employee covid vaccine requirement OSHA ETSThe vax-or-test legal rollercoaster ride continues, leaving human resource managers’ heads spinning, lawyers prognosticating, and employers simply wondering what comes next.

On January 13, 2022, the United States Supreme Court, in a 6-3 majority decision, dealt a substantial blow to the future implementation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA’s) Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for large employers, putting the ETS on hold indefinitely pending further review by the United States Court of Appeal for the 6th Circuit (which had reinstated the vaccinate-or-test mandate). Among other things, the ETS mandated that all businesses with 100+ employees require their employees to either vaccinate (and provide proof thereof) or submit to weekly COVID-19 testing to attend work.

Continue Reading The ETS, the Supreme Court Ruling, and the Vax-or-Test Rollercoaster: What Should Your Business Do Now?

The collapse of the Champlain Towers South in Surfside, Florida, in June 2021, sent shockwaves throughout the United States and was a wake-up call to condominiums to the dangers of aging infrastructures. In light of this tragic event, secondary mortgage market giants, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have issued bulletins advising of new “temporary” requirements for mortgages issued in connection with condominiums and cooperatives.

Continue Reading In the Wake of the Surfside Tragedy Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Issue “Temporary” Requirements for Condominiums and Cooperatives

In the past, construction contracts could typically only be terminated if there was a breach of the construction agreement by the owner or contractor. Under such scenarios, litigation often arose concerning whether the termination was proper and whether the contractor might be entitled to lost profits and other damages as a result of the purported unlawful termination. This resulted in costly litigation for both an owner and a contractor if there were potential issues surrounding the termination. In the not-so-distant past, however, a new type of termination clause arose, which gained rapid traction in the industry. This was a “termination for convenience” clause.

Continue Reading Termination of Construction Contract for Convenience by Project Owner

On Tuesday, January 18, 2022, Governor Murphy signed into law Senate Bill 396, which automatically tolls (i.e. pauses) the 6-year Statute of Limitations for construction defect claims by condominium and/or homeowner associations and cooperative corporations until the first election when unit owners take majority control of the association board (“Transition”). Although not black letter law, Transition had historically been recognized as the milestone when the Statute of Limitations began to run for construction defect claims.

Continue Reading New Bill Clarifies Statute of Limitations For Community Association Transition Litigation Matters

virtual hoa member meetings nj 2022The New Jersey Nonprofit Corporation Act (N.J.S.A. 15A:5-1, et seq.) (the “Act”) was amended on Monday, January 22, 2022, to permanently allow remote community association member meetings (using Zoom, Teams, or other remote communication technologies). Previously, the Act permitted remote meetings of members-only when New Jersey was in a declared state of emergency, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. This new legislation (A5549/S4112) gives communities more flexibility in conducting association member meetings and will hopefully result in increased member attendance for quorum and voting purposes. Continue Reading New Legislation Permanently Allows Community Association Members to Participate in Member Meetings Via Remote Communication

employee covid vaccine requirement OSHA ETSOn November 5, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued its Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS), requiring private employers having at least 100 employees companywide (at any given time) to adopt written policies and procedures either mandating vaccination against COVID-19 or requiring employees to choose between vaccination or undergo weekly testing while wearing a face-covering at work.

Continue Reading Employers, the Coronavirus, and the Reinstatement of the OSHA ETS: What Now?

Throughout 2021, Congress and the Executive Branch proposed tax code changes that – had they ultimately passed – would have significantly changed various estate planning techniques. Some proposals would have sidelined a number of established estate planning strategies while other proposals could have increased the frequency of use and usefulness of others.

Some proposals would have reduced the estate and gift tax exemption amount from its current level of $12.06 million per taxpayer to $3.5 – $6.85 million per taxpayer, depending on the source. Although there is certainly no guarantee that such a proposal will not be made in the future, we can nevertheless focus for now on what we do know about the law as written today and what steps we can take to address the coming changes.

Continue Reading Gift and Estate Tax Changes

As we reported in our previous blog, on July 1, 2021 Governor Murphy signed a COVID-19 liability protection bill and, by doing so, gave community associations some immunity from certain legal claims arising from COVID-19. The law provided that a community association “shall be immune from civil liability for damages arising from, or related to, an exposure to, or transmission of, COVID-19 on the premises” providing the association has prominently displayed a sign at entrances to common spaces.

That law expires as of January 1, 2022, and the protections provided by the COVID immunity law are no longer in effect. Boards and managers will have to evaluate whether and how this change will impact the operation of association common amenities, especially indoor amenities like clubhouses, meeting rooms, fitness rooms, indoor pools, and other facilities. We urge you to have this discussion without delay and contact legal counsel for any questions.

In general, the party tasked with defending a decedent’s Will during a Will contest, which is typically the executor, is entitled to the reimbursement of counsel fees that they incur in defending the Will on behalf of the Estate. At times, however, a party who has filed an action to contest a Last Will and Testament may also be entitled to an award of counsel fees provided there was a reasonable and legitimate basis to contest the decedent’s Last Will and Testament. In a recent appellate division case, the court affirmed an award of counsel fees to the contestant of a decedent’s Will for these very reasons.

Continue Reading Counsel Fee Award When Contesting A Will