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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Can an employer video record its employees in the workplace?

Oftentimes, businesses would like to monitor their employees (beyond standard security reasons) during work hours to keep on top of the situation. This is especially prevalent in construction sites, warehouses, and the like but are sometimes used within standard offices as well. The question is, can an employer legally do this, and if so does the company need to notify the employees about the surveillance.

The short answer is yes, but with a few caveats.

How to execute a will that will hold up legally and halachicly.

As it is well-known, that according to Jewish law there are many strict rules for wills and inheritance (Yerusha in Hebrew). The basic rules that people commonly wish to circumvent are the requirement that a man’s sons are his sole heirs, and the bechor (legal firstborn) would receive a double share. Wives and single daughters receive living expenses from the male heirs, although to fully comprehend these divisions requires much scholarly study and is beyond the scope of this article.

The issue with writing a simple will that allows the wife to inherit fully, or all children to receive equal portions, is that the contract does not take effect until after death, at which time a person has no authority to make monetary transfers according to Jewish law. The Rabbis therefore advise a method to enable a will that accords with halacha and will be upheld in Beth Din. There are three basic steps to the procedure:

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

NJSLAW CLE: Mortgage Contingency Clause and Ethical Issues in NJ Real Estate Contracts

The mortgage contingency clause is one of the most important clauses in real estate contracts. However, many attorneys don’t bother to read it. This is a mistake since the terms of the clause, which may differ from contract to contract, can have an immense impact on your client.  
In this program, Alexander Novak and Kim Juhase, will provide an overview of this clause and will discuss the problems that could arise if the wrong language is used. In the second half of the program, they will discuss possible ethical problems that might arise in real estate transactions. They will also provide a brief overview of NY law for those who are dually admitted.
By the program’s end, Juhase and Novak will aim to answer the following questions:
  • What are the best terms for the Buyer or the Seller?
  • To whom must the Buyer apply for a mortgage loan and in what time period?
  • Do conditional commitments satisfy the contract?
  • What happens when a mortgage commitment is revoked by the lender?
  • How can one avoid malpractice or a grievance complaint in real estate transactions?

Learning Objectives:
  1. Understand how different terms on a mortgage contingency clause affect your client
  2. Learn how to avoid ethical problems in real estate transactions

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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

March Madness: Is NCAA Tournament Gambling Legal?

March Madness is here, and all over America people will be furiously filling out their brackets. Whether you join an office pool or a competition with friends, everyone usually throws a few bucks in the pot for the winner. According to the American Gaming Association, 40 million people fill out brackets each March and will wager an estimated $10.4 billion this year. Of that amount only $65 million is bet legally, with $2 billion being bet in the kind of pools in which you're probably partaking.

As a matter of state law, pay-to-enter NCAA Tournament pools are illegal if they constitute "games of chance." Courts apply various different tests to determine if a game constitutes as “chance”. Under all tests, the likelihood is that NCAA Tournament pools would involve a high level of chance. Remember a couple years ago, when Warren Buffet offered 1 billion dollars for anyone that could predict a perfect bracket? While that was a much longer shot (1 in 9.2 quintillion to be exact) than just coming in first place in your pool, it just goes to show how unpredictable the whole game is. This year Buffet is actually giving any Berkshire Hathaway employee, that can pick the Sweet 16 correctly, $1 million a year, for life. Only 14 out over 11 million brackets predicted that correctly in2015.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Freelance Isn't Free Act

Freelance Isn't Free Act

New Protections for Freelance Workers 

Many employers that do not want to commit to hiring a permanent employee with the accompanying expenses such as medical benefits, often hire freelancers for such things as public relations, computer programming, care-giving and housekeeping. Many times the employment relationship is informal, based on nothing more than an oral understanding and many times the freelancer is not paid. A brand new, New York City, law tries to put this to an end.

The law, called the Freelance Isn’t Free Act, L. 2016/140, now requires, that upon demand, an employer of a freelance worker must provide a written contract and the freelancer must be paid pursuant to it, or the employer will suffer dire consequences.