Doylestown Law Firm Cooley & Handy and Philadelphia Law Firm Feldman Shepherd File National Class Action Suit against Income Tax Software Industry Cartel for Billions

November 14, 2007

Doylestown, PA – In a case of unchecked government outsourcing, the Doylestown law firm of Cooley & Handy, together with the Philadelphia firm of Feldman Shepherd Wohlgelernter Tanner & Weinstock, this week filed a class action suit against a group of income tax software companies that are part of a cartel known as the Free File Alliance LLC. The suit, brought by Philadelphia resident Stacie Byers, alleges that cartel members such as H&R Block and Intuit Inc. unlawfully charged millions of U.S. taxpayers excessive e-filing fees. Damages are estimated in the billions of dollars.

A woman has filed against Essentials Day Spa and a former employee for sexually assaulting her during a massage

October 5, 2007

By: Christina Kristofic

A Bucks County woman who was sexually assaulted during a massage at Essentials Salon and Day Spa in Doylestown has brought a civil suit against the spa’s owners and the former employee who assaulted her. The suit, filed by Doylestown attorney Kevin Handy, claims the woman has “experienced severe physical and emotional pain, suffering humiliation and embarrassment” as a result of the assault and asks for at least $50,000 in damages. The woman, whose identity is being withheld by The Intelligencer, got a full- body massage Oct. 28, 2005, from Gary Nabedrik. She had one previous massage from Nabedrik, which she told police was uneventful. During the Oct. 28 massage, Nabedrik fondled the woman. The victim told the police she felt uneasy and, when the touching became more aggressive, was unable to move or say anything. Ultimately, she told him to stop and covered herself with a sheet and Nabedrik left the massage room. Doylestown police filed criminal charges of aggravated indecent assault and indecent assault, to which Nabedrik pleaded guilty. Nabedrik, 41, of Warminster, was sentenced to seven years of probation and required to participate in a sex offender treatment program. He is prohibited from having contact with the woman.

November 15, 2007

Doylestown, PA - The Doylestown law firm Cooley & Handy has filed a class-action lawsuit against major players in the tax software industry- Intuit Inc., H&R Block and Free File Alliance- seeking billions of dollars in damages. Cooley & Handy filed this suit Monday in the U.S. District Court jointly with the Philadelphia law firm Feldman, Shepherd, Wohlgelernter, Tanner & Weinstock. The suit claims the tax software makers charged users illegal fees to electronically file their federal tax returns with the IRS. They were able to do it because they had formed a “cartel” that forced the IRS into an agreement in which it promised not to create similar software, the suit alleges.

“This Agreement wrongfully “privatized the IRS’s quintessential government task of developing, receiving, collecting, and processing tax returns, allowing cartel members to reap profits by charging taxpayers,” the suit states. The lawsuit asks the court to prohibit tax software manufacturers from charging fees for electronic filing of tax returns and refund all fees previously collected. Anyone who has used tax software manufactured by Intuit, H&R Block or Free File Alliance is automatically a member of the class and does not need to join the lawsuit to receive damages.

October 24, 2008 - In a precedential ruling, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania held that a biological father has the statutory right to challenge an acknowledgment of paternity on the basis of fraud, duress or material mistake of fact.

Cooley & Handy attorney Susanne M. Wherry, with co-counsel, successfully argued that silence, when good faith requires disclosure, can rise to the level of a fraudulent misrepresentation.

December 31, 2008 - Cooley & Handy recently secured the dismissal of a frivolous “abuse of process” lawsuit filed against one of its clients, a mother, by her ex-husband and the father of her children. The lawsuit arouse out of contentious and on-going custody litigation pending in Bucks County. Cooley & Handy also represented the mother in the custody litigation.

In the underlying custody litigation, Cooley & Handy was able to secure the mother a series of victories, that included court orders and agreements, in which mother was awarded additional custody time with her children. At every stage of the custody litigation, father vigorously opposed mother’s attempts to secure additional custody time with her children.

February 18, 2009 - Cooley & Handy Successfully Argues in Buck County Custody Matter that “Paternity by Estoppel” is Applicable where Biological Father Failed to Challenge Putative Father’s Acknowledgement of Paternity for Nine Years Despite Actual Knowledge of Probability that Child was his Biological Child.

The trial court in a Bucks County custody matter recently accepted Cooley & Handy’s argument that a biological father should be estopped from challenging a putative father’s legal paternity of a child because the biological father had failed to challenge the putative father’s acknowledgement of paternity for nine years, despite knowledge of facts suggesting he might be the biological father.

A difficult issue faced by both custodial parents and their attorneys occurs when a minor child refuses to visit with the other parent as a result of alienation, anger, and sometimes fear. The situation becomes increasingly problematic as the child approaches the age of majority (18 years old). In some cases, the child’s mental heath is at-issue due to familial turmoil or stress related to the divorce, such as when the child has threatened self-harm when confronted with visiting the parent.

Further complicating the matter is the dearth of controlling principles or law in these cases. Courts in Bucks County custody matters, for example, have taken wildly divergent approaches to such situations. Sometimes it depends on which judge is hearing the matter. Our firm was involved in one case where the judge told the child during the custody hearing that the court was not going to make the child do “anything he didn’t want to do.” Essentially, the court granted that child carte blanche to control the situation and, by extension, the parents.

2008 PA Super 253

R.W.E., Appellant v. A.B.K. and M.K., Appellees


No. 35 EDA 2007

Appeal from the Order entered December 5, 2006, Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County, Family Division at No. 0C05-02282


Michael Argentieri v. Linda Piper and Patricia Cooley, Esquire and Cooley & Handy

No. 07-05710-29-2


And now, this 31st day of December, 2008, upon consideration of Defendants' Preliminary Objections to Plaintiffs Amended Complaint and memorandum of Law in support thereof, and Plaintiff's Response thereto, it is hereby ORDERED that:

The Bucks County Law Firm of Cooley & Handy Challenges Order Sanctioning Father $2,000.00 for Cursing in Front of His Ex-Wife and Daughter on First Amendment Grounds

Father Claims that Bucks County Judge’s Order Prohibiting Him From Using “Inappropriate” Language Constitutes an Illegal and Unenforceable Prior Restraint on Free Speech.

A father in a custody dispute is challenging a contempt order entered by a Bucks County judge that sanctioned him $2,000.00 for violating a custody order requiring him not to use profanity or inappropriate language around his daughter and the child’s mother. The specific language of the custody order, entered by the Hon. Wallace H. Bateman, Jr., requires the father to “refrain from using any profanity when dealing with mother and mother’s husband, and using any type of language around the children that’s inappropriate.” Judge Bateman held father in contempt and sanctioned him $2,000.00 in attorney fees for violating the order after he admittedly used profanities during a custody exchange. Father has appealed the finding of contempt and the sanctions to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania based on the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.

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