Friday, November 30, 2012


The Appellate Division, Fourth Judicial Department earlier this month released a decision in Palermo v Palermo 2012 NY Slip Op 07528 in which it affirmed a trial court decision which held that there is no right to litigate the allegation that a marriage has irretrievably broken down under New York’s no-fault divorce law.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


From the Nassau County Bar Association:

""WE CARE", the charitable arm of the Nassau County Bar Association, has made a generous donation to provide assistance to members of the legal community of Nassau County suffering from Super Storm Sandy.

Administrative Judge Marano has formed a committee comprised of representatives of various segments of the Nassau County legal community who have donated funds, including the Association, COBANC, FOCO and the CSEA. The committee, chaired by former NCBA President Christopher McGrath, is working to gather information regarding the immediate needs of the legal community.

Any members of the Nassau County legal community requiring assistance to meet their immediate needs as a result of the impact of Super Storm Sandy should mail, email or fax the following information to:

Nassau County Bar Association
Attention: Super Storm Sandy Committee
15th and West Street
Mineola, NY 11501
Fax: (516) 747-4147

Please include your name, work location, the nature of your loss, and whether such damages may be covered under insurance or FEMA. The information will be kept confidential.

In the event you were fortunate enough to have survived the storm relatively damage free, please consider a donation to WE CARE to assist in this worthy endeavor. We can help make a difference."

P.S. For myself, in the event of future outages, I just had a transfer switch installed for a generator.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Many homes in Nassau and other suburban areas are what is commonly known as high ranch or split-level. Is the first floor considered a basement? Superstorm Sandy and insurance issues are discussed in the following article from Newsday:

In Oceanside, painful insurance lesson on basements

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


This question came up frequently yesterday when I volunteered at the NCBA Sandy Clinic and is addressed at the FEMA FAQ website:

"Will FEMA provide additional rental assistance beyond the initial assistance period if I still cannot return to my home?
Rental assistance can be provided for a period of up to 18 months while you are working to accomplish your permanent housing plan. To make an initial request for additional rental assistance, send a letter explaining your continuing need and provide rent receipts or other documents to show you have exhausted your initial rental assistance."

Monday, November 26, 2012


I will be a volunteer lawyer today at the second free legal clinic for all Nassau County Residents affected by Superstorm Sandy at the Nassau County Bar Association.

For more information, see this flyer:


Tuesday, November 20, 2012


NOTE: federal disaster unemployment assistance (DUA) is now available for residents of many NY counties who lost their job or income due to Hurricane Sandy. Anyone unemployed as a result of Hurricane Sandy can submit a claim to the Department of Labor. The criterion for collecting disaster assistance is broader than for collecting regular unemployment benefits. Specifically, an individual can collect disaster assistance in any of the following cases:
  • Injured in the disaster and unable to work, whether the person is an employee or self-employed.
  • Workplace is damaged, or destroyed, or the person cannot work because of the disaster.
  • Transportation to work is not available because of the disaster.
  • Cannot get to work because they must travel through the affected area, which is impossible due to disaster.
  • Scheduled to begin working, but cannot because of the disaster.
  • Derived most of income from areas affected by the disaster, and business is closed or inoperable because of the disaster.
  • Is not otherwise eligible for regular unemployment benefits.
However, this list is not exhaustive, and if someone is uncertain about eligibility, he or she is encouraged to apply. All applicants will be required to submit wage information and documentation supporting their application.

Note the emphasis supplied...this assistance also covers the self employed. Last week, Governor Cuomo announced an extension from December 3, 2012 to February 4, 2013 to apply for DUA. Claimants have up to 90 days to submit proof of employment or self-employment and will be provided an IRS link to expedite the retrieval of lost or destroyed tax documents.

Monday, November 19, 2012


I will be a volunteer lawyer today at a free legal clinic for all Nassau County Residents affected by Superstorm Sandy at the Nassau County Bar Association.

For more information, see this flyer:


Friday, November 16, 2012


Yesterday , the New York State Bar Association presented a free CLE webcast on Providing Legal Assistance to Persons Affected by Superstorm Sandy from 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. The program was streamed live from the State Bar Center in Albany.

One of the first issues discussed was Insurance Considerations: Homeowners Insurance, Flood Insurance, Renters Insurance, etc. And today in Newsday, I note the following regarding how the winds were still powerful enough to trigger higher insurance deductibles that could cost homeowners thousands of dollars:

Insurance deductibles snag in Sandy winds - NEWSDAY

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Today on Thursday, November 15, 4-7 p.m. there will be a free CLE training webcast that will be streamed live from the New York State Bar Association in Albany. This special program will provide an overview of state and federal relief programs, including FEMA, American Red Cross, US Coast Guard, IRS, US SBA, NYS departments of labor and financial services, and disaster legal services. In addition, the program will cover legal considerations for insurance, housing and landlord/tenant issues, and advising clients in disaster relief situations. Participants may earn 2.0 MCLE credits in professional practice and skills. (This program is also available online, and an archived version of the program will be available online after the program.)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


The Department of Labor states in Section 1100 of the Electronic Interpretation Service Index:

"Notwithstanding the broad concept of misconduct now applied, there remain circumstances which would not justify the imposition of a disqualification for misconduct, including:

Mere inefficiency,

Inadequate performance as the result of inability or incapacity,

Inadvertence or ordinary negligence in isolated instances,

Good faith errors in judgement or discretion.

On the other hand, even inadequate performance may be misconduct if it can be shown that it resulted from gross negligence, indifference, or recurrent carelessness."

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


I have a hearing today.

The issue - when does poor work performance constitute misconduct.

Monday, November 12, 2012


From Wiki:

"U.S. Representative Ed Rees from Emporia, Kansas, presented a bill establishing the holiday through Congress. President Dwight Eisenhower, also from Kansas, signed the bill into law on May 26, 1954.

Congress amended this act on June 1, 1954, replacing "Armistice" with "Veterans," and it has been known as Veterans Day since.


Although originally scheduled for celebration on November 11 of every year, starting in 1971 in accordance with the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, Veterans Day was moved to the fourth Monday of October. In 1978, it was moved back to its original celebration on November 11. While the legal holiday remains on November 11, if that date happens to be on a Saturday or Sunday, then organizations that formally observe the holiday will normally be closed on the adjacent Friday or Monday, respectively."

Friday, November 9, 2012


Regarding matrimonial actions in Nassau County:


 I hope you have all been able to get through the last week or so. Many of us were shut down as was the Matrimonial Center. This-- on top of addressing our needs at home as our personal life reminds us of that which is also important to us and which it seems most clients do not appreciate. 

The Governor has issued an executive order addressing suspension of certain statutes of limitations. See the link as follows from the NYSBA site :

As we continue to recover, let us give our cooperation to each other and to our judges and court personnel to get things civilly back on track. We all need to get up and running with client pressure abounding and the courts will no doubt be more stressed for time then even before. 

I addition, Justices Marano and Zimmerman have been working with our judges, clerks, officers and other court personnel to address the additional problems created by the storm and its aftermath. The following is being undertaken on an emergency basis:

Until telephone service has been restored to the Mat Center, unless a judge receives a request for an adjournment by fax or by an appearance, the court will adjourn cases which were scheduled for last week and for this week for approximately 30 days. It is Justice Zimmerman's preference that the one phone line that has been made available for the public be used for emergencies and not for adjournments. Any request for adjournments for a specific date will be granted by the parts for the date requested. At this time, no written orders will be coming from the parts with the new dates. The court emphasizes that these are emergency procedures which are subject to change. These procedures also apply to trials and hearings.

I would again thank our bench and bar for all of the anticipated patience and cooperation during this difficult time.

Lee Rosenberg
Saltzman Chetkof & Rosenberg LLP
300 Garden City Plaza, Ste. 130
Garden City, NY 11530

Fellow, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
Chair, Nassau County Bar Association Matrimonial Law Committee"


Thursday, November 8, 2012


Yesterday, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced extensions provided by the State Liquor Authority and the Department of Environmental Conservation for license renewals and permit applications for businesses in impacted regions of the state. In addition, the state agencies are providing certain waivers for fees and extensions for payments.

See this link:

Governor Cuomo Announces Extensions for State Permits, License Renewals and Payments for Businesses Impacted by Hurricane Sandy

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


The Nassau County Bar Association announced the following:

"Third, we are in the process of planning a series of Superstorm Sandy Clinics for Nassau residents adversely affected by recent events. Attorney volunteers are sought in the areas of:

•Homeowner, flood, property damage and automobile insurance claims

•FEMA assistance and grants

•Debt deferral


•Consumer Protection issues (contractors, etc.)


•Assistance in dealing with lenders to avoid foreclosure

•Legal assistance for health/disability/personal injury/post-traumatic stress issues

•Pro bono ADR for neighbor disputes arising from the storm.

SNYSBA is also administering a hotline with the concept that local bar associations and lawyer referral services will be in a better position to assist those in need. We intend to participate in this effort and need your assistance. Please volunteer your time by contacting NCBA or emailing and we will provide you with information about upcoming clinics. Training will be available for various services outside ordinary areas of practice. If your current situation does not permit volunteering at this time but you wish to volunteer in the future, email us now and give us an approximation as to when you will be available. This disaster is not going away tomorrow. We anticipate that the need for our pro bono services will exist well into next year and beyond."

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


One hears many rumors, etc. as to what relief is available. The website of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo appears to me to have the best links to resources, information, etc.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Monday, November 5, 2012


From FEMA, here is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Obama’s major disaster declaration issued for New York: Federal Aid Programs for State of New York Disaster Recovery

Friday, November 2, 2012


Governor Cuomo issued a "Temporary Suspension and Modification of Statutory Provisions Establishing Time Limitations on Actions and Time in Which to Take an Appeal".

For more information, see this Executive Order:

Executive Order 52 - Temporary Suspension and Modification of Statutory Provisions Establishing Time Limitations on Actions and Time in Which to Take an Appeal

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Although I am not a specialist in insurance law, I pass this along as I have received inquires as to what damages from Sandy are covered by homeowners insurance. The following is as reported on NBC New York: 

"New York homeowners will not have to pay potentially debilitating hurricane deductibles on insurance claims stemming from damage caused by Sandy, Gov. Cuomo said Thursday.

The New York State Department of Financial Services has informed the insurance industry that hurricane deductibles should not be triggered for the Superstorm, which will prevent coastal homeowners from having to pay deductibles in their insurance policies, Cuomo said.

Many homeowners’ insurance policies for homes located in downstate areas contain hurricane deductibles based on a percentage of a property’s insured value. These deductibles typically range from one percent of a home’s insured value to five percent. So for example, with a five percent deductible on a home insured for $300,000, the homeowner would have to pay for the first $15,000 of damage.

Superintendent of Financial Services Benjamin Lawsky said the state told the insurance industry that deductibles weren't triggered because Sandy did not sustain hurricane-force winds when it hit New York.

"We will be working with insurers to help them respond as quickly as possible to homeowners who need to file claims. And we will be sending our mobile command center to hard hit areas to help consumers with insurance questions and problems,” Lasky said.

DFS urges homeowners who experienced property losses to file insurance claims with their insurers as soon as possible after losses occur. It is important to provide policy numbers and all information relevant to the loss. To best document losses, homeowners should take photos or videos showing the extent of the losses before cleaning up damage.

Homeowners should make only necessary repairs to prevent further damage to property, like covering broken windows. Permanent repairs should not be made until after insurers have inspected losses. Damaged personal property should be kept until after an insurance settlement has been reached.

Homeowners are also reminded that flood damage is only covered by flood insurance, which is a federal program administered by FEMA. Homeowners who have flood insurance and have flood damage should make claims through that insurance.

DFS will be sending its mobile command center to hard hit areas to help consumers with insurance questions and problems.

DFS has activated a Disaster Hotline to answer consumer questions and help with problems. The Disaster Hotline number is 800-339-1759. It is staffed Monday – Friday from 8 AM – 8 PM and Saturday - Sunday from 9 AM – 4 PM.

Homeowners unable to resolve disputes with insurers can file complaints at"