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Legal Bytes

Oct 24, 2019

Legal Bytes: The 50th anniversary of the Fourth Department’s miniskirt debate

2019 marks the 50th anniversary of several culturally significant events — Woodstock, Stonewall Riots, Beatles’ break-up and Neil Armstrong’s small step, just to name a few. With little ballyhoo, Oct. 30, 2019 will also be the golden jubilee for the Fourth Department’s decision of Peck v. Stone.[1] While the case certainly doesn’t rank the same […]

Aug 26, 2019

Legal Bytes: Back to school: How New York schools are “arming” themselves this fall

When two troubled students with military-style firearms shot 11 classmates, a teacher and themselves at Colorado’s Columbine High School two decades ago, it completely shocked the nation. Since then, statistics from the federal government, academic and advocacy groups show these mass shooting events have recurred with alarming and growing frequency. Since the end of July […]

Jun 27, 2019

Legal Bytes: Legal recourse for those who suffer allergic reactions at restaurants

It should no longer come as a surprise that food allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness, with over 32 million Americans diagnosed with a food allergy in the United States. As one of the 32 million people who suffer from a food allergy, I can proudly say that our society’s awareness and […]

Jun 5, 2019

Legal Bytes: Amendable: protecting minority members’ interest in limited liability companies

Section 417 of the New York Limited Liability Company Law (NY LLCL) requires that the members of a limited liability company (LLC) adopt a written Operating Agreement establishing — among other things — the rights, responsibilities and limitations of the members. The adoption of an Operating Agreement is a perfunctory exercise to many LLC members […]

May 1, 2019

Legal Bytes: The flight from New York—how to do it

We often hear about New Yorkers fleeing to non-tax states such as Florida, which has no income or estate tax. Wealthy New Yorkers (and not so wealthy) are concerned that they will be subject to a New York estate tax to the extent that their combined estates (with their spouse) exceed the current New York […]

Mar 29, 2019

Legal Bytes: Commercial landlords post-Ferrara: Cause for concern?

At first glance, the holding of a recent New York Court of Appeals case may have sent commercial landlords and lenders into a panic. Ferrara v. Peaches Café, LLC, 32 N.Y.3d 348 (2018), involved the enforcement of a mechanic’s lien against a commercial landlord for work performed at the tenant’s request. By way of background, […]

Mark Costello
Mar 11, 2019

Legal Bytes: The end of The Turtles’ travels: music modernization

Leatherback turtles spend their lives in the ocean and migrate thousands of miles to lay their eggs, returning to their place of birth. Like their namesake, the peripatetic Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan (a/k/a “Flo and Eddie”), former front men for the 1960s musical group The Turtles, migrated thousands of miles to coastal states, commencing […]

Jan 28, 2019

Legal Bytes: Hemp, CBD and cannabis — How federal laws and New York’s laws will play out for industry participants

On Dec. 20, 2018, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (Farm Bill) was signed into law. The law removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, meaning it is now legal throughout the United States — subject to state law — to grow, process and sell hemp and hemp products. Stepping back for a minute, it’s […]

Nov 5, 2018

Legal Bytes: Miscellaneous changes to estate income taxes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017

As Benjamin Franklin once famously wrote, “nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Arguably, nowhere has this saying rang truer than in the context of taxes imposed in connection with an individual’s death. State and federal estate taxes may be the most notorious example of this, to the extent that they […]

Aug 28, 2018

Legal Bytes: Yada, yada yada: 2018 Fair Housing update

Remember the old “Seinfeld” episode when Kramer went on a smoking binge for 72 hours and even set up a smoking lounge for “pipe night” in his apartment? You know, the one where Jerry told Kramer that the smoking was starting to negatively impact his appearance, so Kramer decided he wanted to sue the tobacco […]

Jul 24, 2018

Legal Bytes: Many online retailers will be SALTy about a new Supreme Court decision

State and local taxes (SALT) are getting a little shake-up thanks to a new U.S. Supreme Court decision that, according to the headlines, is going to change the landscape of online sales. Take those headlines with a grain of SALT. On June 21, the Supreme Court, in South Dakota v. Wayfair, overruled National Bellas Hess […]

May 29, 2018

Legal Bytes: The Murphy decision and the ramifications of sports gambling legalization

My father and I went on a trip last summer to tour the national parks on the way from Colorado to San Francisco. In between our travels from the unparalleled beauty of Zion National Park to the striking sequoia trees in California, we stopped in the State of Nevada. Our first stop was at a […]

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