Partner David Scher shared his labor law expertise when he taught a continuing legal education (CLE) course on January 7, 2020, focusing on strategies for pleading a construction accident case. His lecture was part of a larger seminar presented by the New York State Trial Lawyers Association (NYSTLA), the 2020 edition of “Construction Accidents from the Trenches: Strategies to Win Your Labor Law Case.”
The aim of the entire seminar, which consists of seven separate lectures, is to take a lawyer through litigating a construction accident case, from its signing all the way to trial. Last year, this seminar was the top-selling CLE, according to Mr. Scher. This is the third year in a row Mr. Scher presented his lecture, “Pleadings to Win a Construction Case,” at this seminar.
Approximately 80 lawyers attended Mr. Scher’s lecture, which focused on how to frame issues in the early stages of a construction accident case. The first part of his talk centered on how to prepare the case: identifying its strong and weak points and figuring out how to confront the issues that will inevitably arise during the case. He also included some hypothetical case examples, so that attending lawyers could see potential issues in construction accident cases, identify the laws that applied in each scenario, and discuss how to frame each one to get the best chance of success. The second half of the lecture focused on the details of how to plead a construction accident case, including how to draft Complaints and Bill of Particulars, and a review of specific statutes and code sections that pertain to construction law, which are important in these cases but often lesser known.
Mr. Scher also discussed problem-solving if a lawyer makes any mistakes during this process. In fact, during the course he made sure to emphasize the importance of confronting issues head-on when preparing a construction accident case. “One of the things I tried to really strongly get across is…to confront problems early, figure out what you have on your hands, whether it’s good or bad. I hope people come away realizing that everybody makes mistakes, everybody has those same concerns and feelings and hesitations, and to be unafraid to figure them out,” Mr. Scher said.
Mr. Scher, who has been named a Super Lawyer for the past four years, is quite knowledgeable in this field. He has published various articles on labor law in New York-particularly, Labor Law 240, also known as the “Scaffold Law,” which has been a subject of continuing debate in the city. Mr.Scher has written extensively on this controversial law. Some of his articles include:
- “A Look Back at Runner v. New York Stock Exchange: What Did It Mean For Labor Law Section 240?”, Bill of Particulars
- “Still Debating What ‘Falls’ Within Labor Law Section 240(1)”, New York Law Journal
- “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
Mr. Scher enjoys lecturing on this topic because he finds labor law especially interesting; it’s a “really heavily litigated space,” he said, and therefore it is constantly changing and evolving. “Intellectually, I think it’s interesting and challenging to keep up with it and be on top of it.”
Mr. Scher is grateful for the chance to take on many construction accident cases at BOM and continue to develop his expertise, largely because he enjoys sharing it with others. “I like talking to lawyers, I like working out problems with other lawyers, I like when I can help other lawyers,” he said.