Thursday, April 14, 2016

Estate Planning and Conflicts of Interest: Who Exactly Is Your Client?

by Thomas D. Sands, Esq.

There are few things that are clear in the law. With that said, knowing who your client is should be one of them. Not having a clear understanding of who your client is can lead to a whole host of problems such as conflicts of interest, malpractice, and ineffective representation.

This blog will focus on the representation of a client in the context of estate planning. First, you must understand at what stage of the estate planning your representation is being requested. Are you simply drafting a will, a trust, or other estate document? Or are you past this stage and now working through a probate proceeding?

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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Working with a Pro Se Claimant: Making Mediation Productive and Peaceful

by Nancy Black Norelli

No one ever said practicing law or mediating cases was going to be easy. If it was, then just about anyone could do it and that's emphatically not the case. However, the complexity involved doesn't stop everyone from taking on the legal system pro se with no training or skills, and expecting justice to be best served.

The self-representing claimant certainly has a place in our legal system. Some people cannot afford an attorney and some people simply don't trust attorneys. But at the end of the day, everyone has the choice to exercise his or her legal rights as they see fit. The fact of the matter is your job gets a little bit trickier when you, as a trained mediator, encounter a pro se party.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Looking Back, Looking Forward: 20 Years as a Lawyer

by Bernard Nomberg, Esq.

"The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others."
-Albert Schweitzer

April, 1995. April, 2015. Two decades. Twenty years.

This month I'm starting my 20th year in the private practice of law. Growing up at my father's law office, quite often I saw the great work he did to help those who needed it most. Ordinary people from the community who were injured on the job or from some type of accident and needed legal guidance to get them through a difficult time in their life. I saw the response from those clients when a good result was reached. I saw the relief on their faces and the emotions that poured out when the laws were explained and they realized they had a legal advocate on their side who understood what they were going through. It made a difference in their lives. Back then I wanted that. I wanted to help others. I wanted to make a difference.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

What You Need to Know About Attorney Fees in Bankruptcy

by Tracy J. Wrisinger, Esq.

One of the consideration points when comparing bankruptcy attorneys is the fee structure. In addition to the amount an attorney charges, you should look at the timing of the collection of fees.

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Top 5 Ways to Reduce Your Workers' Compensation Legal Expenses

by Rich Lenkov, Esq.

1. Manage Your Vendors

Whether it's attorneys, surveillance experts, TPA's or any other kind of service provider, it is very important to keep these expenses in check. While vendors are worthwhile investments, they are also one of the leading cost drivers in our field. Accordingly, it is crucial to hire professionals with a single-minded focus on achieving the best results in a cost effective manner.

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Monday, March 16, 2015

Ignorance Isn't Bliss: Not Knowing the Medicaid Rules Can Cost You

by Misty Clark Vantrease, Esq.

The meeting began like so many before, but I soon realized that this one would be one that would stick with me. Judy had made the heartbreaking decision two years ago to place her husband in a nursing home. He had advancing dementia and she had cared for him as long as she could at home. She put him in a nice, clean place close to her so that she could see him as often as possible.

Although she didn't drive (she'd never learned), kind friends and church members would take her to see her ailing husband almost every day. They had married over 60 years before, and her tender words about him showed she was still head over heels for him.

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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Three Critical Ethical Concerns in Elder Law Practice

by Nancy Black Norelli

Adult children are often faced with an uncomfortable role reversal when it comes to ensuring aging or elderly parents have the appropriate estate plans in place to protect their health and assets.

This emotional process can be complicated by the fact that special care must be taken when attempting to assist parents making estate planning decisions because serious ethical landmines exist that can trap the unwary.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Business of Being a Landlord and the Moral Imperative (Avoiding Homelessness)

by C. Gavin Oppermann, Esq.

The New Jersey landlord-tenant laws are arguably some of the most tenant-friendly (and thus landlord-costly) in the nation. Statutes, such as the Landlord Registration Act and the statutory requirements of "For Cause" evictions, create practical and legal impediments to removing a difficult tenant for any reason.

The exception to these impediments is non-payment of rent, which increases the time and costs necessary to remove a troublesome tenant. Thus, most landlords will use the claim of non-payment of rent as the primary basis for removal of a difficult tenant.

The question is: "Should they?"

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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Are Your Client Relationships Successful?

by Joshua B. Rosenzweig, Esq.

One of the patriarchs of the first law firm I worked at gave me some interesting advice concerning the legal profession during my first week practicing. He said, "The practice of law would be a great profession . . . if you didn't have to deal with clients."

To say this statement took me by surprise would somewhat understate my initial response. After all, this was an attorney who had practiced law for over 50 years and was one of the leading members of the legal community in which I was practicing. I thought, "He doesn't like dealing with his clients! How could that be?"

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Monday, February 25, 2013

The Skinny on Subpoenas

by Heather G. Anderson, Esq.

You’ve been served! (and I’m not talking dessert)

Here’s the scenario—you (as the HR Director) were served with a subpoena to appear in court and produce all company documents related to a former employee, Sexy Sheila. Now what? Must you comply? It’s the first of the year, and you are really busy with end of the year stuff (think taxes!) Do you really have to go to court? Spoken like a true lawyer, the answer is maybe, and maybe not. However, you do have to be careful.

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