Emancipation of College Students and College Contributions

Posted in Divorce

In a previous blog, the process of emancipation in New Jersey was discussed, which included the various factors a court considers when determining whether or not a child should be emancipated. A common issue is the emancipation of college-age children, because children in college are likely to be over the age of majority, but still dependent on their parents as full-time students.

Several cases in New Jersey have addressed this specific instance. Newburgh v. Arrigo, the leading case in the area of emancipation, states that “the privilege of parenthood carries with it the duty to assure a necessary education for children.” Several other cases, including Gac v. Gac, Patetta v. Patetta, Limbert v. Limbert and Moehring v. Moehring have all stated that a child’s full-time attendance in postsecondary education may be a basis to delay emancipation, because, even though parents are not generally required to support a child over eighteen, the child’s enrollment in a full-time educational program has been held to require continued support.

Therefore, a child attending college on a full-time basis is not likely to be emancipated from their parents due to their dependent status while still in school.

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Stark & Stark Shareholder Benjamin E. Widener Published on NJ.com

Posted in Employment, Stark News

Shareholder Benjamin E. Widener, member of the Employment and Litigation practice groups, authored the article The Importance of an Effective Anti-Harassment Policy in the Workplace, which was published on NJ.com on October 1, 2015.

The article underlines the importance of maintaining a healthy and safe work environment by properly enforcing a policy against sexual harassment. This should be done for the safety of a company’s employees as well as protection of the company at large. Failure to enforce a proper sexual harassment policy can result in accusations of an overall hostile work environment.

Such was the case with Arguas v. State of New Jersey, in which the Supreme Court of New Jersey “provided some ground rules to motivate employers to eradicate discrimination in the workplace and, at the same time, better insulate themselves against vicarious liability arising from supervisory discrimination and harassment.” In order for a company to have a hostile work environment, the conduct of the allegedly offending employee(s) must be so objectively offensive that it alters the victim’s conditions of employment.

“An employer can defeat vicarious liability with effective anti-harassment policies, and such practices also weigh against employer liability under a negligence theory.”

You can read the full article by clicking here.

Stark & Stark Shareholder Jerry A. Nelson to Present at National Business Institute CLE Seminar

Posted in Stark News

Shareholder Jerry A. Nelson, member of the Business & Corporate, Commercial, Retail and Industrial Real Estate and Real Estate, Zoning & Land Use groups, will be presenting at the National Business Institute’s CLE seminar, Commercial Real Estate from A to Z. This CLE seminar will be held on October 19th, 2015 at the Holiday Inn Princeton and October 20th, 2015 at the Ramada Plaza Hotel in Newark.

During the CLE seminar, Mr. Nelson will be holding two separate presentations, which will include “Drafting & Negotiating Commercial Leases.” Starting at 9:00 a.m. and lasting an hour, this presentation will include an introduction to drafting, types of commercial leases and lease provisions and insurance. This presentation will be held at both locations.

The CLE seminars at the Holiday Inn Princeton and Ramada Plaza Hotel in Newark will begin at 9:00 a.m. and last until 4:30 p.m. Registration for these events will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the start of each day. The seminar presentations will be identical.

For those unable to attend the CLE seminar, the NBI will also be offering the chance to purchase an audio CD and course book so that anyone can take advantage of the valuable information that is presented.

If you’re interested in attending Mr. Nelson’s presentations, please contact us.

Joseph H. Lemkin, Esq. Has Joined the Law Firm of Stark & Stark

Posted in Stark News

Stark & Stark is pleased to announce that Joseph H. Lemkin has joined the firm as a Shareholder in the Bankruptcy and Creditors’ Rights Group. He will be located in the Lawrenceville, NJ office.

Mr. Lemkin’s practice primarily focuses on the areas of bankruptcy law, commercial litigation, business reorganization and related matters, with a particular emphasis on creditors’ rights. Mr. Lemkin has extensive experience representing mortgage lenders in both consumer and commercial bankruptcy proceedings, as well as secured creditors, creditors’ committees, debtors and trade creditors and bankruptcy trustees. The scope of his representation has included litigation matters, assignments for the benefit of creditors and chapters 7, 13 and 11 bankruptcy proceedings.

Mr. Lemkin has served as national litigation/bankruptcy counsel regarding a portfolio of loans to healthcare providers for a major financial lending institution, which included medical, dental and veterinary practices. He has also defended and prosecuted numerous adversary proceedings in bankruptcy court, including preference, fraudulent transfer and other avoidance actions. Additionally, Mr. Lemkin represents an international consumer products company as national bankruptcy counsel, with numerous high-profile cases pending in the Southern District of New York and Delaware.

Prior to joining Stark & Stark, Mr. Lemkin was the Chairman of the bankruptcy group at a New Jersey based business law firm, and was a former partner at the AmLaw 100 firm of Duane Morris.

Stark & Stark Shareholder Tom Giachetti Published in Investment Advisor Magazine

Posted in Stark News

Shareholder Thomas D. Giachetti, Chair of the Securities Practice Group, authored the article Treasury Considers Anti-Money Laundering Regs, which was published in the October 2015 issue of Investment Advisor Magazine.

The article details the potential anti-money laundering (ALM) program requirements that the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) is planning to implement. These regulations would be targeting SEC-registered investment advisors, and would require advisors to “adopt and maintain an anti-money laundering program, file suspicious activity reports and comply with additional reporting requirements.”

FinCEN, which is a bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, previously recognized in 2007 that SEC advisors were not required adopt an AML program, because independent custodians must undertake the AML exercise before an advisory account can be opened. These additional regulations will only serve to bog down small- and medium-sized advisory firms which are already subject to a number of other regulations.

According to Mr. Giachetti, “The result of these additional regulations is less profits (this administration doesn’t care about advisory firm “fat cats” — how little it really knows), and more importantly, less resources to spend with clients.”

You can read the full article by clicking here.

Stark & Stark Shareholder Interviewed in MidJersey Business Magazine

Posted in Stark News

Shareholder Dolores R. Kelley, member of Stark & Stark’s Business & Corporate, Real Estate, Zoning & Land Use and Beer & Spirits Groups, was interviewed in MidJersey BusinessAsk a Busy Person series.

The interview covers Ms. Kelley’s work at Stark & Stark, as well as some information about her person life and interests. She also has some personal advice for balancing her work and life.

Outside of the office, Ms. Kelley explained, “While being a mother to two small children does not often leave much time for leisurely activities, I like to ride my bike or go to the gym whenever I get the opportunity.” Additionally, if she decided to pick up a new skill or hobby, she “would love to learn photography. I would really like having a creative outlet, and it would be a really useful skill for me to have since I am constantly taking pictures of my kids.”

You can read Ms. Kelley’s full interview by clicking here.

Stark & Stark Shareholders Thomas S. Onder & Jerry A. Nelson Co-Authored Mid Atlantic Real Estate Journal Article

Posted in Stark News

Shareholders Thomas S. Onder and Jerry A. Nelson, both members of the Commercial, Retail, Industrial and Multi-Family Real Estate Group, co-authored the article Tailoring Your Property to Capturing the Millennial “Boom,” which was published in the August 28 – September 10, 2015 issue of the Mid Atlantic Real Estate Journal.

The article explains how the Millennial generation differs from previous generations, including with their buying habits. These traits are affected by their access to the Internet, their diversity and their higher education. In general, this generation is more likely to spend their money on out-of-town vacations and trips with friends, as well as updating their latest tech products. However, this generation is still fairly young, so their choices will only continue to impact the economy for years to come.

The article adds, “For property owners of shopping centers, multi-family and/or mixed use buildings, the key to growth is to understand who the Millennials are, what motivates their purchases, how to tailor properties and how to attract and meet the generation’s expectations and needs.”

You can read the full article by clicking here.

The Life Cycle of a Revaluation (And What You Need to Know About It)

Posted in Real Estate Tax Appeals

The purpose of this alert is to give an overview of a revaluation program in New Jersey, and also provide the taxpayer with information that should help mitigate potentially adverse affects of a new assessment.

A revaluation is a program conducted by an outside appraisal firm that is designed to adjust and update property values throughout a municipality. However, it is essential to understand that a revaluation is not a reassessment, even though both can result in the reapportionment of the tax burden among property owners. Both are intended to adjust and update property values, however, a revaluation is performed by a pre-qualified appraisal firm, while a reassessment is conducted by the in-house municipal assessor and staff.

In New Jersey, a municipal-wide revaluation is a process that a taxpayer should not take lightly or ignore. By being proactive, a taxpayer can lay the groundwork for a successful appeal, or even avoid an appeal entirely. A revaluation can occur for a single reason or a number of reasons, but ultimately the driving force behind one is the conclusion by the State Director of Taxation that assessed values of properties in a municipality are exceedingly inaccurate. Therefore, a revaluation’s stated purpose is to reset assessments and spread the municipal tax burden fairly so that, in theory, every taxpayer is paying their fair share. By the very nature of the process, however, a property’s taxes can be significantly changed, and not necessarily for the better.

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Pontiff’s Visit to Philadelphia (Part III) – Top Five (5) Last Minute Tips for Landlords/Owners

Posted in Commercial, Retail & Industrial Real Estate, Insurance Coverage & Liability

This blog was co-authored with my colleagues Brian Smith, Esq. and Jerry Nelson, Esq.

It’s just a few days away! The papal visit is expected to bring more than 2 million visitors to the Philadelphia area. Our last two articles (here and here) dealt with the positive economic impacts for the region and managing the masses during this event. Here are five (5) tips that should be at the top of the list for landlords and owners of commercial, retail and multi-family properties.

Review your Leases. With an event of this magnitude, it is a good time to take a last minute look at your leases to ensure all items are appropriately addressed. For instance, does your lease have certain notice requirements for limiting access to parking areas designated for tenants and their customers? If you plan on sectioning off certain parking areas, did you send notice out in time? Sometimes leases will have a provision that allows you to circumvent certain notice requirements, if actions are done for health and safety reasons.

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Attorney David A. Beaver Published on NJ.com

Posted in Divorce, Stark News

David A. Beaver, member of the Family Law Group, authored the article Divorce Mediation: A Useful Alternative to Traditional Litigation, which was published on NJ.com on September 16, 2015.

The article describes the benefits of seeking mediation for couples looking to start the divorce process. There has been a growing backlog within the court system, and Mr. Beaver has noticed that many couples can avoid this stress by resolving their divorce case through mediation and only utilize the course to receive their divorce decree.

All options can remain open in mediation, which allows couples to seek settlements that would otherwise be unavoidable in the court system. Additionally, all communications will remain confidential with mediations, while New Jersey court proceedings are open to the public. Finally, mediations often make it easier to preserve an amicable relationship after the divorce, as it removes the often contentious nature of litigation.

Additionally, Mr. Beaver adds, “While there are numerous circumstances in which litigation is a necessary and an effective tool to secure resolution, often the “he said/she said” nature of a litigated case will create a rift in the family dynamic.”

You can read the full article by clicking here.