WCM’s Year in Review – 2021
A year ago, around this time, we wrote a post summarizing our 2020, looking forward to a better year ahead. And…. here we are. Apparently, we jinxed 2021. Sorry about that.
Putting WCM aside for the moment, 2021 has not exactly unfolded as hoped or planned. COVID-19 seemed to be on the wane this past Spring. Remember that 3-week period during May/June, when (in the Northeast, at least) COVID seemed to be on the ropes? That respite is but a memory now, with Delta and Omicron giving COVID relentless staying power.
But we embrace challenge. We have confronted obstacle after obstacle over the past year, amid new variants, seemingly inconsistent regulations and enforcement across cities and states, failing and failed businesses, ever-changing rules, and for parents, the anxiety of trying to keep children healthy and educated, while also trying to maintain our own sanity. And you know what? We’re still standing.
WCM is not only standing, but growing. And for that, in addition to our clients and friends around the world, we must thank our amazing staff, which has enabled WCM to keep moving forward all year. Dealing with busy, stressed-out attorneys, who sometimes wait until the last minute to ask for assistance, is not always fun. Our support staff is the life blood of WCM, and we know that. And a special thanks to our Director of IT, Eric Engelhardt, without whom WCM simply would not have been able to function since March 2020.
Many of you may have read about “The Great Resignation” or “Great Attrition,” which refers to extraordinary employee turnover we have seen in 2021, both within and without the legal world. Dennis Wade coined the term “COVID epiphany,” to refer to a sentiment that prompted thousands to change jobs or even chosen fields, in search of something new. WCM experienced its share of turnover this year — much of it to our benefit. This year we welcomed Andy Gibbs, who just finished his term as President of the Union County Bar Association, as a Partner in our New Jersey office. And we welcomed John Diffley as Counsel in our New York and Long Island offices. We also had some well-deserved in-house promotions, with Matthew Care being promoted to Partner in Pennsylvania, and Lauren Berenbaum (Pennsylvania) and Michael Noblett (New Jersey) being promoted to Counsel.
WCM also started a podcast this year, called “Call Your Next Witness.” Brian Gibbons and Georgia Coats started the podcast in March 2021, with the hope of prompting a few guests to “talk shop” about trial tactics, risk management and defense strategy. Sixteen episodes (and counting) later, the podcast has been a great listen for aspiring trial attorneys or risk managers, looking for tips and how to be better at our jobs. And it doesn’t get much better than obtaining an outright defense verdict – as Bob Cosgrove and Matt Care did this June In Pennsylvania. Specifically, Bob and Matt tried a complex insurance coverage claim, while fully masked, wherein the Court permitted plaintiff to amend his complaint after jury selection. While the matter would have been rife with appealable issues, the unanimous defense verdict obviated those issues. Great result amidst tough procedural hurdles, not to mention a pandemic!
As we long for better times this coming year, we, like everyone else, are anxious about what COVID and its variants will bring. But as with past challenges, we shall overcome. Now, at the risk of jinxing everyone again, here’s to a better 2022!