KAPLAN LAW CORPORATION ATTORNEYS

Jay A Kaplan - was born in Los Angeles, California into a family with a tradition of being lawyers. He attended college at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) where he graduated with the highest academic honors, Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa. Jay earned his law degree at U.S.C. and Whittier Law Schools.

While attending school, Jay clerked for the Magana Cathcart Law Firm, which had represented injured railroad workers under the FELA since the early 1950's. Following his graduation from law school, Jay went into solo practice until 1981 when he helped found the law firm of Kaplan, Zorigian & Kaplan. In 1991, he founded the present Law Firm of Kaplan Law Corporation.

During the course of his twenty five+ year-legal career of representing injured unionized workers, Jay has been designated by the United Transportations Union, Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees, Brotherhood of Railroad Signalman, Transportation Communications Union which includes the Brotherhood of Railway Carman as well as the former Brotherhood of Railway, Airline and Steamship, Clerks, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Ironship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers and the International Brotherhood of Fireman and Oilers. In addition to being designated by the aforementioned rail unions, Jay and Kaplan Law Corporation are also designated Legal Counsel for the Inlandboatman's Union of the Pacific, a division of the International Longshoreman and Harbor Worker's Union, the United Association of Plumbing, Pipefitting, Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Industry and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) in Los Angeless, San Gabriel and San Bernardino. Recent representations of injured members of these unions have resulted in three separate verdicts each of which was significantly over a million dollars as well as several in the very high six figure range. Additionally, Jay recently settled a case against one of the major railroads, involving a 53-year-old shop craft worker for a present value settlement in excess of three and a half million dollars as well as another settlement for a worker in the mechanical department for just under one million dollars. Kaplan Law Corporation since its inception has obtained verdicts and settlements for their clients easily in excess of one hundred million dollars.

Jay is licensed to practice in all of the Courts of California including the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals where he has successfully won cases. He is a longstanding member of the Academy of Rail Labor Attorneys as well as the Consumer Attorneys of California and the Association of Trial Lawyers of America. He has an AV Martindale Hubbell rating which is the highest rating conferred by this highly respected directory and rating system of lawyers and law firms in the United States. Jay is also fluent in Spanish.

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Victor E Kaplan - was born in Washington D.C.. He attended the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and graduated in 1935. He earned his Juris Doctor law degree at the University of Southern California (USC) in 1938. Shortly after graduation, Victor joined a prominent labor law firm and continued to practice there until he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps during World War II.

Following WWII Victor resumed practicing labor law for a law firm that handled cases for various unions, including the newly organized CIO Unions headed by John L. Lewis. The firm also represented labor members from the electrical workers, furniture workers, agricultural workers and UAW in matters before the National Labor Relations Board involving unfair discharges. Victor also spent six months in Trona, California representing the Mine, Mill, and Smelter workers during the 1940’s in their strike against American Potash and Chemical Corporation. Additionally, during that period he personally walked several picket lines in support of organized labor and represented Union Members free of charge when they were arrested and charged with criminal violations for exercising their constitutional rights. Over the years, Victor has represented several Unions such as the Inlandboatsmen Union (IBU), Plumbing, Pipe Fitters, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Mechanics Union, Atomic and Chemical workers and the workers of Mobile Oil in labor arbitration matters.

In the late 1950's, Victor went to work for the Magana law Firm whose principal, Raoul Magana, had worked for one the pioneer firm's in FELA litigation. Subsequently in 1981, Victor left the firm he had been practicing with and went to work with his son, Jay. Currently, Victor continues to work primarily on the type of cases which are his first love, labor law and pension right matters. Additionally, he serves as an arbitrator appointed by the Superior Court of Los Angeles County.

Victor is licensed to practice in all of the Courts of the State of California as well as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court. He is a member of virtually all of the California Bar Associations including the Consumer Attorneys of California. He also possesses an AV Martindale Hubbell rating. Currently Victor is the oldest practicing member of the California State Bar.

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KAPLAN LAW CORPORATION
INVESTIGATORS / FIELD REPRESENTATIVES

Our law firm also employs six investigators/field representatives, essentially all of whom have extensive backgrounds and experience involving FELA personal injury matters. In fact, all but one of our investigators/field representatives have worked for one of the railroads, in one capacity or another, prior to going to work for Kaplan Law Corporation, and therefore have a hands on and intricate knowledge and understanding of the workings of the various railroads and their structures.


Richard Soto - Richard Soto, who comes from a longstanding railroading family, originally hired on with the Southern Pacific Transportation Company in the San Joaquin Valley in 1986 as a trackman in the Maintenance of Way Department. During his years in the track department he was qualified on many different types of equipment. Additionally, Richard was later promoted to the Water Service Utility Department and underwent training in hazardous materials, Lockout-Tagout, and crane safety, and he eventually became a safety trainer for the Union Pacific Railroad Company. Also during the time, he worked as a Water Service refrigeration and air-condition foreman which resulted in him working with members of many different railroad crafts including machinists, carmen and electricians. Richard who was, at all times in his railroad career a member of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Union, worked primarily all over the San Joaquin Valley and Los Angeles. In addition to Richard’s extensive experience in the railroad industry, he has previously worked in the farm labor, fruit packing, logging, and sawmill industries. As a result he has been exceptionally helpful in providing investigative and tactical assistance in preparing railroad, product liability, and third party cases for trial. Richard speaks fluent Spanish and lives in the San Joaquin region. He can be reached at 1(800)989-8116.

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Dennis Brown - started his railroading career in 1979 as a Brakeman, Switchman for the ATSF RR. In 1985 he became a promoted Engineer for ATSF until 1992 when he hired on as an Engineer working for Amtrak. Supporting the Union had always been important to Dennis and in 2003 he was elected as a Vice-local Chairman for the BLE at Amtrak. In 2005 he became the Metrolink and Connex Local Chairman for the BLET. In 2010 he was elected to be the Amtrak local Chairman of the BLET.

Prior to his career in the railroad industry, Dennis worked in the Pipefitter shops as a Blacksmith, later as a Boilermaker, performing welding and rigging duties and also as an Ironworker. Due to his over thirty year career in the Operating Department of various railroads as well as his almost ten years in the construction trades it has resulted in Dennis effectively assisting in the preparation of our cases for trial. Dennis resides in Riverside, California and can be reached at (909)518-0893.

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John Tirado - started his long railroad career as a third generation railroader in the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees (BMWE) department. He hired on in 1976 with the Southern Pacific Transportation Company in the San Joaquin Division as a Trackman. By 1978 John was qualified on various different types of track equipment. Following that he worked many years as a qualified semi driver and railroaded in several states including but not limited to California, Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, Washington, Oregon, Utah, Kansas, Nebraska and Idaho. Also during his lengthy career with SPTCo and Union Pacific Railroad he worked on all types of Maintenance of Way track gangs including production, rail, crossing, surfacing and switch.

In addition to the vast experience John had in the Maintenance of Way Department with over 40 years of service he also served as a union representative in the San Joaquin division since he was first elected as a Local Chairman in 1982. He served several terms on the Executive Board of the former Pacific Federation and when the Federation merged with the Unified System Division in 2010 he continually served on that Executive Board till 2016 when he retired. John is also a lifetime member of the BMWE. With his 40 years of experience working numerous jobs and locations in the BMWE and his over 34 years of experience of being a Union Representative, John brings tremendous experience and assets to our firm in the assistance and preparation of railroad injury cases for trial. John resides in Bakersfield, California and can be reached at (661) 496-4791 or at his e-mail bigjohn1976@gmail.com or railtrucker_1976@yahoo.com.

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Carl Biel - started his railroad career in 1979 as a Fireman and Oiler Laborer in Taylor Yard for the Southern Pacific Transportation Company. Subsequently, by 2002 Carl was working in the City of Industry as a Mechanical Service Operator and continued to do so until he was promoted in 2004 by Union Pacific Railroad Company to be a Peer Support Foreman General for the entire Los Angeles basin which included Los Angeles, City of Commerce, Dolores, Taylor Yard and West Colton. In that capacity he worked with various crafts including Machinists, Electricians, Carmen and Pipefitters.

Following that time, Carl decided that he preferred to return to the ranks and in 2007 he returned as a Mechanical Service Operator and performed that job until he retired in 2017. During that time he also served as a Master Trainer for Locomotive Movers and Forklift Operators.

Carl’s extensive work background has proved vital in Kaplan Law Corporation preparing Shopcraft cases for trial. Additionally, throughout his entire railroad career, Carl was also extremely active in the Union. Initially he served as a Committeeman for the IBFO from 1984 through 1987. He later served as a local Chairman for the NCFO from 1987 through 2004 and once again as a Committeeman from 2007 through 2017. Carl additionally has worked as a Security Supervisor at Staples Center from 2006 through 2012 providing personal assistance to the Los Angeles Lakers and Kings.

Carl is bilingual in Spanish and English and currently resides in Los Angeles. He can be reached at (323) 899-0458.

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Tony Lopez - Tony worked for the Southern Pacific Transportation Company since 1997 and then for Union Pacific Railroad in the Maintenance of Way Department. During that time Tony worked as a welder, truck driver and track machine operator. Consequently Tony has an extensive hands on understanding of the track department and its equipment, work practices, and structures. This knowledge has proven invaluable in preparing cases for trial . Tony is bi-lingual and resides in Bakersfield, California.

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Mark McLaughlin - Although he comes from a family with a long line of locomotive engineers, including one of the past International Presidents of the organization, Mark first started working for the railroad in the Maintenance of Way Department for the old Milwaukee Railroad in Iowa and acquired hands-on experience that has proven invaluable in investigating FELA cases. Since coming to work for our firm, Mark has investigated various FELA cases involving all crafts. Mark works out of Phoenix office and has worked on cases in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and California. Mark can be reached at (800)552-7526.

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Hector Ortiz - Hector worked for The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company in the Maintenance of Way Department for almost 25 years in the Los Angeles area and San Bernardino area. For many of those years Hector worked as a Foreman. As a result, Hector has extensive knowledge and understanding of the Maintenance of Way, its tracks and structures. He has taken many of the bilingual statements in our Maintenance of Way and shopcraft cases and helped with the preparation of several of those cases for trail involving AMTRAK, BNSF, SPTCO and the Union Pacific Railroad Company. He resides in the Los Angeles area and can be reached at (800)295-3442

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John Scandalios - John is the only investigator who is associated with our law firm who has never worked for a railroad, however, his unparalleled qualifications and expertise more than make up for it. John has been a professional investigator since 1968 and a California licensed private investigator since 1975. John has a degree in Criminology, a law school background and is the former Regional Director of the National Association of Legal Investigators and a past member of the Executive Council. Prior to that, John worked for the United States Government, Department of Justice and is a member of the California Peace Officers Association. Over the past 15 years, John has applied his exceptional investigating tools to working on several large and high profile FELA accident cases, as well as on cases involving defective products, work place injuries and maritime accidents. John resides in San Diego, California.

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IN MEMORY OF OUR DEAR FRIEND AND BROTHER

Jeffrey Bradarich - Lead Investigator - Prior to working for our law firm, Jeff spent approximately fifteen years as a Fireman and Oiler in the Southern Pacific shops in Roseville, California. During that time, he was also the Local Chairman and the Vice General Chairman of the System Council of the IBFO. Jeff first learned his skills as a potential investigator by preparing and investigating cases for company ordered investigations while representing his men as well as by learning from his father who was a General Chairman for one of the other crafts. Since joining our firm, Jeff has investigated many FELA cases involving Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Company, Union Pacific Railroad Company, AMTRAK as well as various shortline railroads. In fact, Jeff’s understanding of mechanics was instrumental in helping our law firm obtain a settlement of $3,400,000 for an injured client who injured his knee. Jeff primarily works out of Needles, California and Bull Head City, Arizona, with constant trips to Barstow, San Bernardino, Riverside, Los Angeles, and all places in between. Jeff also regularly attends union meetings in Roseville and the Bay Area.

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