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Nassau County Supreme Court has restarted its “blockbuster” program, which enables counsel for insurance carriers to conference hundreds of cases at once. Sometimes used during the summer months, the blockbuster program is now year-round and reduces the need for conferencing each individual case in certain insurance matters. The system is designed to allow carriers to inventory cases and determine with plaintiffs’ counsel those that are suitable to settle, said Philip Costa, court clerk specialist in charge of case management and trial operations at Nassau County Supreme Court. Blockbustered cases generally involve motor vehicle accidents and slip and falls. Mr. Costa said carriers expected to participate in the program include Geico, State Farm, Allstate and Liberty Mutual.
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A plaintiff suing the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation for age discrimination has won a bid requesting that the state agency turn over the training records of the female recruits who the plaintiff argues were forced to resign because of their age. Nassau County Supreme Court Justice Stephen A. Bucaria ruled in Crennan v. New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation, 6020-02, that Kathleen Crennan was entitled to those records as well as the pleadings and transcripts held by the agency of an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission action in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District, which established that the agency discriminated against 22 recruits over the age of 40. Those records were otherwise unavailable because they were destroyed at the EEOC’s office at 7 World Trade Center in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. With regard to necessity of the state park recruits’ records, Ms. Crennan asserted that out of the class of 59 recruits three years ago, 10 were women. Of those 10 women, four were under the age of 40 and passed the training. The remaining recruits, who were over 40, were forced to resign, her complaint alleged. Justice Bucaria determined that the plaintiff’s request was sufficiently narrow to defeat the argument by the state that the records were protected under state civil rights law. (The decision will be published Friday.)
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In law firm news, Riverhead-based Twomey, Latham, Shea & Kelley has named Philip D. Nykamp as partner. Previously an associate with the firm for four years, Mr. Nykamp concentrates his practice in commercial litigation, real estate transactions, regulatory law and land use matters. Mineola-based Forchelli, Curto, Schwartz, Mineo, Carlino & Cohn has named Gary M. Kushner as partner. In private practice before joining Forchelli Curto in January, Mr. Kushner focuses his work on insolvency and bankruptcy matters. Forchelli Curto also has hired Blanda Gill as an associate. She will practice in the areas of real estate development, land use and litigation.

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