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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.