limits an insured’s ability to bring a bad faith action against an insurer without winning a breach of contract lawsuit. For the most part, these changes, including the elimination of one-way attorneys' fees, will be effective for policies issued after the bill's signing today. The highlights of the insurance reforms are detailed below.
One-Way Attorneys' Fees
- Article | 12.8.22
Real estate professionals and lawyers should be aware of new real estate laws in California that put restrictions on HOA's. These laws will come into effect on January 1, 2023.
- Firm News | 11.9.22
WSHB powerhouse litigator Anoush Holaday has been tapped as a “Phenom Under 40” by CLM as part of its inaugural award recognizing “up-and-comers.” Holaday, a partner in the firm’s Sonoma County office, joins an elite group of individuals chosen for significant impact in her law firm and success in her field.
- Newsroom | 10.31.22
- Firm News | 10.10.22
In an effort spear-headed by partner Kelly Waters, the WSHB community is rallying to support Ukrainian children who were displaced by the war in Ukraine and now find themselves living in an orphanage in Poland. As part of a humanitarian mission including civic and religious leaders from the greater New York/New Jersey tri-state area, Kelly will travel to Poland to deliver much-needed items.
- Firm News | 10.7.22
Kelly Waters, managing partner of the New Jersey office of WSHB is the 2022 recipient of the prestigious "Making a Difference through Community Service" award. Presented annually to one deserving individual by the American Bar Association, this award honors an attorney who has made a significant lifetime contribution to the local community through community service.
- Firm News | 10.6.22
WSHB will spread its wings yet again with the opening of its 33rd office in the historical city of Richmond, Virginia.
- Resource | 10.4.22
Are you prepared for the disclosure requirements attendant to California's new Pay Transparency for Pay Equity Act (SB1162)? Starting on January 1, 2023, employers with 15 or more employees will be required to include salary ranges in all job postings.
- Media Mention | 9.22.22
The Colorado Privacy Act will take effect July 1, 2023 and local attorneys are gearing up to help local businesses navigate the change, as a federal proposal also looms.
- Firm News | 9.15.22
WSHB is thrilled to announce that our winning streak continues as the firm is once again selected as a top firm in the Los Angeles Business Journal’s 2022 list of the “Most Admired Law Firms.” This prestigious annual list selectively profiles leading law firms that excel in the areas of company culture, employee compensation, benefits, programs, diversity, women’s initiatives and work-life balance. The law firms selected for this honor consistently exhibit a culture of a diverse and balanced workplace that supports the development and success of each and every attorney.
- Case Updates | 9.10.22
The court in Callahan v. Brookdale Senior Living Cmtys., No. 20-55603 (9th Cir. Jun. 29, 2022) found that an employee who sought intervention in a fellow employee's PAGA action was not entitled to intervene as a matter of right because she failed to show that her interests were inadequately represented. In addition. her request for permissive intervention was also denied as the same legal rights and interests were already represented and allowing intervention would not further the factual development of the case in any significant way.
- California Targets Gun Owners as Legislators Attempt to Push Gun Liability Insurance Requirement Through the LegislatureArticle | 9.10.22
California legislators have crafted a new bill that would require all gun owners to obtain liability insurance for each firearm owned. Gun insurance would work in a similar fashion to car insurance. Rising gun violence is an emotional trigger for everyone, particularly juries in cities where crime is spiking. Accordingly, the plaintiff bar is keenly interested in securing the passage of this bill.
- Firm News | 9.9.22
Ryan Deane, nationally recognized for his results handling all facets of professional liability matters, is the newest partner at WSHB. An accomplished litigator, Deane is well known to clients for his impressive results handling employment/wrongful termination, legal malpractice, brokers, officers and directors, medical negligence and other areas in the professional liability arena
- Speculative Claims Insufficient for Recovery Under SB 800; Potential for Roof To Leak In Future Not EnoughCase Updates | 9.8.22
Over two decades have passed since California’s groundbreaking right to repair statutory scheme better known as SB 800 went into effect. Since that time, trial courts have similarly blazed new trails when interpreting various provisions of SB 800. Recently, the Fourth Appellate District clarified speculative damages or concerns over future defects in the as-built construction were insufficient for recovery.
By way of background, SB 800 promised a dramatic transformation of California’s construction defect laws. Hailed by builders as a much-needed hedge against frivolous lawsuits, and needed to encourage residential development, the statutory scheme allowed builders the right to repair construction defects without protracted litigation was groundbreaking.
In this regard, the Fourth Appellate District ruling in Gerlach v. K. Hovnanian’s Four Seasons at Beaumont falls squarely in what the legislature meant to enact as it clarified concerns over future defects or speculation is simply not recoverable. In other words, this falls in the category of a frivolous lawsuit which harkened back to the early 2000s when frequent litigation created concerns over affordable housing and available insurance in the first instance.
- National Law Firm WSHB Adds Another High Profile Partner to Its All-Star Professional Liability BenchFirm News | 9.7.22
WSHB recently added highly respected litigator and established trial attorney, Jared Levy, as a partner in the firm's growing professional liability, business litigation and commercial practices. Jared is admitted in NY, NJ and PA, and brings extensive experience with a wide range of professional lines matters, including cases against lawyers, doctors/healthcare workers, medi-spas, accountants, insurance agents, real estate agents, securities brokers, TPAs, property managers, and a wide range of other miscellaneous and specialty professionals. Jared joins WSHB shortly after the firm added two other well-known, heavy hitters in professional liability defense – Frances O'Meara and Ryan Deane in Los Angeles and Kathryn Whitlock in Atlanta.
- Managing Partner Steve Disharoon Achieves Distinguished Certification of Appellate Specialist from State Bar of CaliforniaFirm News | 9.6.22
WSHB's Appellate Bench adds additional credentials with partner Steve Disharoon becoming certified as an Appellate Specialist by the State Bar of California. Disharoon joins partner Stephen Caine, and makes WSHB one of the few full-service law firms with multiple Certified Appellate Specialists
National law firm WSHB announced the opening of its newest office location in the city of Houston, Texas. Opening its doors on September 1, 2022, the Houston office is the 32nd office for WSHB and the second for the firm in the Lone Star State.
- Resource | 8.30.22
Issues pertaining to environmental sustainability have become more prominent in the national discussion, especially as it pertains to climate change. In response to growing public concern about climate change and other environmental issues, California legislators and regulators have been looking at ways to help reduce the environmental impact of new development and construction, especially when it comes to public works projects.
- Article | 8.4.22
Our lives are interconnected via technology more now than ever. Along with constant innovation comes increased risks and added concern for businesses as they look to protect their data privacy assets. The construction industry is particularly vulnerable to cyber-attacks and generally unprepared to combat them. The structure of construction projects, which often involve several entities working together toward the completion of a singular goal requires constant and in-depth sharing of sensitive information making it an attractive target for a hacker seeking to run a ransomware scheme and make a quick profit. Construction professionals don't have to remain sitting ducks, however, they can take steps to protect their assets and ward off cybersecurity criminals seeking to derail their operations.
- Article | 8.3.22
The State of Illinois passed HB 5412, which amends the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act. It makes a primary contractor on a construction job responsible for paying the wages and other benefits of the subcontractor's workers if the subcontractor fails to do so. The subcontractor would then be required to reimburse the contractor for any funds paid on its behalf. This includes wages, damages, interest, penalties, or attorney fees that the contractor paid to cover the subcontractor's failure to meet its obligations.
- Firm News | 7.19.22
WSHB’s trial bench markedly expanded in California with the addition of Frances O’Meara and her stellar team of lawyers. A nationally recognized thought leader and professional malpractice attorney, O’Meara brings to WSHB substantial trial experience and knowledge. O’Meara is a highly sought after speaker on professional liability issues. Her accolades in handling the most challenging cases from clients span an array of cases involving the defense of attorneys, accountants, architects, insurance agents, real estate brokers, appraisers, escrow and title officers and assisted living, residential care facilities.
- Firm News | 7.19.22
WSHB is pleased to announce Robert “Bob” Latham has joined the Los Angeles office. A trial lawyer with over 35 years of experience, Bob represents insurers in bad faith claim handling cases, policy rescissions and cancellations, lost policy matters, and drafting policy exclusions. He also represents reinsurers in investigation of ceded claims and in ceding company liquidations. In non-insurance matters, he has represented defendants in asbestos cases and toxic tort matters.
- Firm News | 7.18.22
National thought leading law firm Wood, Smith, Henning & Berman was once again recognized as an industry leader based on the representation of women attorneys. The National Law Journal (NLJ) Women in Law Scorecard 2022 ranked WSHB in the top 10, coming in ninth place in the rankings.
- Article | 7.13.22
The latest amendment to Georgia's apportionment law is a favorable development for defendants in negligence cases. The law amends Georgia's apportionment statute O.C.G.A. § 51-12-33(b) to provide for apportionment of damages in cases with a single defendant. It was signed into law by Governor Kemp on May 13, 2022 and became effective immediately, applying to all causes of action accruing on or after the effective date.
- Firm News | 7.12.22
WSHB is thrilled to announce that Kate Whitlock joined the firm as a partner in our Atlanta office. Kate has dedicated her career to defending businesses and others accused of wrongdoing. A ferocious advocate for her clients, she prides herself in navigating choppy waters and resolving complicated conflicts for the defense.
- Article | 7.8.22
After decades of debate, the reform of medical malpractice claims in California is finally coming to fruition. Legislators and interested parties on both sides of the MICRA debate have reached a compromise and agreed to a deal that will avert a planned ballot measure in the upcoming election. On May 23, 2022, Governor Gavin Newsom signed the measure into law. Practitioners are wise to be reminded that this law goes into effect for cases filed next year. This is notable because plaintiff lawyers will be holding off filing their cases if possible so as not to blow the statute of repose. Brace yourself for a slew of new filings in 2023.
- Firm News | 6.30.22
WSHB is pleased to announce that partner Jack Pemberton joined our Arizona office. Known nationally for his trial prowess, Jack has taken over 75 cases to verdict during his storied career.
- Newsroom | 6.14.22
- WSHB Continues National Expansion of its Insurance Practice With the Addition of Two New Partners in New YorkNewsroom | 6.6.22
- Publications | 5.15.22
- Newsroom | 5.9.22
- Coronavirus Resources | 4.11.22
- Coronavirus Resources | 4.1.22