Category: LAW RELATED ARTICLES

Recent Executive Orders – Report to Clients: Be Prepared
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Authored by , re: Immigration law, on .
Recent Executive Orders – Report to Clients: Be Prepared by Jeff Margolis

On January 27, 2017, President Trump signed the Executive Order titled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” The following is an explanation of the executive order and how it may affect you, your employees, or your family. This report attempts to explain who is affected by the ban, the effects on travelling outside the US based on advance parole, and the steps you can take to secure your status in the United States.

Click here to read Jeffrey Margolis' full article...

Are You My Mother?
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .

I have always been fascinated by families. They drive us crazy and they keep us sane. They are the rock upon which we stand, and can be the bane of our existence. We all know what it is like to be somebody’s child, and many of us know what it is like to be somebody’s parent or somebody’s sibling. But each of our experiences is so particular. So different. This article takes a closer look at 2 very basic questions – What is a family? What is a parent? These may seem like easy questions, but what seems obvious is often not. In the homes of people across the country, parent-child relationships arise from biology, adoption, and custom. I have worked with adoptive parents, single parents, step-parents, foster parents, same-sex parents and teens who become guardians for their younger siblings. I have worked with Fresh Air Fund families who end up adopting, and with parents whose rights have been terminated yet end up raising their children after all. I have been awed by people who will step up to the plate when their nieces and nephews and grandchildren need help. All of these children deserve the love and protection of the grown ups who care for them, and all of these different configurations create family relationships. Yet the law tends to lag behind the pace of real life — not all of these families are legally recognized as such. Parenthood is considered a fundamental Constitutional right — so this is an important legal question.

Click here to read Joy Rosenthal's full article...

Winning the H-1B Lottery — Part 2
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Authored by , re: Immigration law, on .

{3:42 minutes to read} In Part 1 of this series, we covered the basics of the H-1B visa and the lottery used to randomly pick the 85,000 “winners.” In Part 2, we look at some of the controversy surrounding the H-1B.

Unfortunately, there are abuses in the system. These abuses generally focus on a relatively small number of companies that file thousands of visa applications in the hope that a certain number of those will be picked. These businesses are generally computer consulting companies who function largely out of India and provide computer programmers for US employers.

Mediation: An Attractive Alternative in the Commercial & Non-Commercial Division
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Authored by , re: Business Law, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
Mediation: An Attractive Alternative in the Commercial & Non-Commercial Division | Bart Eagle

{3:50 minutes to read} In one of my previous articles from June 2015,  I described a pilot mediation program launched that month by the Commercial Division of New York County Supreme Court to supplement its existing mediation program. That pilot program ended in late January of 2016; however, the Commercial Division has now launched a new pilot mediation program, as well as an expansion of the existing Commercial Division program. The Commercial Division in New York County handles commercial cases that have a minimum claim of damages of $500,000, exclusive of interest, punitive damages and attorney’s fees (with a few exceptions).

Click here to read Bart Eagle's full article...

“Someday” and “Maybe” Numbers: The Challenge of Dividing Retirement Assets Part 3
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Authored by , re: Asset Management, Family & Divorce, on .
“Someday” and “Maybe” Numbers: The Challenge of Dividing Retirement Assets Part 3 | Rachel Alexander

{4:00 minutes to read} In Part 2, we discussed marital vs non-marital retirement assets and how some of those assets require an actuary or other expert to figure out the “present value” before the asset can be divided.

We now arrive here: How do folks equitably divide these assets? Particularly because the present value doesn’t actually exist in a divisible form. It’s a theoretical, projected number!

Below are some popular options:

QDRO (NJ QDRO Overview)

A court order goes to the plan administrator, directing it to divide the asset in the way set forth in the order. This method avoids any tax consequences pursuant to this division at the time it is made.

Click here to read Rachel Alexander's full article...

What You Should Consider When Mediating College Expenses – Part 2
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
What You Should Consider When Mediating College Expenses - Part 2 | Clare Piro

{3:18 minutes to read} In Part 1 of this series, we looked at parental considerations in relation to a child’s college education. In Part 2, we will define typical college expenses and look at limits on what a parent will contribute. How do you define “college expenses? Is it just tuition, room and board, or do you want to consider other typical expenses that will be due?

Click here to read Clare Piro's full article...

You have 5 Grandmothers? That’s impossible!
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
You have 5 Grandmothers? That’s impossible! | Jennifer Safian

{2:30 minutes to read} As we grow older, possibly wiser, or maybe it’s just that we have more experience, I realize that we are still not able to view situations from the perspective of the younger generations. They never knew the rotary phone and are astonished when we say: ”No, we did not have cell phones at age 10.” But, they do have a capacity for acceptance and resilience that often amazes me. I met a 10-year-old child the other day who has 5 grandmothers! When I asked him to tell me a little more about who they were, he very simply explained to me that they included his mother’s and his father’s mothers, and his grandfather’s second and third wives. He explained that Poppy and Nana (his father’s parents) had been divorced, that Poppy got married “twice more” and divorced “twice more,”— hence his third and fourth grandmothers—and then Poppy got married again so that makes five! (Really, Poppy??)

Click here to read Jennifer Safian's full article here...

A Tale of Three Appraisals
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Authored by , re: Business Law, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
A Tale of Three Appraisals | Mark Kaufman

Once upon a time, not too long ago, there was a contract and a client. The contract gave the client an option to buy a business based on obtaining three appraisals. After the first two appraisals were for the same amount, the seller told the client that he would waive the third appraisal. The seller tendered a contract of sale for $3 million. A couple of weeks passed, the attorneys exchanged suggested revisions, but on the day before the deadline to exercise the option, the seller sent back the contract with a surprise: He has changed it, increasing the price of the sale by $500,000, based on a third appraisal that he had obtained (despite his stated intentions).

Click here to read Mark Kaufman's full article...

Defamation: Understanding the Varying Degrees of Certainty
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Authored by , re: LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
Defamation: Understanding the Varying Degrees of Certainty | Aaron Pierce

Only takes 5 minutes to read!  When someone makes false accusations against, or statements about, another and transmits them to others by written word or word-of-mouth, and those statements damage the reputation, character, or integrity of that person, the person harmed may recover damages from the person or entity who made the false statements. Said another way, defamation is communication of a false statement that harms a person or business. More specifically, slander is spoken defamation and libel is written defamation, which can include drawings.

Click here to read Aaron Pierce's full article...

On H-1Bs and Travel Bans
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Authored by , re: Immigration law, on .
On H-1Bs and Travel Bans | Jeff Margolis

Two recent events have come to light that might affect your immigration matters. In this issue of our newsletter, we will cover the following: 1) H-1B Deadline Looming 2) H-1B Premium Processing Service Suspension 3) New Presidential Executive Order – Travel Ban 2.0 Urgent Reminder – There is Still Time to File for Your H-1B Visa

Click here to read Jeffrey Margolis' full article...

6 Indicators of Elder Abuse
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Authored by , re: Healthcare Management, on .
6 Indicators of Elder Abuse | Rebecca Eddy

Every year an estimated 5 million older persons are abused, neglected, and exploited. It occurs in every demographic and can happen to anyone, yet it is estimated that only about one in five of those crimes are ever discovered. Many victims are people who are older, frail, and vulnerable; people who are dependent on others to meet their most basic needs. Elders throughout the United States lose an estimated $2.6 billion or more annually due to financial abuse and exploitation.

Every state in the US has passed some form of elder abuse prevention law.

Click here to read Rebecca Eddy's full article...

Building a Lasting Relationship: Not Just Another Algorithm
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, on .
Building a Lasting Relationship: Not Just Another Algorithm | Sandy Balick

{4:24 minutes to read} Matrimonial mediators and lawyers look on in wonder at the financial wreckage that so often forms the final exclamation point of a marriage. One wonders whether in an age of so-called “predictive analytics” there isn’t some sort of litmus test to help couples understand their prospects as long-term marriage partners. Well, wonder no more, because such a thing actually may exist. A recent post in Marketwatch highlights a joint study by The Federal Reserve Board, the Brookings Institution and UCLA, which concludes that credit scores may be highly predictive of the possibility of divorce.

Click here to read Sandy Balick's full article...

Temporary Protective Status for Haitians
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Authored by , re: Immigration law, on .
Temporary Protective Status for Haitians | Laraine Schwartz

On January 12, 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti, killing 300,000 people. Because of the devastation, 50,000 Haitians residing in the United States were provided Temporary Protective Status (TPS)—a designation that comes with certain privileges granted by the United States Customs and Immigrations Service (USCIS).   The new administration is considering allowing Haiti’s TPS to expire, supposedly to cut costs. However, the amount of potential savings is minimal compared to the economic impact of disrupting the lives of thousands of people and their place in the United States workforce.

Click here to read Laraine Schwartz's full article...

What is a Waiver of Estate Rights?
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, Trusts, Estates & Elder law, on .
What is a Waiver of Estate Rights? | Deborah E. Kaminetzky

In New York, your spouse has something called a right of election. What this means is that no matter what you want to leave them in your will, they have a right to $50,000 plus one third of your estate. So for instance if you die with a will leaving your spouse out because perhaps you did not update your will or you purposely left your spouse out for whatever reason, they will still get a share of your estate. If you die without a will, your spouse is entitled to even more – $50,000 and half your estate.

Click here to read Deborah E. Kaminetzky's full article...

Protect Your Rights by Staying on Top of Important Business Deadlines
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Authored by , re: Business Law, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
Protect Your Rights by Staying on Top of Important Business Deadlines | Harlan Levine

Owners of small businesses face many deadlines in the course of running their businesses. These deadlines may relate to regulatory compliance, contracts or litigation. It seems that new regulations are being passed every month.  In New York, for instance, the paid family leave law goes into effect on January 1, 2018.  Since this program is funded by employee deductions, the law provides that employers can begin making applicable deductions beginning July 1, 2017; only a couple of weeks away.

Click here to read Harlan Levine's full article...

How Do I Tell My Spouse I Want a Divorce?
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, MEDIATION, on .
 How Do I Tell My Spouse I Want a Divorce? | Susan Ingram

{4:24 minutes to read} Not infrequently, when someone first calls me to discuss the possibility of divorce mediation, they will mention that they have not yet brought up the subject with their spouse. The caller (the initiating spouse) typically describes a marriage that has not been good for some time; the marriage no longer works for him or her and it needs to come to an end.

Click here to read Susan Ingram's full article...

What’s So Special About Tyler, Texas, Anyway?
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Authored by , re: Intellectual Property, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
What’s So Special About Tyler, Texas, Anyway? | Pat Werschulz

Most people don’t even know where Tyler, Texas, is, but for patent litigators—that is, attorneys that try patent cases—it has become their home away from home. First, I need to give a little bit of background about the federal court system that a lot of people aren’t aware of. The federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction concerning patent and copyright cases in the United States. What does that mean? If you have a patent or a copyright and somebody infringes, i.e., copies you, you need to go to federal court to get justice. If you file a complaint in state court, it will be dismissed and you’ll be told, “Hey, you knocked on the wrong door. You need to go to federal court.”

Click here to read Pat Werschulz' full article...

Parental Alienation—Bringing Conspiracy Theories into the Home
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .

Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has been in the news lately, and it’s not just for the warped claims he makes on his website and television show “Info Wars.” (Outlets which regularly disseminate Jones’ claims that “9/11 was an inside job”; the school shooting in Newtown, CT was a hoax; and that the government can control the weather and use it against its people.) Instead, Jones has been making headlines because of a custody battle with his ex-wife, Kelly Nichols, who is the mother of his three children.

Click here to read Andrea Vacca's full article...

Custody of Your ORIGINAL Will is Very Important. Why?
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Authored by , re: LAW RELATED ARTICLES, Trusts, Estates & Elder law, on .
Custody of Your ORIGINAL Will is Very Important. Why? | Tom Sciacca

{Read in 7 minutes} After executing a Will, clients face the question of what to do with their original Wills.

When someone dies in New York State, the court will be interested in seeing their original Will, as it is difficult to probate a photocopy. This is why it is important that the client retains either custody or knowledge of what happens to their original Will once they sign it.

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

Who Should Be My Executor?
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Authored by , re: LAW RELATED ARTICLES, Trusts, Estates & Elder law, on .
Who Should Be My Executor? | Tom Sciacca

{Read in 8 minutes} Choosing the Executor of your Estate is an important decision that can sometimes be difficult. Some people feel that the person they wish to handle their affairs may not be qualified. Others feel that there are too many qualified individuals and they don’t know how to choose among them. Or sometimes clients feel that there is nobody with whom they feel comfortable serving as the Executor and they’re looking for a suggestion. What are some of the issues here?

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Seeking to Enforce Vested Restricted Stock Awards and Other Earned Compensation
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Authored by , re: Employment, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
Seeking to Enforce Vested Restricted Stock Awards and Other Earned Compensation | Richard Friedman

In New York, a promise of good faith and fair dealing is implicit in every contract. 511 W. 232ndCORP v. Jennifer Realty Co., 98 N.Y.2d 144, 153 (2002); Smith v. General Acc. Inc. Co., 91 N.Y.2d 648, 652-653 (1998); Dalton v. Educational Testing Serv., 87 N.Y.2d 384, 389 (1995) A contract is breached when a party acts in a manner that deprives the other party of the right to receive the benefits to which it is entitled under the agreement even if such action is not expressly forbidden by any contractual provision. The implied covenant protects the reasonable expectations of each party arising out of the written agreement it entered into. Jennifer Realty Co., 98 N.Y.2d 144, 153; accord M/A-COM Sec. Corp. v. Galesi, 904 F.2d 134, 136 (2d Cir. 1990). 

Click here to read Richard Friedman's full article...

Why’s It SO HARD for People to Finish [Divorce]?
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, on .
Why’s It SO HARD for People to Finish [Divorce]? | Katherine Miller

{5:00 minutes to read} One thing that is a very well known professional phenomenon is that, when people get toward the end of a negotiation, something comes up. Usually, a relatively small something becomes very emotionally significant to the parties that stops them from settling, right before the end. I remember, as an example, the first case I ever went to try, decades ago. It was a pretty big case. There were three children and a lot of real property. We had settled the entire thing and were about to go into the courtroom to put the Stipulation of Settlement onto the record.

Click here to read Katherine Miller's full article...

Embrace the Process
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Authored by , re: LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
Embrace the Process | Dana Heitz

{3:11 minutes to read} The law can be so black-and-white that it’s inconsistent with reality, which is notoriously (sometimes frighteningly) messy. And law is often mundane, bureaucratic, and tedious. After all, there isn’t much aesthetic joy in a stack of legal files. Poetry, on the other hand, is all complexity and flow and rulelessness and beauty, and it doesn’t seem to have much in common with the legal profession. But some lawyers can find the same kind of joy in rearranging evidence and watching an argument emerge as writers do from selecting the right words to structure their thoughts into a poem.

Click here to read Dana E. Heitz's full article...

Winning the H-1B Lottery — Part 1
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Authored by , re: Immigration law, on .
Winning the H-1B Lottery — Part 1 | Mitchell Zwaik

{2:42 minutes to read} The H-1B program provides temporary work visas for professionals, largely in the computer programming field. IT professionals are the largest number of H-1B visas, but all professionals are covered by the H-1B, meaning people who have a bachelor’s degree or better; engineers, architects, et cetera. There are 85,000 visas allotted to the H-1B category, divided into two distinct groups: 65,000 for those with bachelor’s degrees and 20,000 for those with master’s degrees.

All Quiet On The Western Front?
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, MEDIATION, on .
All Quiet On The Western Front? | Ada Hasloecher

{3:48 minutes to read} The World War I masterpiece All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque was not required reading when I was in high school. I was intrigued to tackle it recently as a result of a reference in another novel I recently finished. Oh my. I have not been able to shake its profound impact on me since reading it over a month ago.

Click here to read Ada Hasloecher's full article...

“Someday” and “Maybe” Numbers: The Challenge of Dividing Retirement Assets – Part 2
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Authored by , re: Asset Management, Family & Divorce, MEDIATION, on .
“Someday” and “Maybe” Numbers: The Challenge of Dividing Retirement Assets – Part 2 by Rachel Alexander

{4:00 minutes to read} Just because we determine a value for something does not mean we divide it!Often spouses are concerned that the mere mention of an asset puts it on the auction block and forfeits their exclusive rights to it. Not so!

Getting a comprehensive picture and value of ALL assets is an important part of creating a solid settlement agreement. An agreement should even specify assets whose separate nature is undisputed, with the other party waiving any rights, title or interest thereto.

Click here to read Rachel Alexander's full article...

Age Appropriate Parenting Plans
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, on .
Age Appropriate Parenting Plans | Daniel R. Burns

{3:30 minutes to read} At the 2017 Annual Conference for the New York State Council on Divorce Mediation, I heard from someone who has studied custody arrangements and determined what works best for children when their parents are no longer living together. According to University of Virginia Professor Robert E. Emery, Ph.D. who has either conducted or reviewed a variety of studies over the past thirty years, there is no one parenting plan that works for children of all ages. His conclusions:

  • Joint legal custody and shared decision-making are best for children;
  • Children tend to “attach” to one parent; and
  • Parents should adjust their parenting schedule to meet the needs of their children as they grow and mature.

Click here to read Daniel R. Burns' full article...

Lender Alert: Bankruptcy Court Holds that Mortgage with Incorrect Legal Description is Avoidable in Bankruptcy
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Authored by , re: Bankruptcy & Credit, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
Lender Alert: Bankruptcy Court Holds that Mortgage with Incorrect Legal Description is Avoidable in Bankruptcy | Michael L. Moskowitz

By Michael L. Moskowitz and Melissa A. Guseynov In a recent decision of consequence to mortgage lenders, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts concluded that a Chapter 7 Trustee may avoid a debtor’s mortgage and maintain it for the benefit of the bankruptcy estate. See Eastern Bank v. Benton (In re Thomas H. and Nancy C. Benton), 2016 WL 53581 (Bankr. D. Mass. Jan. 4, 2017). Simply put, the Bankruptcy Court held that, when a mortgage contains a correct street address but an incorrect legal description, the mortgage lien is avoidable by the bankruptcy trustee in his or her role as a hypothetical bona fide purchaser of a debtor’s property under section 544 of the Bankruptcy Code.

Click here to read Michael L. Moskowitz's full article...