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Civil Litigation

Mar 13, 2015

Civil Litigation: Obtaining appellate review of a sua sponte order

Of the numerous challenges that trial counsel face, appealing an adverse order issued sua sponte can be one of the most difficult to resolve, particularly when the decision is made on the eve of trial and time is of the essence.  Sua sponte, a Latin term meaning “of one’s own accord,” refers to a decision […]

Nov 14, 2014

Civil Litigation: Attorney’s duty to plan extends further than you think

In a recent tragic and somewhat unlucky case, attorneys are reminded of the significant responsibility we accept when we are retained by clients. The case is a great reminder to make clear in the written retainer agreement the exact scope of the representation, and then to have a system in place, with checks and balances, […]

Sep 12, 2014

Civil Litigation: Recent commercial division rule changes, amendments

“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.”  -Albert Einstein This article highlights some of the recent amendments to the Rules of the Commercial Division of the Supreme Court, as well as new rules that were adopted and put into effect earlier this year.  […]

Jul 21, 2014

Civil Litigation: A business approach to business litigation

Some business disputes prove to be so intractable, or cause or threaten such severe economic injury, that they require legal action. In many instances, a lawsuit is the continuation, in a different forum, of an existing business dispute that the parties could not resolve by compromise. Although less than 5 percent of all civil lawsuits […]

May 18, 2014

Civil Litigation: Arbitration: Managing litigation risk in the digital age

General Mills, the food conglomerate, recently made headlines when it changed the legal terms on its website and reversed course after a social media backlash. General Mills’ actions, however, highlight how companies can use social media and the Internet to manage their litigation risks. According to the now-defunct terms, in exchange for benefits derived from […]

Mar 17, 2014

Civil Litigation: COA overrules tax department’s position on residency

Nearly five years ago, a well-known local businessman very publicly changed his residency to Florida. Although the New York Department of Taxation and Finance had already begun cracking down on the residency issue, this parting shot seems to have only strengthened the Tax Department’s resolve to find residency whenever possible. The Tax Department has taken […]

Nov 16, 2013

Civil Litigation: High court decisions a boon for employers under Title VII

In June, the United States Supreme Court issued two decisions under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), both good news for employers. First, the court narrowed the definition of “supervisor” to include only employees with the authority to take tangible employment actions against the alleged victim of harassment. Second, the […]

Sep 14, 2013

Civil Litigation: Oppressive conduct insufficient to support LLC dissolution

LLCs, which were created by the New York Limited Liability Company Law (LLCL), are hybrid business entities that combine the tax aspects of partnerships with the limited liability of corporations. The two basic principles underlying the LLCL are (1) LLC owners (members) have flexibility in structuring the LLC through its operating agreement, and (2) the […]

Jul 14, 2013

Civil Litigation: New employee whistleblower protection in food safety arena

In January 2011, President Obama signed into law the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). While hailed by some as the most sweeping food safety reform in a generation, the law passed with little fanfare. While FSMA is best known for the sections aimed to prevent food borne illness, surprisingly few human resources professionals and food […]

May 20, 2013

Civil Litigation: Substantial sanctions can be imposed on unwitting holders

Historically, assets could be hidden in offshore bank accounts without significant risk of exposure. Due to the efforts of the federal government over the past decade, Swiss bank accounts no longer provide a safe haven for hiding assets from the Internal Revenue Service. The Bank Secrecy Act of 1970 requires individuals to report their foreign […]

Mar 15, 2013

Civil Litigation: Employing a ‘limited defense’ strategy

Talk to small business owners, and one of their biggest fears is becoming embroiled in litigation against their will, and over which they have little control. An even bigger fear is when the small business’ adversaries are multi-million or multi-billion dollar corporations, with seemingly unlimited litigation budgets. Irrespective of the merits of the claim against […]

Nov 19, 2012

Civil Litigation: What Labor Law Section 193 amendments mean

New York Labor Law § 193 and New York Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations Title 12, § 195.1 govern employer deductions from employee’s wages. Until now, § 193 generally prohibited employers from making deductions from employees’ wages, with two exceptions: First, when the deductions were authorized by law, such as income tax withholdings and […]

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