Vaughan Baio & Partners was featured in the Law360 article, “Vaughan Baio Brings On Trio in NJ, NY,” on June 15. The article highlighted Partner Debra Doby, who practices in New York City and Partner Ken Kaup who joins in Newark, N.J., both who focus on workers’ compensation matters. Associate Kevin Connell is based in the firm’s Syracuse, N.Y. office and focuses his practice on labor and employment matters. These latest additions follow on eight attorneys – five partners and three associates – who recently joined the firm.
Firm co-founding partner Joe Vaughan said Kaup, Doby and Connell will strengthen the firm as it continues to grow. “We remain committed to bringing together the most talented attorneys, in a collaborative environment that empowers us to achieve results that positively impact our clients,” he said.
Kaup, who was managing attorney for the New Jersey workers’ compensation practice at his previous firm, said he decided to make the switch to Vaughan Baio for his professional growth.
“Some of the best attorneys I’ve met in my career joined the firm prior to my arrival, which immediately caught my attention,” he told Law360 Pulse. “The support and collaboration I’ve experienced since joining the firm has been second to none.”
Doby, who was a managing partner at her previous firm, said she joined Vaughan Baio after careful consideration because she and the firm share “core values on both a personal and professional level.”
“In speaking with the partners at Vaughan Baio, I quickly understood that ego has no place in this firm and the primary focus is providing stellar representation for our clients,” she told Law360 Pulse. “Vaughan Baio refuses to be stuck in the past, ignoring ‘how it used to be done’ and blazing a trail to challenge how we practice in a continual effort to provide better service for our clients.” She said the move will also allow her to offer her clients the additional resources at Vaughan Baio, such as employment and labor attorneys. “The energy and collaboration among [Vaughan Baio] is simply amazing, and I can’t wait to see what we will do in the future,” Doby said.
Kaup agreed with Doby, and said he is eager to leverage Vaughan Baio’s resources for his clients.
“Because I am primarily focused on the New Jersey practice group, my plan is to utilize the firm’s vast resources at my disposal to continue the firm’s growth and draw on my experience working with employers on all levels to continue earning their trust and business going forward,” he said. “My goal within my new role at Vaughan Baio is to simply do whatever I can to facilitate the exemplary client representation which preceded my arrival at the firm.”
Doby said she is already in discussion with leadership at Vaughan Baio to create new products and services for the firm’s clients in New York.
“The New York Legislature currently has over 100 bills proposing changes to the worker’s compensation system, largely favorable to labor,” she said.
For instance, the Legislature made changes to the definition of temporary total disability, which, if signed by the governor, will increase the minimum weekly compensation for claimants who receive workers’ compensation benefits.
“We plan on creating these programs to address upcoming challenges facing our clients in New York and rolling out a series of educational seminars to bring our clients up to speed on how to tackle these changes,” Doby said. “We are uniquely positioned to help our clients through this transition due to having brilliant employment attorneys and worker’s compensation attorneys working together and collaborating through our Integrated Disability & Leave Management Program to help employers work through complex disability questions.”
Kaup has also noticed changes in New Jersey’s workers’ compensation space over the past few years, such as the shift towards a more petitioner- oriented system, he said, adding that joining Vaughan Baio has positioned him to better respond to these trends on behalf of his clients.
“Whether it’s new legislation related to claims coming out of the pandemic, or new legal precedent related to medical marijuana reimbursement by employers, now more than ever I think it’s critical for defense attorneys to constantly stay educated on the nuances of the laws as they continue to change,” Kaup said. “Vaughan Baio provides me with all the tools, resources and assistance I could ever need to maintain my intellectual agility and expertise within the New Jersey workers’ compensation space.”
Kaup has more than a decade of experience handling workers’ compensation matters, and has served as outside counsel to companies in the automotive, banking, food and beverage, and building and supply industries.
Doby also has more than a decade of experience handling workers’ compensation issues. In addition to workers’ compensation, she handles opioid and cannabis litigation and all aspects of complex construction matters.
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