Welcome Mark Forden

November 7, 2022 – Chelus, Herdzik, Speyer & Monte, P.C. is pleased to announce that Mark Forden will be joining us where he will continue to focus on civil litigation.  Mark brings with him over a decade of experience handling all aspects of litigated matters including trials and appeals.  Mark will strengthen our team and allow us to continue to provide clients with exceptional results and service.  Chelus, Herdzik, Speyer & Monte, P.C. is fortunate Mark has decided to join our firm and is excited to have such a dedicated and thoughtful addition.


BREAKING: New Insurance Disclosure Mandated for All Defendants

On December 31, 2021, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed into law the Comprehensive Insurance Disclosure Act, which amends Section 3101(f) of the Civil Practice Law & Rules (CPLR) to require the automatic disclosure of insurance-related items within sixty days of the filing of an answer in a civil suit.  For lawsuits pending as of the effective date of the Act, the disclosures required by Section 3101(f) must be provided by March 1, 2022. This also includes all previously filed cases.

Pursuant to amended Section 3101(f), defendants (including third-party defendants, cross-claim defendants, and counterclaim defendants) must provide the following information to plaintiffs within sixty days of answering the affirmative pleading, accompanied with a certification from both the defendant and their defense counsel that the disclosures are accurate and complete:

  • Copies of all insurance policies that may be liable to satisfy a judgment in the lawsuit, including the insurance application.
  • The contact information of any individuals responsible for adjusting the claim on each policy, including his/her/their phone number and email address.  If a Third Party Administrator is involved, his/her/their contact information must also be disclosed.
  • The amounts available to satisfy a judgment under each disclosed policy.
  • Any lawsuits that have reduced or erode, or which could reduce or erode, the limits of insurance policies.  For each lawsuit, defendants must provide the captions of the lawsuit, the date lawsuit was filed, and attorney contact information for all represented parties in that lawsuit.
  • The amount of any attorneys’ fees that have reduced or eroded the policies, including the name and address of any attorney who received those payments.

As of this bulletin, there is still a possibility that Governor Hochul could ask for changes to the Act. Chelus Herdzik Speyer & Monte P.C. will continue to monitor any developments. Furthermore, if you have any questions do not hesitate to contact Michael Chmiel at mchmiel@cheluslaw.com


Associate Invited to Firm Membership

Picture of Katy Hedges



August 13, 2021  –  Katy M. Hedges became the newest members of the Law Firm of Chelus, Herdzik, Speyer and Monte, P.C.

Katy M. Hedges joined the firm as an associate in February 2008, and her Juris Doctor at SUNY Buffalo School of Law.

Ms. Hedges earned a Bachelor in Health Science from the University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada.  As an associate with the firm, she has diligently defended insureds through their insurance carriers.  She contributes to the legal knowledge of the firm with her experiences in other areas of the law such as residential and commercial real estate, construction litigation, products liability, business and corporate law, and estate planning and administration


Michael F. Chelus and Michael M. Chelus Published in New Book from New York State Bar Association

Michael F. Chelus and Michael M. Chelus were published in A Guide to No-Fault Insurance in New York, a new practice book from the New York State Bar Association. Their chapter, “Exceeding the No-Fault Threshold: Serious Injury,” explains the “Serious Injury” threshold from its purpose and history to the most recent case law that defines the categories delineated in the New York State Insurance Law.

The book can be purchased directly from the New York State Bar Association website in paperback or as an eBook.



Chmiel and Roa Obtain Dismissal of Claim Against Town of Mansfield

Buffalo, NY — May 24, 2021 — In the Matter of Nicholas Smith v. Town of Mansfield, CA 20-00853, Fourth Department, 2021, the claimant allegedly fell from a 10-foot concrete wall while working at a construction site owned by the Town of Mansfield.  The claimant, however, waited for over a year before serving the Town of Mansfield with a notice of claim.

A notice of claim is supposed to be served upon a municipality within 90 days of an alleged incident but Courts will, generally, grant an extension where the claimant can prove that he or she had a reasonable excuse for failing to meet the deadline, that the municipality learned of the essential facts underlying the claimant within a reasonable time period, and that the delay did not prejudice the municipality.

In this matter, we argued that the lower court acted well within its broad discretion in denying the claimant’s application to serve a late notice of claim.  Specifically, we pointed out that claimant had no reasonable excuse for waiting over a year to serve the Town with a notice of claim, since he was fully aware –from the moment of the incident – that the construction site was owned by the Town. We also argued that the Town was prejudiced by the resulting inability to conduct a thorough investigation of the accident.

The Appellate Division, Fourth Department, agreed with our arguments and affirmed the lower court’s decision to deny the claimant’s application to serve a late notice of claim upon the Town of Mansfield.

This appeal was written by Dominick F. Roa and argued by Michael J. Chmiel, who is the co-founder of the firm’s municipal law department.

Should you have any questions regarding this or any other municipal law matter, please contact Mike Chmiel (mchmiel@cheluslaw.com).

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