April 2014

A major tax benefit for persons paying alimony is that such payments are tax deductible to the payer, however, as the recently decided case of Johnson v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue demonstrates; there are serious pitfalls if an alimony termination event is linked to a “child achievement milestone.”
Continue Reading Beware of the “Child Support” Trap When Negotiation Alimony

Countless people have been affected by the harsh economic times of the past several years. Many were unable to meet their financial obligations and stopped paying their bills which ultimately resulted in diminished credit ratings. In turn, job prospects also diminished. Pre-employment credit screenings are often standard practice and an unacceptable credit rating can be a bar to potential employment opportunities.
Continue Reading New Legislation Seeks to Curtail Pre-Employment Credit Checks

Generally, employers in New Jersey have an obligation to ensure that the workplace they are providing is harassment-free. However, like allegations of work-related discrimination, harassment is unlawful in New Jersey only if it is based on an employee being a member of a legally “protected class.”
Continue Reading Harassment and the Hostile Work Place Environment Claim that Follows

The one certainty of litigation, regardless of the type, is that is it costly to all parties who participate in it. When contesting or defending a Will in the context of probate litigation, there are exceptions wherein the Estate may pay counsel fees for the defense of the Will, the party prosecuting to invalidate a Will, or for both parties. This issue is important for all parties to consider in deciding whether to contest a Will or to vigorously defend one.
Continue Reading The Costs of Challenging A Will

Stark & Stark Shareholder Robert F. Morris, member of the firm’s Trusts & Estates Group, will be hosting the seminar “Prepare for Tomorrow by Acting Today: Tips for Ensuring a Successful Estate Plan”. This free seminar will be held on Wednesday, April 30, 2014 from 7:00 – 8:00 PM at the Princeton Elks Lodge #2129 in Blawenbeurg, New Jersey.
Continue Reading Free Estate Planning Seminar: Prepare for Tomorrow by Acting Today

There’s a big demand for multi-family and mixed use properties in New Jersey. Savvy owners have an opportunity to provide valuable housing and make a good profit at the same time. However, New Jersey has very strict residential leasing laws. If you violate these laws when leasing and operating properties, you can lose money and suffer civil, as well as possible criminal penalties. The good news is that adept counsel can help you to comply with these residential laws.
Continue Reading Residential Issues to Avoid for Multi-Family and Mixed-Use Properties: Are You Violating Leasing Laws?

In one of my recent blog posts, I wrote on the subject of grandparent visitation and particularly on the case of R.K v. D.L. decided earlier this year. Since that decision, a New Jersey appellate court has further opined on this important topic. Any grandparent seeking visitation or any parent opposing such a request should recognize the unique nature of such cases and seek legal counsel who is knowledgeable in this specialized area of family law.
Continue Reading The State of Grandparent Visitation: A Brief Update

Stark & Stark attorney Stefanie Colella-Walsh, member of the firm’s Litigation, Insurance Coverage & Liability, Intellectual Property and Mass Torts Groups, was quoted in the New Jersey Law Journal article, “NuvaRing Global Settlement Near as Plaintiffs Close to Opt-In Threshold,” published on April 10, 2014.

The article discusses the $100 million settlement

Employee manuals are a very useful tool for both employers and employees. The manuals are meant to provide guidance to employees about how the company runs, what the employer’s expectations are and how certain situations should be handled. They can quickly and effectively provide employees with answers to many commonly asked questions. This creates a certain level of clarity for both parties and aids in the avoidance of misunderstandings regarding the company’s policies.
Continue Reading Avoiding Ambiguities in Employee Manual Arbitration Provisions