Bennett J. Wasserman
Bennett J. Wasserman is the Editor-in-Chief of the Legal Malpractice Law Review.
Ben has focused his practice on the law governing lawyers, with emphasis on legal malpractice, professional responsibility, lawyer advertising, billing disputes and the fiduciary duties of practicing lawyers. He has been involved in more than 1000 such cases, defending and prosecuting substantial claims in these areas. A significant part of Ben’s work is devoted to serving as a strategic consultant and expert witness on liability and causation issues in legal malpractice litigation. He is frequently called upon by litigators, law firms and professional liability insurers to analyze complex cases of compliance or departures from standards of legal practice and rules of professional conduct, as they relate to lawyer malpractice, risk avoidance, ethics, attorney advertising and law firm billing practices. Several important reported court decisions in state and federal courts have cited his work as the basis for their decisions.
Since 1990, Ben has served as Special Professor of Law at Hofstra University School of Law, where he has taught a full semester advanced course in Lawyer Malpractice. He has also been a guest lecturer at other law schools at home and abroad and has served on the faculty of continuing legal education programs in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. He is the lead author of the New Jersey Law Journal’s Annual Review of the New Jersey Supreme Court’s decisions in the areas of legal ethics and malpractice.
Ben is a graduate of Hunter College (B.A. 1968, M.A. 1971). He received his J.D. cum laude in 1974 from Hofstra University School of Law, where he served as Articles Editor of the Hofstra Law Review. He is admitted to practice in the States of New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania and in the United States District Courts, Circuit Courts of Appeal and the United States Supreme Court. In 1985, the Supreme Court of New Jersey certified Ben as a Civil Trial Attorney. He serves on the Malpractice Insurance and Legal Education Committees of the New Jersey State Bar Association. He has been elected to SuperLawyers® in the field of Professional Liability and to Best Lawyers in America® in the fields of Legal Ethics & Professional Responsibility Law and Legal Malpractice Law. He holds the AV® rating from Martindale-Hubbell and is listed in its Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers. In 2008, the New Jersey Law Journal voted him “Lawyer of the Year” for his work in persuading the NJ Supreme Court that its own attorney advertising rules violated constitutionally protected commercial free speech. He is of counsel to and Chairman of the Legal Malpractice Law section at Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, PC, with offices in New Jersey and New York City.
Jeffrey A. Oshin
Jeffrey A. Oshin, Esq., is Managing Editor of the LegalMalpractice Law Review.
Jeff is a former Appellate Clerk and seasoned litigator with vast experience in the handling of complex tort and contract litigation claims for individual, corporate, and municipal clients. He also has extensive experience in matters of insurance coverage. Jeff has briefed and argued cases before both state and Federal Appellate courts, several of which resulted in published opinions, including Harrison Aire v. Aerostar International, Inc., 423 F.3rd 374 (3rd Cir. 2005) and Perez v. Encompass Insurance, Inc., 417 N.J.Super. 403 (App.Div. 2011). Along with Ben Wasserman, he co-authored the State Supreme Court 2011-2012 Year in Review for the New Jersey Law Journal.
Jeff received his Bachelor of Science in Politics from Brandeis University (1987) and his Juris Doctor from the DePaul University College of Law (1990). After taking the New Jersey Bar Exam he served a judicial clerkship with New Jersey Appellate Court Judge William A. Dreier. He thereafter entered private practice focusing on insurance defense litigation. He is admitted to practice in New Jersey, and was both an Associate and Partner at Hardin Kundla McKeon and Poletto, PA. He currently focuses his practice in the field of the law governing lawyers with special emphasis on legal malpractice.
Philip C. Chronakis
Philip C. Chronakis is a founding member of Chronakis, Siachos & Kaplan, LLC, a premier boutique litigation firm with offices in New Jersey and New York City. Phil has extensive trial and appellate experience in the state and federal courts, representing corporate and individual clients in major multi-million dollar complex commercial litigations, alternate dispute resolutions and white collar criminal defense. He has testified as an expert witness in legal malpractice litigation and has served on the adjunct faculty of Seton Hall Law School teaching appellate advocacy. Phil has had extensive experience both in and out of the courtroom. He started as a trial attorney in a busy city prosecutor’s office and then went to the “big firms” starting at Reed Smith, LLP as a litigator and then as a partner at Garfunkel Wild, PC where as a principal trial attorney he represented a diverse array of health care professionals, both on an individual and institutional level.
Phil served as President of the Hudson County Bar Association Young Lawyers’ Division and has given CLE lectures on the Kovel Doctrine, regarding the protection of attorney-consultant communications and the interface of electronic discovery and the rules of professional conduct. He has been published in the National Law Journal, the New Jersey Law Journal, the University of Detroit Mercy Law Review, and Criminal Law Weekly.
David Drescher is the first to rise from the ranks of student contributor to a member of the Editorial Board. David received his B.A. from University of Florida in 2008 and his J.D. from Hofstra University School of Law in 2012. He was an active student contributor to the Legal Malpractice Law Review. In addition to his involvement on this blog as a law student, David was also a member of Hofstra’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Society and finished in first place in the group’s school-wide intramural negotiation competition. He also had the opportunity to intern for the Honorable Patricia J. Di Mango of the New York Supreme Court. David is deeply involved in prosecuting and defending major legal malpractice litigation and is applying his skills in ADR to the resolution of legal malpractice claims in mediation and arbitration. He is a member of the New Jersey Bar and is about to be admitted in New York.
Claudia A. Costa
Claudia A. Costa is an Associate Editor of the Legal Malpractice Law Review. She is a seasoned commercial litigator with extensive experience in the state and federal courts of New Jersey and New York. She has been deeply involved in breach of fiduciary duty and professional liability litigation involving attorneys and law firms.
Claudia received her J.D. from Fordham Law School, where she was an editor of The Moot Court Board and a writer for the Environmental Law Journal. She interned for Judge H. Lee Sarokin of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey and for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York in its Securities Fraud Unit. She received her B.A. in English from St. Peter’s College. A native born Argentinian, Claudia is fluent in Spanish and while in college, served as an interpreter for the Superior Court of New Jersey, Hudson County.
Admitted to the Bars of New Jersey, New York and the District of Columbia, Claudia is of Counsel to Kaufman, Dolowich, Voluck & Gonzo, LLP in its Hackensack, New Jersey office.
Susan Saab Fortney
Susan Saab Fortney is Associate Editor of the Legal Malpractice Law Review responsible for Texas materials. She is the co-author of LEGAL MALPRACTICE LAW: PROBLEMS and PREVENTION (Thomson/West, 2008), the first law school level casebook in the field. Susan is a prolific author whose many articles have appeared in law reviews and scholarly journals throughout the country. Susan serves as the Paul Whitfield Horn Professor and Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development at Texas Tech University School of Law, where she teaches a full semester course on Legal Malpractice. She has conducted empirical studies on law firm ethics and liability, works with the American Bar Association’s Center for Professional Responsibility publication, “The Professional Lawyer”, serves on the Supreme Court of Texas Task Force on the Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers.
Before entering academe full time, Susan practiced in the public and private sectors where she developed expertise in securities and corporate matters, legal malpractice and directors and officers liability. Susan has earned recognition for her outstanding contributions as a teacher, scholar and public servant. The Texas Lawyer recently selected her as one of the Thirty Extraordinary Women in Texas Law.
Susan received her B.A. (1974) from Trinity University, her J.D. (1977) from Antioch School of Law, her LL.M (1992) and her J.S.D. (1997) degrees from Columbia University School of Law.
Lisa Besson Geraghty
Lisa Besson Geraghty is an associate editor of the LegalMalpractice Law Review. She is a seasoned trial attorney with a practice concentration in the field of professional malpractice. Lisa handles high exposure, complex civil litigation claims and has obtained outstanding results on behalf of her clients—both plaintiffs and defendants, many involving claims in the millions of dollars. She has also tried issues of first impression, which involve allegations of ethical improprieties in mass tort aggregate settlements.
Lisa graduated with honors from Stanford University (B.A. 1992) and was distinguished as an Academic All-American. She graduated with honors from Seton Hall University School of Law (J.D. 1995) and was a member of the Seton Hall Legislative Law Journal. After taking the Bar Exams she served a judicial clerkship with New Jersey Superior Court Judge Joseph A. Falcone., She then entered private practice and immediately began her career in professional liability litigation. Lisa is admitted to practice in New Jersey and New York. She is Counsel to Stryker, Tams & Dill, LLP, in its Newark, New Jersey office.
Melissa J. Kanbayashi
Melissa J. Kanbayashi brings to the Legal Malpractice Law Review her technical expertise in online computerized legal research and serves as our Associate Editor in that area. Melissa is on the faculty of Fairleigh Dickinson University, where she teaches those skills to paralegals-in-training. She is an associate at Stryker, Tams & Dill LLP in its Newark, New Jersey office, where she focuses her law practice on civil and commercial litigation with an emphasis on professional liability.
Melissa graduated with honors from Villanova University (B.A. 2000) and received her law degree from Seton Hall University School of Law (J.D. 2003). She is admitted to practice in New Jersey and New York.
Iram P. Valentin is an Associate Editor of the Legal Malpractice Law Review. He is an experienced civil litigator, having defended hundreds of attorneys and other professionals. Iram has tried legal malpractice actions before juries, and has successfully argued appeals before the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey. He was selected a Super Lawyers Rising Star in 2009 and 2010.
Iram received his J.D. from Fordham University School of Law, where he was a Notes & Articles Editor for the Fordham Journal of Corporate & Financial Law. While at Fordham, he interned for Judge Denny Chin, then of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, and now in the Second Circuit. Following law school, Iram clerked for the Honorable Joseph P. Portfolio, J.S.C., Union County, New Jersey. He is a graduate of the Morris Pashman American Inn of Court. He received his B.A. from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, where he was a member of the Honor’s Program.
Admitted to the State and Federal Bars of New Jersey, Iram is a Partner at Kaufman Dolowich Voluck & Gonzo LLP in its Hackensack, New Jersey office.