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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Five Reasons Why You Should Stop Talking and Driving - New DMV Regulations

Have you read about the new DMV legislation? Well here are five reasons why you should.

Governor Cuomo recently announced changes to the number of points that will be imposed on all licenses for violating regulations VTL 1225-c (Use of a Mobile Telephone While Driving) and 122-5d (Use of Portable Electronic Devices). Talking on your phone while driving, or even simply reaching down for a second to turn on the new Kanye album on your iPod, has become common practice for many drivers who do not realize they can face serious consequences for even a moment's distraction. Starting June 1, 2013, Use of a Mobile Telephone and Portable Electronic Device while operating a vehicle will incur a five point penalty instead of a three.

What does a change of two points matter? Click below to find out.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Case of the Week: People v Oliveras

The case of People v. Oliveras is a ruling that may have an effect on the definition of what constitutes "ineffective assistance of counsel". According to the present law, ineffective assistance of counsel occurs when a convicted client proves that their attorney was negligent in a way that badly impacted the case, and therefore the client's constitutional right to counsel has been violated (as per the Sixth Amendment). In People v Oliveras, the defendant's mental health was in question, and his lawyer attempted to argue that his client's confessions to the police were not completely voluntary, in part because of his questionable mental health. However, the attorney made a fundamental misstep that ultimately impacted the case: he never subpoenaed his client's psychiatric records.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Love and Warfare: Who Keeps the Engagement Ring in the Event of a Breakup?

They say love is eternal, but sometimes it just doesn't last. Each year, thousands of engaged couples across the United States decide to end their engagement. After the confusion and chaos of the breakup subsides, the question often becomes "What happens to the engagement ring?". An engagement ring is often representative of many weeks of the future groom's income and therefore a valuable and sought after item by both parties. Lucky, the courts in both New York and New Jersey have made it clear what the law dictates in this difficult situation.

Photo credit to

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Important Things You Should Know Before Buying a Business

Buying a pre-existing business is a hectic yet extremely exciting time for potential buyers. After all, there are so many things potential owners must do: narrow down locations, scope out the storefront, and examine the market, among others. And that's before you get to the paperwork! Luckily, there are some tips out there that can make the process much less stressful.

One important thing to remember is that buying a business is a big decision. It helps to do all your research before you actually begin talking to brokers and owners/sellers. Having all of your information prepared and organized beforehand not only ensures that you are informed, but that potential sellers will take you more seriously. One of most important documents you should prepare is an "Acquisition Criteria" sheet outlining your expectations for your new business.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Is Bankruptcy Right For You and Your Family?

In difficult financial times, it is understandable why a family would need to explore all of their financial options. If you are having trouble paying your bills or meeting your financial obligations, you may want to consider bankruptcy as an option.

It can be a difficult and trying time when your family is considering bankruptcy.

Before you decide whether or not to file, there are several things you should consider. If you do some preliminary research, the prevailing wisdom seems to be that a lawyer is necessary for all cases of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and advised for any difficult cases of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.

However, in 2005, bankruptcies laws changed, making it much more difficult to file for bankruptcy. You can see this in the graph below, taken from the News section of the United States Court website: