On May 7, 2013, Kevin Costello, founding partner of Costello & Mains, the New Jersey Employment Rights lawyers, obtained for a client a 2.14 million dollar verdict in a "whistleblower" case brought under the Conscientious Employee Protection Act, New Jersey's so-called "whistleblower" law. A Hudson County jury awarded Ceferino Doculan, a former employee of Bayonne Medical Center, $140,000.00 in compensatory damages and then two million dollars in punitive damages for the intention nature of the wrongdoing. "We're very pleased, of course," said Kevin when commenting on the result. "I'm even more pleased that Mr. Doculan's truth has been told and accepted. He's a good man, didn't deserve what happened, and deserved this justice. He, and we, deeply appreciate the good work the jury did in this matter. They paid attention to the facts, sorted through the chaff, and delivered justice."
Costello & Mains founding partner, Kevin M. Costello, was a chair of the New Jersey Association for Justice's "Boardwalk Seminar," a continuing legal education event designed to further the litigation and trial skills of New Jersey plaintiff employment rights attorneys. "I've chaired the section for NJAJ and this seminar for about six years now," Kevin says, "and I'm always thrilled to do it. My dirty little secret is that when I teach the law, I learn my craft better, so I'm really also teaching myself." Kevin is also an executive officer of the New Jersey Association for Justice.
Costello & Mains, P.C., the New Jersey Employment and Civil Rights Lawyers, are proud to announce that partner Deborah L. Mains successfully defended a jury verdict obtained on behalf of a victim of sexual harassment. In the matter of Davis v. Husain, partner Kevin M. Costello obtained a jury verdict in August 2011 on behalf of the plaintiff, the victim of workplace sexual harassment. The defendant appealed the verdict, citing a number of alleged trial errors. Ms. Mains handled the appeal for plaintiff and, on March 14, 2013, obtained a decision from the appellate court denying the appeal in its entirety and upholding the verdict in favor of the plaintiff.
Founding partner of Costello & Mains, P.C., Kevin M. Costello, who concentrates his practice in Employment, School Harassment, Discrimination and Civil Rights, served as a legal expert on a panel presented by the Camden County Bar Association on "Cyber Bullying," which took place on February 21, 2013. Also on the panel were behavioral specialists, computer forensic experts and education rights experts. "With the continued growth and evolution of social media," Kevin says "the issue of cyber bullying, which is a passive-aggressive form of bullying that removes a certain degree of accountability, is on the rise. I'm distressed that there is such a need for so much awareness and activity, but proud to have been of service in educating attorneys and the public about the legal obligations and rights of the accused, the victims and the school professionals
Employment Rights attorney and founding partner of the law firm of Costello & Mains, P.C., Kevin M. Costello, obtained a jury verdict in favor of client LD in front of a Camden County jury on Valentine's Day, 2013 . . . a "sweet" victory, indeed. Kevin had filed suit on behalf of a worker allegedly terminated in retaliation for inquiring after, and/or pursuing, workers' compensation benefits. The employer's defense was that the employee had voluntarily resigned. "I am very proud of our firm and our client," Kevin says, "he held his own against a number of witnesses lining up against him and convinced the jury that he was telling the truth and that his employment rights had been violated." The verdict is expected to be appealed, but Kevin is optimistic.
Kevin M. Costello, a partner at Costello & Mains, P.C., employment rights attorneys, appeared in a February 5, 2013 CBS Philly "11 O'Clock News" story about workplace bullying. Kevin's appearance in the interview was in support of bill A-333, the New Jersey "Healthy Workplace Act," which would provide relief to workers who are abused and bullied in the workplace.
"I'm always pleased to spread some education about this important issue," Kevin says. "The Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI) study on this subject suggests that as many as 25 percent - 1 in 4 - workers are abused in the workplace. This isn't just treatment which is 'not nice,' it's abuse which causes depression, panic, sickness, loss of employment and worker's compensation claims. It causes a drain on the economy for everyone, and there's no excuse for it. We strongly support the Healthy Workplace Act and applaud senator Greenstein for proposing to deal with this problem."
NEW JERSEY EMPLOYMENT LAWYER KEVIN COSTELLO NAMED TO AMERICAN SOCIETY OF LEGAL ADVOCATES "TOP 100 LITIGATORS IN NJ" FOR 2013
Costello & Mains Partner Kevin M. Costello was named to the Association's list this December. "I'm proud to have been selected," says Kevin. "As is usual for these types of peer-based awards, I didn't submit my name, and until I received word of this honor, to be honest, I didn't know the association existed or created this list. But I'm pleased to know our hard work and dedication pay off. Recognition from clients and from peers is the highest honor an attorney can ask, or receive."
Partner Kevin M. Costello re-Certified as a Certified Civil Trial Attorney
Costello & Mains congratulates partner Kevin Costello on being recertified for another 5-year span by the New Jersey Supreme Court Board of Attorney Certification. Only approximately 5% of licensed attorneys are certified in New Jersey, a distinction which requires an intensely trial oriented practice, CLE attendance as well as CLE teaching, and character reference checks with colleagues, the trial bench, and adversary counsel. Initial Certification also requires an exam. This is the third term of Certification as a Civil Trial Attorney Kevin has received.
Class Action Age Discrimination Case Against TD Bank Can Go Forward
Partners Kevin Costello and Deborah Mains of Costello & Mains, New Jersey employment rights attorneys, are pleased to announce that the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey cleared the decks for a putative age-based class action against TD Bank to go forward in the matter of Bratek v. TD Bank. The defense had moved for a dismissal of the class action, but the Court declined to grant the motion, which allows the next stages of the class action to move forward.
"We're all very pleased with the Court's correct decision," Kevin says. "Attorney Daniel Silverman, who prepared the brief and argued the motion, worked very hard on this, and we're pleased for our clients and for the people whom we hope to help through this action. We're happy to move forward now with the litigation."
School Harassment Attorney Kevin Costello Appears on Radio Panel Discussing New Jersey School Bullying
Costello & Mains, P.C. founding partner Kevin M. Costello, a certified civil trial attorney who concentrates his practice in employment and civil rights, appeared on Harry Hurley's morning show on 1450 am/97.3 fm to discuss school bullying in New Jersey. He appeared as part of a three person panel discussing bullying in the schools generally, prevention, effects, and legal remedies.
"I'm always thrilled to educate at all," Kevin says. "Being a trial lawyer means teaching, though mostly, it's to juries. Having an opportunity to do something so important - talking about a subject which literally destroys lives and if not dealt with the right way has a downstream affect in our society as a whole - is an honor and a privilege."
Kevin M. Costello Joins Faculty of ADHD and Education Rights Seminar
Employment and civil rights attorney Kevin M. Costello, founding partner of Costello & Mains, P.C., New Jersey employment and civil rights attorneys, served as a faculty member on a panel offered by the Camden County Bar Association discussing the rights of ADHD persons and students under New Jersey education and discrimination laws. The September 18, 2012, two hour event was well attended despite the weather, and focused on legal rights of persons with ADHD.
New Jersey Employment Rights Attorneys File Suit Against New Jersey Casinos Alleging Sexual Stereotype and Gender Discrimination
Costello & Mains, P.C., New Jersey Employment and Civil Rights attorneys, have recently been fielding a number of requests from the press regarding a lawsuit filed in August of 2012 on behalf of a number of cocktail servers of the Golden Nugget Casino in New Jersey. The law firm filed suit alleging that preferential treatment regarding shift locations was given to certain cocktail servers based upon their willingness to adhere to gender or sexual stereotypes concerning behavior, deportment and appearance.
Costello & Mains Supports EEOC Warning on Employer Witness Tampering
Costello & Mains formally supports an EEOC warning to an employer - and, therefore, to all employers - that witness tampering will not go unpunished. A recent letter was sent by the United States EEOC field office to a particular employer in a case.
On August 3, 2012, the agency's Buffalo office warned a particular employer that its policy "prohibiting workers from discussing an ongoing internal investigation of harassment" was unlawful. This is yet another form of witness tampering. The company simply says to its employees that it's going to consider it an act of "insubordination" if any employee "voluntarily" gives information or cooperates with a lawsuit or an investigation. In New Jersey, that's specifically illegal under our state anti-discrimination law.
"We see witness tampering all the time, regrettably," says partner Kevin Costello, "which is why we so firmly support this action by the EEOC to prevent intimidation and coercing by employers."
Costello and Mains Participates in Equality Walk
Attorneys and staff from Costello & Mains, Employment and Civil Rights Attorneys, participated in an "Equality Walk" sponsored by Garden State Equality, in an attempt to raise funds to override any Gubernatorial Veto of successful Equal Marriage Legislation in New Jersey. The Walk took place on Saturday, June 23, 2012, and the Costello & Mains law firm fielded a large contingent after raising funds in order to participate.
Kevin Costello Testifies Before New Jersey Senate Labor Committee on Employment Rights Bills
On Thursday, June 8, 2012, Costello & Mains partner Kevin M. Costello, Esquire, who concentrates his practice in the substantive trial of employment and civil rights matters, testified on behalf of the New Jersey Association for Justice before the New Jersey State Senate Labor Committee concerning five (5) separate initiatives affecting employment rights in New Jersey. These initiatives included a resolution calling upon the United States Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, a Bill to require New Jersey employers contracting with the State to keep certain data regarding gender and race of employees, a Bill to protect from retaliation those who share unequal compensation information for the purposes of ending pay discrimination, a measure changing the statute of limitations for unequal pay cases to reach back as far as the unequal pay practice lasted and, finally, a measure requiring the posting of certain equal pay rights in the workplace.
Costello & Mains Supports Supreme Court Decision on Health Care Reform
Kevin M. Costello, partner at Costello & Mains, New Jersey Civil and Employments Rights Attorneys, applauds and supports the decision by a majority of the United States Supreme Court to uphold the individual insurance requirement in the Obama Administration's Healthcare Reform. "As an Employment and Civil Rights Attorney," Kevin says, "I individually and professionally strongly support the idea that healthcare and good health is a civil right. This country is not a medieval dictatorship. The ability of an individual to maintain minimal god health by having health insurance is a fundamental, civil and human right. I am glad that a majority of the Supreme Court felt the same way."
Kevin Costello Sworn in as an Executive Officer for the New Jersey Association for Justice
Costello & Mains partner Kevin M. Costello, Esquire, who concentrates his practice in jury trials for employment and civil rights cases, was sworn in on June 15, 2012, as one of eight Executive Officers of the New Jersey Association for Justice (formerly, New Jersey ATLA), for the 2012 to 2013 term. Along with other Executive Officers, which include the sitting President, a President elect, Vice Presidents and others, Kevin will advise and guide the efforts of the organization to preserve equal justice in New Jersey and open access to the Courts for the working men and woman of New Jersey, and for their families.
Employment Rights Attorney Serves on Panel Advising Mediators
Costello & Mains partner Deborah Mains, Esquire, was recently asked by the New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators to serve on a panel of attorneys advising New Jersey State Mediators on some "do's and don't's" for effective Mediation approaches in substantial and complex cases, which include employment matters such as those handled by Costello & Mains. Costello & Mains handles cases in the following areas: wrongful termination, racial discrimination, sex discrimination, sexual harassment, racial harassment, civil rights, FLSA, wage and hour, Prevailing Wage Act, wrongful discharge, workplace harassment, disability harassment, and disability discrimination.
Kevin M. Costello Elected as Parliamentarian for the New Jersey Association for Justice
Costello & Mains founding partner Kevin M. Costello was elected to the 2012-2013 slate of officers of the Executive Committee of the New Jersey Board of Governors of the New Jersey Association for Justice, an organization committed to preserving equal and fair access to the Courts for the citizens and families of New Jersey.
"I have been a member of this organization since I began my litigation career," Kevin says, "and it's always been my goal to serve its laudable and important mission as an officer, if I were able. I am pleased to be an officer along with fellow and committed lawyers dedicated to serving the legal needs of working people and their families in the State, and to making sure that the playing field remains fair and balanced in New Jersey's Court system."
Kevin will serve as the Parliamentarian for 2012-2013, one of nine executive officer positions elected each year. Kevin remains the Chair of the Employment Section of NJAJ as well as the Chair for the Employment Programs of the Boardwalk and Meadowlands Educational Seminars.
Kevin Costello Speaks at Autism Seminar in New Jersey
Costello & Mains founding partner Kevin M. Costello served as a panelist in a presentation on "Autism and the Law" sponsored by the Camden County Bar Association. The Seminar took place on April 24th in Tavistock, New Jersey.
"I have both a professional and a personal stake in this particular issue as it affects education and civil rights," Kevin says, "and it's a pleasure to speak to educational and legal professionals on the intersection between this pervasive and hard to diagnose and treat condition on the one hand, and education and civil rights, on the other."
Kevin served as a co-panelist with a Child Psychologist and education rights attorneys. The panel addressed how autism affects civil rights for students, workers and criminal defendants. Kevin's particular area of concentration was discussing the prevention of school bullying and school harassment based upon Autism and Asperger's Syndrome, and in making sure that discrimination relief is available when schools do not follow IEPs and 504s.
Employment and Civil Rights Attorney Kevin Costello Chairs and Lectures at Annual Attorney Education Convention in New Jersey
Costello & Mains founding partner Kevin M. Costello, a current officer of the Executive Committee of the Board of Governors of the New Jersey Association for Justice (NJAJ), and Chair of the Employment Education Program at the Annual NJAJ "Boardwalk" Seminar, chaired, moderated, and presented at the most recent annual seminar in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
"I've been honored to chair the program for a number of years," Kevin says, "and I always appreciate not only the opportunity to offer some advice, tips and legal education to fellow practitioners in my specific field, but also to learn from the other excellent speakers and members of the audience as we share information in the field of employment law and civil rights law."
Kevin, who concentrates his trial practice in sexual harassment, employment rights, discrimination, wrongful termination, whistle blower litigation, and wage and hour litigation, is the current NJAJ Chair for its Employment Section, the current Chair for Employment Programs of the annual Boardwalk Seminar and Meadowlands Seminars, and is an Officer of the Executive Committee of the Board of Governors.
Kevin Costello Testifies Before the New Jersey State Assembly Women and Children Committee
Costello & Mains partner Kevin M. Costello, on behalf of the constituency of clients he represents and representing the New Jersey Association for Justice, offered testimony before the Assembly Women & Children Committee, which committee is chaired by Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt, on March 8, 2012. The testimony was in support of four bills designed to enhance and encourage gender equality in pay, to require the keeping of certain data regarding gender and pay issues, to protect individuals who share wage information pursuant to a gender-wage claim and to require posting of gender-wage rights in the workplace.
Partner Kevin Costello Testifies Before New Jersey Assembly Regarding Paycheck Fairness Act
Costello & Mains partner Kevin M. Costello testified on Monday, February 6, 2012, before the State Assembly "Women and Children" committee regarding the committee's consideration of AR-50, a resolution urging the United States Congress to pass the "Paycheck Fairness Act." This Act would expand and solidify the rights of women to be compensated equally with their male counterparts for substantially the same work. "I was honored and pleased to be asked to testify," says Kevin. The Women and Children committee is a new Assembly committee this year, and I'm very satisfied, as an employment and civil rights attorney, that the committee immediately turned its attention to something not only of importance to New Jersey's working women, but also to working women across the Country." Kevin is pleased to report that the committee unanimously voted to release AR-50 to the Assembly, where Kevin hopes that the resolution will pass.
Costello & Mains Strongly Supports Latest Legislative Attempt to Allow Full Marriage Rights for Same Sex Couples
Partners at Costello & Mains, P.C, the New Jersey Civil Rights and Employment Law firm, strongly support the latest legislative attempt to redress and eliminate one of the most glaring civil rights inequities still in existence in New Jersey: the inability of same sex couples to enjoy full marriage rights. "The Civil Union Law, and before it, the Domestic Partnership Law, have been total failures," says partner Kevin Costello, a member of the executive board of governors and of the boards of several civil rights organizations. "The word 'marriage' has special cultural significance. The response to the word 'marriage' when someone hears it is automatic. This has been the case for many thousands of years, really, since the concept of community recognition of 'marriage' began. To suggest that substitute phrases like 'domestic partner' and 'civil union partner,' which are linguistically awkward and culturally ineffective, represent 'equal' status is to ignore the strong traditions towards civil rights in New Jersey and in the United States. The time has come to do away with the Civil Union Law and all of the embarrassing 'separate but equal' substitutes for equal marriage, and simply recognize the biological and cultural reality that homosexual people have the same right to marry as do heterosexual people."