So you Want to Sue the New York Government? Act quick. Statute of Limitations/Notification Claims in New York

Commencing litigation, in New York City, against a private entity is an undertaking, but suing the New York City government in New York starts with a big time crunch. In New York, if you are suing any state or local government municipality or authority, you have, in most cases, 90 days to submit a Notice of Claim to the proper entity. The time period starts accruing from the date that the event triggering your claim occurred. In the Notice of Claim, you must give your personal information, the date, time and location of occurrence, a brief description of the incident in question and a brief description of the damages claimed.  Get a New York lawyer to do this for immediately. This Notice of Claim, in New York, must then be delivered to the proper entity – or entities if you are not sure if one or many are involved –

Continue reading

Subjective Phrases In Your Contracts

When negotiating your contracts, normally, you should stay away from subjective phrases or you may be leaving yourself open to a court’s interpretation. Subjective phrases are those that are shaded by feelings, experiences and depend upon one’s individual point of view.  More often than not, they are loosely-defined words and phrases that may mean one thing to you, but something else to the other party. These phrases are like landmines in your contract, and must be avoided, if possible: Avoid phrases like “reasonable” or “best effort.” While attorneys may make a distinction between the two, courts have inconsistently applied the two, sometimes even merging the standards. While that would be alright if business goes smoothly, it could create protracted litigation if things turn bad. Avoid phrases like “material” and “substantial” unless you specifically define its meaning in your contract. Failure to define a term is an invitation for allowing a court

Continue reading

Protect Your NY Company’s Confidential Information

Every NY business keeps confidential information that it must protect from three common occurrences in the course of operations: Accidental Disclosure The most common way a NY business will lose protection of confidential information is through accidental disclosure. This is most likely because NY businesses fail to outline to employees, independent contractors, consultants and service providers what information must remain confidential. Failure to Create Confidentiality Agreements & Non-Compete Agreements Sometimes, a NY business may identify the confidential information that it will need to offer to an employee, independent contractor, consultant or service provider, but not take any additional steps to preserve that confidentiality. If and when that confidentiality is breached, the NY business is left with little to no legal recourse, in most cases, until the business has a confidentiality agreement. Theft by Ex-Employees Some employees who leave a NY business may be tempted to make a copy of confidential

Continue reading

A Chapter 11 Bankruptcy May Save Your NY Business: New York Bankruptcy Law

With news that Gawker is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after losing a $140 million dollar judgment to Hulk Hogan for defamation, now is a good time to introduce New York businesses to what a Chapter 11 bankruptcy is, and how it may save your NY business. Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code is titled “Reorganization,” because it created legal tools for businesses to remain in possession of their assets and restructure so it may continue operating.  This is available for all sizes of businesses. The goal is to obtain permission to reorganize your business based upon a court-approved plan that sets out the terms and duration for debt to be repaid. Plans can include discounted payment amounts, modification of debt, reductions in principal or interest. Filing a Chapter 11 Petition in U.S. Bankruptcy Court is not a simple matter. Your business shall need an NY Bankruptcy attorney

Continue reading

Enforcing a New York Judgment Abroad: Service under the Hague Service Convention

We are presently working on a case where a New York law firm obtained a judgement against a Korean debtor in a New York court and the attorney in New York failed to serve the defendant under the Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters (“Hague Service Convention”).  This New York lawyer, wrongfully, believed that all that was needed to be complied with is service under the requirements of New York law.  The attorney was mistaken. If you are interested in enforcing a New York judgment in Korea please see our sister blog at: Enforcing of Foreign Judgments in Korea. If you are interested in enforcing a foreign judgment in New York please see: Enforcement of a Foreign Judgment in New York. Too many local New York attorneys think in this fashion, because of the lack of experience in international law.  This sad

Continue reading

Protecting your Intellectual Property in New York: NY IP Law Basics

All businesses, including New York businesses, must take steps to protect their trademarks, brands and other IP.  Our international lawyers work throughout Asia and North America and have seen too many issues because of not implementing an IP Protection Strategy, not registering IP, not understanding the domestic value of IP and not considering the global value and differences in foreign law to U.S. law. Here is what we recommend you must do, at a minimum, to secure your Intellectual Property: Form an IP Audit Team.  Form a team to audit your intellectual property – trademarks, service marks, books, manuals, patents, etc. – to determine what assets you have and what needs to be protected. Your attorney should head, or at least, assist this team. Register your Intellectual Property.  Protect your trademarks by registering them with the USPTO (United States Patent & Trademark Office), which will provide your business, logos, symbols

Continue reading

Will New Yorkers Be Playing Fantasy Sports This Summer? New York Gambling Law Update

When two of the largest commercial fantasy sports gaming companies, FanDuel and DraftKings, were sued by the State of New York and subsequently agreed to voluntarily stop taking money from New York participants, the companies did so with the understanding that lawmakers in Albany would pass legislation on the issue of how to regulate this new industry.  It appears that legislation is finally taking shape. As the legislative term comes to a close, committees in both houses of the New York state legislature have advanced bills proposing legislation requiring registration fees for commercial operators and a prohibition against players under 18 years of age.  Legislation would also bar contests based on amateur sports at the collegiate level and horse racing. Last year, New York cracked down on companies providing daily fantasy sports gaming after a disgruntled player, leading to the NY Office of Attorney General to step in to file

Continue reading

New York Court Stipulations

When all is said and done, we are only as good as our word. It is the one thing we have control over in a world that seems irreparably out of control. Our words and action in furtherance of our word create our reputation. In court, when an attorney agrees to anything, not only is his word his bond, but the court will make sure that attorneys keep to their word. Here is a perfect example, our firm represented a corporation against JPMorgan Chase as part of a muddled dispute involving former partners (the details of which are a story in and of themselves!). At a pretrial appearance, we presented a stipulation establishing a schedule for the litigation. It included, among other things, a deadline when the parties had to file motions. Both sides agreed, and the Court ordered the stipulation. Fast forward some months later, JPMorgan Chase hired new attorneys,

Continue reading

Collecting Unpaid Invoices in New York: New York Collection Law Basics

Forbes has a great article on best invoicing practices.  The Forbes article noted, in part, that: “First, standardize your business practices. Draw up a contract for every job, every client, every time. A contract should include a description of the work, payment information, and payment schedule. This will also help clients feel comfortable that you will uphold your end of the deal, as “deadbeating” can go both ways. Decide how to accept payment– many professionals suggest taking a down-payment (up to 50%) before the start of any project, and collecting the balance upon completion, before turning over any goods or services to your client. Take action! Bill your clients on time and address non-payment immediately. Send a late payment notice notifying them of the date you will follow up with legal action. Within your area’s statutory limits, pursue non-payment in small claims court, or work with a collection agency or

Continue reading

Beating Summary Judgment in a New York Court: NY Litigation Basics

Here is a perfect example of how a skilled and proactive New York attorney can use proactive strategy to resolve a dispute in a New York court.  When you have more than one potential defendants, you can pit one against the other to maximize your position and prevail in a summary judgment motion and prevail in reaching a settlement for your client.  The following issue involves a motor vehicle accident, however, the same strategy may be used to prevail in business disputes in New York. My client, a front seat passenger in a motor vehicle, did not have a complete memory of the incident.  All he knew was that he was injured in a car accident, thus, his testimony was not able to collaborate the story of the driver in the car she was in or the driver of the other car.   My client was sitting in the front seat of

Continue reading

Workers Who Fall From Elevation Mean “Absolute” Liability For Owners And Contractors

New York property owners and contractors employing laborers working at elevation must make sure the workers are given proper protection or be subjected to “absolute” liability should the worst happen. We had a client who was a New York apprentice laborer working on the construction site of a charter school. While climbing the ladder swayed and my client fell more than one story to the floor below, hitting a metal toolbox on his way down to the floor. His injuries were extensive. His family, including his infant son, was left without insurance because he could no longer work. He underwent many surgeries to repair his back. We sued the owner and general contractor on his behalf, claiming that they failed to supply him with sufficient safety equipment. Workers like our client who fall from elevation are protected by NY Labor Law § 240(1), which holds contractors and property owners responsible

Continue reading

Proving Civil Fraud In NY

Fraud comes in different forms in New York, which recognizes both common law fraud and statutory fraudulent behavior. In business, as in life, people are not always as reputable and they appear. Unfortunately, there are less than scrupulous business actors who will resort to fraudulent misrepresentations to gain what you have – recourse does exist. New York Civil Common Law Fraudulent Misrepresentation the defendant made an intentional material false representation; the plaintiff reasonably relied upon the defendant’s fraudulent misrepresentation; and the plaintiff suffered damage as a result of their reliance on the fraudulent misrepresentation. The burden of proving the elements of fraudulent misrepresentations is by “clear and convincing evidence” which is a substantially greater burden of proof than the normal “preponderance of the evidence” standard. This standard, usually, means that a plaintiff needs to establish at trial by clear and convincing evidence that a defendant had actual knowledge of some material

Continue reading

IP Infringement vs. Fair Use? Protecting Federal Trademarks in New York State

Seems like a lot of high-profile trademark issues are happening all over New York. A recent federal matter outlines the basics of federal trademark litigation and the arguments a New York business may use to attempt to enforce a trademark against a violator of your trademark. A federal judge in New York State recently ruled that The Car-Freshner Corporation – which makes the pine tree-shaped air fresheners that hang in millions of vehicles across the country –  has demonstrated that it may lay claim to the tree-shaped symbol through its various federal trademark registrations and more than 60 years. Car-Freshner claims that Sun Cedar, a non-profit business based out of Kansas, violated the Lanham Act and New York Law by making and marketing a car air-freshener in the same tree-shape and using a virtually identical symbol that Car-Freshner has registered as its trademark as early as 1961. It further argued

Continue reading