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D’Amato News and Current Headlines
Upcoming Lectures by Stephen M. Van Natten
Distinguished attorney, Stephen M. Van Natten, has multiple speaking events this April. He will be speaking with criminal law students at Mainland Regional High School in Linwood, New Jersey on April 8 and Cumberland Regional High School on April 11. Both lectures will be centered around the intricacies and processes of the court, the legal system and his recent appearance on ID Discovery.
Mr. Van Nattan brings 26 years of experience to his lectures and classes. He had a prestigious career, prosecuting over 75 jury trials. He spent the majority of his career in the Lehigh County District Attorney’s Office. Mr. Van Nattan has prosecuted for many criminal cases, ranging from theft to capital murder, and takes pride in his role of representing victims.
Mr. Van Nattan has been recognized as a superior lecturer and educator by multiple scholastic institutions. He spent 17 years teaching at Pennsylvania State University at the Lehigh Valley Campus as an Adjunct Professor of Business Law. After discovering his affinity for education, he spent years lecturing at high schools and colleges throughout the Lehigh Valley, as well as for the Pennsylvania District Attorney’s Association. He was also a Certified Instructor for the Allentown Police Academy. Mr. Van Nattan has been honored by Penn State-Lehigh Valley with the “Part-Time Faculty Teaching Excellence Award” and was recognized by the “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers” for his service to the education of our nation’s youth. His alma mater, DeSales University, has honored him as a distinguished alumnus in its “Alumni Spotlight” series. His lectures are sure to be an inspiration for the student audience.
Mr. Van Nattan has been admitted to practice law in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey. As part of the D’Amato Law Firm as a personal injury attorney, he is dedicated to helping victims receive the benefits they deserve. The D’Amato Law Firm is proud to have him on their team and commend him for his distinguished and illustrious career.
Super Lawyers Recognizes D’Amato Law Firm Attorneys
The D’Amato Law Firm team is thrilled to announce that two of our firm’s attorneys have been honored as Super Lawyers for 2019! Both Paul R. D’Amato and Alexa D’Amato Barrera are returning veterans of the Super Lawyers’ prestigious recommendation. Both are lifelong residents of South Jersey and have been actively involved with their communities.
Once a year, Super Lawyers compiles a list of distinguished attorneys in order to provide the public with high-caliber recommendations in all areas of law. Using their patented selection process, Super Lawyers evaluates nominees through a combination of peer review and independent research. Attorneys are listed by state and focus of law practiced. Lawyers who are selected have undergone a rigorous screening process based on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement.
Paul R. D’Amato has been selected to Super Lawyers every year since 2005. Mr. D’Amato represents victims in every type of personal injury law matter. He has been a practicing attorney for over 30 years and has received many awards and honors throughout his luminous career, including being recognized in New Jersey Magazine as a Top Plaintiff Personal Injury Attorney 11 times over the course of his career. He was also elected as the mayor of Linwood and served as Assemblyman for the Second District of New Jersey.
Alexa D’Amato Barrera has been honored by Super Lawyers every year beginning in 2008, when she was named a Rising Star for six consecutive years. Ms. Barrera is equally as dedicated to her community as she is to her career. She has been an active member of the American Association for Justice (AAJ), the New Jersey Association for Justice (NJAJ) and the Atlantic County Bar Association. In addition, she is stalwart in her commitment in humanitarian efforts. She has been involved with Habitat for Humanity, was on the Advisory Board for the Atlantic County Women’s Center, a Steering Committee Member for Shore Medical Center Health Foundations Leaders Alliance and is on the Board of Directors of the Ensign John R. Elliott Foundation.
Paul R. D’Amato and Alexa D’Amato Barrera are two of D’Amato Law Firm’s dedicated and passionate personal injury lawyers. Our whole team shares a commitment to those we represent. If you have been hurt due to the negligence or carelessness of another, please contact us online or call us at 609-926-3300 to schedule a free consultation at our offices in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, where we represent clients in Atlantic City and the entire surrounding area.
Attorney Stephen M. Van Natten Featured on “Dead of Night”
The entire team at D’Amato Law Firm is proud to share that attorney Stephen M. Van Natten appeared on an episode of the Investigation Discovery program, “Dead of Night.” The episode aired on Thursday, March 21 and featured the story of one of the youngest serial killers in American history and the first serial killer from Allentown, Pennsylvania.
Harvey Robinson is currently imprisoned on death row for the rape and murder of 47-year-old Jessica Jean Fortney. He is also serving two life sentences for the rape and murder of a 15-year-old girl and another adult woman from the early 1990s. One of his surviving victims was only 5-years-old at the time of the attack. Robinson was convicted after DNA evidence linked him to all three of the murders and the attempted murders. He was sentenced to 100+ years in jail for the non-fatal attacks and was originally given three death sentences for the murders he committed.
Stephen Van Natten was the Chief of Prosecutions for the Lehigh County Office of the District Attorney and took over the case while the case was on appeal in 2007. The first death sentence was changed to a life sentence when the law in PA changed to preclude a death sentence for a murder committed by a minor. Robinson was only 17 when his first victim was killed. That case is currently scheduled for a new sentencing hearing as a result of another change in PA law.
The second death sentence was also reversed on appeal, citing an error the Judge made when instructing the jury before deliberations. Van Natten was tasked with the responsibility of re-trying that case more than a decade later at a new death penalty trial. The third death sentence was appealed to the Supreme Court of PA on post-conviction grounds alleging ineffective counsel at trial. Through numerous hearings with several experts who assessed Robinson’s mental abilities when he committed the crimes, Van Natten successfully convinced the court that the judge was correct to deny the appeal.
Ultimately, the family of the 15-year-old murder victim agreed to a life sentence for Robinson on the condition there would be no chance he could appeal or challenge the sentence. To this day, the remaining death sentence is on appeal through federal habeas corpus.
View the full episode here.
If you or your loved one needs legal counsel on a personal injury matter, the experienced South Jersey personal injury lawyers at D’Amato Law Firm will guide you toward the best course of action. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 609-926-3300 or contact us online. We represent clients throughout South Jersey and in Atlantic City from our offices located in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey.
Stephen Van Natten, Partner at the D’Amato Law Firm
Stephen Van Natten, Partner at the D’Amato Law Firm, is also the Deputy Grand Knight of the Ocean City Knights of Columbus. He is seen here with other members working at the Ocean City Block Party on October 6, 2018.
Alexa D’Amato Barrera Contributing Writer – The Atlantic County Woman
From time to time, Partner Alexa D’Amato Barrera, Esquire has contributed to The Atlantic County Woman. The Atlantic County Woman is a bi-monthly publication resource devoted to educating women on various topics. Some of Alexa’s articles are featured below:
- We Focus Our Law Firm on Representing Victims!
- Attorney Barrera to the Rescue!
- The Law Firm of Generations
- You’re A Bully! Who Me?!
- Allergies, Asthma and 504 Plans, Oh My!
- What is the Biggest Secret in the Courtroom?
- Have I Voluntarily Limited My Civil Rights?!
- Righting the Wrongs in Atlantic County
- No Case Is Too Big Or Too Small For The D’Amato Law Firm
- Nursing Home Safety
- The D’Amato Law Firm is a Family Affair
- Are You Buying the Right Protection?
- I Love My Team!
- We All Have A Wonder Woman Waiting To Escape!
- A New Year – The Same Old Insurance!
- It’s A New Year – Will You Have Regrets?
- A World Without Trial Lawyers!
- Why Should You Have My Cell Phone Number?
- Adults with Disabilities
- Dangers In Your Home
- Monroe The Cat
- What Do You Do If Someone You Love May Have Autism?
- From Prosecution to Personal Injury
- Wisdom From Paul D’Amato
- You’re Not Alone
- Are You Covered If You’re Hurt?
- Women Who Had Made A Difference
10 Best Personal Injury Law Firm
D’Amato Law Firm Featured on the Cover of Atlantic County Woman
Best of the Press Silver Award for Best Legal Services 2018
WHO KILLED TIFFANY VALIANTE? QUESTIONS PERSIST AS FAMILY MARKS THE THIRD ANNIVERSARY OF HER MYSTERIOUS DEATH
Egg Harbor Township, N.J. (July 12, 2017) — Three years ago today 19-year-old Tiffany Valiante, the college-bound Mays Landing star volleyball player, was struck by a commuter train about five miles from her home. But was she already dead when the New Jersey transit train hit her? Was she first kidnapped and then fatally shot, tossed in front of the train to conceal the crime? And why has the state Medical Examiner , which quickly ruled her death a suicide, steadfastly refused to re-open the case despite the findings of a renowned forensic pathologist, and other experts, that Tiffany had not taken her own life?
Attorney Paul R. D’Amato has raised those and numerous other troubling questions on behalf of the Valiante family that’s been challenging the Medical Examiner’s report and recently asked newly elected Gov. Phil Murphy to intervene amid allegations of institutional incompetence and calls for a complete overhaul of the office that’s under the direction of the New Jersey Attorney General. Attorney D’Amato is preparing a new complaint, which is expected to be filed later today, to invalidate the Medical Examiner’s report on civil rights’ grounds.
“The Medical Examiner’s office has callously closed the book on Tiffany Valiante’s death, “ said D’Amato, “but no one should think that her family, friends, and many experts (including Dr. Donald Jason, a former Atlantic County Medical Examiner) believe there can be any semblance of closure while her death remains a total mystery, and quite possibly one of the state’s most perplexing unsolved murders.”
Mr. D’Amato restated parts of the original lawsuit that contended,“Tiffany Valiante did not take her life, but that she was the victim of a conspiracy to inflict bodily harm violently abducted on the night of July 12, 2015, and subsequently murdered”.
Louise Houseman, a former senior investigator in the Atlantic County Office of Medical Examiner, is among the experts that methodically reviewed the case and found no basis for the conclusion Tiffany committed suicide.
“I am convinced after having examined all of the relevant reports in the case, including those of NJ Transit, that while there are several plausible explanations for Ms. Valiante’s tragic death, suicide is not one of them,” stated Ms. Houseman.
The Valiante family yesterday stated, “We will not rest until there is justice for Tiffany, and all the unanswered questions regarding her death have been answered.” The family welcomes family and friends – and members of the media – to join the remembrance at their home (3160 Mannheim Ave., Mays Landing) starting at 6 p.m.
Personal Injury Boot Camp
Alexa D’Amato Barrera recently spoke at the Personal Injury Bootcamp at the Holiday Inn Philadelphia-Cherry Hill. The seminar hosted by the National Business Institute, provided useful information on personal injury cases. Alexa spoke about “Reviewing Insurance, Negotiation with the Insurance Adjuster and Demand Packages” and “Initial Filing and Discovery Tips in Personal Injury.”
Alexa D’Amato to Speak at Personal Injury Boot Camp
Alexa D’Amato will speak at the upcoming Personal Injury Bootcamp, a seminar hosted by the National Business Institute (NBI), which provides continuing legal education for professionals. The program, titled “An Attorney’s Guide through Personal Injury Cases – From A to Z” will provide valuable information useful for attorneys, in-house counsel, litigation support specialists, insurance professionals, and paralegals. Alexa will speak on two topics during the presentation: “Reviewing Insurance, Negotiation with the Insurance Adjuster, and Demand Packages;” and “Initial Filing and Discovery Tips in Personal Injury.” The seminar takes place on June 27 at the Holiday Inn Philadelphia-Cherry Hill, in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.
Alexa, a partner at the D’Amato Law Firm, is a passionate advocate for victims of personal injury. She is actively involved nationally with the American Association for Justice (AAJ), where she is Past Chair of their New Lawyers Division; and with the New Jersey Association for Justice (NJAJ) on their Board of Governors and as Program Chair for seminars. Alexa was also a Trustee of the Atlantic County Bar Association and Chaired their New Lawyers Division. She has been recognized with many honors, including the Super Lawyers Rising Star; Top 40 Under 40 in Atlantic County; and the Atlantic County Bar Association’s Young Lawyer of the Year. Alexa devotes much of her personal time to charitable causes both nationally and locally, including Habitat for Humanity.
Paul & Alexa Both Receive “NJ 2018 Super Lawyer Awards”
Super Lawyers selects attorneys using a patented multi phase selection process.
The objective is to create a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of outstanding attorney that be be used as a resource for attorneys and cumsumner searching for legal counsel.
- Nomination – Diverse list of the top attorneys nominated by their peers.
- Independent Research – Evaluated by third-party research across 12 key categories
- Peer Evaluation – Reviewed by a highly credentialed Blue Ribbon Panel of attorneys
- Final Selection – 2.5% of attorney selected to Rising Stars & 5% of attorneys selected to Super Lawyers.
Learn more at superlawyers.com/SelectionProcess
Justice for Tiffany
The Justice for Tiffany movement just took a major step forward with the publication today on NJ.COM of ‘Death & Dysfunction’, an investigative report based on an 18-month examination of the New Jersey State Medical Examiner’s Office, including its handling of the of the suspicious death of Tiffany Valiante.
The D’Amato Law Firm, which has been pro bono counsel of record for the family and friends of the late Tiffany Valiante, strongly encourages everyone concerned about the justice system in New Jersey to read this special report.
Jury gives $750,000 to man burned by caustic beer in Atlantic City
A jury has awarded $750,000 in damages to a Cape May County man severely injured after drinking beer drawn from a casino restaurant’s tap containing a caustic cleaning solution, his attorney said Friday.
D’Amato Law Firm Challenges Teen’s Suicide Ruling
A medical examiner’s ruling that Tiffany Valiante committed suicide when a NJ Transit train struck her last year never made sense to her family.
Family of N.J. teen killed by train disputes suicide ruling, sues to prove kidnap-murder plot