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Author Archives: Mark J. Moretti

Top 10: Enforcing non-compete covenants

1. The starting point of any analysis is the New York State Court of Appeals decision in Reeds, Roberts Associates v. Strauman, 40 NY2d 303 (1976), in which the court held that in restrictive covenant cases — and despite recognizing strong public policy ...

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Challenging your real property tax assessment

1. Understand the basic procedural framework of assessment practice. Every year the assessor values all property in the municipality as of tax status date and then issues a preliminary tax roll. Taxpayers must file an administrative challenge to that preliminary ...

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Advice for contract interpretation cases

1. The instruments embraced in the contract documents must be considered in their entirety and construed as one contract; each provision, if possible, shall be given full force and effect. Eager Construction Corp. v. Ward Foundation Corp., 7 NYS 2d ...

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Tips for young[er] lawyers

1. Building a reputation for professionalism and integrity takes years, but can be lost or irreparably damaged in minutes. Keep that in mind when evaluating the needs of the moment. 2. It is repeated so often as to be cliché ...

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Preparing to take a deposition

1. Keep your goals in mind. You want to accomplish three basic things in a deposition: Find out what the witness knows; pin the witness’s testimony down so he of she doesn’t change it at trial and gain useful admissions ...

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What to do when retaining a lawyer

1. Go to reputable rating services such as Best Lawyers in America, Super Lawyers and Martindale Hubbell, which rate lawyers objectively. 2. Ask other lawyers for recommendations of lawyers who specialize in the field you need. Ask for two or ...

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Advice for negotiating settlements

1. Establish a range and work toward a middle. Plaintiffs who ask more than twice what they reasonably expect may turn off further negotiations. The long dance to the middle gives psychological comfort that no money was left on the ...

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