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Kaufman Dolowich & Voluck Expands Its Construction Accident Practice With Addition of Eight Attorneys in New York

Posted Aug 17, 2017

(August 17, 2017, New York, NY) — Kaufman Dolowich & Voluck LLP (KDV), a leading national law firm, today announced that it is expanding its well-respected and experienced Construction Accident Practice group with the addition of five partners and three associates. Seven of the attorneys will join the New York City office and the eighth will work in the firm’s Woodbury, Long Island headquarters.

Scott E. Miller, James Freire, Steven H. Kaplan, Michael R. Manarel and William R. Pirk are joining the firm as partners and Seth A. Frankel, Yousra A. Depalma and Marc R. Lynde are joining as associates. All come to KDV from the New York City office of Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin where Miller, Kaplan, Manarel and Pirk were shareholders, Freire was special counsel and Frankel, Depalma and Lynde were associates. 

As a result of this expansion, KDV will now have more than 20 attorneys serving the construction industry. KDV’s Construction Accident Practice group, which will be chaired by Miller, represents building and property owners, general contractors, subcontractors and other parties in a broad scope of construction site accident matters.

With this move, KDV also grows its New York City office by more than 40 percent.  In 2016, the New York City office added four partners.  KDV’s NYC office relocated to new space at 40 Exchange Place on June 1, doubling the amount of space to accommodate overall growth in attorneys and staff and to provide a more collaborative environment in which attorneys and clients can work together.

“Scott and his colleagues have a premier construction accident practice working with many of the major New York real estate developers and construction contractors,” said Ivan J. Dolowich, co-managing partner, KDV. “They are preeminent litigators who have been successful in a very challenging and complex practice. KDV has many years of providing outstanding construction-related services and those capabilities have now been multiplied.” 

Miller represents construction managers, general contractors, crane companies and property owners regarding construction defect claims, construction accidents, issues of code violations and building and design-related deficiencies.  He has significant experience handling sophisticated transactional work for design professionals.  He also defends non-medical professionals including real estate agents, employment agents and insurance agents in E&O claims and suits made against their professional licensing. Miller represents profit and non-profit boards in D&O matters and national and global insurance carriers in insurance coverage disputes. He earned his B.A. from Hofstra University and his J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law.  

“The group joining KDV has been together for many years and we are all thrilled to be joining the firm,” said Miller. “Among the attractions of working at KDV are their focused leadership and management and an environment where this practice can really thrive.”

“Scott and his team are entrenched in the New York metropolitan area construction landscape,” said Kevin Mattessich, managing partner of the KDV New York City office. “They are known in the federal and state courts and respected for their talent and professionalism. They also have diverse backgrounds that they bring to their practice — one is a civil engineer and another, a former Assistant District Attorney.”

In addition to Miller, other partners joining the firm are:

  • Freire, who has extensive experience handling crane accidents, focuses his practice on construction defect litigation and construction work site injury claims, representing major construction companies, contractors and building owners involving new construction and renovation projects. He handles claims and suits involving general construction defect litigation, defense of Labor Law claims, construction contract disputes, personal injury matters and property damage actions. He earned his B.A. from State University of New York summa cum laude and is a Phi Beta Kappa member, and his J.D. from Temple University Beasley School of Law.
  • Kaplan represents general contractors, construction managers and subcontractors of all trades in the defense of personal injury and property damage actions arising from construction accidents and defects, including the risk transfer issues arising there from.  He also represents insurance companies with respect to general liability and first party property damage claims and suits, and renders coverage opinions.  He practices on both the lower court and appellate level in the New York and New Jersey state and federal courts.  He earned his B.A. at the University at Albany (S.U.N.Y.) magna cum laude and his J.D. from Albany Law School of Union University cum laude.
  • Manarel focuses his practice on construction injury and construction defect litigation, defending owners, general contractors, construction managers, managing agents, subcontractors, crane companies, hoist contractors and scaffold and shoring contractors. He also works with engineering firms, electrical contractors, plumbing contractors and home inspectors and equipment leasing companies. Manarel also defends insurance brokers/agents in errors and omissions claims and suits. Manarel practices in both New York and New Jersey state and federal courts. He earned his B.S. from Syracuse University and his J.D. from Brooklyn Law School. 
  • Pirk, who will be based in Woodbury, LI, defends project owners, contractors,  design professionals and engineering firms in a variety of claims arising out of personal injuries, property damage and defective construction. He has handled such cases as wrongful death claims, large water filtration claims and defective retaining walls to entire condominium complexes. He earned his B.S. from Lehigh University and his J.D. from Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center cum laude. 

Associates joining the firm are:

  • Frankel defends owners, general contractors and subcontractors in construction accident litigation. He also handles all aspects of construction litigation risk transfer including demands for indemnity, hold harmless clauses and additional insured coverages. He earned his B.A. from the University of Michigan and his J.D. from Fordham University School of Law.
  • Depalma focuses her practice on defending contractors and property owners in personal injury actions arising out of Labor Law sections 240(1), 241(6) and 200 and suits brought against them in construction defect claims. She earned her B.A. from Arizona State University magna cum laude and her J.D. from Pace University School of Law.
  • Lynde defends property owners and contractors in construction injury and defect litigation, as well as property damage claims. He also defends parties in personal injury actions arising out of alleged violations of Labor Law §§200, 240 and 241(6). He earned his B.A. from the University of Wisconsin and his J.D. from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.
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