Message from John E. Keefe, Jr.
“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.” ― John F. Kennedy, Jr.
If one word best describes 2018 thus far it is “change”. Our new Red Bank office opening followed by my installation as the 120 th president of the New Jersey State Bar Association kept the Keefe team pivoting in the first half of this year.
Keefe Law Firm continues to evolve to better serve the needs of New Jersey’s diverse population. Individuals and businesses now leverage our expertise in employment, subrogation, real estate, consumer fraud, workers comp, contracts and more. We continue to prevail in personal injury, mass tort, construction, commercial and criminal litigation.
What will always remain unchanged is our steadfast commitment to serving our clients with the utmost integrity and excellence in representation.
Protect Your Credit Card Data This Holiday Season
Ah, the holidays! Most of us do at least part of our shopping online. Be sure to take these precautions so that your holidays won’t be ruined by credit card fraud.
1. Use the Right Kind of Card
Identity fraud occurs every three seconds — but you don’t have to be a statistic. Completely avoiding the use of debit cards in favor of strictly using credit cards is the first step to keeping your banking information safe online.
You might also want to consider a separate credit card with a lower limit for online transactions. Alternatively, you could look into a virtual credit card service that generates a new card for every transaction.
2. Keep Your Details Safe
Basic online safety says to never give out your personal information, and while it’s a simple piece of advice, it is key. Emails, being routed through servers such as they are, are not as secure as we would like to think!
Be careful when it comes to where you access the internet and the sites at which you shop. Never shop online over public wifi, and always look for VeriSign or other authenticator certifications at check out.
3. Make Sure Your Computer is Secure
Keeping your credit card safe means more than just being smart with your card. 24% of all PCs are not adequately protected from online threats — if you’re one of the millions with an out-of-date or non-existent antivirus software, do not shop online! A strong firewall will help protect the data stored on your computer and in your browser from any outside attacks.
3 Must-Have Documents for All of Us
No one can predict the future. Though life may be perfectly fine today, tomorrow any one of us might find ourselves in a tough situation we never saw coming.
Regardless of where you are in life, you need to think about estate planning. Married with kids and a successful small business? You need to have your documents in order. Young, single, and focusing on your career? Yep — still need to have things sorted out.
By spending time on estate planning now, you will avert significant family disagreement and financial and emotional stress on your loved ones while ensuring you are well cared for should you become physically or mentally disabled.
Here’s what you need:
1. Power of Attorney
How will you handle your affairs while incapacitated, if an accident should happen? Setting up a Power of Attorney will ensure you always know who can speak for you in a given situation. You can — and should — authorize someone to act on your behalf concerning medical treatment, finances and other critical areas of your life.
A Health Care Proxy is someone who has been given Power of Attorney in regards to decisions about your health. Designating someone you trust now, rather than waiting until it’s too late, is something all adults should consider.
2. Living Will/Advance Care Directive
While a health care proxy can act on your behalf when it comes to making medical decisions, a living will dictates your wishes for end-of-life care. Having both documents in order is crucial to a comprehensive plan for emergencies.
Living wills are particularly important for anyone with specific wishes when it comes to life support. You don’t want anyone to have to guess as to how to respect your last wishes — not even your Power of Attorney agent.
3. Last Will and Testament
Creating your will when you are mentally healthy is the only way to ensure that your assets will be distributed as per your wishes. Wills are not just for the wealthy. Take a moment to think about your assets—your home, savings, collectibles, jewelry, family heirlooms, personal possessions. Without a will, the state will decide how and to whom your assets will be distributed.
Expecting the best while planning for the worst will ensure you and your family are taken care of no matter what the future brings.
Are you ready to talk about your estate planning? Contact me to get started.
Local Land Use Happenings
Astute land use planning protects the public health, safety and welfare of residents and businesses. Short-sighted planning—well, you know how that ends up. Here is a land use matter I am handling for Monmouth County citizens.
Grande Harmony Residential Housing, Harmony Rd., Jackson Township
Keefe Law Firm is representing Neighbors Against Grande Harmony, an organization opposed to the construction of the Grande Harmony high-density housing development. Twenty five townhouse buildings comprising 214 units are being proposed. This location is currently zoned for limited commercial use and the developer will need a use variance to change the zoning to multi-family. Concerned residents can attend the zoning meeting on October 17th, 7:00 pm . I hope to see you there.
$2.275 Million Settlement for Man Electrocuted on the Job
In May of 2014, Ronald Gosselin was working at the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission’s facility (PVSC) in Newark, New Jersey. Mr. Gosselin was employed by a contractor for PVSC, High Voltage Maintenance Corp. (HVM).
While on a mechanical lift and preparing to clean insulators, an electrical arc of 138,000 volts struck him and engulfed him in flames. Mr. Gosselin’s co-workers used fire extinguishers to put out the fire but he suffered second and third degree burns to roughly 47% of his body surface area. Mr. Gosselin survived but sustained severe, disfiguring and permanent injuries and scarring, and experiences daily, disabling pain. He will need medical care for the remainder of his life. Stephen T. Sullivan, Jr., Keefe Law Firm partner, resolved the matter on Mr. Gosselin’s behalf.
Essex County Single Mom Awarded $1.5 Million in Auto Crash Settlement
John E. Gregory, Keefe Law Firm partner and Certified Civil Trial Attorney represented the plaintiff, who sustained life-altering injuries and multiple surgeries when the car she was traveling in was struck by a delivery van.
Manchester Woman Awarded $250,000
Keefe Law Firm recently finalized a settlement of $250,000 on behalf of a 71 year-old woman who suffered orthopedic injuries when her vehicle was struck from behind. The plaintiff sustained neck and shoulder injuries in this 4-car accident. John E. Gregory represented the plaintiff.
$750,000 Structured Settlement Fund for Child
John E. Gregory worked on behalf of Pedro Tejada, who died when he was hit by a speeding minivan while crossing Smith Street in Perth Amboy. He was on his way to work.
Mr. Tejada, the sole financial support of his daughter, suffered massive internal and head injuries. The accident was witnessed by another driver, who stated that he moved over to let the minivan pass because he was afraid. A few moments later he watched as Mr. Tejada was mowed down. Mr. Tejada’s daughter, who was three years old at the time of the accident, is the beneficiary of the $750,000 structured settlement fund which will remain in trust until she comes of age.
John E. Keefe, Jr. Argues in New Jersey Supreme Court
Realtors Open House
Keefe Law Firm is hosting a networking event for local realtors on Tuesday, November 13 . The fun starts at 6:00 pm at our new Red Bank office. Cocktails, snacks and great conversation will be served! To find out more, contact Anne Journick.
CLE Classes: Wrongful Death and Expert Evidence/Accutane
Judge C. Judson Hamlin will provide an overview of the law of wrongful death on Friday, October 19 at the Wilshire Grand in West Orange. This seminar is worth 4.5 CLE credits. Judge Hamlin will also provide a judicial perspective on Expert Evidence After the Accutane Decision on Friday, November 16 at the Hilton Meadowlands in East Rutherford, sponsored by the NJAJ (3.3 CLE credits).
CLE Class: 2018 Employment Law Roundtable : Janus Was the Tip of the Iceberg
Jessica S. Allen will be a key presenter in this 6.7 Credit CLE course, which addresses the effects of The Janus Decision on unions and much more. December 11, 9:00 AM in New Brunswick.
NJSBA Mid-Year Meeting
The New Jersey State Bar Association 2018 Mid-Year Meeting from November 3 -10 in Rome, Italy gives attorneys the opportunity to earn up to 12 CLE credits while experiencing the treasures of one of the world’s most beautiful cities. Judge John Keefe, Sr. will be a speaker at “Trials and Tribulations: What We Can Learn from Famous Italian Trials”.
Growing recognition of the national workplace sexual harassment epidemic has fueled important discussions on how employers should approach and deal with these incidents. In the midst of the #MeToo era, it is critical that any such allegations be investigated promptly and thoroughly and that necessary remedial action be quickly taken.
Does your company have a process in place?
First things first: do you have an effective complaint procedure and investigative process for dealing with harassment complaints? Do you have the resources needed to take the time to deal with accusations and incidents thoughtfully, or do you rush to judgment?
While investigative action needs to be taken quickly, the conclusion should never be rushed so as to best respect all parties involved.
Do you know when an investigation should begin?
Waiting until a formal complaint has been filed is waiting too long. Being prepared for effective workplace investigations means being aware of what is going on in your organization. Building a culture of respect, transparency and openness will help everyone take seriously any complaint they receive and promptly report any allegations of inappropriate conduct to their supervisor and/or human resources.
Managers should be taking anything they notice or hear seriously, no matter how small or how early. This may mean making resources such as routine and interactive training and expert help available now, not later.
Do you know who will be held accountable for investigations that hold up in court?
If the incident being internally investigated cannot be resolved or was not properly investigated, litigation my ensue against the organization and corporate representatives. Knowing whether your organization has effective and legally compliant policies, complaint procedures, training and investigative measures is crucial.
Meet Our Team
Stephen T. Sullivan, Jr.
A native of Little Egg Harbor, NJ and a Trenton State College (now the College of New Jersey) and Villanova Law School graduate, Stephen concentrates on personal injury, class action and consumer fraud matters.
When he is not working, Stephen serves as a Trustee of the Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Milltown, New Jersey and is Treasurer for the Our Lady of Lourdes Council 7250 of the Knights of Columbus.
Stephen is married and is a busy dad to six (yes six!) children. He and his family make their home in Milltown, New Jersey.
New Red Bank Office
Keefe Law Firm’s new office is at 125 Half Mile Road, Suite 100, in Red Bank, New Jersey. We are now conveniently located just seconds off Exit 109 of the Garden State Parkway.
Featured in our reception area is Shades of Justice, a 120″ x 48″ oil painting by Rumson artist Kathleen Palmeri, depicting our favorite U.S. and New Jersey Supreme Court Justices
New Jersey Certified Civil Trial Attorneys
Pursuant to New Jersey Court Rule 1:39-6(d), Keefe Law Firm is permitted to pay referral fees to referring attorneys. Learn how you can help your clients and colleagues while boosting your firm’s revenue. Contact us today.