Category: LAW RELATED ARTICLES

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...

Mediation for Couples Separating but Never Married
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Mediation for Couples Separating but Never Married | Jennifer Safian

{3:54 minutes to read} More and more frequently, I am getting calls from couples who have decided to call it quits after living together for many years, but who never actually married. This trend has been happening in European countries for many years and now seems to be more prevalent in the US, though in a less outspoken way. Mediation offers the best possible place for separating non-married couples, because it gives them a platform to explore separating their assets.

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

The Grey Divorce
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The Grey Divorce | Bob Bordett

Perhaps you’ve heard about the phenomenon known as the “grey divorce” and are wondering what it’s all about. An important study conducted by the Department of Sociology and the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University entitled “The Grey Divorce Revolution” addressed this issue. I was attending the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts’ annual conference in Orlando where I saw Justin Reckers, do a presentation about the study and offered us a few insights: Typically, those who are considered as going through a grey divorce are couples over the age of 50.

Click here to read Robert Bordett's full article... 

A Friend of a Friend Said… You Should Actually See a Lawyer
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Authored by , re: Intellectual Property, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
A Friend of a Friend Said… You Should Actually See a Lawyer |  Mark Kaufman

The other day a client sent me two pictures. One was of a someone else’s textile design, and the other was my client’s own rendering of it. The client said “We copied our design from their design. Can you tell us whether it’s infringing?” Rather than respond to the email, I called my client and reminded him about the rules of discovery:  although any communications I have with my clients—including communications in which a client admits to having copied something—are protected by attorney-client privilege, mistakes can happen when even privileged documents are inadvertently produced in discovery in the event of a lawsuit.  Also, if he inadvertently shares those communications with third parties, the attorney-client privilege goes out the window.  So, saying incriminating things in emails (or texts or worst of all social media) can live forever in a way that’s inconvenient if not destructive.

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

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

{4:00 minutes to read} Certain children’s expenses must be paid in addition to child support, according to the child support statute: medical insurance premiums, unreimbursed medical expenses and child care expenses. These are mandatory add-ons. Then, there are expenses that may be ordered at or in the Court’s discretion, including post-secondary educational expenses. The Court will consider the parties’ circumstances and what is in the best interest of the child at the time the child would be entering college.

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

Mediation Helps Couples Successfully Untangle Their Lives
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, MEDIATION, on .
Mediation Helps Couples Successfully Untangle Their Lives | Susan Ingram

{1:42 minutes to read}

“Never cut what you can untie.”

Joseph Joubert, French essayist

This aphorism came to my attention recently when one of my colleagues was giving a presentation at our annual conference for the NYS Council on Divorce Mediation. I was immediately struck by the wisdom contained in its 6 simple words. I’m sure the writer wasn’t thinking of mediation when he wrote these words (he lived in the mid 18th through early 19th centuries), yet I find that it fits perfectly with the concept and process of my work as a mediator.

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

Do it Right From the Start: Business Agreements Among Co-Owners
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Do it Right From the Start: Business Agreements Among Co-Owners | Harlan Levine

{2 minutes to read} If you co-own a business or are considering entering a business partnership, have you drawn up a shareholders’ agreement or operating agreement? Oftentimes, partners are so excited and optimistic about building their business that they overlook this important document.  My experience has shown that partners who are long-time friends or family may be most in need of a document that sets forth their rights and obligations toward one another. Even the closest of relationships can go south and frequently do.

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

Nesting: The Logistics of the “Family” Home
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Nesting: The Logistics of the “Family” Home | Deborah E. Kaminetzky

Nesting has become a popular concept for families of divorce lately, with articles in the New York Times and other well known publications. Nesting, if you are not familiar with the term, is when divorcing parents arrange for the children to remain in the family home while they each obtain a separate place to live. In theory this enables the children to remain in their home where they grew up, as well as cuts down on the shuffling back and forth between the parents’ homes, which is typical of divorced families who have joint or shared custody.

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

An Unappealable Contempt Decision Providing Rachmones[1]
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Authored by , re: Bankruptcy & Credit, on .
An Unappealable Contempt Decision Providing Rachmones[1] | Wayne Greenwald

The American Bankruptcy Institute's ("ABI") VOLO Project had me synopsize the Second Circuit Court of Appeals' decision in U.S.A. v. Kerr-McGee Corp. (In re Tronox Inc.).[2] The sixty-two-page opinion boiled down to two "holdings."[3] They are:

a.) Claims derived through a debtor are bankruptcy estate property which only a trustee can assert;

b.) A District Court order on a contempt motion which:

1.) enforced an existing injunction; and

2.) made no contempt finding nor sanctions award was not a "final order"[4] subject to immediate appeal.

Click here to read Wayne Greenwald's full article...

Consulting or Review Attorneys in Mediation – Part 2
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Consulting or Review Attorneys in Mediation – Part 2 | Katherine Miller

{3:45 minutes to read} In my last article, I discussed the role of review attorneys in mediation. In this continuation, I’ll discuss the role of a consulting attorney in comparison. Where the review attorney is usually brought into a mediation toward the end of the process, the consulting attorney is brought in early. When working with clients as consulting attorney, I consult with them either inside or outside of the mediation room. Outside the Room I usually talk to my clients before and after their mediation sessions, outside the mediation room.

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

When Your Child with Special Needs Turns 18
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When Your Child with Special Needs Turns 18 | Ronald A. Fatoullah

By Ronald A. Fatoullah, Esq. and Eva Schwechter, J.D.

{4:48 minutes to read} Parents of children with special needs face unique challenges in raising their children. One such challenge is the question of what to do when a child with special needs turns 18, the legal age of adulthood. It is during the few years after a child turns 18 that the services and programs associated with the public education system end and are replaced by different benefits targeted toward adults. Managing the transition from services for minors to adult care presents one of the greatest challenges for parents of children with special needs. There are a number of paths the parent can take to ensure that her adult child is best provided for in the future.

Click here to read Ronald Fatoullah's full article...

5 Things Every Private Company MUST Understand before Launching an Equity Incentive Plan
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5 Things Every Private Company MUST Understand before Launching an Equity Incentive Plan | Bettina Eckerle

There is a point in the life of every start-up when it needs to establish a plan to reward its employees for their service by giving them a piece of the pie, i.e., their share of the potential upside. Being a 100% upside person myself, most employees drawn to start-ups tend to be more interested in the possibility of hitting a home-run rather than the fixed cash payment every month.

Read Bettina Eckerle's full article...

The Budget Reconciliation Bill Significantly Increases H-2B Visas
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Authored by , re: Immigration law, on .
The Budget Reconciliation Bill Significantly Increases H-2B Visas |  Mitchell Zwaik

{2:12 minutes to read} The budget reconciliation bill that was recently passed through Congress has an important immigration provision in it, which allows for significantly increased H-2B visas for this fiscal year.

An H-2B is a visa that allows people to enter the United States legally in order to perform work for seasonal businesses. A perfect example in Long Island is people who work in the restaurants, hotels, motels, pool companies, coffee shops, et cetera on the Eastern End and South Shore of Long Island during the holiday/summer season.

“UL” is Not in the Public Domain. Don’t Mess with Certification Marks!
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Authored by , re: Intellectual Property, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
“UL” is Not in the Public Domain. Don’t Mess with Certification Marks! | Mark Kaufman

What two words are worth $500,000 each? In the case of HOVERBOARD (R) re-seller The Space Chariot, those two word are “UL Certified.” (Yes, HOVERBOARD is a federally registered trademark; while it appears to be on the road to becoming generic, that’s a topic for another day.) Why they are called HOVERBOARDs is beyond me. They clearly have wheels that touch the ground, but if kids (or those “young at heart” who prefer not to use their own horsepower) want to use their imagination, far be it for me to intervene. Most people have seen these devices on the street and have figured out that operating them relies on tilting them with your body weight, much like a Segway scooter. But unlike the Segway, these inventions have a history of bursting into flames at the most inconvenient of locations, which is why so many airlines have banned them from flights.

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

A Lesson from Sherlock Holmes: Financial Sleuthing
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A Lesson from Sherlock Holmes: Financial Sleuthing | Rebecca Eddy

The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.” -Sherlock Holmes, The Hound of the Baskervilles

Attention to detail is a necessary attribute in a sleuth, whether the clues are fingerprints, footprints, or an out of place detail. While sleuth is most often used in reference to detectives, anyone who seeks information fits the bill. Sherlock Holmes, a consummate collector of clues, valued the most minute evidence as greatly as the gigantic canine tracks that set him sleuthing on the trail of a murderer in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles.

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

The Nurse With a Purse and Sugar Daddy Dynamic
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, on .
The Nurse With a Purse and Sugar Daddy Dynamic | Cheryl Stein

The idea of a “sugar daddy” is very common and well-known: A “sugar daddy” is an older man who marries a younger woman and takes care of her. There is a similar, but lesser-known dynamic when the older marrying spouse is a woman. This dynamic has been referred to as the “nurse with a purse.” In both cases, it’s equally important for the older spouse to obtain a Prenuptial Agreement. Often, the woman in the “nurse with a purse” situation is in her 50s or older, highly capable, financially comfortable, healthy and has been married before; she is typically either widowed or divorced.

Click here to read Cheryl Stein's full article...

what happens to assets accumulated after separation?
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what happens to assets accumulated after separation? | Jennifer Safian

{2:42 minutes to read} Bob and Jean were married for twelve years, but had been living separately, with no formal separation agreement, for the last 5 years. They came to mediation to work out the terms of their divorce. The big question that came up for them was, “What happens to the money accumulated since their separation? Is it marital property or is it separate property?”

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

‘F’ is for Food Halls (Please Don’t Call It a Food Court!)
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Authored by , re: Real Estate, on .

Going out for a casual lunch ain’t what it used to be…and that’s good. This is in large part due to the superheated growth of the food hall concept with its diverse offerings and a side of millennial communal interaction. A simple definition in today’s day and age would be: a commercial space with communal seating populated by a variety of curated, high-quality local food purveyors.

Click here to read Jeff Margolis's full article...

What Are Five Lessons from the First 100 (+/-) Days?
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, MEDIATION, on .
What Are Five Lessons from the First 100 (+/-) Days? | Ada Hasloecher

{3:48 minutes to read} Without getting into politics—and I know it’s difficult not to these days—the purpose of my article is to see the macrocosm of our current governmental divisions and compare it to the microcosm of the negotiations that couples engage in when mediating. In watching the continued stalemates in Washington unfold, I was inspired to share some thoughts that have held my clients in good stead during their mediations—with some coaching from their mediator, of course! Click here to read Ada Hasloecher's full article...

Creditor Alert: Bankruptcy Judge Holds That Claim Filing Deadline Applies to Secured Creditors in Chapter 13 Cases
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Authored by , re: Bankruptcy & Credit, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
`Creditor Alert: Bankruptcy Judge Holds That Claim Filing Deadline Applies to Secured Creditors in Chapter 13 Cases | Michael L. Moskowitz

By Michael L. Moskowitz and Melissa A. Guseynov

In an opinion dated February 6, 2017, the Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Ohio disallowed a mortgage servicer’s untimely proof of claim in a Chapter 13 case, holding that secured creditors are subject to the same 90-day deadline for filing proofs of claim as unsecured creditors. In re Dumbuya, 2017 WL 486917 (Bankr. N.D. Ohio Feb. 6, 2017). Read the full opinion here.

Click here for Michael L. Moskowitz's full article...

Why It’s Important to Build a Great Elder Care Team
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Why It’s Important to Build a Great Elder Care Team | Rebecca Eddy

Manny is an 83-year-old client with hoarding tendencies and a fading short-term memory. Prior to our involvement, Manny’s relatives had become increasingly concerned about him remaining in his home. There had been talk of moving him to an assisted living facility, though he lived on his own and maintained an active lifestyle, often attending lectures at a local college. Manny’s house cleaner came two or three times a week, with the only other frequent visitor being the weekly pool maintenance guy.

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

Heads Up: Those Beneficiary Designation Forms for Life Insurance and Retirement Accounts Can Make a BIG Difference!
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Authored by , re: LAW RELATED ARTICLES, Trusts, Estates & Elder law, on .
Heads Up: Those Beneficiary Designation Forms for Life Insurance and Retirement Accounts Can Make a BIG Difference! | Tom Sciacca

{Read in 10 minutes} A lot of people don’t realize that when they die, the distribution of their assets may be controlled by other documents besides their Will. Most commonly, people have life insurance or retirement accounts that they’ve either acquired themselves or through an employer. When acquiring such assets, clients very often are presented with a beneficiary designation form to complete. Unlike assets that do not name a beneficiary and are subject to Probate, any asset that names a beneficiary passes automatically to that named beneficiary, regardless of the terms of the Will. Therefore, it’s really important to make the proper choices as part of your overall estate planning when completing these forms.

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

A Personal Story: My Path to Becoming a Patent Attorney (Part 2)
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A Personal Story: My Path to Becoming a Patent Attorney (Part 2) | Pat Werschulz

Last time, I explained the circumstances that led me to start law school after I “retired” from chemistry. Now the rest of the story. It’s very different to start law school when you’re…I’ll be kind to myself and use the word…”mature.” I was the second oldest student in my class, and I was the oldest woman. There literally were classmates who had been classmates of my sons. They would come up to me and ask if we were related, and I’d answer, “Yes, okay, I’m his mother.” So, I was thrown into competing with the younger generation.

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

When Is an Owner Liable for Defective Equipment on the Worksite?
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When Is an Owner Liable for Defective Equipment on the Worksite? | Dana Heitz

{5:04 minutes to read} Let’s say a worker on a job site is injured because of defective equipment. And let’s say there’s a statute that imposes a duty to provide a safe workplace. Is the site’s owner liable for the injury under this statute? In a pair of cases decided a week apart, the Second Department clarified when an owner’s acts can give rise to a claim under a statute just like this one—Labor Law § 200. (These decisions were issued in 2008, but they’re still good law and both lawyers and courts cite them frequently.)

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

Agreeing to Agree
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Agreeing to Agree | Clare Piro

{4:00 minutes to read} I often caution clients against including language in their agreement which is basically just an agreement to agree: anything that begins with “The parties will agree upon...” or “The parties agree to review...” But it depends on the issue and on the couple. Sometimes it makes sense not to spend an enormous amount of time either on something that is not all that contentious or something not likely to happen. Other times, though, leaving big decisions for the future is just putting off an inevitable conflict that should be addressed now. Here are some examples of terms that may or may not need to be spelled out completely, depending on the term and the couple.

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

What to Expect at Our Divorce Consultation
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What to Expect at Our Divorce Consultation | Deborah E. Kaminetzky

Many potential clients come to us when they are in the planning stage of a divorce. No one has served any papers, sometimes they are not even sure they want to file for divorce, they are just thinking about it. When we have a consultation for a divorce, we ask that the potential client come prepared with a lot of documents.

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

AILA Lobby Day 2017
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AILA Lobby Day 2017 | Laraine Swartz

It was with a heavy heart that I had to miss the annual American Immigration Lawyers Association’s (AILA) Lobby Day this year. Having attended for two years in a row, I know the impact my colleagues at AILA have when meeting with representatives and senators—and how fulfilling the day can be to all the participants. With the new administration has come new enforcement policies that have captured the attention of the world. But while Americans with foreign ties were grappling to understand the hastily put together travel ban and its successor, the problem of unaccompanied minors, or unaccompanied alien children (UAC) as referred to by Immigration, continues to grow.

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

Mediating Family Business Disputes
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Authored by , re: Business Law, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, MEDIATION, on .
Mediating Family Business Disputes | Gary Shaffer

{3:42 minutes to read} In my previous blog post on this topic, I described some of the general issues that arise during a mediation involving an intra-family commercial dispute. These included:

  • Resentments built up slowly over time;
  • Allies and enemies;
  • Divergent recollections; and
  • Emerging “alternate truths.”
The first reported case involving these kinds of matters goes back a long way. It’s found in the book of Genesis, in the paradigmatic dysfunctional family story of Isaac, Rebecca, Jacob, and Esau.

Click here to read Gary Shaffer's full article...

Termination Rights Update: The (British) Empire Strikes Back
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Authored by , re: Business Law, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .

{7:12 minutes to read} OK, the U.K. isn’t the British Empire of yore, but I couldn’t resist the title. In a prior post, we discussed a perennial problem faced by copyright legislators. Creators often have little bargaining power at the outset of their careers, and neither creators nor production companies (here meaning the industry gatekeepers: publishers, production companies, record companies, etc.) have a reliable method for measuring the commercial success of a work before it’s published. Consequently, if copyright legislation allows irrevocable transfer of the copyright in a work, creators will inevitably grant to production companies for a pittance masterpieces with massive commercial upsides, in which they rarely share.

Click here to read Joshua Graubart's full article...