Tuesday, July 22, 2014


In 2011, Congress passed the Unemployment Insurance Integrity Act ("Act") to help maintain the integrity of the nationwide UI program. The Act required each state to implement, by October 2013, legislation to prevent, detect, and reduce the improper payment of UI benefits.

According to the DOL website:

"The U.S. Department of Labor is implementing a number of strategies to help states address Unemployment Insurance (UI) improper payments. Reducing the improper payment rate requires strong federal-state collaboration and intense focus by the entire UI system. The Department announced a call to action to all states to ensure that payment integrity remains a top priority and to foster the development of state specific strategies to prevent improper payments. This call to action reinforced that "everyone owns integrity" across the UI system and provided the expectation that states continuously assess their root causes of improper payments and implement state-specific action plans to reduce their rates."


Monday, July 21, 2014


Assume employee wants to resign without a compelling cause or employee is terminated for misconduct and is thus ineligible for unemployment insurance benefits. For various reasons (long term relationship, family connections, etc.), employer agrees not to contest employee's application for unemployment insurance benefits.

Can this be accomplished without adverse consequences to either employee or employer?

Friday, July 18, 2014


One of my blog posts that has had the most views and comments is from May 28, 2010 and can be found at this link:


It deals with unlicensed contractors and many times I am asked by victims of unlicensed home contractors: what can I do, can I get them arrested?

It is the District Attorney that decides who to prosecute and of course the question is what motivates the DA to take action in one case as opposed to another. Earlier this month, the press reported about a Long Island man sentenced to 3 1/2 to 10 years in prison for stealing more than a half-million dollars from 13 Nassau County residents in a home-improvement scam and for putting up as collateral a property he didn't own. There were two different schemes apparently:

1.  In the first scheme in which he took money for residential and commercial improvements, the unlicensed contractor pleaded guilty to third-degree grand larceny and first-degree scheming to defraud.

2. In the second scheme, he used a property he did not own for collateral in a business deal, viz., he took $392,590 from a Long Island man, asked the victim to invest money into his business and then paid back only a small amount. There he pleaded guilty to second-degree grand larceny, also a felony.

From a reading of the article, it appeared that in the second scheme, involving one man, the defendant wrongfully obtained twice as much money as the first scheme which involved about a dozen different people.

Thursday, July 17, 2014


Modern technology has created a new asset that survives after death - the online accounts, blogs, websites, etc. of a deceased.

The press has recently reported on a proposed law drafted by the Uniform Law Commission. Here is a link to their press release issued yesterday on the proposed Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act:

http://www.uniformlaws.org/NewsDetail.aspx?title=Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act Approved

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


From an email I received from Mark S. Gottlieb CPA, P.C. :


In the words of Abraham Lincoln: "Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser — in fees, expenses, and waste of time. As a peacemaker the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough."

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


There are parents who live in desperate fear that the other parent will abduct their child to another country and that they will never see the child again. There are parents who desperately want to “go home” with their child to their country of origin.

In Matter of Hamad v Rizika 2014 NY Slip Op 03266 Decided on May 7, 2014 Appellate Division, Second Department:

"In October 2010, the Supreme Court awarded the mother custody of the subject child, with visitation to the father. In August 2012, the mother filed a petition to modify the provisions of the order of custody and visitation, among other things, so as to grant the father only supervised visitation with the subject child. The father filed a cross petition seeking expanded visitation. As relevant here, the Supreme Court directed that neither parent could leave the country with the subject child absent a court order, that the father was not to obtain an Egyptian passport for the child, and that the mother was to deliver the child's passport to the court. On appeal, the mother contends that there was no basis for the Supreme Court's directive that she deliver the subject child's passport to the court.

Under the circumstances of this case, the Supreme Court erred in directing the mother to deliver the subject child's passport to the court (see generally Linda R. v Ari Z., 71 AD3d 465, 465-466; Anonymous v Anonymous, 120 AD2d 983, 984; Jin C. v Juliana L., 39 Misc 3d 1201[A], 2013 NY Slip Op 50397[U] [Sup Ct, Kings County]). There is no evidence in the record that the mother posed any threat to remove the subject child from the country without court approval and, therefore, there was no basis for the Supreme Court's directive that she deliver the child's passport to the court."

Monday, July 14, 2014


From a recent email from Cohen Greve Company CPA, P.C.:

Top Five Issues for Business Owners in Divorce

Note the following conclusion:

"From our perspective as forensic accountants, this process could be made far more cost and time effective if the parties were able to set aside their emotions and be more forthcoming, if not to each other, then to their respective legal counsel. Our message to the matrimonial attorneys and their clients is simple: if you can support your claims with documentation, do so. If you can’t, then understand that the process will generate costs and delay the divorce. Is the amount at issue worth the cost of the investigation?"

Read more: http://www.cohengreve.com/top-five-issues-for-business-owners-in-divorce/#ixzz37RMvU6iA