Last week, the NFL sought to end the political controversy surrounding some players kneeling during the national anthem by enacting a policy fining teams if players kneeled during the Star-Spangled Banner.

Under the new policy, players could stay in the locker room while the national anthem of the United States is played. Shortly, thereafter, players wrongfully asserted that the new policy violates their First Amendment protection of “freedom of speech.”

The problem with the players’ constitutional argument is that the Constitution only applies to “State actors.” The state action requirement stems from the fact that the constitutional amendments protecting individual rights are mostly phrased as prohibitions against government action. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution sets forth, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press, or the right of the people peacefully to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” The Fourteenth Amendment, which was ratified after the Civil War, made most of the liberties set forth in the Bill of Rights applicable to the States.

Continue Reading NFL’s Anti-Kneeling Policy Does Not Violate Players’ Constitutional or Employment Rights

In State, County, or Municipal projects, payment bonds are typically required of the general contractor, as the commercial Construction Lien Law is inapplicable to these projects. Copies of the payment bond are always provided to the relevant government agency, as well as to all direct subcontractors or suppliers with whom the general contractor has directly contracted.

Continue Reading Required Notification to Be Beneficiary Under a Payment Bond

Whether you are a general contractor or a subcontractor, you have probably come across a pay when paid clause within a subcontract or general contract. The idea of the clause is that the contractor or subcontractor would not be responsible for payment to a lower-tier contractor unless and until it has received payment pursuant to its contract with an upper-tier contractor or owner. While this is a good idea, the Courts have often found such provisions to be unenforceable.

Continue Reading Pay When Paid Clauses in Construction Contracts

In general, a contractor, subcontractor, or supplier is entitled to file a construction lien on a commercial project provided that the lien is filed within 90 days of the last date the entity provided materials or services with regard to the subject project. There are certain requirements, however, that must be met prior to being able to file a construction lien.

The first requirement is Continue Reading Your Right to File a Construction Lien on a Commercial Project

At times, it may become necessary to amend a construction lien claim after if it is initially filed. The relevant statutory authority which addresses this issue is codified by N.J.S.A. 2A:44A-11. In general, this section provides that a lien claim may be amended for any appropriate reason, including but not limited to, correcting inaccuracies in the lien claim or errors in the original form, or revising the amount claimed in the lien claim. Continue Reading Amending a Construction Lien Claim

In the United States, the general rule about legal fees is that each party to a lawsuit pays his or her own fees. However, like any rule, there are exceptions. In the event a contract specifically provides for the payment of legal fees, or a statute allows the recovery of legal fees, the prevailing party may apply to the court for reimbursement. There is no statute in New Jersey that allows recovery of legal fees for a successful tax appeal. The tenant may only recover the fees from a landlord if the lease expressly provides for such a recovery, or if the landlord separately agrees to pay them. As the parties learned in Crosspoint Developers v. Wegmans Food Markets, the express terms of the lease can lead to unforeseen results.

Lowes, as a tenant in a retail shopping center, filed a tax appeal and was successful in getting a reduction in the assessment. Since the appeal involved an entire retail center, all tenants received the benefit of Lowe’s efforts through a reduction in their pro rata shares of taxes.

Continue Reading Tenant’s Right to Legal Fees in a Successful Tax Appeal

As the owner of a parcel of property, you might someday be faced with a scenario wherein a construction lien filed by a contractor who performed work for you was either improperly filed, or is simply invalid on its face. The issue becomes what is the proper way to remove and/or discharge this construction lien so that the property is no longer encumbered.

Continue Reading Removing an Invalid Construction Lien

For those unaware, after a Lower Court makes a final decision in a family court case, either party has a right to appeal that decision to the Appellate Court. A Notice of Appeal must be filed, along with any other relevant documents, within 45 days of the date of the entry of the Judgment.

The Appeal is based on the record and no new information is to be transmitted to the Appellate Division, and no testimony will be heard. The Appellate judges will review the underlying Order or Judgment, the transcript of the proceeding in the Lower Court (a typewritten volume which includes everything that was said in the courtroom by the attorneys, parties, other witnesses, and the judge), and the briefs submitted by the attorneys in the case arguing their client’s positions.

Continue Reading Appeals of Family Court Judgments