Console Mattiacci Law Files Age Discrimination Suit Against AT&T

The New Jersey Law Journal reported on July 3 that Stephen Console and Laura Mattiacci of Console Mattiacci filed an age discrimination lawsuit against AT&T in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. The lawsuit claims that the company has divided its termination process into multiple steps in a purposeful attempt to conceal discrimination.

“Any AT&T employee who signed an invalid release still may have the right to bring a federal age discrimination claim and keep the severance they were paid,” Console said in a statement. “Under the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), in order for a worker to release their ADEA claims, information must be presented by the company in a group layoff that sets forth the ages and job titles of people laid off and not laid off. This is required by the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act—it makes sense because this data helps an employee and their lawyer see if there was age discrimination in the terminations. Any release that does not set forth the required information is invalid.”

As the Law Journal noted, Console Mattiaci Law “has had a string of victories in age discrimination suits recently, including a $370,000 verdict on behalf of another AT&T employee in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in January 2016 and a $51.5 million verdict in a suit by an engineer for Lockheed Martin in the District of New Jersey in January 2017.”

Console Mattiacci Law Helps Former MLB Pitcher Get Justice

The New Jersey Law Journal reported on June 21 that former Major League Baseball pitcher Mitch Williams was awarded $1.5 million by a state court jury in Camden in his breach of contract suit against MLB Network. “This verdict completely vindicates Mitch Williams, who was viciously defamed by anonymous sources on the internet and then had MLB Network breach its contract with him. Justice was served today,” Williams’ attorney, Laura Carlin Mattiacci of Console Mattiacci Law, said in a statement. Ms. Mattiacci was assisted at trial by Rahul Munshi at trial.

Mitch Williams Shuts Out MLB Network in Suit

After an 11-day jury trial in Camden, a jury was in favor of former Phillie, Mitch Williams, in his breach of contract claim against MLB Network. The amount of the award is $1,565,333. The jury rejected MLB Network’s claims that Mr. Williams allegedly violated the “morals clause” in his contract in regards to events that occurred at a youth baseball game in 2014 where he was the manager.

Laura Carlin Mattiacci, of Console Mattiacci Law and lead trial counsel for Mitch Williams, stated “This verdict completely vindicates Mitch Williams, who was viciously defamed by anonymous sources on the internet and then had MLB Network breach its contract with him. Justice was served today.”
Mitch Williams was represented by Laura Carlin Mattiacci and Rahul Munshi of Console Mattiacci Law, LLC. MLB Network was represented by Peter O. Hughes and Ryan Warden of Ogletree, Deakins, Smoak & Stewart, PC.

For more information on Console Mattiacci Law and their other recent victories. Click here 

Console Mattiacci Law, LLC

PRESS RELEASE:

Philadelphia – ATTENTION – Console Law Offices LLC has officially changed its name to Console Mattiacci Law, LLC.

We are pleased to announce the addition of Laura C. Mattiacci as a named partner at Console Mattiacci Law. Ms. Mattiacci handles some of the firm’s most significant legal battles and has achieved numerous trial victories as part of our firm’s unwavering fight for the rights of individuals in the workplace.

Our Philadelphia office is located at 1525 Locust St. 9th Fl., and our New Jersey office is located at 110 Marter Ave. Ste 502, in Moorestown.

This Article Was Last Updated on May 23, 2017.

Console Mattiacci Law, LLC Wins Federal Court Jury Verdict Against Lockheed Martin Totaling 51.56 Million Dollars

On January 26, 2017, Console Mattiacci Law, LLC won a jury verdict in federal court on behalf of former employee, Robert Braden, in an age discrimination case against Lockheed Martin Corporation. Mr. Braden was represented by Rahul Munshi and Emily R. Derstine Friesen, both of Console Mattiacci Law, LLC.  The unanimous jury verdict was rendered after a four day trial in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey before the Honorable Judge Renee Marie Bumb.  At the time of his layoff, Mr. Braden was 66 years old, and had worked at Lockheed Martin for approximately 29 years.  The case involved a reduction in force which Mr. Braden claimed was an effort by Lockheed Martin to target older workers in a scheme to lay them off and replace them with younger workers.  The verdict included a punitive damages award in the amount of $50,000,000, pursuant to the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination; all of the economic loss sought, totaling $520,000; liquidated damages of $520,000, pursuant to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act; and pain and suffering damages of $520,000.  The verdict is one of the largest ever obtained by an individual plaintiff in an age discrimination case.

Console Mattiacci Law, LLC WINS FEDERAL COURT JURY VERDICT AGAINST GOLDEN NUGGET CASINO IN DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION CASE.

Console Mattiacci Law, LLC won a jury verdict in federal court on behalf of former employee, Mike Jackson, in a disability discrimination and retaliation case against the casino, Golden Nugget of Atlantic City.  Mr. Jackson was represented by lead trial counsel, Laura C. Mattiacci and was assisted by Lane J. Schiff, both of Console Mattiacci Law, LLC.  The verdict was rendered on December 13, 2016, after a six day trial in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey before the Honorable Joseph H. Rodriguez.

Mr. Jackson had worked at the Trump Marina as a dealer and dual-rate supervisor for 25 years when he was diagnosed with throat cancer. After medical leave for treatment, which included the removal of a salivary gland and radiation that caused damage to his throat, he returned to the workplace needing an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) to have water with him at all times and to be able to chew gums that promote salivation. Mr. Jackson alleged that he was granted this accommodation for nine months, but that in March of 2011, when the Golden Nugget was in the process of purchasing the Trump Marina, he was told he needed to submit medical forms to substantiate his need for the accommodation, which he did, but then was denied the accommodation. Mr. Jackson alleged he complained to management and human resources about the denial of water and gum, but nothing was done. Approximately two months later, when the sale of the property was finalized, all Trump Marina employees, including Mr. Jackson, lost their jobs.  However, Golden Nugget hired 85% of the workforce to stay on board with Golden Nugget – Mr. Jackson was not hired.  The Defendants claimed that Mr. Jackson never complained about the accommodation denial and that he was not hired because he had a history of being hostile and negative toward management, was unsupportive of management, and was unable to adapt to change.  The case was originally against Trump Entertainment entities as well as Golden Nugget entities, however, after litigation commenced, the Trump defendants filed for bankruptcy and were dismissed from the case, resulting in Mr. Jackson’s failure to accommodate claim being dismissed. The trial proceeded against Golden Nugget for failure to hire due to disability discrimination and retaliation under the ADA and New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“NJLAD”).

The jury found that Mr. Jackson’s disability was a determinative factor in Golden Nugget’s decision not to hire him. They also found that his request for an accommodation and/or alleged complaint regarding the failure to accommodate him was a determinative factor in Golden Nugget’s decision not to hire him.  The jury was asked only to assess “compensatory damages” (compensation for pain, suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish, or loss of enjoyment of life) as a result of the failure to hire and returned a unanimous verdict of $340,000.  Mr. Jackson, who made approximately $48,000 a year, also has back-pay losses of approximately $170,000 as well as front-pay losses, the award of which will be determined by the Judge.  A petition for reimbursement of attorneys’ fees and costs will also be submitted, which Mr. Jackson’s counsel believes should bring the final award to approximately $1 million.

About Console Mattiacci Law, LLC

Console Mattiacci Law, LLC is an employment rights law firm with offices in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Moorestown, New Jersey. Since its inception in 1990, the firm has focused its practice on the representation of current, former and potential employees concerning work-related matters. The lawyers at Console Mattiacci Law, LLC counsel whistleblower-employees who have been retaliated against and individuals who have been victimized by illegal employment discrimination and retaliation, including sex, race, religion, disability and age discrimination and sexual harassment at work. They also represent employees concerning medical leaves, disability benefits, wage and hour claims, employment contracts, severance agreements, stock option plans, and class action lawsuits. For more information visit: www.consolelaw.com or call Console Mattiacci Law, LLC at 215-545-7676.

Ready For Trial

Attorney Laura Carlin Mattiacci of Console Mattiacci Law, LLC

Attorney Laura Carlin Mattiacci of Console Mattiacci Law, LLC

When lawyers say “settle this case or we’re going to trial” the vast majority of the time they are bluffing. This is because in order to adequately prepare for and try a case, the lawyer would have to set aside the ongoing work, and impending deadlines, of 40-50 cases to focus solely on the trial case. It simply can’t happen. The case is going to settle no matter what and usually for less than its maximum potential…but not at Console Mattiacci Law, LLC. This is because we do it differently. I carry a case list of 1 – the one case going to trial next. Once summary judgment is denied, I receive a delivery of boxes and electronic data containing the depositions, documents and motions which have been gathered and written by another lawyer in the firm. Some say: having not lived the case during discovery aren’t you at a disadvantage? How can you possibly ingest all of the facts at this stage? Simple – I am able to spend all day, every day, focused on that one case. I get to view it with fresh eyes, often crafting arguments for trial that the opposing side has neither heard nor, hopefully, anticipated. I have one job: to try the case. My calendar has one entry: trial. All settlement negotiations are handled by Steve Console. My focus remains singular: verdict.

Trying a case is a completely different animal than discovering a case. It takes a different skill set which can only be improved with days spent on your feet in the courtroom. In addition, most lawyers do not have the time, nor the realistic need, to dig deep into the rules of evidence, spend days at a seminar solely on the art of closing arguments, or remain on the brink of the latest trial technology and jury selection research. But I do and I love every minute of it. Our unique set-up has produced formidable results: earlier this year we obtained a six-figure, unanimous federal court age discrimination verdict against AT&T; in 2013, we secured a $1.678 million verdict, plus attorneys’ fees and costs, for a whistle-blower – the largest employment law verdict that year; in dozens of other cases prepared for trial they settled either right before it started or after several days of trial, often for ten to twenty times the pre-trial settlement offer. We’ve had only one loss which, as they say, taught me more than the wins combined and served to heighten my motivation for the next one. This arrangement is a team effort – from the receptionist who takes the initial call, to the legal assistants who work into the night making sure we are organized and seamless, to the lawyers building the case and fighting the motions to get us to the promised land.

So when Steve Console is at mediation and says: “settle this case or we’re going to trial” he’s not bluffing. I’m waiting eagerly for the call.

Laura Carlin Mattiacci is a partner at Console Mattiacci Law, LLC. In 2015, Laura was named to three “Top Lists” by Philadelphia Magazine and Super Lawyers: “Top 100 Attorneys in Pennsylvania” (one of 11 women on the list); “Top 100 Attorneys in Philadelphia” (one of 10 women on the list); and “Top 50 Female Attorneys in Pennsylvania.” In 2014, Laura was also named to the list of “Top 50 Female Attorneys in Pennsylvania” by Philadelphia Magazine and named a “Top Attorney” by South Jersey Magazine.

Console Mattiacci Law, LLC June 2016 Newsletter

Welcome to Console Mattiacci Law, LLC Summer 2016 Newsletter!

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We hope you have been enjoying our newsletters highlighting the latest developments in employment law and our firm’s recent accomplishments.


STEPHEN G. CONSOLE NOTED IN LAW 360 FEATURE

firm-headshot_stephen-console

When an opposing lawyer was asked: “Name a trial attorney, outside your firm, who has impressed you and tell us why” here was his fantastic answer:

A: Stephen G. Console of Philadelphia has a well-deserved reputation as one of the most outstanding plaintiff’s employment law attorneys in the United States.

His trial skills are truly outstanding, but the most remarkable things about him are his professionalism in dealing with the clients and his ability to evaluate cases quickly and accurately. I invariably learn a lesson in professionalism when I have the opportunity to send a client to him and his colleagues.

Read the full article here.


CLO Attorneys on Super Lawyers and Rising Stars List

Several attorneys are recognized on the 2016 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists featured in Pennsylvania Super Lawyers Magazine and Philadelphia Magazine. Stephen G. Console and Laura C. Mattiacci are once again included on the Super Lawyers list along with Caren N. Gurmankin and Rahul Munshi included on the Rising Stars list again as well.

Read full article and list of recognitions.


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Access the Summer 2016 Newsletter in PDF format

Trial Pro, Joseph Crawford, Recognizes Stephen Console as One of the Most Outstanding Employment Lawyers in the U.S.

Trial Pros Pepper Hamilton's Joseph Crawford

Trial Pros: Pepper Hamilton’s Joseph Crawford

Law360, New York (June 13, 2016, 2:16 PM ET) —

Joseph C. Crawford is a partner in the commercial litigation practice group of Pepper Hamilton LLP and a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He has tried cases in many areas of the law, including breach of contract, fraud, securities, product liability, defamation, insurance, cases arising out of mergers and acquisitions, death penalty litigation and other pro bono cases.

Q: What’s the most interesting trial you’ve worked on and why?

A: The most interesting trial I ever worked on is one that changed my approach on how to prepare clients to testify in depositions and for trial. The opposing party, my client’s older relative, was a wealthy man who had hired my client to run the family business and had given my client a power of attorney to sign checks and enter into business transactions. The older family member accused my client of making unauthorized payments to himself and entering into business transactions without authorization and on terms that constituted a breach of fiduciary duty.

As is typical in a family business dispute, some of the documents put my client in an unfavorable light and the older relative never challenged any payment or transaction in which there was a clear documentary record that favored my client. Although my client was an honest, extremely intelligent person and I had used the “normal deposition preparation” that I had used with all other clients up to that point in the first ten years of my career, he lacked confidence under cross-examination and his deposition did not go well. I decided that, if opposing counsel did not call my client as on cross-examination during trial, I would, in the course of my own direct examination in the defense case, ask him every difficult question and cover every weak point that a good cross-examiner would probe.

That is exactly what occurred. I called it “Take Away Direct Examination,” because the goal was to take away any possibility of opposing counsel cross-examining my client. The result was that my client felt confident telling the whole story — the good points and the difficult points — during direct examination. When I questioned him very specifically about some of the difficult points, he knew that I believed him on the ultimate issues in the case, and it increased his ability to explain difficult facts tremendously.

This method thwarted opposing counsel’s cross-examination because the client had already answered all of the challenging questions, and so the cross-examination seemed like mere repetition of points that had already been answered. I realized then how much more effective it is to address and answer the “weak points” in a case during direct examination of the client because then the “weak points” can be placed in the context of a theory of the case in which they are not fatal to the client’s position.

The jury clearly appreciated the honesty of an approach that presented the whole story — our good points and our bad points. In what was a difficult case, the jury saw that the client was fundamentally telling the truth and awarded the plaintiff only one percent of the damages that he claimed, and even that verdict was reduced to zero because the plaintiff had withheld a payment that would otherwise have been owed to my client based on the claims of fraud and conversion. Now I always consider the possibility of taking away my opponent’s cross-examination by addressing every likely attack point in my direct examination. After this trial, I changed my method of preparing witnesses.

When I prepare a witness for deposition or trial, after we have covered all of the key facts and documents, I conduct a “Take Away Direct Examination,” which is an attempt to elicit testimony on the main strong points of our theory of the case and on all of the major subjects and questions that a good opposing counsel might probe in cross-examination. The goal is to make the client see that our theory of the case withstands the test upon examination of all of the relevant facts — both the good and the bad. Only then do we proceed to a mock “cross-examination,” in which I or a colleague plays the role of opposing counsel and asks the difficult, challenging questions. This method — i.e., making sure that the client would be able to testify on the main strong and weak points in a “direct examination” conducted by their own lawyer — is a tremendously effective tool in preparing clients to testify in response to questions by opposing counsel.

Q: What’s the most unexpected or amusing thing you’ve experienced while working on a trial?

A: Sometimes, it is better to be lucky than good. I tried a defamation case years ago that involved a dispute between a male political activist and my client, a woman who was a television news broadcaster at one of our local stations. The political activist’s version of the event that resulted in the defamation case was that he had a respectful conversation with my client in which he criticized her journalistic ethics. He claimed that she lost her temper and struck him in the face.

My client testified that the political activist, a person she had never met before, startled her by making angry, deeply offensive comments that had nothing to do with journalism. She admitted that she tried to slap him across the face, but denied striking him. The political activist filed a defamation case because a local radio talk show host found the incident amusing, discussed it on the air repeatedly and recounted the incident primarily from the point of view of the television news broadcaster.

During all of my planned cross-examination of the political activist, he was calm, respectful and conducted himself like a perfect gentleman. I had a terrible case of the flu during the trial and perhaps because I was feeling so sick, I asked a stupid, objectionable and ineffective question at the end of my cross-examination. The question was so bad and should have been so easy to answer that my opponent decided not to object to it. Then pure, unadulterated good luck intervened.

The political activist unexpectedly screamed at me, and then he made a huge mistake by standing up in the witness box, putting his hands on the bench and leaning over and screaming in the face of the trial judge, angrily criticizing her handling of the trial. The trial judge had conducted the jury trial in an exemplary manner, and the jury clearly loved her. When the jury saw the political activist screaming in the face of the trial judge, the case was over.

Q: What does your trial prep routine consist of?

A: It is pretty much a three step process for me. First, I personally prepare detailed summaries of all the deposition testimony by opposing witnesses and all potentially important exhibits. I make sure that I include in my summary the exact words of the witness or the exhibit if I believe there is any chance that I will use that excerpt either to control the witness’s answer during trial or to impeach the witness if he or she varies from the statement in the deposition or exhibit.

I find that personally preparing these summaries burns their content into my memory. Second, I develop explicit goals, lists of exhibits and outlines for each cross and direct examination. I improve the direct examination outlines by meeting with our witnesses and preparing them to testify on direct, “Take Away Direct” and cross-examination. If my goals are sound and the methods chosen in the outlines are good, I will not need to use the outlines much during the examination of the witnesses because I will remember the goals and the methods chosen to accomplish them. Finally, I prepare an opening statement and perhaps also a rough outline of my closing statement.

Q: If you could give just one piece of advice to a lawyer on the eve of their first trial, what would it be?

A: If a new trial lawyer is extremely well prepared on the facts and has good fundamentals, his or her youth or inexperience can actually be a tremendous advantage. If the judge or the jury senses that the new trial lawyer does not have a great deal of experience, but is extremely well prepared, sincere and, importantly, is someone who gets to the point without wasting everyone’s time, there will be a natural human reaction on the part of the judge and the jury to root for and give every benefit of the doubt to the first timer.

Q: Name a trial attorney, outside your own firm, who has impressed you and tell us why.

A: Stephen G. Console of Philadelphia has a well-deserved reputation as one of the most outstanding plaintiffs’ employment law attorneys in the United States. His trial skills are truly outstanding, but the most remarkable things about him are his professionalism in dealing with the clients and his ability to evaluate cases quickly and accurately. I invariably learn a lesson in professionalism when I have the opportunity to send a client to him and his colleagues. The opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the firm, its clients, or Portfolio Media Inc., or any of its or their respective affiliates.

This article is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal advice.

All Content © 2003-2016, Portfolio Media, Inc.

Read the full article  Trial Pros Pepper Hamilton’s Joseph Crawford in PDF format.

Console Mattiacci Law, LLC Attorneys Recognized as Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

Congratulations to the following attorneys of CLO for their inclusion on the 2016 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars (the state’s young attorneys) lists.  The Philadelphia Magazine and Philadelphia Super Lawyers Magazine publication is expected on newsstands on June 1st.

Steve Console, partner of Console Mattiacci Law, is again included on the Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list for 2016, as well as the TOP 100 for Pennsylvania and TOP 100 for Philadelphia. He has been honored by Pennsylvania Super Lawyers since 2004. He will receive special recognition for being on the Super Lawyers list for more than 10 years!

Laura Mattiacci, partner of Console Mattiacci Law, is again included on the Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list for 2016. She has received this honor each year since 2003. She has also been recognized as TOP 50 Female Lawyers for Pennsylvania for 2016.

Caren Gurmankin and Rahul Munshi have been recognized as Pennsylvania Rising Stars by Philadelphia Magazine and Philadelphia Super Lawyers Magazine. This designation places Attorney Gurmankin and Attorney Munshi in the top 2.5% of up-and-coming attorneys in Pennsylvania.

Join us in congratulating these dedicated and skilled attorneys. Way to Go!