- Catherine R. O’Donnell Has Been Nominated and Accepted as a 2020 American Institute of Personal Injury Attorney’s 10 Best in Pennsylvania For Client Satisfaction. Please click here to read more about this prestigious honor.
- Wills for Heroes: Free estate planning for first responders and veterans
WNEP 16 News
Author: Ryan Leckey
Published: 4:50 AM EST February 12, 2020 NANTICOKE, Pa. — A free program could come to the rescue for many first responders and their families who are residents of Luzerne County.It’s called Wills for Heroes. Newswatch 16’s Ryan Leckey highlighted the program on Wednesday.Ryan spotlighted the project from Luzerne County Community College’s Public Safety Training Institute. It’s on the campus at LCCC in Nanticoke. That’s where the event will take place on February 22, starting at 10 a.m. Sessions last around one hour.Ryan helped spread the word about the free program since participants have to pre-register by one week from February 12.The deadline to sign up is February 18.Click here to register and type the password “luzerne” to get into the site. The word “luzerne” should remain in lower case.
If the event fills up, organizers are doing a waiting list for another event.
If you have any questions about this event or the waiting list, please contact David Pedri at 570-592-3311.
Another Wills for Heroes event is planned in April in Susquehanna County. Head here to learn more about that one and others in Pennsylvania.
What to bring with you on February 22
You will need the approximate value of and how any of the following are titled(alone or joint):
- Real property – All vehicles (automobiles, trucks, boats, etc.)
- Retirement accounts’ values (401(K), 403(b), 457 & IRA)
- Non-retirement accounts & CDs (savings, checking, brokerage, money market)
- Stocks & Bonds not held in any account
- Money others owe you
- Value of your business(es)
- Life insurance death benefits (including any employer life insurance)
- Other money or property
- Mortgage(s) on real property
- Credit card debt
- Any other debt
Reason behind the program
Organizers say Wills for Heroes was launched because those on the front lines saving lives are often most at risk of serious injuries or even death. Lawyers found that after 9/11 in 2001, many first responders who helped that day didn’t have these types of documents in place to help their families, hence the project.
Background info from the volunteer lawyers who are making the event happen
In partnership with the Pennsylvania Bar Association, we are proud to bring the Wills for Heroes program to you. Wills for Heroes is a free and easy service that provides Wills, Living Wills, Health Care and Financial Powers of Attorney to first responders and military veterans and their spouses/partners.
If you die without a Will, Pennsylvania’s intestate laws will determine who will receive your property. Undoubtedly, your loved ones’ grief will be overwhelming; a clear expression of your intent, desires, and wishes may help ease some of this inevitable burden. While nobody likes to think about an untimely death, it is best that you express your wishes through a written document. For your family’s peace of mind, please consider this invaluable opportunity, offered completely free to you and your spouse/partner.
Appointments for each person last approximately one hour. After it, you will have notarized legal documents – a Will, Living Will, and Health Care and Financial Powers of Attorney (or any combination thereof). If you select that you are coming with a spouse/significant other, you will have back to back appointments, and the computer will automatically schedule a second appointment. You do not need to schedule a separate appointment. Please schedule your appointment early as this event is sure to fill up fast.
For more information on the program, visit the “Wills for Heroes Foundation” website.
** If your estate exceeds approximately $750,000, this service is unavailable to you due to the complexity of your estate and the limited time to complete the legal documents.
For determining if your estate is over $750,000, include your cash, personal property, stock and bonds, real estate equity, savings, cash value of a whole/universal life insurance policy only (not the amount of the insurance policy). For questions on eligibility, call David Pedri at 570-592-3311.
- Congratulations Cathy!
O’Donnell Law Office’s Cathy O’Donnell will be sworn in as the President of the Wilkes-Barre Law & Library Association (Luzerne County Bar Association). Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Debra Todd will be doing the honors. Congratulations to Cathy on this great achievement!
- Neil presented “Increasing Case Values Through Winning Depositions” at a Connectionology Seminar in Newport, RI on 9/8/19
- Neil O’Donnell Files Motion Against Grotto PizzaIn early June of 2015, a drunk driver struck andkilled a 31-year-old woman who was jogging along Lakeside Drive in HarveysLake. The driver, a 54-year-old male who had been drinking at Grotto Pizza,fled the scene of the accident and was found hours later by police with a bloodalcohol concentration (BAC) 2 ½ times the legal limit.After the incident, the woman’s family filed a lawsuit against Grotto Pizza and American Legion Riders Post 672, a venue located in Dallas, Pennsylvania. Attorney Neil O’Donnell is representing the estate of the woman who lost her life in the crash.There are several issues surrounding the case.First, Grotto Pizza and American Legion Riders Post 672 oversold the man responsiblefor the DUI crash even though he was visibly intoxicated. Multiple cameras inthe pizzeria recorded the defendant being overserved. However, Grotto failed topreserve this crucial video evidence.Neil O’Donnell filed a motion arguing thatGrotto assured law enforcement and the estate of the deceased woman that itwould preserve all video evidence from the date of the accident. The motionargues Grotto destroyed this crucial video evidence in bad faith.In the motion, Neil O’Donnell wrote “Had Grottofulfilled its duty to preserve all of the surveillance video from that night,the jury would have a much clearer picture as to whether Michael Scavone wasvisibly intoxicated at the time of being served. Grotto must not be permittedto destroy extremely relevant evidence and then argue to a judge or jury thatthere is no evidence to support the plaintiff’s claim.”Neil O’Donnell asked the Luzerne County Judge togrant a summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff’s estate.The defendant is serving 7 to 16 years in prisonfor vehicular homicide, causing an accident involving death or injury and twocounts of driving under the influence of alcohol.
What Are Pennsylvania’s Dram Shop Laws?
Under state law, establishments that overserve intoxicated patrons are liable for damages if those patrons cause drunk driving crash injuries or deaths. Pennsylvania’s dram shop law applies to businesses and private events. State law also holds social hosts liable for drunk driving damages caused by providing minors alcohol.
You should speak with a Wilkes-Barre car accident lawyer if you or a loved one suffered harm due to a drunk driving accident. It may be possible to recover compensation that can pay for your damages, such as medical expenses and lost income.
If you want to determine whether it would be possible to recover compensation from a drunk driving accident, then we encourage you to call O’Donnell Law Offices for a free consultation. Our attorneys can explain whether you have options. Call us at 570-821-5717 or use the online contact form on our website.
- Attorney Catherine R. O’Donnell Included in Prestigious Distinctive Women of 2019 ListTimes Leader has chosen Attorney Catherine R. O’Donnell, associate and business manager of O’Donnell Law Offices, as one of their “Distinctive Women” of 2019. She is one of 14 women in Northeastern Pennsylvania to be chosen for this honor.Recognition by Times Leader is based on open voting (print and online) that took place over four weeks in January 2019. Due to an overwhelming response, a committee carefully deliberated and selected 14 amazing women for this prestigious honor.These women have helped shape the culture of Northeastern Pennsylvania through their efforts as business professionals and civic leaders. Attorney Catherine O’Donnell is no exception. She is currently the Vice President of the Wilkes-Barre Law & Library Association (Luzerne County Bar) and is a Chairperson for Luzerne County Dress for Success. She volunteers at the Hope legal clinic in Luzerne. She is widely respected within the Northeastern Pennsylvania legal community and is known for her ability to establish communication and trust with her clients.“The most important part about what I do is communication and trust-building with my clients,” Catherine said. “I make sure to identify with them in their most vulnerable moments, handling everything from collection of materials and records to finance. Being able to treat people in the most humane way during this time is essential.”A frequent contributor to legal education programs, Attorney Catherine O’Donnell is currently a member of the Board of Directors for United Way Wyoming Valley and a member of the Board of Directors for Junior Leadership of Wilkes-Barre. She is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Luzerne County Community College. She was appointed to a three year term as District III Hearing Committee Member serving the Disciplinary Board of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and has been recognized as a Best Lawyer and a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer.
- Neil O’Donnell Moderates PA Bar Association SeminarNeil O’Donnell served as a moderator at the PA Bar Association Seminar on “Winning Your Case Through Depositions.”
- Wills for Heroes: Free Estate Planning for First Responders and Veterans – https://www.wnep.com/article/entertainment/television/leckey-live/wills-for-heroes-first-responders-veterans/523-f957ba80-5924-47ae-b360-64b4c0d1dfb1