Profile and Practice Areas
COOCH AND TAYLOR, one of Wilmington’s older and most respected law firms, was founded in 1960 by Edward W. Cooch, Jr. and Donald C. Taylor. Today it maintains a growing general practice with concentration in business and commercial bankruptcy, civil litigation, family law, real estate, construction law, labor and employment law and trusts, estates and tax.
Its diverse practice serves the local community as well as national entities. The Firm has an established reputation for outstanding client service and an unrivaled work environment.
COOCH AND TAYLOR's Business and Commercial Bankruptcy practice has evolved and expanded during the last thirty years from primarily the representation of liquidating trustees to include broad involvement in a significant number of large Chapter 11 cases filed in the District of Delaware. While handling sophisticated matters, the Firm's bankruptcy attorneys pride themselves on providing personalized service to all their individual and corporate clients.
The practice has benefited from the leadership, knowledge and experience of Jeoffrey L. Burtch, who heads the department and has served as a panel Chapter 7 trustee for over 15 years. Through its representation of Mr. Burtch, as well as other trustees and plan administrators, the department has developed expertise in handling liquidation proceedings and many reorganizational and other commercial issues.
The bankruptcy attorneys also represent a broad array of creditors in Chapter 11 cases including secured and unsecured creditors, trade creditors, landlords, equipment lessors, governmental entities and others. They also represent parties in multiple types of bankruptcy litigation matters before the United States Bankruptcy Court, the United States District Court and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. They have been involved in thousands of preference and fraudulent conveyance actions. Through these representations, the department has become adept at handling liquidation proceedings as well as reorganizational and other commercial, transactional and litigation issues.
Recently the practice expanded to include several attorneys with extensive experience in diverse bankruptcy litigation including commercial real estate, union and pension fund representation and Chapter 13 creditor representation.
In addition to the direct representation of clients, the department also provides Delaware local counsel services for out-of-state lawyers.
The Firm represents businesses, government entities, and individuals in all levels of construction law disputes, including owners (public and private), homeowners, condominium associations, developers, design professionals (architects and engineers), general contractors, construction management firms, trade contractors, subcontractors, and material and equipment suppliers. G. Kevin Fasic has considerable experience prosecuting and defending mechanics’ lien claims, bond claims, delay damage claims, and general payment disputes. He frequently assists contractors with contract review issues, government compliance issues and bid protests (including litigation of bid protests in Delaware’s Court of Chancery). The Firm is a member of the Delaware Chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors (Mr. Fasic is a member of the chapter’s Board of Directors), and the Delaware Contractors Association.
COOCH AND TAYLOR's Family Law Department provides client representation on a broad range of domestic relations issues including, but not limited to, separation, divorce, custody, visitation, child support, spousal support, alimony, premarital agreements, protection from abuse, termination of parental rights, adoptions, guardianships and legal expenses.
The Firm handles a wide variety of labor and employment law matters for businesses and individuals. A former investigator for the Delaware Department of Labor, G. Kevin Fasic is the primary contact for labor and employment law issues. His practice is primarily management based and includes consulting, risk management and counseling services as well as litigation. Mr. Fasic represents clients before all levels of administrative agencies, boards and tribunals as well as all levels of trial and appellate courts, both state and federal, throughout Delaware.
Mr. Fasic’s litigation experience includes employment discrimination, wage and hour disputes, prevailing wage and Davis Bacon, non-compete agreements, unemployment, child labor, whistleblower protection claims, unfair labor practices, minimum wage, federal civil rights claims, employment contracts, employee benefits, independent contractor disputes, and overtime claims. He represents employers and employees in these disputes at all levels of trial and appellate courts in Delaware, including the Superior, Chancery and Supreme Courts (state), as well as the United States District Court for the District of Delaware (federal).
Consulting and risk management services include employee handbooks, policies, severance packages, employment contracts, hiring and termination concerns, pre-employment screening, severance packages, non-compete and non-solicitation agreements, ownership transitions, independent contractor agreements, compensation agreements, family and medical leave act planning, military leave planning, background checks, labor disputes and elections, workplace safety and health issues, personnel files, employee monitoring and privacy, record keeping and personnel files, confidential information and trade secret security, and employment at will issues.
The Firm also has experience with workers’compensation claims and representation before the Industrial Accident Board.
The attorneys in Cooch and Taylor's litigation department have extensive experience in asbestos litigation. They have defended numerous corporations manufacturing construction material, friction products, and many types of industrial equipment.
Condominium and Single Family Home Construction Defect Litigation
The firm’s litigation attorneys are highly experienced representing both sides involved in construction defect matters. In particular they have litigated issues arising from water leaks and intrusions for several decades. Their clients have included individual home and condominium owners, homeowner and condominium owner associations, developers, contractors, and subcontractors throughout Delaware.
The attorneys in Cooch and Taylor’s litigation department regularly represent individual and institutional investors in matters involving Delaware General Corporation Law. They have significant experience in enforcing shareholders’ rights and protecting their interests through class actions, derivative suits, and Section 220 demands and litigation. Representing members and managers, they also litigate matters involving limited liability companies and limited partnerships. Cooch and Taylor’s attorneys have litigated these matters in Delaware’s Court of Chancery, the United States District Court for the District of Delaware, and Delaware’s Supreme Court.
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) Defense
The firm’s attorneys defend commercial entities, including banks, credit unions, debt collectors, and credit reporting agencies, against claims brought under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
Since 1983 the attorneys at Cooch and Taylor have defended corporations against claims for products liability. Products involved have ranged from various types of large industrial equipment to clean rooms.
Realtor and Real Estate Agent Liability Defense
Through aggressive discovery practice and the use of qualified and respected expert witnesses, the attorneys in Cooch and Taylor’s litigation department have substantial experience in successfully defending error and omission claims made against realtors and other real estate professionals who are held to specific standards when representing their clients.
The COOCH AND TAYLOR Real Estate Department provides its clients with a variety of services in the purchase, sale or leasing of property as well as in the development and exchange of commercial and investment real estate. For its clients interested in residential real estate in Delaware and in nearby Chester County, Pennsylvania, it not only advises in the sale of properties but handles the purchase and refinancing of properties including, but not limited to, the preparation and review of Agreements of Sale, addenda, and leases, the execution of title searches and the examination and clearance of title to real estate.
In addition to completing a thorough preparation for settlement, the attorneys in this department offer the flexibility of conducting settlements not only in their offices, but also in the offices of clients' real estate offices or, in the case of a refinancing settlement, in a client's home.
Not only do they provide services in real estate litigation through the COOCH AND TAYLOR Litigation Department, but they also serve as expert witnesses, arbitrators and mediators in matters concerning real estate. They represent real estate professionals at Real Estate Commission hearings as well as clients at the Human Relations Commission hearings and advise clients, who are individual trustees or corporate trustees, on real estate held in trust including the preparation of documentation placing the property in trust.
With countless years of real estate experience, the attorneys in this department take a personalized approach to every matter that involves what in many cases is a client's most valuable asset.
The attorneys in the Trusts, Estates and Tax Group at Cooch and Taylor have assisted clients in all facets of trust and estate planning, estate administration, and fiduciary litigation in Delaware and Pennsylvania for over 50 years.
Trust and Estate Planning
Cooch and Taylor attorneys will work closely with you and your financial professionals to create a plan that is right for you that ensures that your assets are distributed to your intended beneficiaries while minimizing estate and inheritance taxes and probate fees. We routinely draft wills, powers of attorney, advance health care directives, revocable trusts, irrevocable trusts, dynasty trusts and asset protection trusts. Further, the attorneys in the Trusts, Estates and Tax Group are able to apply the unique advantages of Delaware trust law to clients both inside and outside of the State of Delaware.
Settling an estate can be very complex. Proper representation by knowledgeable counsel will help you avoid unnecessary taxes and probate expenses as well as minimize the possibility of disagreements among beneficiaries. Cooch and Taylor attorneys and paralegals will help you locate and value assets, determine the obligations of the estate, and prepare all necessary estate and inheritance tax returns and probate documents.
For many years, the attorneys in the Trusts, Estates and Tax Group have provided advice and representation to beneficiaries, banks and trust companies in Delaware and Pennsylvania relating to estate and trust disputes. In addition, the attorneys in the Trusts, Estates and Tax Group routinely petition the Delaware Court of Chancery in trust matters, including petitions to move and amend trusts.
The attorneys in the Trusts, Estates and Tax Group assist clients in both contested and uncontested guardianship actions.