Kevin M. Hart, Shareholder in Stark & Stark’s Litigation Group, was quoted in the November 24, 2010 New York Post article, Fed’s Insider Fight. The article discusses Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara’s recent initiative to stop insider trading on Wall Street. Many find Bharara’s attempt risky and somewhat controversial, as cases in the past have demonstrated that prosecuting these types of cases are increasingly difficult.
A large number of YAZ® lawsuits were designated as Mass Tort or Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) cases over the past several months. Just recently, the three initial bellwether trials in the federal MDL were scheduled. Courts utilize a bellwether approach when there are a large numbers of plaintiffs proceeding on the same theory or claim, such as in the Yaz ® cases. Typically, a group of plaintiffs are chosen to represent all the plaintiffs with the same alleged ailment.
New Jersey property with environmental contamination still has value but under what circumstances may an appraiser take into account that contamination when preparing an appraisal to be used in a New Jersey tax appeal? The New Jersey Supreme Court answered this question in 1988 in the seminal case of Inmar Associates v. Carlstadt, 112 NJ 592 (1988),. The Inmar court held that when a property is in use, “normal assessment techniques will remain an appropriate tool in the appraisal process” (ie. no reduction). However, when a property is no longer in use, the cost to cure the contamination may be taken into account by an appraiser, but not by a dollar-for-dollar deduction.
On November 9, 2010, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a press release unveiling its proposal to oversee a new loan insurance pilot program intended to support homeowner financing of energy efficient improvements. Under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010 (P.L. 111-117, 123 Stat. 3034), approved on December 16, 2009, HUD is required to administer an Energy Efficient Mortgage Innovation pilot program directed at the single family housing market.
Majority or controlling shareholders sometimes use a statutory merger as a method for squeezing out or altering minority shareholder’s rights and preferences. New Jersey law provides a statutory procedure by which two or more corporations can be combined into a single corporation even if all of the shareholders do not agree with the merger. N.J.S.A. 14A:10-3. Under New Jersey law, the directors of the combining companies adopt a plan for merger, which sets forth the terms and conditions of the merger including the manner in which the shares of each of the constituent corporations are to be converted into shares, obligations, cash or other securities of the surviving corporation.
On or about October 8, 2010, Henry Gifford and Gifford Fuel Savings, Inc. (collectively, “Gifford”), filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of New York against the U.S. Green Building Council (“USGBC”), individually and on behalf of all other similarly situated persons alleging, among other things, that USGBC’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating systems are not based on objective criteria and that USGBC has mislead the public as to the efficacy of these protocols in achieving energy efficient buildings to their detriment.
In a decision released on September 30, 2010, the New Jersey Supreme Court reaffirmed the holding of its previous decision in Iliadis v. Wal-Mart, where the Court emphasized that, where common issues predominate in the litigation, individual factual differences among the class members will not stand in the way of class certification.
In this day, virtually every successful business has a presence on the internet. The importance of a website to a company’s marketing strategies, its product sales and its overall image cannot be understated. Yet, many businesses often neglect to take steps to protect the content on their website. They seem to forget that as easy as it is to place content online, it is even easier to copy it without permission. Digital technology has made it enormously simple for one individual to instantly become a large publisher of information.
It is getting to that time of the year where properties owners are thinking about appealing their property tax assessments for 2011. A recent Tax Court decision (Prime Accounting Dept. v. Township of Carney) which hopefully will be reversed on appeal, stresses the importance of making certain that the person appealing their tax assessment is either the property owner or someone responsible for paying the taxes.
Timothy P. Duggan, Shareholder and Chair of Stark & Stark’s Bankruptcy & Creditor’s Rights Group, authored the article What to do When the Bank Comes Knocking at Your Door for the October issue of the New Jersey Lawyer. The article discusses the various options available when dealing with defaulted loans and provides an overview of the more important issues and challenges attorneys face when negotiating a commercial workout or loan modification with a lender.