A Schoolhouse Office For Ford Architects

Name Changes

Expansions

Leaving Town

Management Moves

Contract Awarded

Corrections or additions?

These articles by Barbara Fox were prepared for the October 13,

2004 issue of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Life in the Fast Lane

Attorney Hanan M. Isaacs spent three years on a contingency case in an

unusual arena — reverse discrimination in federal employment — and

last week the case was settled in favor of his client, Michael C.

Ryan.

Ryan got his wish — that the FAA will review its policies. He also

got

a promotion, eight years of back pay with interest, and repayment of

all his costs and fees. Isaacs, whose office is at Princeton

Professional Park on Ewing Street, will receive $360,000 for about

2,500 hours on the case. Had he lost, he would have received nothing.

From the end of April to the middle of June of this year, the case of

Michael C. Ryan v. Norman Y. Mineta, Secretary, U.S. Department of

Transportation, had 22 days of testimony in Federal District Court in

Newark, Chief Judge John W. Bissell presiding. Judge Harold Ackerman

was in charge of the mediation that brought a settlement.

"We worked for three months to craft a very careful settlement

agreement that, basically, did exactly what my client wanted done,"

says Isaacs (Rutgers, Class of 1975, University of North Carolina Law

School, Rutgers master’s degree in legal history). Andrew Steinberg,

chief counsel for the FAA, led the settlement discussions (U.S. 1,

June 16).

"There had been a series of discussions and I began to participate in

June, with the U.S. Attorney’s office in Newark and attorneys at the

FAA chief counsel’s office," says Steinberg. A 1980 alumnus of

Princeton University, he went to Harvard Law School and has worked

here in Princeton at Church & Dwight, as well as for American Airlines

and Travelocity.

Dollar amounts and many details of the settlement are not included in

official court documents but are specified in a private letter and a

private settlement agreement. The court documents deal almost

exclusively with new public policy.

"It was certainly not the run-of-the-mill employment case," says

Steinberg. "The unusual component was a constitutional challenge to

some of our personnel practices. We are pleased to put the litigation

behind us and looking forward to the review that we expect to be

conducting."

Ryan, 53, had challenged the Federal Aviation Administration’s

approach to affirmative action over the last decade. He had turned

down a more lucrative settlement that would have included a pain and

suffering payment, and he held out for a change in the way FAA made

its employment decisions.

A resident of Mays Landing, Ryan claimed that in his 28 years with the

FAA, most of that time at the William J. Hughes Technical Center in

Atlantic City, the FAA had

repeatedly passed over him for promotion because he is white and male,

in violation of the equal rights guaranteed him by the Fifth Amendment

to the U.S. Constitution and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of

1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color,

religion, sex, and national origin.

A finding by the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1995 case, Adarand

Constructors Inc. v. Pena, gave the courts a role in making decisions,

and this was followed in the same year by a Clinton administration

memorandum issued by the U.S. Department of Justice, which said that

"federal affirmative action programs that use racial and ethnic

criteria as a basis for decision making are subject to strict judicial

scrutiny."

Isaacs maintained that the FAA had flouted the memo and that this case

was not a matter of discrimination against persons of color or other

nationalities. "I believe in equal justice, protection, and

opportunity," he had said. "And I believe in legal affirmative action.

But I don’t believe in creating preferences where there is no proof to

support them and unlawfully promoting people who are less qualified

over people who are more qualified in the light of some idea. That’s

not good social policy. And when dealing with air traffic safety, not

only is it wrong; it’s dangerous."

Because the FAA does not admit it was wrong, the case does not make

precedent, according the FAA’s counsel, Steinberg: "What we agreed to

do was to apply current law as well as the new EEOC directive issued

in 2003 that is binding on all federal agencies."

The FAA does, however, state that it will fix any problems. "We have

agreed to review all our personnel decision making processes,

everything related to hiring and selection of employees of the FAA,"

says Steinberg. "To the extent that we find anything that doesn’t

comply with the law, we will change it," he says. "Taking a very

careful look at all of those policies is something we should do anyway

and we were able to settle this particular case by agreeing to do it."

When an attorney works on contingency, he or she runs the risk of

losing the case of and being paid nothing. Isaacs received a fee that

was about one-fourth less than he had asked for, but both sides had

agreed to let Judge Ackerman determine the final amount. Isaacs says

he is satisfied. "If you are a small firm, you take one of these

cases, and you are in for a rough ride," says Isaacs. "It was a worthy

fight."

Most FAA cases are settled out of court, Isaacs notes, whereas this

one went to trial. "If we hadn’t had 22 trial days, it would not have

gotten the message across," says Isaacs. He was glad, he says, to

settle the case in the end, but Ryan, his client, had been focused so

long on defeating the government agency that at first he resisted the

settlement.

It was up to Isaacs to persuade Ryan to quit fighting and take the

settlement. "We had 15 to 18 trial dates to go, and the chief judge

could have taken six to ten months to decide. I told him if that if

the administration changed hands, the FAA could change its mind, but

if we had a settlement it was binding."

Finally Ryan accepted the judge’s recommendation to settle. "Ackerman

told my client that he has been a trial judge for 50 years and that he

had never seen an agreement that he had seen here," says Isaacs. "’You

sir,’ he told my client, ‘are a winner.’"

Top Of Page
A Schoolhouse Office For Ford Architects

While Robert Hillier has been renovating one of Princeton’s old

grammar schools, Ford Farewell Mills & Gatsch has been doing the

interior design for another vintage school, the old chemical science

building on Princeton University’s Forrestal Campus (the Route 1 North

campus that is also occupied by the Princeton Plasma Physics

Laboratory).

By the end of the year FFMG will vacate the Carnegie Center, after

four years in a temporary sublease, and move to 200 Forrestal Road,

taking the third floor and also the attic of the historic brick

building. This new home is just up the road from Mapleton Road, its

original quarters, which were distinctly un-corporate.

"We have been here longer than we anticipated," says Larry Capo of

FFMG. "We left Mapleton Road because we simply didn’t fit any longer,

and we had the opportunity to sublet this space while we looked around

for a home that felt more like FFMG."

"200 Forrestal Road is perfect for us," says Capo. "The building is

historic, and half of our business is historic preservation work. It

also affords us the opportunity to do some interesting renovation on

the interior that will reflect our new design work."

FFMG is going from 11,000 feet at the Carnegie Center to just over

8,500 feet in its new quarters. But the way it uses the attic will

make the space seem larger, Capo says, pointing out that the fourth

floor, "a real attic," will house the company’s server, telephone

equipment, library, and storage files. "Because we get to do all the

filing upstairs it actually increases the working space," says Capo.

"The new space will feel much more open. The ceilings are 13 feet."

Most important, the building has windows that open.

Ford Farewell Mills and Gatsch, Architects LLC, 103

Carnegie Center, Suite 301, Princeton 08540-6235. James A. Gatsch

FAIA, managing partner. 609-452-1777; fax, 609-452-7192. Www.ffmg.com

Top Of Page
Name Changes

Century 21 Carter & Carter, 1 Airport Place, Suite 2,

Princeton 08540. Debbie Carter, realtor associate. 609-688-9900; fax,

609-688-9877. Www.c21carter.com

Last summer Scott and Debbie Carter changed the name of their real

estate firm from DiMeglio Realty Group at Montgomery, and they now own

a Century 21 franchise. "It is one of the most well known logos in

country, and has one of best websites in the country, and the support

and training are spectacular," says Debbie Carter.

Scott R. Carter, the broker of record, has a degree from Montclair

State and has been in real estate for 20 years. Debbie worked for AT&T

before going into real estate eight years ago. The office is across

the street from Princeton Airport and is part of the Research Park

complex.

Top Of Page
Expansions

Scafa Financial Services LLC, 43 Princeton-Hightstown

Road, Princeton Junction 08550. Elizabeth Scafa CFP, CPA,

609-750-0002; fax, 609-750-3304. Home page: www.myhdvest.com/lizscafa

Elizabeth Scafa moved from AAA Drive in Robbinsville, where she had

been subleasing from the Mount Ritter Group, which recently merged

with Mercadien. Her new office is on Princeton-Hightstown Road. An

accounting major at Baruch, Class of 1982, she worked for five years

at Morgan Stanley and quit to start her own firm. She does financial

planning (estate, retirement, education), investment management, IRA

and 401(k) rollovers, brokerage transactions, and annuities, and she

also has life, long-term care, and disability insurance.

"I wanted more independence and the opportunity to focus on the

products and services that I feel are most important to each client,"

she says. A certified financial planner and CPA, she is married to a

CPA with a home office. "Because this is so new, we have started to

work on large cases together, but for now we maintain separate

offices," she says. West Windsor residents, they have two children,

ages 21 and 17.

"He has always been encouraged by our being in the same field. Now we

have plenty to talk about in the evenings."

North American Transportation Consultants (NATC), 379

Princeton-Hightstown Road, Hightstown 08520. Robert C. Farkas, vice

president. 609-426-0555; fax, 609-443-0004.

The logistics firm has opened a 10-person office on

Princeton-Hightstown Road, but it is keeping a two-person office at

602 North Main Street in Hightstown, with which it shares a phone

number. It does consulting on transportation and safety – important

topics in a terrorism-conscious society.

Top Of Page
Leaving Town

Level 8 Systems Inc. (LVEL), 1433 Route 34, Farmingdale

07727. Tony Pizi, CEO. 732-919-3150; fax, 732-919-3152. Www.level8.com

After three years at the Carnegie Center this software company moved

with eight full-time employees to Farmingdale. In 2001 it had been

working with Merrill Lynch on Cicero software.

Top Of Page
Management Moves

Westin Princeton at Forrestal Village, 201 Village

Boulevard, Princeton 08540. Thomas Healy, general manager.

609-452-7900; fax, 609-452-1223. Home page: www.westin.com

Thomas G. Healy has replaced John Crouch as general manager of the

294-room Westin Princeton. "I’ll be overseeing the multi-million

dollar renovation and improvements," says Healy.

A native of Sparta, he graduated from Johnson & Wales University in

Rhode Island and lives with his family in Byram. Most recently Healy

opened the Sheraton Overland Park Hotel, a 412-room convention hotel

in Overland, Kansas, but he has also been general manager of the

Sheraton Edison hotel and the Sheraton Parsippany.

Crouch is now in Washington ,D.C., as manager of the Westin Embassy

and the Westin Grand.

American Repertory Ballet, 80 Albany Street, New

Brunswick 08901. Graham Lustig, artistic director. 732-249-1254; fax,

732-249-8475. Www.arballet.org

Barry C. Hughson is the new executive director of American Repertory

Ballet in New Brunswick and the affiliated Princeton Ballet School. He

will assume his duties October 1 and plans to move from New York City

to New Brunswick after the first of the year.

Hughson, 36, studied ballet at the Nutmeg Ballet in Torrington,

Connecticut, and danced with Washington Ballet in Washington, D.C.

Forced to give up professional dancing by chronic tendinitis, he

earned a certificate in arts administration from New York University.

He has been executive director of the Warner Theater in Torrington,

and executive director of Complexions Contemporary Ballet in New York.

Top Of Page
Contract Awarded

Educational Testing Service, Rosedale Road, Princeton

08541. Kurt F. Landgraf, president. 609-921-9000; fax, 609-734-5410.

Home page: www.ets.org

Educational Testing Service has renewed its contract with Thomson

Prometric to the tune of $1 billion over 12 years. ETS now uses

Thomson centers for computer-based testing, but it will more than

triple the number of centers it uses, and it will add Internet-based

testing.

Thomson Prometric, based in Maryland, has 4,000 online testing centers

worldwide. ETS now uses 1,000 of them under a $500 million contract

that expires in 2005. The first test to go online would be the Test of

English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

Based in Baltimore, Thomson Prometric bought ETS subsidiary Capstar in

August. Thomson Prometric is itself a subsidiary of publicly-traded

Thomson Corp. of Stamford, Connecticut.


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