Goldberg Segalla LLP

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Management and Professional Liability

Our clients take professionalism as seriously as we do. Stockbrokers, corporate officers, architects, and other attorneys — they strive to deliver with consistency the highest standard of care expected in their industry. When their clients or other parties do bring claims, for whatever reason, these professionals, directors, executives, and their insurers trust our commitment to professionalism — and to professionals.

Attorneys in Goldberg Segalla’s nationwide Management and Professional Liability Practice Group leverage hindsight, foresight, and insight to deliver cost-efficient and strategic legal solutions for our clients — every time. Our experience serving clients across countless professions and industries includes:

  • Aggressively defending plaintiffs’ claims
  • Minimizing damages from legitimate errors, mistakes, and accidents
  • Educating and preparing professionals to meet evolving and emerging industry-specific risks
Professional Partnership for Defense and Risk Management
Our profession is defending yours. For attorneys on our team, that means that practicing in this specialized area of the law demands more than mastery of effective trial techniques and knowledge of statutes and decisions. Our work really begins with understanding each client’s industry, individual business model, and unique stressors, so that we can identify the relevant standards of care and tailor creative, efficient, and strategic defenses.

Our team consists of over 50 attorneys with both legal and practical, hands-on knowledge of industries like health care, accounting, insurance, construction/engineering and design, and even scuba diving. We strive to understand both what keeps our clients up at night, and what drives them back to work each morning — and our track record proves that this approach leads to better results in both defense and risk management.

Accountants
Goldberg Segalla’s Management and Professional Liability attorneys have defended and counseled accountants through decades of major changes in statutory and case law, market forces, litigation trends, and the scope and standards of accounting business operations. With a deep bench of respected trial attorneys drawing on decades of experience, our team is the go-to practice for numerous Top 50 and super-regional accounting firms, and our attorneys are trusted counselors to some of the leading accountants and accounting firm executives in the business.

We have counseled and defended accountants and accounting firms in lawsuits brought by acquirers or sellers of business entities, bank and insurance regulators, bankruptcy trustees, banks and other lenders, and investors in securities class actions; as well as investigations led by bankruptcy trustees, creditors’ committees, the Department of Labor (DOL), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), grand juries, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), professional licensing bodies, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), and state and local government entities.

Architects, Engineers, and Design Professionals
We have extensive experience protecting architects, engineers, land surveyors, energy firms, environmental engineers and consultants, and other design-focused clients against claims involving issues and allegations including design defects and omissions, negligent provision of construction phase services, delay claims, faulty or defective material specification, indemnification and contribution, and professional negligence.

We have advised and represented clients in design-build and design-bid-build matters, in traditional projects and ones involving unusual complications and emerging technologies and risks. We’ve successfully litigated multimillion-dollar, high-exposure matters as well as sensitive but “smaller” dollar-number matters in which the greatest risks pertained to a client’s reputation and ability to continue working. We also counsel clients on the full range of risks specific to the design professional and engineering field, including environmental law matters and emerging environmental concerns, cyber risks and new technologies like drones and nanomaterials, intellectual property issues, government and partnership issues, transactional needs, and compliance with and investigations from all relevant state and federal regulatory agencies.

Banking and Financial Institutions
Our team has a particularly deep bench of attorneys with decades of experience serving the financial industry, where companies and officials face civil and administrative litigation brought under federal and state banking, consumer, and securities laws and regulations. We bring not only extensive experience litigating claims involving these rules and statutes, but also a thorough understanding of the individualized concerns and nuanced needs of public as well as privately held financial institutions. We defend banks, credit unions, captive insurance companies, and other financial institutions in a broad range of professional liability and other claims.

Our experience includes:

  • Civil rights claims
  • Class actions
  • Collateral sales and replevin actions
  • Commercial and business litigation claims
  • Commercial loan workouts and restructurings
  • Director and officer liability
  • Employment litigation
  • Errors and omissions
  • Federal and state fair lending laws
  • Fraud claims
  • Insurance claims, including safe deposit box losses
  • Predatory lending claims
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Secured transactions
  • Surety and fidelity bonds
  • Unfair and deceptive business practices
Broker-Dealers and Registered Representatives
We represent clients in securities litigations and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitrations nationwide, and also counsel clients through issues involving the full spectrum of securities industry-specific claims, investigations, and enforcement actions. With an authoritative understanding of the applicable regulations and an unsurpassed knowledge of how to navigate the process of arbitration and regulatory inquiries, we help clients minimize the impact of regulatory enforcement and customer complaints. Our services include:

  • Providing legal counsel during regulatory inquiries
  • Defending clients under investigation for regulatory matters
  • Guiding clients through the arbitration process
  • Using alternative dispute resolution methods to obtain quick settlements of claims
  • Assessing and advising clients on evolving FINRA and other self-regulatory organizations (SROs) rules, regulations, and procedures
Directors and Officers
Our team represents directors and officers in high-value disputes throughout the U.S., in both federal and state courts, and around the world, and acts as trusted counsel providing timely and proactive advice on the full spectrum of risk-avoidance issues and emerging concerns relevant to directors and officers in virtually any industry. Whenever events occur in the life of a company that could make shareholders, customers, employees, or regulators unhappy, or could otherwise catch the attention of plaintiffs’ lawyers, directors and officers and their D&O insurers call on Goldberg Segalla.

Our D&O defense attorneys are ready to:

  • Advise on litigation and regulatory risk
  • Conduct internal investigations
  • Conduct pre-suit investigations and pre-trial settlement negotiations
  • Defend against regulatory investigations and enforcement by state and federal agencies
  • Litigate or arbitrate any dispute that cannot be resolved through negotiation or mediation in cases involving single-plaintiffs or class actions, as well as derivative actions
  • Provide guidance on compliance with the evolving data privacy requirements of companies and their officials in various industries
  • Provide training to avoid pitfalls that can lead to litigation and regulatory action
  • Resolve complex, high-exposure commercial and fraud-based disputes on behalf of businesses and their executives and board members
Our D&O clients include both public and private companies, nonprofit entities, governmental divisions, investment trusts, limited and general partnerships, and homeowner’s associations.

Employment Practices Liability (EPL)
Drawing on the full resources of the firm’s robust and nationwide Employment and Labor Practice Group, we frequently counsel and defend clients facing the full gamut of Employment Practices Liability (EPL) matters, including emerging employment-related concerns and issues involving new statutes, regulations, agency guidance, and case law. We represent employers in state and federal court through various avenues of ADR, and before federal agencies such as the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Department of Labor, the National Labor Relations Board, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, as well as local and state agencies.

Our ability to assist employers with training and risk management sets us apart. Attorneys across our national Professional Liability and Employment Practice Groups monitor breaking developments in case law and state and federal statutes, as well as emerging and evolving trends in EPL claims and judicial decision-making, and we provide our clients with valuable news and analysis through email alerts, webinars, and other communications on a rolling basis. We routinely perform risk management assessments and develop comprehensive claims and litigation avoidance strategies for our clients, and we offer on-site training — both to the executives and human resources departments of insured employers, as well as claims executives, underwriters, and third-party-administrators — on the full spectrum of employment issues. Long-term clients count on these value-added services to lower legal spending and reduce the incidence of distracting and potentially damaging EPL claims.

Fidelity
Goldberg Segalla defends insurers against claims brought by financial institutions and other corporate policyholders involving financial institution bonds, fidelity bonds, and crime policies. We serve fidelity clients throughout the nation and around the world, and our attorneys have directly handled matters in the United States, Europe, South America, and England.

We have decades of experience counseling insurers, conducting investigations, and handling first-party coverage litigation in matters involving:

  • Account manipulation
  • Catastrophe-related safe deposit box claims
  • Check-kiting
  • Computer fraud
  • Embezzlement
  • Employee dishonesty
  • ERISA fraud
  • Forgery
  • Fraudulent acts
  • Fund misdirection and misappropriation
  • Improper wire transfers
  • Lending losses
  • Mortgage fraud
  • Ponzi schemes and other financial scams
  • Precious metal loss
  • Safe-deposit box burglary
  • Securities fraud
  • Social engineering losses
Health Care Professionals

Goldberg Segalla attorneys have counseled and defended health care professionals and businesses through some of the most sweeping regulatory changes, advances in technologies and practices, and trends in individual and class action litigation to affect the industry in the last two decades. Our team combines deep and diverse health care industry experience, a collaborative and holistic approach to legal services, and relationships with the nation’s top expert witnesses to find the ideal resolution for the claims our clients face — whether through early settlement or dismissal, mediation, trial, or appeal.


Many of our litigators draw on professional backgrounds in health care, bringing to each matter an invaluable understanding of the internal and external pressures that our clients face — as well as a powerful authority in the courtroom. Our team includes former in-house counsel for health care businesses and systems, hospital and long-term care company board members, hospital and emergency room advisory committee members, and a former paramedic.

Insurance Agents and Brokers
Goldberg Segalla attorneys routinely represent insurance agents and brokers in errors and omissions (E&O) claims and lawsuits on a regional and national basis. We have successfully litigated hundreds of such lawsuits, derived from claims arising out of both first-party and third-party claims, in connection with placements in the excess and surplus lines market, as well as personal lines; commercial lines; professional liability; umbrella excess; life, health, and disability (LHD); and workers’ compensation coverage.

We don’t just defend E&O claims — we actively assist our clients in trying to prevent them. We are committed to providing insurance agents and brokers and their E&O insurers with cutting-edge, practical E&O loss control advice and to help them implement those techniques. We are also available to represent insurance agents and brokers outside of an insured claim, including with respect to E&O loss control and prevention seminars and audits, and to assist the insurance agents and brokers in obtaining insurance coverage for claims on behalf of the customers against the insurance agency or brokerage.

Lawyers and Law Firms
Our lawyers defend other lawyers against legal malpractice claims, in disciplinary proceedings where licenses are in jeopardy, and against all kinds of other claims which are often asserted by people who weren’t even the lawyers’ clients. Routinely hired by legal malpractice insurers to defend their insured lawyers, as well as hired directly by other members of the bar, we have defended attorneys who practice in all areas of the law, including personal injury, commercial litigation, mergers and acquisitions, banking and finance, debt collection, estate planning, intellectual property, bankruptcy, real estate, criminal law, and matrimonial law, to name just a few. Our team draws on decades of collective experience spanning hundreds of cases, some involving financial exposure in the tens of millions of dollars.

Long-Term Care
Long-term care facilities are burdened with elevated regulatory scrutiny at both the state and federal levels, which has stoked the predatory aggression of the plaintiffs’ bar and triggered an increase in civil claims. Led by a former in-house counsel at one of the nation’s largest privately owned long-term care companies, attorneys in our dedicated Long-Term Care team understand the special concerns involved in these complex, sensitive, and high-value cases, and we bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the defense of our clients in the industry.

We protect the interests and reputations of nursing homes, assisted living, independent living, post-acute, mental health care, continuing care retirement, skilled nursing, long-term care pharmacy, and rehabilitation facilities and companies targeted with negligence, abuse, and malpractice claims.

Miscellaneous Professionals
From dog groomers to dietitians, Goldberg Segalla’s attorneys have defended scores of insureds in the burgeoning field of miscellaneous professional liability (MPL). Combining our extensive experience defending the traditional professions with proven practices for handling MPL claims — including quickly identifying the relevant standard of care and leveraging our deep contractual dispute capabilities — the Goldberg Segalla team has worked and won cases on the furthest edge of the MPL frontier since the policy line’s beginnings. As this expansive and expanding category continues to evolve, we’re proud of our sustained and consistent work both in defending individual professionals and in helping insurers to understand, anticipate, and adapt to emerging exposures and trends in claims and litigation.

Leaders in Professional Liability Law
We’re proud that attorneys in our Management and Professional Liability Practice Group are recognized by their peers for their leadership in this highly specialized area of the law. Our team includes:

  • The former chair of the National Committee of the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM)
  • Multiple former chairs of the Professional Liability Committee at CLM
  • Multiple past presidents of the Professional Liability Defense Federation (PLDF)
  • A PLDF Insurance Committee co-chair
  • The immediate-past chair of the PLDF Corporate Governance Committee
  • The immediate-past chair of the Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS) Mid-Atlantic Steering Committee
  • Chair-elect of the American Bar Association (ABA) Professional Liability Insurance Committee
  • Former chair of the DRI Professional Liability Steering Committee
  • Former co-chair of the DRI Insurance Company Relations Subcommittee
  • A Fellow of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) National Trial College

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  • 5.0/5.0 Review for Michael Rubin by a Partner on 05/28/15 in Civil Litigation

    Mike is an excellent attorney, a strong client advocate and worthy adversary.

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    Mr Brown served as a law clerk at the Appellate Division, Fourth Dept., one of New York's intermediate appellate courts while I was Presiding Justice of that Court. His work was outstanding.

    Mr Brown served as a law clerk at the Appellate Division, Fourth Dept., one of New York's intermediate appellate courts while I was Presiding Justice of that Court. His work was outstanding. Read less

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Diversity

Both within our own firm and across the wider business and legal communities, Goldberg Segalla’s commitment to diversity is strong, sincere, and a critical component of our firm’s mission and culture. Our philosophy has always been that we hire people who are excellent at what they do, and even better human beings. Period. We feel we would be doing a disservice to our firm and to our clients if we didn’t include contributions from every available resource.


We are extremely proud that our commitment has received regional and national recognition for the innovative programs we have developed and the results we have been able to achieve. The following is a sampling of the firm-wide or individual honors we have received for implementing initiatives that make a difference:


  • George B. Vashon Innovator Award, Minority Corporate Counsel Association
  • MCCA Firm Affiliate Network
  • Vault/MCCA Commitment to Diversity
  • Community Service Award, Defense Research Institute
  • Good Works Award, American Bar Association Section of Litigation
  • Outstanding Committee Chair, ABA Section of Litigation
  • Diversity Trailblazer Award, New York State Bar Association
  • Legal Service Award, Minority Bar Association of Western New York
  • Lawyer of the Year, Bar Association of Erie County
  • Legal Community Leader Award, National Federation for Just Communities of Western New York
  • Diversity Excellence Award, Buffalo Niagara Human Resource Association
  • Value Award for Diversity, Leadership Buffalo
  • Western New York Game Changers, Buffalo Spree magazine

What we are most proud of, though, is that our efforts have shown significant results and continue to make a lasting impact on the lives of many.

Leadership and Action

To put our philosophy and commitment into practice, we have a Diversity Task Force, which includes our managing partner, in place to conceptualize and implement diversity-focused programs as well as give diversity a voice in our decision-making at the highest level. The individuals on this task force share the firm’s strong commitment to increasing diversity, and they use their unique experiences and backgrounds to support and advance that goal. The team meets regularly to create programs, schedule events, establish diversity initiatives both inside and outside of the firm, set long-term goals, and develop the strategy to recruit and retain people from diverse backgrounds.


The chair of our Diversity Task Force, Joseph M. Hanna, has spearheaded numerous diversity initiatives in various organizations and outreach programs, serves on several diversity-related committees, and is a frequent author and speaker on diversity. Among other positions, he is co-chair of the American Bar Association (ABA) Young Lawyer Leadership Program, former chair of the association’s Minority Trial Lawyer Committee and its Special Committee on Human Rights, and former editor-in-chief of the ABA’s Minority Trial Lawyer; a 2014 fellow of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD); a past president of the Minority Bar Association of Western New York (MBAWNY) and the MBAWNY Foundation; and the Diversity Liaison for several committees at the 22,000-member DRI.


For more than a decade, Goldberg Segalla has proudly supported the ABA’s Judicial Internship Opportunity Program, which provides racial and ethnic minority law students, along with members of other groups underrepresented in the legal profession, opportunities to serve as an intern with a judge during the summer after their first or second year of law school. Joe Hanna — an alumni of the program himself — acts as a mentor and leader in the program, through which he has conducted more than 100 interviews for students across the country.

In 2017, Goldberg Segalla participated in the Thurgood Marshall Summer Law Internship Program, the New York City Bar Association’s flagship pipeline program for high school students. As a participating legal employer, we hosted high-achieving inner-city students for the summer and collaborate with the NYC Bar to provide them with additional programming before, during, and after the summer designed to help them prepare for a legal career.

Each summer, Goldberg Segalla proudly welcomes interns through a formal Diversity Clerkship Program that was conceived by Joe while he served as president of the MBAWNY. The program was developed in collaboration with the MBAWNY and the SUNY Buffalo Law School to provide opportunities for minority UB Law students to gain firsthand experience in the legal system. Since it was launched in 2011, the program has placed more than 100 students in clerkships in area courts as well as in several area law firms, with more judges and law firms asking to participate every day. It provides participants with an in-depth look at the legal process and the interaction between the bench and the bar that they would not otherwise get. At our firm, a dedicated team of partners monitors the work of these law clerks and ensures they obtain valuable experience to help develop important legal research, writing, case management, and client service skills critical to their long-term success. Our program earned the firm the Minority Corporate Counsel Association’s 2012 George B. Vashon Innovator Award.


We also have sponsored Success in the City, an annual diversity networking and mentoring event developed by Joe that brought together students, legal and business professionals, educators, nonprofits, and political leaders to make lasting partnerships. Many employment, business, and mentoring relationships resulted from this event. Past events have drawn more than 500 political and business leaders, legal professionals, and students. Success in the City has influenced the development of similar programs in Baltimore, Cleveland, Birmingham, Dallas, and elsewhere.


Our firm is committed to spreading the message throughout the broad legal and business communities that embracing diversity contributes to greater overall success. We conduct training sessions for in-house counsel at Fortune 500 corporations on increasing and promoting diversity. Our attorneys have authored articles and delivered presentations on diversity for various legal organizations, including DRI and the ABA, and our efforts and accomplishments in this area have been profiled in publications such as Law360, the New York State Bar Association’s State Bar News, Business First of Buffalo, the Buffalo Law Journal, and others.


In one example of our work to provide inspiration and raise awareness of diversity and women’s issues in the legal community, Caroline Berdzik, chair of our Employer and Labor Practice Group, spoke to Law360 for the publication’s “Female Powerbrokers” series. In the interview, Caroline discussed her career, the challenges of being a woman at a senior level at a law firm, the work-family life balance, and the importance of taking risks. She also offered guidance to female attorneys on moving their careers forward and advice to law firms on both increasing the number of women partners and retaining top female talent. Her longtime advocacy for women (at her previous firm, she served on the Women’s Business Development Committee and was a member of what became the national Women’s Presidents Organization) helped earn her a spot on the 2015 NJBIZ list of New Jersey’s Best 50 Women in Business.


Joe Hanna also was featured by Law360 in its “Minority Powerbrokers” series, in which he shared his perspective on breaking the glass ceiling in the legal industry, the challenges of being a lawyer of color at a senior level, how law firms can increase diversity in their partner ranks, and Goldberg Segalla’s core commitment to diversity.

Partnerships

Goldberg Segalla is proud to be a member of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association Firm Affiliate Network, which was created by the MCCA to assist and acknowledge law firms that are committed to advancing diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.


We are also a member of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD), a national organization of leaders in law firms and corporate legal departments dedicated to creating a truly diverse legal profession. As noted earlier, Joe Hanna was a fellow of the LCLD in 2014. In this position, he played a critical role in organizing the first-ever New York City LCLD Fellows Roundtable event, and he was instrumental in establishing a mentorship program in Hartford for local diverse first-year law students.


We support the diversity efforts of numerous organizations, including:

  • American Bar Association
  • Asian American Bar Association of New York
  • Columbian Lawyers Association
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Korean American Association of Greater New York
  • League of First Nations
  • Minority Bar Association of Western New York
  • National Bar Association
  • Native American Rights Fund
  • National Association of Asian American Professionals
  • National Congress of American Indians
  • New York State Bar Association
  • Seneca Free Trade Association
  • SUNY Buffalo Law School
  • Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York

Our outreach efforts led to the creation of a comprehensive database of more than 500 minority law organizations throughout the United States. Contact between these organizations takes place in anticipation of bringing CLE and legal programs together. This group of minority bar associations includes both local and national organizations, such as:

  • National Association of Women Lawyers
  • National Association of Muslim Lawyers
  • Hispanic National Bar Association
  • National Asian Pacific American Bar
  • Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles
  • South Asian Bar Association of Philadelphia
  • Vietnamese American Bar Association of North Carolina

A Talented and Diverse Team

Diversity is further evident within our firm through the many languages and dialects spoken by members of our team, including Albanian, Arabic, Croatian, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Korean, Malayalam, Mandarin, Marathi, Norwegian, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Tagalog, Tamil, Thai, and Urdu.


Goldberg Segalla’s culture is one that values team-spiritedness, collegiality, and interpersonal harmony within our working community. We are a firm that believes in diversity in the workplace, and we are proud to offer a professional and positive work environment for each and every member of our team.


On these values, and on our commitment to diversity, we will never waver. We are proud of what we have accomplished thus far, but we also realize that this is a long-term mission. We will continue to innovate and to improve diversity in law and business — both within Goldberg Segalla and across the communities in which we live and work.

Diversity Matters — Join the Conversation

If you have questions regarding any of the firm’s diversity initiatives or would like to discuss ideas regarding increasing diversity in the legal profession, please contact Joe Hanna (716.566.5447; [email protected]) or another member of our Diversity Task Force:

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