What is a Hamam?
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What is a Hamam? | Matt Williamson

{2:06 minutes to read} In your typical hydrothermal suite found in your typical American resort spa, you have the usual suspects—saunas, steam rooms, whirlpools, relaxation areas, showers, maybe an ice/snow room. The combination of these features provides the guest the necessary tools for wellness and relaxation. A new (though actually really, really old) feature that is becoming more common in these spas is the Turkish Hamam. The Hamam, an incredibly versatile hydrothermal area characterized by heat and humidity (but not steam), is rather well-known in Europe and Asia but is essentially a mystery to American spa-goers. What IS a hamam exactly? Glad you asked.

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What is Patentable? The Phenomena of Nature Exception
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What is Patentable? The Phenomena of Nature Exception | Pat Werschulz

The answer to the question “what is patentable?” should be pretty straightforward, because the applicable law says: “a machine, a manufacturer, composition, or a process, or the improvements thereof, are patentable.” However, over the years, the courts have created very specific guidelines concerning what is or is not patentable. One exception to patentability is called the “phenomena of nature” exception. The Supreme Court discussed this exception in a 2013 case called Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics.

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Start-Ups: Get Your Pre-nup
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Start-Ups: Get Your Pre-nup | Bettina Eckerle

Two or more people decide to launch a new business, and this is how it typically goes down regarding the relationship between them: "We have known each other for a long time, or our interests are totally aligned and we see it through together through the exit, or what can possibly go wrong, let’s not think about worst case — so a handshake must surely be enough." Yeah, right. Until it isn’t.

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It Takes All Sorts of Torts, Indeed!
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It Takes All Sorts of Torts, Indeed! | Mark Kaufman

A copyright dispute late last year forced a holiday play to go dark before the Rockefeller Center tree was ever lit. The suit centers around the play Who’s Holiday by Matthew Lombardo. No, the dispute is not over the apparent typo in the play’s name. Rather, it is that the defendant’s play is based on the character Cindy Lou Who from the beloved Dr. Seuss book The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. Whether the play is an unauthorized derivative work (from the perspective of the Dr. Seuss estate) or a parody (from the perspective of the playwright) is what the court ultimately may need to decide. Who’s Holiday is a profane, one-woman show that documents the life of Cindy Lou Who after the denouement of Grinch. It finds Cindy living in a trailer park, after having married the Grinch, whom Cindy had murdered (allegedly in self-defense), before the curtain lifts.

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Chapter 13 Alert: Lenders Must Confirm All Mortgage Payments Made By Borrower During Chapter 13 Plan
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Chapter 13 Alert: Lenders Must Confirm All Mortgage Payments Made By Borrower During Chapter 13 Plan | Michael L. Moskowitz

By Michael L. Moskowitz and Michele K. Jaspan

We previously reported about Lenders’ Chapter 13 obligations set forth in Bankruptcy Rule 3002.1, entitled Notice Relating to Claims Secured by Security Interest in the Debtor’s Principal Residence (click here). To reiterate, a mortgage lender must provide to debtor, debtor’s counsel, and the chapter 13 bankruptcy trustee, notice of any fees, expenses or charges incurred by lender in connection with its claim, following commencement of the chapter 13 case. In addition, lender must notify the same parties about any changes to the monthly mortgage payments which come due post-petition.

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Adult Guardianship: What happens if you can no longer manage your affairs?
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Authored by , re: LAW RELATED ARTICLES, Trusts, Estates & Elder law, on .
Adult Guardianship: What happens if you can no longer manage your affairs? | Tom Sciacca

{Read in 8 minutes} Every now and then, an adult may lose his or her capacity to make important medical, financial, or other decisions. This may be a result of a major medical incident, such as a stroke, or because of the effects of aging that some people experience. Regardless of the reason, if someone has not adequately planned for their incapacity, they may need the intervention of a Court to have a Guardian appointed for them. This article (1) provides insight into how a client can potentially avoid the need for a guardianship proceeding, and (2) provides an overview of such a proceeding should the need arise.

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So, What Do You Think I Should Do?
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
So, What Do You Think I Should Do? | Clare Piro

{3:24 minutes to read} One question that I’m asked by clients fairly often is, “Do you think I should accept this?” Or “Is it good for me to do x, y or z?” I understand why a client would ask. But, like the question, “Do you think that this is fair?” it’s not one that a mediator can answer (Fair is in the Eye of the Beholder]. It certainly seems expedient, especially if the couple just wants it all to be over. The mediator understands the facts and the law and is certainly capable of answering the question. So, why not?

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filing the divorce action
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filing the divorce action | Jennifer Safian

{3:18 minutes to read} In a previous article, do we file for divorce before starting mediation, I talked about whether parties needed to file for divorce before starting the mediation process. Eli Uncyk, Esq., an experienced family law mediator and attorney, read my article and suggested I write about what happens if the parties do file for divorce before starting the mediation process, and how this might affect that process. I asked him if he would answer these questions, since he is an attorney and a prominent one in our mediation community. He graciously agreed, and what follows are his thoughts on the subject.

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What Should an Attorney Charge to File and Prosecute a Patent Application?
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What Should an Attorney Charge to File and Prosecute a Patent Application? | Pat Werschulz

Not surprisingly, one of the first questions clients usually ask me is “how much does it cost to get a patent?” While there are some government fees that apply regardless of which attorney you choose to file and prosecute (i.e. prepare the application and shepherd it through to issuance) your patent, the attorneys fees can vary. For a utility patent on a simple invention that doesn’t involve software, high tech, or extremely complicated chemistry, a budget of $12,000-$15,000 over the period that the patent is pending is a reasonable cost. This cost covers a substantial amount of work at two stages.

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Using a Life Coach in the Divorce Process and Beyond
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Using a Life Coach in the Divorce Process and Beyond | Deborah E. Kaminetzky

Clients frequently need support during the divorce process. They are not satisfied with the way things are and want a change, but that change itself is scary. Sometimes I suggest that they obtain the help of a life coach. There are two reasons for this: First of all, life coaches charge significantly less per hour than an attorney (similar to that of a therapist), and second, they are specifically trained to help in that way. Click here to read Deborah E. Kaminetzky's full article...  

Can You Minimize Publication Costs by Forming an LLC in Albany?
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Authored by , re: Business Law, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
Can You Minimize Publication Costs by Forming an LLC in Albany? | Aimee B. Davis

{3:06 minutes to read} In New York State (NYS) every new limited liability company (LLC) must announce its formation by placing notices in two publications for a period of six weeks, at a cost of up to $2,000. This revenue generating mechanism applies to domestic LLCs as well as foreign LLCs seeking to qualify to do business in NYS. Although investors and attorneys have argued that such a “tax” drives new business away from NYS, the legislature has consistently affirmed this mandatory requirement.

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The Dilemma of the Custodial Parent
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The Dilemma of the Custodial Parent | Don Sinkov

{3:06 minutes to read} In most joint custody cases, the child primarily lives with one parent. The other parent shares time with the child around a schedule set forth in their parenting plan.

This joint custody arrangement, although very common in agreements, is not a slam dunk, and to the contrary, is more often not fair to the custodial parent. The majority of phone calls and/or emails I receive are usually complaints from the custodial parent, who, after several months, realizes that the child is with them almost all the time. The non-custodial parent might see the child one or two days a week, but sometimes that doesn’t happen. How many of you have heard this before?

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Divorce and 401Ks and IRAs
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, FINANCIAL ARTICLES, Financial Planning & Insurance, on .
 Divorce and 401Ks and IRAs | Ada Hasloecher

{3:18 minutes to read} My colleague and fellow mediator, BJ Mann, who practices in Rochester, NY, has written as comprehensive, cogent and concise a primer on the basics of retirement plans for divorcing couples as I have ever read. She graciously allowed me to post it on my site for you, dear reader. After all, why reinvent the wheel? I’ve broken it down into 4 posts for easier digestion.

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The Mediator Will See You Now…
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, MEDIATION, Miscellaneous, on .
The Mediator Will See You Now… | Rachel Alexander

{4:18 minutes to read} Often, with the best intentions, clients prepare for mediation by trying to resolve as many things as possible before setting foot in my office. They think they’re doing themselves a great service, getting a running head start. However, in my experience, the opposite is true. The time to see the mediator is immediately.

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The Benefits of Community Medicaid for Seniors Who Want to Age in Place
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Authored by , re: Elder Care, on .
The Benefits of Community Medicaid for Seniors Who Want to Age in Place | Peter Gordon

I learned about Community Medicaid through a personal experience. A few years back, my mother had a hip replacement. At that time the doctor said the other hip would need to be replaced within a year. We assumed that everything would go according to schedule and mom would be up and walking again in the not-so-distant future.

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Adult Guardianship: What happens if you can no longer manage your affairs?
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Authored by , re: LAW RELATED ARTICLES, Trusts, Estates & Elder law, on .
Adult Guardianship: What happens if you can no longer manage your affairs? | Tom Sciacca

{Read in 8 minutes} Every now and then, an adult may lose his or her capacity to make important medical, financial, or other decisions. This may be a result of a major medical incident, such as a stroke, or because of the effects of aging that some people experience. Regardless of the reason, if someone has not adequately planned for their incapacity, they may need the intervention of a Court to have a Guardian appointed for them. This article (1) provides insight into how a client can potentially avoid the need for a guardianship proceeding, and (2) provides an overview of such a proceeding should the need arise.

Click here to read Tom Sciacca's full article...

Power of Attorney: What You Need to Know
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Power of Attorney: What You Need to Know | Tom Sciacca

{Read in 8 minutes} Whether a client needs a Power of Attorney is one of the most frequent questions I get. Perhaps you’ve considered signing one yourself. I’d like to spend some time today discussing (1) what a Power of Attorney is, (2) what it allows someone to do for you, (3) what it doesn’t allow someone to do for you, and (4) some of the concerns that you should consider before executing one.

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Divorce Agreements: Choose Your Wording Carefully!
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Divorce Agreements: Choose Your Wording Carefully! | Deborah E. Kaminetzky

Many clients ask why divorce agreements are so long and whether the exact wording really matters that much. The length is due to the fact that there are so many different issues that need to be covered. Issues such as Maintenance, Child Support, Custody & Parenting Time, and Equitable Distribution are just some of the areas that need to be covered in an agreement. I have seen some agreements that left out major issues, such as who is paying for college, which leaves both parties, not to mention the children, in a precarious position.

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What Is in an AIA Agreement? Part 1
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What Is in an AIA Agreement? Part 1 | Aaron Pierce

Only takes 5 minutes to read! The AIA A101 is the standard form of agreement furnished by the American Institute of Architects which is used in generating well-defined business relationships between a Pand a contractor. These contracts have been crafted, published, and promoted by a very influential and nationally renowned industry group. Consequently, the standardized version is designed to protect the interests of the contractor and can be protective of a contractor to the sometimes-costly detriment of the rights and flexibilities of the owner.

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Divorce Financial Considerations with a Special Needs Child
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, on .
Divorce Financial Considerations with a Special Needs Child | Susan Ingram

{4:18 minutes to read} In my last blog, I discussed the governmental benefits that are available to a child or young adult with special needs. When I meet with my couples in divorce mediation, I need to first make sure they understand the public benefits their child is entitled to and then also discuss how these benefits relate to the many expenses (some covered by governmental benefits, some not) that arise when parents are raising a special needs child.

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E = Who Are You?
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Authored by , re: Intellectual Property, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
E = Who Are You? | Mark Kaufman

Readers of my blog know that I’m generally in favor of enforcing copyright. If you’ve got the goods on someone and those are your rights, you should be entitled to collect for it — or at least stop it. Likewise, if you’ve been called out for infringing, the right thing to do is usually to pay the pound of flesh required of you. But how does the would-be defendant know whether paying it will actually solve the matter? A client recently received a demand letter from a licensing agency for allegedly infringing on a copyright owned by a newspaper in Europe. The notice was referring to my client’s use of, let’s say, the famous image of a French boy running with a baguette on a relatively private — and certainly a non-profitable — website. In this case the pound of flesh was only a couple hundred bucks, but I was motivated by the sense that the purported licensor was a greedy, undeserving troll until proven legitimate.

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Lender Alert: New Jersey Bankruptcy Court Allows Debtor to Strip Lien Securing Spousal Obligation
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Authored by , re: Bankruptcy & Credit, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
Lender Alert: New Jersey Bankruptcy Court Allows Debtor to Strip Lien Securing Spousal Obligation | Michael L. Moskowitz

By Michael L. Moskowitz and Melissa A. Guseynov

On September 23, 2016, Bankruptcy Judge Christine M. Gravelle, U.S.B.J. held that a chapter 13 debtor may strip off a wholly unsecured lien on a primary residence where the debtor is the sole owner of the property, even if the non-debtor ex-spouse is liable on the debt which the debtor seeks to strip. In re Mensah-Narh, 2016 WL 5334973 (Bankr. D.N.J.. Sept. 23, 2016). Read the full opinion here.

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3 Essential Tasks for Founders Starting a Venture
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3 Essential Tasks for Founders Starting a Venture | Bettina Eckerle

As I’ve written before, the race to opening your new venture is characterized by expansive enthusiasm—but that doesn’t make having important legal safeguards any less important. Unfortunately, founders often do not engage in the necessary legal counsel to guide them through the process. In this post I present three essential tasks that, considering the implications of doing them incorrectly, make investing in legal counsel worth every penny.

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Trying a Long-term Disability Case: The Big Gamble?
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Authored by , re: Insurance Related, on .
Trying a Long-term Disability Case: The Big Gamble? | Evan Schwartz

{3:35 minutes to read} Having participated in a number of long-term disability trials over the years, I can tell you that the trial process is an exhilarating experience—for an attorney—but is a very daunting and painful process for you, the claimant. It is extraordinarily expensive, time-consuming, and high-risk. A long-term disability trial is an all-or-nothing proposition. In most cases, you either win and get all your back-benefits and benefits paid into the future, or you lose and get nothing.

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The Difference Between Litigation and Mediation: It’s Personal
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The Difference Between Litigation and Mediation: It’s Personal | Bob Bordett

People have a range of preconceptions about divorce, the law, and the courts. In reality, going before a judge to air your grievances about your soon-to-be ex-spouse is rarely as satisfying as movies and television shows may have you believe. Mediation offers a private, cost-efficient alternative to litigation—but before you choose either venue, there are some guiding principles to keep in mind:

  1. Don't expect to “win” your divorce. People hope to beat their spouses in court, but seldom is there a winner in divorce.

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Sundays, Bloody Sundays
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, MEDIATION, Parenting, on .
Sundays, Bloody Sundays | Rachel Alexander

SUNDAYS, BLOODY SUNDAYS

{4:42 minutes to read} Sundays are not known to be the bright spot of the week. Sundays, especially Sunday evenings, can be bleak for everyone, but they can be particularly difficult for the newly divorced. On Sundays, the weekend shuts its eyes, and only Monday gleams on the horizon. For most, this means a return to work or school; a putting away of our freer selves; a tucking in and straightening out in preparation for our weekday responsibilities.

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Key Decisions to Consider Before Starting a Business
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Key Decisions to Consider Before Starting a Business | Bart Eagle

You have many choices. If on your own, you can be a sole proprietor. However, you should also consider various types of business entities: You can form a limited liability company, even if you are the only member. You can form a corporation. If you are starting the company with others, you could also form a partnership – general or limited. How to choose? What may seem like a simple question oftentimes may not be. Among the considerations should be protecting yourself (and any other “owners”) from personal liability, management, tax issues, and funding.

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