Graziano, Piasecki & Whitelaw LLC is a six attorney law firm with considerable experience in the areas of automobile, premises, and product liability litigation as well as work place litigation, including discrimination, harassment and workers compensation. The firm represents insurance carriers, financial institutions, third party administrators and self-insureds. We handle complex and routine matters in the areas of:
Civil rights litigation
Construction law and litigation
Environmental and toxic torts
Insurance coverage disputes
Wills and estates
Clients we represent include HGI-Gerling America Insurance Company, MetLife Auto and Home, Hudson Group, Xerox Corporation, Markel Corporation, Bosch Home Appliances, Custom Alloy Corporation, Green Brook Buick, Tower Group, Borough of Metuchen Parking Authority, Specialty Claims Management, Middlesex County Improvement Authority, and the Middlesex County Joint Insurance Fund.
Principal insurance carriers, third party administrators and self-insureds we represent in the area of Workers’ Compensation include ACE USA, CNA, PMA, St. Paul Travelers, Specialty Risk Services, Garden State Reinsurance, Middlesex County Joint Insurance Fund, Broadspire, Gallagher Bassett, Network Adjusters, Chicago Bridge and Iron, Scibal, and the Municipal Excess Liability Joint Insurance Fund.
Our firm is based in Middlesex County and we appear in courts throughout the State, most often in Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Somerset, Passaic, Union and Warren counties. We also appear before municipal courts, boards and commissions as well as administrative and regulatory tribunals.
Graziano, Piasecki & Whitelaw LLC employs state of the art technology in order to facilitate the prompt delivery of quality, cost effective legal services. The firm emphasizes responsiveness to client needs and expectations. We are committed to providing knowledgeable professional legal representation on a timely basis.
JAMES B. GRAZIANO
(732) 560-1616 ext. 122
James B. Graziano is a partner at Graziano, Piasecki, Whitelaw & Simko where he devotes a substantial portion of his practice to insurance defense litigation, employment law, worker's compensation and product liability claims. He is experienced in handling significant product liability actions, claims against public entities, complex construction accidents and analyzing and advising on insurance coverage issues.
Mr. Graziano was admitted to the bar of the State of New Jersey in 1980. He is a member of the Middlesex County Bar Association and the Middlesex County Trial Lawyers Association. He is also a member of the Defense Research Institute, the New Jersey Defense Association. He was appointed a Certified Civil Trial Attorney by the Supreme Court of New Jersey in 1992. He is admitted to practice before the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey and the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. He was admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court on April 28, 2003. Mr. Graziano serves as an arbitrator in the Superior Court of New Jersey Mandatory Arbitration Program. He is also the attorney for the Borough of Metuchen Parking Authority.
Mr. Graziano received his B.S. Degree in Environmental Studies from Cook College, Rutgers University with Honors. He received his JD Degree from Rutgers Camden School of Law where he served as a Notes and Comments Editor on the Law Journal.
Mr. Graziano is active in a number of community organizations. He is a past Chief of the Metuchen Volunteer Fire Department.
Mr. Graziano resides in Metuchen, New Jersey with his wife Judith. They have two children, Daniel and Kathryn.
CHRIS E. PIASECKI
(732) 560-1616 ext. 128
Chris E. Piasecki is a partner at Graziano, Piasecki & Whitelaw LLC practicing in the firm’s litigation department. He is experienced as trial counsel in the defense of matters involving product liability, civil rights, premises liability, automobile negligence, construction accidents, and accidental death coverage. Mr. Piasecki is also involved in the prosecution and defense of substantial property litigation arising from catastrophic fire and water damage. He has both State and Federal Appellate practice experience.
Mr. Piasecki received his B.A. degree, cum laude, from Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey and his J.D. degree from Seton Hall University School of Law in Newark, New Jersey. He is admitted to practice in the State of New Jersey, the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, and the United States Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit.
Outside of the litigation practice, Mr. Piasecki has lectured for the National Business Institute concerning various topics involving the negligence defense practice. He has also published materials in support of those lectures. Mr. Piasecki is a member of the Middlesex County Trial Lawyers Association, the Middlesex County Bar Association, the New Jersey Defense Association and the Defense Research Institute. He is a former appointee to the American Arbitration Association's panel of no-fault automobile and automobile accident arbitrators and frequently served as an arbitrator for many years. He also serves as an arbitrator in the Superior Court of New Jersey Mandatory Arbitration Program. Mr. Piasecki was also as member of the Mercer County Bench/Bar Committee to re-engineer the arbitration procedures in that County. Mr. Piasecki was appointed as a fee arbitrator and panel chair by the New Jersey Supreme Court, where he hears fee disputes between attorneys and their clients. He is also a member of the Lebanon Township Planning Board.
Mr. Piasecki presented the case of Thomas v. Toys "R" Us, Inc., 282 N.J. Super. 569, (App. Div. 1995); 660 A2d 1236; cert. den. 142 N.J. 574 at both the trial and appellate level. This case, from a defense perspective, favorably defined the procedure and application of the New Jersey's collateral source rule, N.J.S.A. 2A:15-97.
Mr. Piasecki has served northern Hunterdon County through its youth sports programs. He is a past president of the High Bridge Athletic Association where he coached Pop-Warner football. He also volunteered his time as a Little League Baseball, Legion Baseball and wrestling coach and serves as a trustee of Friends of Voorhees High School Wrestling Booster Club. Mr. Piasecki resides in Lebanon Township, New Jersey with his wife, Susan. They have three children, Edward, Corey and Jake.
DONALD B. WHITELAW
(732) 560-1616 ext. 116
Mr. Whitelaw is a partner at Graziano, Piasecki & Whitelaw LLC practicing in the firm's general practice department. He is experienced at both the trial and appellate levels in the defense of automobile negligence claims and premises liability claims. Mr. Whitelaw concentrates his practice in land use, real estate, zoning and sub-division work. He represents developers of both commercial and residential construction projects. In addition, Mr. Whitelaw handles a substantial amount of the firm’s property loss and personal injury protection litigation. He also handles the defense of uninsured and underinsured arbitration claims. He is a former appointee to the Panel of Arbitrators of the American Arbitration Association.
Mr. Whitelaw received his B.A. from Whittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio and his J.D. from Rutgers Camden School of Law in New Jersey.
Mr. Whitelaw is admitted to practice in the State of New Jersey, The United States District Court for the District of New Jersey and the State of Pennsylvania. He is a member of the Middlesex County Trial Lawyers Association.
Mr. Whitelaw lives in Montgomery with his wife, Mary Jean and their children, Rebecca and Allison.
MARK J. SIMKO
(732) 560-1616 ext. 126
Mr. Simko is a counsel attorney at Graziano, Piasecki & Whitelaw LLC where he devotes a substantial portion of his practice to workers' compensation. He is a certified workers’ compensation law attorney, having met the qualifications and successfully completed the examination mandated by the New Jersey Supreme Court. He is also involved in insurance defense and commercial litigation. Mr. Simko was admitted to both the New Jersey and Pennsylvania bars in 1987. He is a member of the Middlesex County Trial Lawyers Association, the New Jersey State Bar Association, Workers' Compensation Section and the Compensation Attorneys of New Jersey.
Mr. Simko received B.A. degrees in Political Science and Economics from Rutgers College, Rutgers University. He received his J.D. degree from Seton Hall University School of Law.
Mr. Simko resides in Piscataway, New Jersey with his wife Christine.
JEAN E. COELHO
(732) 560-1616 ext. 147
Jean E. Coelho is a senior associate at Graziano, Piasecki & Whitelaw LLC where she devotes a substantial portion of her practice to workers’ compensation. She also practices in the areas of employment law, insurance defense and general litigation.
Ms. Coelho received her B.A. degree from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC in 1989 and her J.D. from The Catholic University-School of Law, in Washington, DC in 1994. In her third year of law school, she was voted a Justice to the School’s Honor Board. Also, in her third year, she appeared in Superior Court, under the student practice rule, while working for the Columbus School of Law - Legal Services, on behalf of indigent clients. After she graduated, she spent her first year of practice as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable D. Warren Donohue, in Maryland.
Ms. Coelho was admitted to practice in New Jersey in 1996 and the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey the same year. She is also a member of the American Bar Association, the New Jersey State Bar Association and the Middlesex County Bar Association.
Ms. Coelho resides in Green Brook, New Jersey with her husband, Silverio, and their children, Nicholas, Brian, and Kailen Elizabeth.