Perez Morris Best Lawyers in America

Perez Morris lawyers recognized in the 2022 edition of The Best Lawyers in America©

Perez Morris Best Lawyers in America picture of attorneysKevin Murch, Beth Weeden, and Mony B.P. Yin have been recognized in the 2022 edition of The Best Lawyers in America©. Michael Aceto and Anne Marie Schloemer were also included in Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch!

Best Lawyers is a sophisticated peer-review process that identifies outstanding lawyers by conducting exhaustive surveys in which tens of thousands of leading lawyers confidentially evaluate their professional peers.

Our lawyers were featured in the practice areas listed below:

 

Kevin Murch

  • Commercial Litigation

 

Beth Weeden

  • Workers’ Compensation Law – Claimants
  • Workers’ Compensation Law – Employers

 

Mony B.P. Yin

  • Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants

 

Michael Aceto

  • Product Liability Litigation – Defendants

 

Anne Marie Schloemer

  • Litigation – Labor and Employment
Sarah Perez Smart 50 Honoree graphic

Sarah Perez Recognized as 2021 Smart 50 Award Honoree by Smart Business Magazine

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Managing Partner Sarah Perez was recognized as a 2021 Smart 50 Award honoree by Smart Business Magazine.

The Smart 50 Awards recognize the top executives of the 50 smartest companies in the Central Ohio region for their ability to effectively build and lead successful organizations.

Sarah handles commercial litigation, employment, civil rights, supply chain and logistics, and transactional matters. She is an experienced litigator in state and federal courts and is regularly asked to speak on topics related to women’s leadership, business management and strategies for leveraging business for community impact. Sarah is an active champion of diversity and inclusion in the legal profession and within her community.

Two women working together at a desk with a pile of work papers

Female mentorship can help narrow the gender gap

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Over this past, difficult year, a good mentor in the workplace has been a necessity. In an article published by Smart Business, Perez Morris attorney, Celia M. Schnupp, discusses how she previously relied upon coworkers, members of local professional associations, and other local connections for most of her career. But during the pandemic barriers created by distance were removed. Celia offers ideas to consider when facilitating your own mentorship model and journey including virtual tools, finding the right mentor, instilling accountability in the workplace, and understanding how female mentorship can work to narrow the gender gap.

Private jet during sunrise

Skies still cloudy: Federal preemption under Montreal Convention continues on turbulent track

The question of whether, and to what extent, federal law preempts state law for aviation claims falling under the purview of the Montreal Convention (“the Convention”) has remained a challenging and unsettled issue across jurisdictions for decades. With no official pronouncement from the Supreme Court of the United States, courts have been left to interpret what has amounted to unclear language of the Convention with minimal binding precedent, resulting in markedly inconsistent applications. While the purpose of the Convention was to reconcile supplemental amendments to the prior iteration of the treaty and achieve uniformity of the rules governing international carriage, one of the most critical issues—federal preemption—ironically continues on a path of relative uncertainty.

In the most recent judicial opinion to address this issue, Parrish v. City of Albuquerque became the first court in the Tenth Circuit to find that the Convention cannot be read to completely preempt state law claims. In Parrish, the passenger had booked a flight from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Canada. Although able to walk with limited mobility, the passenger was provided wheelchair assistance at check-in. After being escorted to the gate in the wheelchair, the passenger was then left unassisted during the boarding process, instructed by airline personnel to board without help, and was injured while attempting to push the wheelchair down the jet-bridge herself. Parrish at 2.

While specifying that case law is divided on whether complete federal preemption applies, the court looked to the plain meaning of Article 29 and its statutory construction to conclude that it permits alternative causes of action under state law outside the scope of the Montreal Convention. Specifically, the court found that the phrase “whether under this Convention or in contract or in tort or otherwise” meant that state law claims could be allowed because the conjunction “or” was used as a function word to indicate an alternative avenue of recovery for claimants. Parrish at 6. On the other hand, the court mentioned that if the Convention was read to require complete preemption, the words “or in contract or in tort or otherwise” would be rendered worthless as no alternative would be available. Parrish at 7.

In further disagreeing with the argument in favor of complete federal preemption, the court found that the reliance on the seminal U.S. Supreme Court decision of El Al Israel Airlines v. Tsui Yuan Tseng to be unpersuasive. The Parrish court did not view the conclusion of Tseng (“recovery for a personal injury suffered on board [an] aircraft or in the course of any of the operations of embarking or disembarking, if not allowed under the Convention, is not available at all”) as having a preemptive effect. Instead, Parrish reasoned that a conflict of law between authorities does not itself automatically result in total preemption and therefore any reliance on Tseng would improperly conflate the two legal doctrines. Parrish at 5.

Notably, the holding in Parrish is at odds with other district courts within the Tenth Circuit, including Callahan v. United Airlines (2017), where the court held that the Montreal Convention completely preempts state law and provides passengers an exclusive remedy. Callahan at 3. Importantly, the court examined the exact same language from the treaty as did Parrish, yet the Callahan court found that the Convention exclusively established itself as the only cause of action for claims within its scope because Article 29 “mandate[es] that any action, no matter the basis, can only be brought subject to the provisions of the Convention.” Callahan at 3. In also citing to Tseng—but to support its conclusion—the Callahan court pointed out that “recourse to local law would undermine the uniform regulation of international air carrier liability that the Convention was designed to foster.” Callahan at 2 citing Tseng.

Although there are stark differences of interpretation as to the scope of the Convention’s preemptive reach, courts do agree that there is no binding authority within the Tenth Circuit, and that there is division among courts in other jurisdictions as well. Given these continued inconsistencies, the issue of federal preemption under the Montreal Convention remains ripe for appellate review.

 


 

Charity Hyde, Perez Morris

Charity Hyde is the Managing Attorney, Northeast Offices of Perez Morris Hyde. Her core practice includes aviation-related litigation, transportation and motor vehicle liability, premises liability, and insurance fraud investigation. Charity’s background includes leading multi-attorney teams and representing airlines, airports, commercial entities, retailers, and large manufacturing clients in complex, high-exposure litigation in several states. You may contact her at chyde@perezmorris.com or 215-692-1235. Read more

Email Charity Hyde

 

 

Michael Aceto, Perez & Morris attorney headshot

Michael W. Aceto concentrates his practice in the areas of product liability, toxic tort, environmental, and general liability claims. He is a trial lawyer with experience defending companies and individuals in matters involving mass torts including asbestos, benzene, talc, mold, lead, and other chemicals, and dedicates a significant portion of his practice to complex product liability actions involving industrial equipment, commercial and consumer motor vehicles, construction machinery, and household consumer products.

Before entering private practice, Michael served as a law clerk in the Torts Litigation Section of the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General and as a judicial law clerk to the Hon. Edward Griffith in the Chester County, PA Court of Common Pleas. In addition, he focuses his pro bono practice on counseling non-profit organizations in the educational system. Read more

Email Michael Aceto

Retailers and mask policies, article by Celia Schnupp of Perez Morris, young woman shopping for clothes with a mask

What retailers need to know when adjusting their mask policies

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As state and federal governments lift mandatory safety measures following CDC guidance, businesses have started carefully reducing their protocols for both their employees and customers. National retailers like Trader Joe’s, Costco, Walmart, Target, and Starbucks are not requiring proof of vaccinations prior to entry, and are functioning on an honor system that requires unvaccinated individuals to wear a mask while in their stores. As businesses explore what their own policies will include, being prepared with current guidelines can enable them to move forward with what best suits the needs for their employees and customers. 

Celia M. Schnupp, who serves as our strategic legal partner for large corporations, small businesses and medical practices, discusses what retailers need to know when modifying their mask policies in her article published by TotalRetail.

Sarah Perez Recognized as 2021 ABA On the Rise - Top 40 Young Lawyer

Sarah Perez Recognized as 2021 ABA On the Rise – Top 40 Young Lawyer

Sarah Perez Recognized as 2021 ABA On the Rise - Top 40 Young Lawyer

Managing Partner Sarah Perez was recognized as a 2021 ABA On the Rise – Top 40 Lawyer. The On The Rise Award program provides national recognition for ABA young lawyer members who exemplify high achievement, innovation, vision, leadership, and legal and community service.

Sarah handles commercial litigation, employment, civil rights, supply chain and logistics, and transactional matters. She is an experienced litigator in state and federal courts and is regularly asked to speak on topics related to women’s leadership, business management and strategies for leveraging business for community impact. Sarah is an active champion of diversity and inclusion in the legal profession and within her community.

Troy Morris, Kevin Murch, Juan Perez, and Angela Savino Named 2021 Top Lawyers by Martindale-Hubbell and Columbus CEO

Troy Morris, Kevin Murch, Juan Perez, and Angela Savino Named 2021 Top Lawyers by Martindale-Hubbell and Columbus CEO

Troy Morris, Kevin Murch, Juan Perez, and Angela Savino Named 2021 Top Lawyers by Martindale-Hubbell and Columbus CEOTroy Morris, Kevin Murch, Juan Jose (“John”) Perez, and Angela Savino have been named 2021 Top Lawyers by Columbus CEO. This honor gives each of them status as an AV Preeminent™ peer review rated attorney, which identifies lawyers with the highest rating in legal ability and ethical standards, and is a reflection of their expertise, experience, integrity, and overall professional excellence.

Troy Morris, a founding partner of the firm, focuses his practice on the representation of owners, contractors and architects in construction-related matters. John Perez, also a founding partner, focuses on complex commercial and business litigation including all forms of corporate transactions. Kevin Murch practices product liability litigation, commercial litigation, employment and civil rights litigation, restrictive covenants, trade secrets, and business torts. Angela Savino focuses her practice on business litigation in the global supply chain & logistics, transportation/trucking, and commercial real estate industries.

Kimberly Holmes to speak at NetDiligence Cyber Risk Summit

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Kimberly Holmes will speak on the panel “Post Breach Restoration and Recovery,” at the NetDiligence Cyber Risk Summit Philadelphia on July 14.

The Philadelphia summit is NetDiligence’s flagship program and brings together attendees to deep dive into today’s cybersecurity landscape with a focus on current market trends.

Kimberly Holmes serves as Lead Counsel, Specialty Lines for the firm. In that capacity, she oversees insurance industry referrals to the firm regarding claims for clients ranging from Fortune 100 companies to small and midsize organizations across multiple industry verticals. Kim also manages all external relationships and collaboration with key industry brokers, claim counsel, and senior carrier claim and underwriting leadership on behalf of the firm.

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Five ways retailers can limit risk in a volatile shipping market

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COVID-19 and pandemic restrictions changed how our society purchases and transports consumer goods. The surge in online shopping has increased delivery demand requiring a strong focus on residential deliveries (or final mile delivery), vastly altering the transportation landscape. Over a year into the pandemic, companies are evaluating how to more effectively and efficiently get their products to consumers.

Angela Savino, lead of our transportation, global supply chain & logistics practice, discusses five ways retailers can limit risk in a volatile shipping market in her article published by SupplyChainBrain. Read the full article here.

Private jet during sunrise

How claims of Non-Performance of a Contract seek to circumvent Montreal Convention Preemption

Liability governing the international shipment of goods between signatory countries proceeds through Articles 18 and 19 of the Montreal Convention. International air carriers subject to the Montreal Convention are strictly liable for damages caused by the delay in transporting goods, or due to physical damage otherwise sustained during international transport. Consequently, the Montreal Convention is typically the exclusive remedy for claims of delay or physical damage related to the international air transport of cargo. However, a recent Federal District Court’s decision in New Fortune, Inc. v. Apex Logistics International (CN) Ltd., et al. illustrates that while the Montreal Convention is the exclusive remedy in such instances, breach of contract claims alleging non-performance due to the delay or physical damage to goods could circumvent the Montreal Convention as the exclusive remedy to aggrieved parties. International carriers should be cognizant that damages to goods due to delay or physical damage may not always have the protections of the Special Drawing Rights afforded by the Montreal Convention.

New Fortune, Inc. v. Apex Logistics International (CN) Ltd., et al., is an international air cargo case decided in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York. The plaintiff alleged that six crates of medical masks were damaged and that its buyer refused to accept their late delivery, costing the plaintiff more than $1.65 million in damages, which included manufacturing and shipping costs, as well as lost profits from an additional two million masks it had purchased and planned to sell to the same customer. Plaintiff’s complaint alleged breach of contract, breach of bailment, and negligence against both carrier defendants based on the delayed delivery and physical damage the masks sustained during transit. The defendant carriers moved to dismiss plaintiff’s breach of contract, breach of bailment, and negligence causes of actions citing that Articles 18 and 19 of the Montreal Convention preempt those claims. Plaintiff countered arguing the physical damage to the masks and the delay in their delivery resulted in defendants’ non-performance of the contract between the parties. Plaintiff’s contention was that non-performance of a contract is not governed by the Montreal Convention.

The Court granted defendants’ motion to dismiss finding plaintiff’s claims fall within the scope of the Montreal Convention. However, the Court noted that dismissal of plaintiff’s claims was warranted because plaintiff’s complaint did not allege non-performance of the contract. Instead, the complaint explicitly claimed damages occasioned by delay in delivery and physical damage to delivered goods. The Court did not expound further on whether plaintiff’s breach of contract claim would have survived had it been predicated on non-performance. However, the implication exists that the Montreal Convention may not preempt breach of contract claims based on non-performance of a contract for the shipment of goods.

The decision in New Fortune, Inc. echoes a trend in recent Montreal Convention decisions limiting its preemptive scope. In light of the United States Supreme Court’s ongoing silence regarding whether the Montreal Convention completely preempts state law claims related to international travel between signatory countries, international carriers remain vulnerable to potential exposure beyond the cap in damages afforded by the Montreal Convention.

 


 

Charity Hyde, Perez Morris

Charity Hyde is the Managing Attorney, Northeast Offices of Perez Morris Hyde. Her core practice includes aviation-related litigation, transportation and motor vehicle liability, premises liability, and insurance fraud investigation. Charity’s background includes leading multi-attorney teams and representing airlines, airports, commercial entities, retailers, and large manufacturing clients in complex, high-exposure litigation in several states. You may contact her at chyde@perezmorris.com or 215-692-1235. Read more

Email Charity Hyde

 

 

Michael Aceto, Perez & Morris attorney headshot

Michael W. Aceto concentrates his practice in the areas of product liability, toxic tort, environmental, and general liability claims. He is a trial lawyer with experience defending companies and individuals in matters involving mass torts including asbestos, benzene, talc, mold, lead, and other chemicals, and dedicates a significant portion of his practice to complex product liability actions involving industrial equipment, commercial and consumer motor vehicles, construction machinery, and household consumer products.

Before entering private practice, Michael served as a law clerk in the Torts Litigation Section of the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General and as a judicial law clerk to the Hon. Edward Griffith in the Chester County, PA Court of Common Pleas. In addition, he focuses his pro bono practice on counseling non-profit organizations in the educational system. Read more

Email Michael Aceto