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Why should I get title insurance and pay extra for a market value rider?

When you buy your home you should spend the extra few thousand (?) dollars to get title insurance and a market value rider — even though you are not likely to ever file a title insurance claim. Here’s why. Title insurance is a great business — for the insurance company. It researches the history of ownership […]

When should my condominium get a public adjuster?

The short answer is, when you have a first-party claim and the insurance company is not offering you what you think it should. But not when you have a third-party claim. But what are first-party and third-party claims, you ask? A first-party claim is a claim that will be paid to a party covered by […]

What good is a certificate of insurance?

Not much. If you are an owner entering into a construction contract, the contract will normally require the contractor and the sub-contractors to produce certificates of insurance naming you, the owner, as an additional insured party. However, a certificate of insurance is issued by an agent and doesn’t bind the insurance company, at worst. And doesn’t […]

Why is the Dept. of Buildings after you about your 1099 workers?

The IRS is not after you to change your 1099 workers to W-2 employees. The state of New York is not after you to provide unemployment insurance. Why is the New York City Dept. of Buildings after you about using 1099 workers instead of W2 employees? Because you’re a licensed electrician. And the New York […]

The sponsor is not your daddy.

The sponsor of your condominium is your business partner. He (and let’s be honest, most of them are men) is the developer who built or renovated the condominium building and sold you your unit. As long as he controls the board of managers, he controls the business decisions of the condominium. Even when he no […]

Is a condominium a corporation?

No. It’s an unincorporated association. It can get an employer identification number, pay taxes, open bank accounts and enter into contracts. The condominium board of managers can sue “on behalf of two or more of the unit owners…with respect to any cause of action relating to the common elements or more than one unit.” NY […]

Should I Go to Law School?

{Time to Read: 3 minutes} Don’t do it unless you think you’ll enjoy it, and then don’t do it unless you can afford it. “Should I go to law school?” is a common question. When occasionally asked my opinion, I have a standard answer: “Not unless you’ve worked in a law office.” I don’t care […]

Negotiations Commence upon Signing of the Contract

An agreement depends more than anything upon the honor of the parties. The title of this article expresses how some people approach contracts: It’s more important to tie up the other party entering the agreement than it is to worry about whether, in fact, I have to honor the terms – because once I have […]

What’s Wrong with a Special Interest Campaign?

The New York Times recently published an article about claims of wage theft. The article concluded with two quotes from employer representatives: “This is a classic special interest campaign by the labor unions.” “These are opportunist, opportunistic lawsuits.” To which I say,“So what?” So what if these individuals are protesting and forming special interest campaigns? […]

When Do the Rules Allow You to Think Outside the Box?

You want a lawyer who can figure out when the rules allow you to think outside the box. There’s a public radio show called Radiolab. They did a feature on a game show in England called “Golden Balls,” which had an episode that was put on YouTube and went viral. The long-running show is an […]