Block O’Toole & Murphy Partner David L. Scher recently presented at a continuing legal education (CLE) lecture on how to properly frame and plead a Labor Law (construction accident) case. The lecture, titled “Construction Accidents from the Trenches: Strategies to Win Your Labor Law Case,” was well-attended by about 100 attorneys and will be purchased by hundreds more when it becomes available.
From a plaintiff lawyer’s perspective, Mr. Scher advised, it is absolutely critical to identify any potential challenges in your Labor Law case immediately and overcome them by knowing both the law and the facts inside and out. Only then do you have the ability to strategically and accurately “frame” your case by succinctly stating exactly why your client has a strong Labor Law case. This “framing” will constantly inform and guide the way you handle the case, from discovery and settlement negotiations, all the way through trial.
Mr. Scher also provided hypothetical factual scenarios of construction accidents that presented challenging legal Labor Law issues, lectured about the pertinent case law triggered by those scenarios, and explained how to shape your investigation and analysis in order to present the case in the best light possible. He also spoke about pleadings and how to properly draft a Complaint and other critical documents so as to preserve all of your potential Labor Law claims, while also avoiding over-pleading that could lead to case delays.
Other lecturers on the panel covered topics including recent Labor Law appellate decisions and how to take a Labor Law deposition. A Manhattan judge spoke about how best to approach settlement negotiations in a Labor Law case when appearing before a judge who is trying to facilitate a settlement.
This was an important lecture because Labor Law, particularly Labor Law 240, also known as the Scaffold Law, is one of the most commonly-litigated statutes in New York. The broad protections which Labor Law offers workers, however, means that very small factual differences can make or break a case, and so it is crucial for lawyers to stay abreast of the latest Labor Law interpretations and decisions through lectures such as these.
Mr. Scher has written and lectured about Scaffold and Labor Law before, such as in a New York Law Journal article titled “Still Debating What ‘Falls’ Within Labor Law § 240(1)”, which he co-authored with Block O’Toole & Murphy Partner Daniel P. O’Toole. This is one of multiple articles which Mr. Scher, who is well-known for his legal writing, has published on Labor Law and Scaffold Law. Other publications of Mr. Scher’s include:
- Court of Appeals Refuses to Limit Scope of Labor Law Section 240(1), New York Law Journal.
- Recent Section 240(1) Decisions Offer Guidance, New York Law Journal.
- Labor Law Symposium, Bill of Particulars.
- Still Debating What ‘Falls’ Within Labor Law Section 240(1), New York Law Journal.
- A Look Back At Runner v. New York Stock Exchange: What Did It Mean For Labor Law Section 240?, Bill of Particulars.
Reflecting on the lecture, Mr. Scher said, “I really enjoy lecturing at this event. It’s very well organized and everyone shows up ready to listen, engage and ask questions. All of the lawyers, including the lecturers, are genuinely trying to get better at their craft, with the ultimate goal of being the best possible advocates for our clients-in this case, injured construction workers. I am always humbled to be invited to speak and grateful for the opportunity.”