Attorney or Counsellor?

As I was replacing some of my business cards in my wallet this morning, I noticed the words “Attorney At Law” beneath my name.  In itself this wasn’t surprising, since I have been actively practicing law for nearly 25 years, but it got me to thinking: am I more “attorney” at law, or “counsellor” at law?  And: is there a difference?


In the not-so-distant past, families had a trusted lawyer, a counsellor, who administered to all or most of the family’s legal needs.  That lawyer wrote wills, managed real estate transactions, advised about business ventures and handled criminal and other matters as they arose.  Often, the lawyer would be called on discuss other sensitive matters, and asked to offer advice on the best way to proceed.

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Locks Law in the Philadelphia Business Journal and Honored by The Sierra Group

Today, Locks Law Firm was honored to receive the Summit Award for employers of distinction, providing opportunities for people with disabilities from The Sierra Group. We are the inaugural winner of this award and are proud of the partnership with have formed with The Sierra Group, offering internships and employment opportunities for people with disabilities.


October is National Disability Awareness Month. To learn more about how you can support those with disabilities, contact the Sierra Group ( To learn more about our partnership with them, please see the attached article from the Philadelphia Business Journal.

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Andrew DuPont Participates in an International Asbestos Conference in Brazil

On October 6, 2016 I was honored to speak at the Seminario Internacional do Amianto: Uma Abordagem Socio-Juridica (International Asbestos Conference: An Approach to Social Justice) in Campinas, Sao Paulo, Brazil. The conference brought together doctors, attorneys, prosecutors, judges, scientists and victims advocates from Brazil, Portugal, Italy, the United States and other countries, in order to discuss the health hazards of asbestos, asbestos civil and criminal actions in various national and international legal systems and the efforts to ban the mining and use of asbestos in Brazil.

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NFL Concussion Settlement Appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court

On Monday, September 26, thirty one (31) former NFL players filed a petition for certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court to review the NFL Concussion settlement, joining the estate of Cookie Gilchrist, who also filed an appeal earlier in the month. While the attorneys at Locks Law Firm feel that the court is unlikely to hear the case and thus this is just a further delay in getting much needed settlement payments to those who are suffering debilitating neurocognitive diseases, there are no guarantees. In that light, let’s take a quick look at the process by which a case is either granted or denied their petition with the Supreme Court.

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Hoboken Train Crash

Today's tragic New Jersey Transit train crash at the Hoboken terminal is a stark reminder of the importance of safety and security on our rail systems. Amtrak and the many commuter rail systems along the Northeast corridor are vital to efficient transportation along the east coast for daily commuters, business travel and tourism. Expansion of these systems is an important concern as we deal with current and future pressing environmental and energy challenges.


However, as we learn more about the cause of the most recent incident, we should not lose sight of the need to assure for the safety and security of the trains and rail systems that millions of commuters in the region depend upon every day.

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Tulsa, Oklahoma and the Right to Know Law

What happened this week in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is shocking. An unarmed, lone African-American man, walking slowly with his hands in the air, was shot and killed by one of several police officers who were following him. What is unusual about this incident is that two police videos showed the incident. One video was taken either from a police car or a body camera, and the other was taken from a helicopter circling overhead. Without the videos, the country would not have seen this incident and would not be shocked.

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Legionnaire’s Disease Still a Real Danger in Our Cities

We at the Locks Law Firm are actively investigating and prosecuting cases of personal injury for persons who have been infected with the Legionella bacterium. Legionella is a type of bacterium found naturally in freshwater environments, like lakes and streams. It can become a health concern when it grows and spreads in human-made water systems like hot tubs, hospital or other large water systems, cooling towers (used in air conditioning systems in large buildings) and public fountains or water displays. Legionella thrives best in warm water, and is spread usually through the ingestion or inhalation of droplets in which the bacterium is present.

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Office Depot Assistant Managers FLSA Collective Action Certified

On September 13, 2016, a New Jersey judge certified a Fair Labor Standards Act collective action and three state class actions against Home Depot Inc. brought by assistant store managers claiming they were shorted on wages and overtime, rejecting the retailer's argument the supervisors were not similarly treated.  Represented by Locks Law Firm attorneys Michael A. Galpern and Andrew P. Bell argued Office Depot’s method for paying overtime violated federal and state wage and hour laws and further that there was commonality within the group to allow for certification.  For the full article, see the attached.

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NFL Concussion Appeal Filed with U.S. Supreme Court Means More Delays

On Tuesday, August 30, 2016 an appeal was filed with the U.S. Supreme Court in the NFL Concussion Litigation. In addition, the Court granted an extension to the deadline to file an appeal to several other groups. The approved groups will now have until September 19, 2016 to file their appeals.


After several years of litigation and negotiation, an uncapped settlement that would allow players to be compensated for a diagnosis of dementia, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, ALS and CTE was approved by U.S. District Judge Anita B. Brody (April 2015). Since that time, several appeals were filed with the Third Circuit. The appeals were denied and the effort to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court is a last ditch effort by a few while delaying much needed benefits to many. The thousands of former players, who are in need of help, will have to wait until the appeals process is exhausted before they can receive baseline testing or compensation for their injuries. It is now likely that the U.S. Supreme Court will not rule on the petition until late 2016 or very early 2017 and thus the effective date will be no earlier than late this year.

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Lawsuit Alleges Release of Cancer-Causing Chemicals from Pennsylvania Naval Base

Once upon a time, a much younger version of myself recalls visiting the Willow Grove Naval Base to watch awe-inspiring air shows. These shows were spectacular, as brave and highly skilled pilots performed wondrous acts of flight for the benefit of the community. Unfortunately, the very same community that once enjoyed these spectacular air shows must now cope with the reality that the base is accused of releasing cancer-causing chemicals into local water supplies by the use of toxic fire-suppressing foams. Now, for the first time, a Pennsylvania family has filed suit alleging that their drinking water was tainted by toxic chemicals from the use of certain firefighting foams.

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