James Burn, Susan Paczak, and Douglas Williams Named Partner at Abes Baumann

New partners build on the firm’s more than 40-year history of fighting for workers’ rights

Abes Baumann announced today that attorneys James Burn, Susan Paczak, and Douglas Williams have been named partners at the firm. This appointment elevates the three lawyers after years of dedicated service to the firm and its clients. 

Mr. Burn has more than 30 years of experience in the areas of workers’ compensation and social security disability, and has dedicated his professional life to helping injured people. Martindale Hubble ranks him, “AV,” the highest ranking that can be given to a practicing attorney. Prior to joining Abes Baumann, he was elected mayor of the Borough of Millvale, Pa. in 1994 and served until 2005; past chairman of the Allegheny County Democratic Party from 2006 to 2011; Allegheny County Council member from 2006 to 2013; and he is the former chair of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party. Outside of the office he has been training and teaching at Young Brothers Tae Kwon Do Institute in the North Hills of Pittsburgh, being promoted to sixth-degree black belt by Grand Master Young Bo Kong in 2020. A 1985 graduate of Duquesne University, he earned his J.D. from the University of Dayton in 1988.

“Jim has spent his career fighting tirelessly for injured people,” said Thomas C. Baumann, partner, Abes Baumann. “His dedication to his clients and community make him the ideal partner to help build the future of our firm.” 

Mr. Williams has spent more than 25 years experience in workers’ compensation law. He began his career as a law clerk at Abes Baumann, he has also clerked for the Pennsylvania Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, researching and drafting decisions for workers’ compensation judges. Mr. Williams currently serves on the Amicus Committee of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, writing friend of the court briefs to the Pennsylvania Commonwealth and Supreme Courts on a variety of issues.  A 1991 graduate of Grove City College, he earned a J.D. from Duquesne University in 1996. 

“Doug began his career as a law clerk at Abes Baumann,” added Mr. Baumann. “It has been a true honor and delight to see him grow his career as an attorney at the firm. He represents the best of our firm and I am thrilled to have him join me as a partner.” 

Ms. Paczak has spent more than 30 years in the areas of workers’ compensation, social security and veterans’ benefits. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh in 1980 and earned her J.D. from Duquesne University, graduating cum laude. Her experience working with veterans allowed the firm to launch its successful veterans’ benefits practice, which helps the nation’s veterans get the benefits and support they have earned. Ms. Paczak has argued precedent setting cases before the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

“Susan’s work in veterans’ benefits has provided our firm with the opportunity to grow and expand our offerings,” continued Mr. Baumann. “Her dedication to the men and women of our nation’s armed services is a shining example of how we hope to serve all of our clients.” 

Doug Williams recognized again as a top lawyer by Best Lawyers in America

Doug Williams’ outstanding work in the area of workers’ compensation law has once again been recognized by Best Lawyers in America. The peer-reviewed publication named Williams to their 2021 edition for his high caliber of work. Since 2010, Williams has made the list six times. 

Best Lawyers in America features the top 6% of private practicing attorneys across 146 areas of law. The 2021 edition recognizes roughly 65,000 attorneys who were vetted by more than 8 million evaluations. The publication started in 1983 and continues to maintain a highly regarded and stringent review process. 

We congratulate Doug’s ongoing excellence in workers’ compensation law and on achieving this designation once again. 

Attorneys appointed to national sports unions workers’ compensation panels

James Burn and Douglas Williams join the workers’ compensation panels of the NFLPA and PHPA.

Our firm is pleased to announce two tremendous appointments to professional sports union legal boards. Congratulations to James Burn and Douglas Williams who were named to the workers compensation panels of the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) and the Professional Hockey Players Association (PHPA), respectively. 

“Both Doug and Jim have been relentless advocates for workers’ rights and have spent a significant amount of time working on these types of cases. This recognition highlights the caliber of work they have been doing and will continue to do,” said partner Thomas Baumann. 

Burn and Williams’ appointments come at a time when professional sports organizations are seeing significant challenges due to COVID-19 and may require additional representation. This designation exemplifies their ongoing dedication to the sports industry and its players, and we are proud of their accomplishments.

Congratulations, Jim and Doug! 

Tom Baumann Named One of the Top 50 Lawyers in Pittsburgh by Super Lawyers

Tom Baumann was once again recognized as one of the top 50 lawyers in Pittsburgh by Super Lawyers. This is the 16th consecutive year Baumann has been recognized as a Super Lawyer. Specifically, he is listed as a Top Rated Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Pittsburgh by Super Lawyers.

Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Only five percent of lawyers receive this designation and are chosen based off Super Lawyer’s patented multiphase selection process, nominations received, independent research and peer evaluations. 

The Abes Baumann team congratulates Tom for achieving Super Lawyers’ status once again.

Firm Founder Ed Abes Retires

As of January 1, 2020, founder and partner Ed Abes has retired after a more than 50-year career practicing law.

After graduating from Pennsylvania State University and Duquesne University School of Law in Pittsburgh, Ed began his career working for the State Workers’ Insurance Fund as a Special Assistant Attorney General. In 1978, he decided to use his knowledge and experience of Workers’ Compensation to establish a law firm dedicated to fighting for injured workers.

Not long after opening the doors at Abes Baumann, Ed began representing injured professional athletes as a member of the Workers’ Compensation Panels of the National Football League Players Association, the National Hockey League Players Association, and the Professional Hockey Players Association. The Major League Baseball Players Association also recommends Abes Baumann to their injured players.

In addition to practicing law full-time, Ed has volunteered his time on a number of boards and committees including chair of the Pennsylvania Bar Association Workers’ Compensation Section Liaison Committee, which facilitates communication among the judges, administrators, and attorneys of the Workers’ Compensation judicial system. Ed is past president of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and past treasurer of the Allegheny County Democratic Committee.

Ed has won numerous industry awards and accolades during his career. In 2011, Ed was elected to the National Academy of Social Insurance. Super Lawyers Magazine has listed him as one of the top 5% of lawyers in Pennsylvania since 2004 and also as one of the Top 50 Lawyers in Pittsburgh. He has been recognized continuously since 2004 by Best Lawyers in America as one of Pittsburgh’s Best Workers’ Compensation Lawyers.

On behalf of the entire firm at Abes Baumann, we thank Ed for his years of leadership, mentoring and friendship. We wish him all the best in his retirement.

Ed Abes, Tom Baumann, and Doug Williams named to both Best Lawyers in America and SuperLawyers Lists

As this year comes to a close we want to highlight our attorneys for being recognized as top in our field. 

Best Lawyers has been regarded as one of the most credible measures of legal integrity and distinction in the country for more than 30 years. It truly symbolizes excellence in the practice. 

Ed Abes, Tom Baumann, and Doug Williams were again recognized by Best Lawyers in America this year for their work. Ed has been named every year since 1995, Tom every year since 2005 and Doug since 2009. All were recognized in the practice area of Workers’ Compensation Law — Claimants. 

Inclusion on this list is based on a rigorous peer-review survey comprising more than 8.2 million confidential evaluations by top attorneys. 

In addition to being named Best Lawyers, all three were also named SuperLawyers in Pennsylvania, only about five percent of lawyers receive this designation. 

The entire team at Abes Baumann salutes Ed, Tom, and Doug for these well-deserved recognitions.

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