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Gallagher Sharp Attorney Markus Apelis Designated as Proctor in Admiralty by Maritime Law Association of the United States

May 2024 • Source: Gallagher Sharp

Gallagher Sharp is proud to announce that Markus Apelis, head of the firm's admiralty and maritime practice group, has been designated as a Proctor in Admiralty by the Maritime Law Association of the United States (MLA). This prestigious designation recognizes Markus' significant contributions to the field of maritime law and his dedication to advancing the administration of justice in admiralty matters.

The MLA is a distinguished organization comprising lawyers, judges, law professors, and non-lawyers who hold responsible positions in the maritime field. Membership in the MLA is open to attorneys admitted to practice before any of the several courts of the United States and who have demonstrated a strong interest in the objectives of the Association. The title of Proctor in Admiralty is the highest membership category for practicing lawyers and is awarded only after meeting stringent professional and educational requirements.

Markus Apelis leads Gallagher Sharp's admiralty and maritime practice group. For over a decade, he has represented vessel owners and operators in serious marine casualties, including crew injury or death, collisions, allisions, groundings, and fires. Markus also represents shippers, charterers, logistics providers, and others in cargo claims and contractual disputes, as well as marine facilities against property damage and personal injury claims. His practice extends to personal injury or property damage matters arising out of the use of personal watercraft.

"We are thrilled to congratulate Markus on this well-deserved recognition," said Gallagher Sharp’s Managing Partner Monica Sansalone. "This appointment is a testament to his extensive knowledge, experience, and dedication to the field of maritime law. We are confident that Markus will continue to provide exceptional service to our clients and make significant contributions to the advancement of admiralty law."

The term "Proctor in Admiralty" has a rich history, dating back to the Admiralty Courts set up in England in the 13th century. The designation was continued in the American colonies, and although the term is no longer in official usage in
the federal court system, many associations use it to distinguish their members as practicing maritime attorneys.

“I am honored and humbled to receive the recognition of the MLA as a Proctor in Admiralty,” says Markus. “I am grateful for the support of our clients, industry partners, and the maritime bar, and look forward to continuing our work with all of them.”

For more information about Gallagher Sharp and its admiralty and maritime practice, please visit


Zarwin Baum Trial Win

April 2024 • Source:

A Philadelphia jury on Thursday returned a $6.1 million verdict to a worker crushed by a pallet of exercise weights.

But the award was only a fraction of what the plaintiffs had estimated the value of the case to be.

According to attorneys involved in the matter, the plaintiff’s settlement demand at trial was somewhere between $51 million and $101 million.

Lead counsel for the defendant, Theodore Schaer of Zarwin Baum DeVito Kaplan Schaer Toddy, said the jury’s comparatively modest award of $6.1 million was significant for a city he described as seeming like “the capital of nuclear verdicts.”

Schaer said Philadelphia’s reputation as a hotspot for large verdicts can lead to unreasonable estimations of a case’s value. “It has gotten to the point where you can’t even mediate a case because the demands are so crazy today,” he said.

However, he said, the Thursday verdict in Kobeissi v. Shipwire demonstrates that “not every catastrophic injury case in Philadelphia is going to return a nuclear verdict.”

Attorneys for the opposing parties gave differing accounts to The Legal of what the plaintiff’s ultimate settlement demand was, though both said the numbers shifted during trial based on updated information about the defendant’s insurance coverage.

Saltz Mongeluzzi Bendesky partner Jeffrey Goodman, who represented the plaintiff, contended that the demand was $51 million, while Schaer asserted that the demand was $101 million by the time the case went to verdict.

Plaintiff Samer Kobeissi claimed his lower body was crushed by a double-stacked pallet of Peloton weights that fell while he was unloading it from a truck. He alleged that defendant Ingram Micro Inc., which loaded the cargo into the truck, ignored warnings that double stacking the pallets was dangerous.

Kobeissi said he required extensive pelvic surgery following the accident and was left with chronic pain and impaired mobility.

According to Schaer, Ingram Micro admitted negligence and acknowledged that Kobeissi had suffered a catastrophic injury. But the defendant also asserted that Kobeissi contributed to his injuries by trying to move the pallets although he was not trained in the proper unloading process.

“We talked to the jury a lot about personal responsibility,” Schaer said.

The jury determined that defendant Ingram Micro, which Schaer represented alongside co-counsel Gregory Mallon Jr., was 80% responsible for the plaintiff’s harm. The jury assigned 0% liability to a second defendant and the remaining 20% to Kobeissi.

The jury was also presented with an opportunity to award punitive damages against Ingram Micro, but it declined to do so.

The verdict followed a three-week trial before Judge Vincent Johnson of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, though the proceedings had originally only been scheduled to last 9 days.

“This was a long trial,” Goodman said, “and I will give the court credit for battling through to ensure the parties all had their day in court.”


Lederer Weston Craig, PLC Trial Win

April 2024 • Source: Lederer Weston Craig, PLC

Themis members Alexandra Galbraith Davis and Kent Gummert of Lederer Weston Craig, PLC represented a commercial vehicle driver in a trial that was held last week in the Iowa District Court for Polk County Iowa. The lawsuit arose out of an accident between a rock truck and a passenger van. The rock truck struck the van while making a left turn into a job site. Liability was admitted at trial.

The Plaintiff was a 77-year-old gentleman (81 at the time of trial)  suffered whiplash injuries to his neck and upper back. His treating physician, who specializes in treating patients with concussions and traumatic brain injuries, diagnosed him with post-concussion syndrome with vision changes, balance issues and cognitive decline. The defense expert challenged the diagnosis of a brain injury and cast doubt on whether the plaintiff had any cognitive decline.

The Plaintiff’s counsel asked for $3,000,000 in his closing argument. The Jury returned a verdict of $35,000.


Medical Record Summaries Consistently Help Speed Case Preparation

November 2023 • Source: ChoiceLegal

When time and efficiency count, medical record summaries eliminate the need to read thousands of pages. Records are summarized and hyperlinked to the correct document so your legal team can focus more on strategy rather than note taking.

What to Look for when Ordering Record Summaries

Your summarization partner should provide an email link right to the selected record, allowing for downloading the content directly to your claim or case management platform. The records should be hyperlinked to the original records, enabling staff to review records quickly and facilitate better collaboration with key stakeholders.

When to Use Medical Record Summarization

For easy and accurate discovery, using a vendor to generate medical summaries best serve cases that receive 200 pages of records or more. When contracting for medical summaries, every record is summarized. This can be handled by your vendor partner and frees paralegals to focus on strategy and other critical legal activities.

Consider the following scenario and how medical records summaries generated by a vendor partner have successfully assisted:

A 63 year old male patient presents with a soft tissue injury where herniations to the lumbar spine are alleged in the disability claim.  Sifting through extensive medical records becomes much easier and quicker with medical records summaries and helps to identify prior causation and a potential pre-existing condition.

When a case is getting close to trial, reviewing summarized records enable paralegals to work more efficiently and drill right to the pertinent information. This results in a more cost effective defense for the insurance carrier and greater efficiency for the defending law firm.

About Jeffrey Baker

Jeffrey Baker is Senior Vice President of Sales for ChoiceLegal. Jeff is responsible for the ongoing growth and branding on a national scale with the insurance and legal communities. An insurance industry veteran, Jeff has 27 years of experience working with legal companies. Eleven years in executive claims management and sixteen years as a vendor to the insurance and legal market.

About ChoiceLegal

ChoiceLegal is a leading nationwide medical record retrieval provider for defense firms and insurance carriers. As a dedicated partner, ChoiceLegal retrieves all types of medical records insurance defense firms may need and handles every step of the process including order entry, authorization processing, subpoena preparation, and service.


Melick & Porter Attorneys Recognized by Best Lawyers® in 2024

October 2023 • Source: Melick & Porter

Melick & Porter, LLP is pleased to announce five attorneys have been listed in the 2024 edition of The Best Lawyers in America® and three attorneys recognized in the 2024 edition of Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch® in America. In addition, Michael J. Mazurczak received the special designation of “Lawyer of the Year”.

Recognition in Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review and is widely regarded by both clients and legal professionals as a significant honor.
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