You’ve developed carpal tunnel syndrome at work. You’re underwater with unsecured debt and an upside-down mortgage. Your teen just wrecked the car while driving home from a party. These things can happen to anyone. Which lawyer do you call? Delaware’s own attorneys pick the very best.
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Cassandra Faline Roberts | Workers’ Compensation
Cassandra Faline Roberts is nothing if not focused. A partner at Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, Roberts has dedicated her practice to workers’ compensation cases. “It is my passion and my preference,” says Roberts, who’s been listed in the The Best Lawyers in America for workers’ compensation since 2003.
A graduate of Dickinson School of Law at Pennsylvania State University, the Delaware native clerked with the Superior Court of Delaware, where she assisted with the resolution of workers’ compensation appeals. She joined Young Conaway in 1989.
Most attorneys in Roberts’ area of practice represent either insurers or injured workers. Roberts, however, represents injured workers, insurance carriers and uninsured employers. “It gives you an edge,” she says. “You can step into the head of your opponents because you’ve been in the fox den.” There isn’t much that an insurance company’s attorney would present in court that would surprise her.
A self-described “frustrated doctor,” Roberts relishes diving into the medical material that dominates workers’ comp cases, which are steeped in depositions. “It’s sexy if you like legal medicine,” she says.
While many cases involve the common repetitive orthopedic injuries, Roberts’ caseload offers enough diversity to keep her engaged. She handled one of the first—if not the first—scleroderma cases in the United States linked to occupational exposure to silica dust.
Another successful case involved a client who developed a lung disease and vocal impairment related to mold in the air return system at Robinson Hall, an older building on the University of Delaware campus. “A real hit parade of medical experts [for the defense] testified on some complex issues, including alleged psychosis,” Roberts says.
Roberts’ practice runs at a fast pace, but she makes herself available to clients and answers her own phone. She carefully educates clients about what they can expect and what the law will allow. For instance, there is no recovery for pain and suffering in a workers’ compensation case.
“When they are informed and they partner with you in the process, it makes for an optimal attorney-client relationship,” she says.
Despite her caseload, she finds time to publish a quarterly newsletter, “The Delaware Workers’ Compensation Case Law Update,” a 12-year-old endeavor. She also works on her blog, Delaware Detour & Frolic (www.cassandraswcblog.com), which spotlights Delaware Industrial Accident Board decisions involving hot topics. In 2009, LexisNexis included Roberts’ blog on its Top 25 Blogs for Workers’ Compensation and Workplace Issues.
Page 2: F. Michael Parkowski | Environmental Law