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2012 Lawyers of the Year Spotlight


John M. Blume

Blume Goldfaden Berkowitz Donnelly Fried & Forte
Medical Malpractice Law–Plaintiffs , Newark, New Jersey

Repeatedly recognized for obtaining numerous verdicts and settlements of $1 million or more, attorney John M. Blume is synonymous with his superior trial work.

Blume was one of the first attorneys in New Jersey to be designated as a certified civil trial attorney by the Supreme Court of New Jersey when the criteria were instituted in 1980.

He also secured a $10.5 million in a wrongful death case, the largest result ever obtained in New Jersey at the time.

Blume began working in malpractice law after handling the Supreme Court case of Alfone v. Sarno, involving a woman who underwent a subtotal thyroidectomy and suffered complications. She commenced her own action but later died. Her father argued that his daughter’s death was the result of the negligence of the defendant. The Supreme Court ruled that settlement or judgment for damages in a personal injury action did not block a future claim for wrongful death arising from same injuries, though a judgment of no cause for action would be a bar.

“That case generated a lot of publicity, and soon I developed a reputation as a medical malpractice attorney,” Blume recalls.

Having served as president of the New Jersey Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates for four years and a member of its national board of directors for eight years, Blume was recognized by the Trial Attorneys of New Jersey with its Trial Award and the Essex County Bar Association Civil Trial Attorney Achievement Award.

“Our firm is willing to invest the amount of money needed to get a case to court, pay for the best experts, and allow us to prepare extensively,” he says. “I’m most proud of bringing into the firm the excellent attorneys who are now my partners.” — Ashley Cisneros

Dennis M. Donnelly

Blume Goldfaden Berkowitz Donnelly Fried & Forte
Medical Malpractice Law–Plaintiffs, Newark, New Jersey

Once an English professor at New York University and other institutions, Dennis M. Donnelly left the classroom for the courtroom, and since then he has been repeatedly recognized by his peers as one of the best plaintiffs’ personal injury attorneys in New Jersey.

Regularly achieving notable verdicts and settlements for clients in medical malpractice and product liability cases, Donnelly is the past president of the New Jersey Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) and also the past president of the most exclusive national group of plaintiffs’ trial attorneys in the nation, the Inner Circle of Advocates.

He says, “It’s rewarding to be able to so often represent the two most vulnerable groups of our society, either small children or the elderly, and to make sure they can get equal justice even from the largest, most powerful people and organizations.

In his medical specialty of failed prenatal screening, Donnelly has won all five cases he has tried to verdict in New Jersey, with one case resulting in a $14 million verdict. Another failed prenatal diagnosis case, which he tried to a multimillion dollar verdict in New York, was the subject of a New York Times feature article. The Essex County Bar Association honored Donnelly with the Civil Trial Attorney Achievement Award and the Consumers for Civil Justice named him recipient of the Pioneers Award.

“I am lucky enough to have only been a plaintiffs’ trial lawyer,” Donnelly says. “I’ve never done anything but represent people who are injured and right the wrongs that injured them in the first place.” — Ashley Cisneros

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