There’s an old saying that the only sure things in life are death and taxes. Hopefully, death is a long way off, but sadly, taxes are here with us front and center. In the divorce process, the issue of taxes is something that is considered in several stages.
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.
If you are the named executor of an Estate, there is the possibility that an action may be brought to challenge the validity of the Will which named you executor. Typically, this process begins with a verified complaint by an individual that seeks to contest the validity of the decedent’s Last Will and Testament submitted to the probate court. The statute of limitations for contesting a Will varies by state. For example, in New Jersey, it is merely four months for in-state residents and up to six months for out-of-state residents. Provided that a plaintiff (the person challenging the Will) has complied with the applicable state deadline by timely filing the Will contest, the executor should take several actions to prepare for defending against the Will contest.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) covers employers with 100 or more employees. OSHA announced a rule that companies who have 100 or more employees must ensure that their workforce is fully vaccinated against COVID-19 on or before January 4, 2022, or they must test negative for COVID-19 at least once a week.
The federal government is expected to pass a large infrastructure spending bill in 2021 to fund road and bridge improvement projects. Retail property owners need to keep a careful eye on the construction plans for these projects since they often involve modifying highway access and installing sidewalks. These design changes can have an impact on a retail site.
Beasley. v. Howard is a tale of two musicians fighting over the rights to their band name. 14 F.4th 226 (3d Cir. 2021). In 1969, David Beasley (“Beasley”) founded the Camden, New Jersey-based band “The Ebonys.” Throughout the 1970s, the Ebonys achieved some commercial success and have continued to perform through the decades. In the mid-1990s, William Howard (“Howard”) joined the band, and, in 1997, Beasley obtained a New Jersey state service mark registration for THE EBONYS. After several years of performing together as The Ebonys, Beasley and Howard parted ways, and in 2012, Howard applied for and obtained a federal trademark registration for THE EBONYS. Afterward, Beasley claimed that Howard used the registered trademark to interfere with Beasley’s band and business by preventing him from registering a website domain name containing the words “the Ebonys,” convincing concert venues not to book Beasley, attempting to collect royalties from Beasley’s music, and claiming to be the true founder of The Ebonys.
Courts in the tri-state area are reopening, and eviction trials are proceeding in-person and virtually. A remote eviction trial makes it easier for a landlord to get before a Judge and reclaim their property; however, don’t forget that you are “in court.” Here are a few things that retail and commercial property owners may want to consider when preparing for and attending virtual eviction trials.
As towns and municipalities scrambled to meet the August 22nd deadline to regulate or prohibit marijuana establishments within their borders, a few noticeable trends emerged. As expected, many townships, including Freehold, Morristown, Franklin Lakes, Cherry Hill, Asbury Park, Haddonfield, and Ocean City, prohibited any and all marijuana businesses and operations outright. Others such as Newark, Egg Harbor Township, Hackensack, Fort Lee, Saddle Brook, Cinnaminson, Mount Holly, Collingswood, Bridgeton, Bloomfield, Woodbury, Jersey City, Lambertville, New Brunswick, Red Bank, Rockaway, Rahway, Elizabeth, and Hackettstown have opted to allow marijuana businesses.
The road for the last year and a half has been bumpy, to say the least. The Pandemic, the election, and the supply chain have been challenging. Yet, despite these challenges, the shopping center industry continues to grow. Demand for retail space is surging back to pre-Pandemic levels. Tenants have generally stayed current with rents, working out agreements for abatements and deferrals. Further, despite a record number of bankruptcies in 2020, retail bankruptcy filings have been virtually silent in 2021. With vaccinations slowly inching upward, it appears that life is starting to get back to a new sense of normal (although with a mask in your back pocket).
On Tuesday, October 5, 2021, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation that addressed a blind spot in the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination that actually enabled private employers to discriminate against employees on the basis of their age. The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“NJLAD”), codified at N.J.S.A. 10:5-1, et seq., which in relevant part provides that “all persons shall have the opportunity to obtain employment without discrimination,” protects private employees in New Jersey against disparate treatment, harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and other unequal employment practices on the basis of certain protected characteristics, including their age.