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N.Y. HERO Act – NYSDOL Publishes Airborne Infectious Disease Prevention Standards and Safety Policy Templates for Various Industries

July 08, 2021
What Is It? The New York Health and Essential Rights Act ("NY HERO Act"), enacted in May 2021, requires employers to establish new health and safety measures regarding airborne infectious diseases. The Act also gives the New York State Department of Labor ("NYSDOL") authority to develop minimum standards for employers to follow to help prevent Read More »

LEGAL ALERT: Prevailing Wage Increase for Highly Skilled Non-Immigrant and Immigrant Workers is Delayed

May 26, 2021
The Department of Labor ("DOL") delayed until November 2022 the effective date of the Trump Administration's rule titled "Strengthening Wage Protections for the Temporary and Permanent Employment of Certain Immigrants and Non-Immigrants in the United States" (the "Prevailing Wage Rule" or "Rule") which significantly raised the minimum wage employers must pay to highly skilled H-1B, Read More »

The Impact of New York’s Legalization of Recreational Marijuana Use on State Labor Laws

April 15, 2021
On March 31, 2021, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (the "Act") into law. The law makes New York the 15th state to legalize recreational marijuana. The Act itself puts forth a sweeping regulatory scheme and establishes the Office of Cannabis Management ("OCM") to implement and enforce the Act's provisions. The Act Read More »

Ryan Suser Wins On Appeal

March 23, 2021
Ryan S. Suser, a Member and Litigation Attorney, recently won an appeal before the New York State Appellate Division for the Third Department.  The win affirms a decision favoring Ryan's client.  It allows the sale of an interest in vacation property over another party's objection.  The question before the Court was whether the property's owner Read More »

FY2022 H-1B Online Registration Starts on March 9, 2021

February 10, 2021
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced that employers may submit their cap-subject H-1B online registration forms beginning Tuesday, March 9, 2021 at noon Eastern Time and continuing through Thursday, March 25, 2021 at noon Eastern Time. Employers will need to register and pay an associated $10 fee for each H-1B electronic registration. USCIS will conduct a Read More »

IRS Re-Extends Many Deadlines for Qualified Opportunity Funds

February 08, 2021
Recently released IRS Notice 2021-10, provides additional relief for "qualified opportunity funds" ("QOFs"), their investors and "qualified opportunity zone businesses" extending many of the previously extended deadlines due to the Coronavirus. Previously, the IRS extended the 180-day deadline for taxpayers to invest eligible capital gains into a QOF to July 15, 2020 ( https://bhlawpllc.com/publication/irs-extends-deadline-to-invest-in-a-qualified-opportunity-fund/ ) and also extended Read More »

Coming Soon: Many New and Existing Corporations, LLCs and Similar Entities Must Report Owners’ Personal Information to U.S. Treasury Department

January 21, 2021
At the start of the new year, the National Defense Authorization Act ("NDAA") was enacted into law and included the Corporate Transparency Act ("CTA"). The CTA subjects individuals who own, or apply to form, businesses organized as corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships or similar entities to heightened reporting to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network ("FinCEN") Read More »

USCIS Publishes Final Rule Creating a Wage-Based Selection Process for H-1Bs

January 11, 2021
On January 8, 2021, USCIS published a final rule (the “Rule“) creating a wage-based selection process for new cap-subject H-1B petitions titled Modification of Registration Requirement for Petitioners Seeking To File Cap-Subject H-1B Petitions which is scheduled to take effect on March 9, 2021, before this year’s H-1B lottery.  The Rule gives priority to the petitions offering Read More »

U.S. District Court Sets Aside the DHS and DOL Wage Rules

December 07, 2020
The U.S. District Court in California has set aside the DOL interim final rule, Strengthening Wage Protections for the Temporary and Permanent Employment of Certain Aliens in the United States, significantly increasing the prevailing wages to be paid to certain temporary and permanent foreign workers (“DOL Rule”) and the DHS interim final rule, Strengthening the H-1B Nonimmigrant Read More »

New DOL and DHS Rules Significantly Impact H-1B Program

November 02, 2020
On October 8, 2020, the Department of Labor ("DOL") and Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") published new rules that will have a considerable impact on the H-1B visa program. The DOL rule substantially modifies and increases prevailing wages payable to foreign workers and limits the H-1B program to the most highly paid professionals, regardless of Read More »

New York Paid Sick Leave Legislation

September 14, 2020
Following New York's enactment of temporary COVID-19 emergency paid sick leave benefits in March, New York enacted permanent paid sick leave legislation on April 3, 2020. Governor Cuomo signed the State Budget (Senate Bill S7506B) into law, which includes a provision that amends the New York Labor Law to require employers to provide paid sick Read More »

Ryan Suser Wins Motion to Vacate

September 11, 2020
Ryan S. Suser, a Member and Litigation Attorney, obtained a decision vacating a court's prior order in the Onondaga County Family Court.  The order was previously entered on default.  Arguing that the default was improperly granted, and after filing an objection from an adverse finding by a trial Referee, Ryan was able to have the Read More »

NY budget crisis puts critical, free legal help at risk (Commentary)

August 04, 2020
As posted on Syracuse.com - Aug 03, 8:00 AMhttps://www.syracuse.com/opinion/2020/08/ny-budget-crisis-puts-critical-free-legal-help-at-risk-commentary.html This commentary was submitted by Susan Katzoff, president of the board of directors of the Volunteer Lawyers Project of Onondaga County Inc., on behalf of board members Laurence Bousquet, Sophie Dagenais, Peter Dunn, Anthony Gigliotti, Brittany Hannah, Palmer Harvey, Mitchell Katz, Michael Klein, Brian LaClair, Emilee Lawson Hatch, George Lowe, Mary Miner, Read More »

Ryan Suser Defeats Motion for Summary Judgement

July 31, 2020
Ryan S. Suser, a Member and Litigation Attorney, recently defeated a motion for summary judgment before the Cayuga County Supreme Court.  His clients are pursuing a case against a local Town alleging, among other things, that the Town inappropriately encroached on their property in constructing a local road.  The lawsuit seeks to return the property Read More »

Aging Infrastructure and Unemployment: The Erie Canal and WPA

July 21, 2020
Public Finance Attorney Jean S. Everett Deteriorating infrastructure and job creation are costly problems that have long plagued many communities.   Local governments in New York State faced shrinking revenues and increasing demands for public works projects and services prior to the onset of the pandemic and the outcry for policing reform and equity.  Loss of Read More »

Financial Pitfalls When Navigating a Divorce During a Period of Financial Turbulence – FAQs

May 04, 2020
A centerpiece of divorce settlement is the equitable division of the assets and debts of the marriage and the proper allocation of cash flow through child support and a period of spousal maintenance.  In a time where the economy, and perhaps even one's  own career outlook face instability, caution must be used to avoid self-inflicted pain Read More »

Ryan Suser Defeats Motion For Summary Judgment

April 01, 2020
Ryan Suser, a Member and Litigation Attorney in the firm’s Trust's and Estates / Elder Law Practice, defeated a motion for summary judgment against several individual clients.  The case is brought by a nursing home against several relatives of the nursing home's resident, who recently passed away.  Among other things, the complaint seeks to "claw Read More »

LEGAL ALERT: COVID-19: UPDATE – IRS Extends Filing Deadline for 2019 Individual and Corporate Tax Returns

March 23, 2020
The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service announced that the filing due date for federal income tax returns would be automatically extended to July 15, 2020.  The extension applies to "all taxpayers" including: individuals, corporations, trusts and estates, and other filers.  Additionally, payment of income tax due has also been extended to July 15, Read More »

Winery and Vineyard Succession Planning

March 19, 2020
While the vineyard is still quiet and contemplating the end of winter, now is the perfect time for New York wineries to be considering succession planning. Are there family members ready for more responsibility? Key employees you want to reward going into the next harvest season and beyond? Are you at an age where Medicaid Read More »

COVID-19: Reaching Bondholders and the Market with Disclosure

March 17, 2020
Municipal and governmental issuers and conduit borrowers (such as hospitals, colleges, universities and other nonprofits) are taking steps to address and mitigate direct and indirect risks and costs posed by COVID-19.  Issuers and conduit borrowers should add continuing disclosure obligations to their growing checklist of items to address with respect to COVID-19 and its impacts Read More »

Coronavirus: Employment Legal Issues for Employers

March 15, 2020
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic as the Coronavirus rapidly spreads around the world.  Employers are becoming increasingly concerned about their rights and obligations with respect to maintaining a safe workplace for their employees and complying with various federal and state labor and employment laws.  This alert will provide Read More »

USCIS Officially Confirms New H-1B Registration Process

February 11, 2020
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS") announced that it is implementing the electronic registration system for employers seeking to file FY2021 H-1B cap subject petitions. Employers are required to register and pay an associated $10 fee for each electronic registration. We can assist you with the registration and submission of the necessary information for Read More »

Alcoholic Beverage Excise Tax Credits Extended Through 2020

February 11, 2020
In late December 2019, President Trump signed into law a wide-ranging appropriations bill which extended several temporary excise tax credits created by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act ("Jobs Act") that were due to expire at the end of 2019.  The tax credits, which correspond to an excise tax increase passed in 1990, have Read More »

Opportunity Zones Series – Better Fit: Actual Business Practices and 10-Year Gain Exclusion on Asset Sales

February 10, 2020
This alert is the third part of the Bousquet Holstein OZ Series that highlights topics in the Opportunity Zones final regulations published in the Federal Register on January 13, 2020. Under the Opportunity Zones program, a taxpayer who has held a qualifying investment in a Qualified Opportunity Fund for at least 10 years may elect Read More »

What’s in a Name? Five Tips to Build and Protect Your Winery’s Brand

February 08, 2020
Brand.  What does it mean in the wine industry?  Everything.  An overstatement?  Maybe.  But not by much. A winery's brand tells the story of its wine, from the vineyard to the bottle to the table, and builds connections with consumers that form the very foundation of the enterprise.  It is front-and-center on every single bottle.  It Read More »

Opportunity Zones Series: Gains Eligible for OZ Tax Incentives Expand: Section 1231 Property

January 29, 2020
This alert is part of the OZ Series that highlights topics in the Opportunity Zones final regulations published in the Federal Register on January 13, 2020.  One of the changes in the final regulations makes it easier for taxpayers with capital gains from the sale of business property to receive tax benefits under the Opportunity Read More »

Opportunity Zones Series: Final Regulations Enhance Tax Incentive Program

January 22, 2020
In December 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 added the Opportunity Zones program to the Internal Revenue Code. The Opportunity Zones program provides for the deferral and reduction of capital gains tax and possible permanent exclusion from federal income taxation of eligible capital gains. Taxpayers realize these benefits by investing in Qualified Read More »

NY Discrimination Law Expanded to Protect Employee’s Reproductive Health Decisions: Update to Employee Handbooks Required

January 13, 2020
New York has expanded its protection of employee rights to include an employee's (and their dependent's) right to make decisions concerning their reproductive health.  Specifically, the law prohibits an employer from taking any discriminatory or retaliatory action against an employee because the employee or an employee's dependent has made any health decision relating to their Read More »

New Laws Benefit New York State Veterans and Active Duty Military

January 08, 2020
In November 2019, Governor Cuomo signed several bills into law that benefit veterans and active duty military in the areas of eligibility for benefits, real property tax exemption, education, employment, and others. Chapter 481 of the Laws of 2019 directs the New York State Division of Veterans’ Services (DVS) to maintain a Discharge Upgrade Advisory Read More »

Advertising and Marketing Rules of the Road: Avoiding Pitfalls, Protecting Your Brand, and Making Trouble for Your Competitors

December 16, 2019
From small family-owned businesses to large global corporations, a company's ability to execute an effective advertising and marketing campaign is critical to building a recognizable, durable brand and driving sales.  But what if your ads land your company in legal trouble, resulting in a court order enjoining your ad campaign and requiring you to pay Read More »

Applying for an H-1B Visa for Fiscal Year 2021

November 21, 2019
Background The H-1B category is an attractive employment-based option for U.S. employers seeking to hire foreign nationals in specialty occupations. Generally, in order to qualify for an H-1B visa, the employer must demonstrate to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (the "USCIS") that the following requirements are met: the job is a specialty occupation, Read More »

Wage and Salary History Inquiries Prohibited in New York

October 03, 2019
As part of Governor Cuomo's efforts to expand New York's anti-discrimination laws, the Governor signed new legislation which will effectively prohibit employers from making wage or salary inquiries with job applicants and employees.  The new law takes effect on January 6, 2020 and provides that no employer shall: a. Rely on the wage or salary Read More »

Ryan Suser Perfects Appeal

September 10, 2019
Ryan Suser, a Member and Litigation Attorney in the firm’s Family Law / LGBTQ practice, has perfected an appeal in the Appellate Division for the Fourth Department.  The appeal, which will be argued on November 20, 2019 in Rochester, concerns the ability of a "non-biological" parent to obtain standing to seek visitation or custody with Read More »

Ryan Suser Wins at Trial

August 02, 2019
Ryan Suser, a Member and Litigation Attorney in the firm's Trusts and Estates Practice, has obtained a decision in his client's favor following two days of trial in the Onondaga County Surrogate's Court.  Suser successfully proved that the opposing party had "abandoned" the decedent under the New York State EPTL, resulting in forfeiture of that Read More »

Trade War Tariffs: How Can a U.S. Importer Respond?

June 14, 2019
In mid-May, the United States Trade Representative ("USTR") published a proposal to impose additional 25% tariffs on approximately $300 billion worth of goods imported from China ("List 4"), pursuant to Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. List 4 covers 3,805 full and partial tariff subheadings ranging from agricultural products to manufactured goods. A Read More »

Ryan Suser Obtains Dismissal of Intra-State Custody Matter

June 04, 2019
Ryan Suser, a Member and Litigation Attorney in the firm's Matrimonial and Family Law Practice, obtained a dismissal of a matter involving the intra-state movement of children.  Following a trial and appeal in the United Kingdom, the father had relocated to California and filed a new custody matter there.  The mother, in possession of the Read More »

Ryan Suser Obtains Dismissal After Trial

June 04, 2019
Ryan Suser, a Member and Litigation Attorney in the firm's Matrimonial and Family Law Practice, obtained a dismissal of a child custody enforcement matter after two days of trial in the Onondaga County Family Court.  At issue, among other things, was whether an alleged violation of a prior order by Suser's client warranted a change Read More »

Fiscal Year 2020 NY State Budget – Real Estate Highlights

April 14, 2019
On March 31, 2019, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the State Legislature passed the $175 billion FY 2020 budget (the "Budget") for the state of New York. Real estate related highlights from the budget include: Permanent 2% Property Tax Cap: The inclusion of the permanent 2% property tax cap in the FY 2020 Budget will Read More »

Don’t Let Your Company’s Blue Skies Turn Gray: 5 Steps to Protect Your Trademark Rights and Combat Gray Market Sales

April 12, 2019
Gray market goods can pose a significant threat to a U.S. company's reputation, customer goodwill, revenues, and, ultimately, profits.  The risk is particularly acute for brand owners who sell high-end products, such as industrial and commercial machinery, cars, consumer electronics, jewelry, perfume, and designer clothing.  For these and other companies, an awareness of gray goods Read More »

Ryan Suser Obtains Emergency Stay Involving Intra-State Movement of Children

April 08, 2019
Ryan Suser,  a Member and Litigation Attorney in the firm's Matrimonial and Family Law Practice, successfully obtained an emergency stay in a matter involving the intra-state movement of children.  Suser's client relocated with the children to another state, alleging domestic violence.  A New York Family Court ordered that she return to this State.  Suser brought Read More »

DEADLINE APPROACHING TO CHALLENGE/GRIEVE REAL PROPERTY ASSESSMENTS

March 05, 2019
Bousquet Holstein’s real estate and litigation attorneys represent property owners in challenges to municipal assessments of real property, which is known as tax certiorari. If you or your business own real property that the municipality has assessed too high, is assessing unequally to other properties, or is entitled to an exemption that the municipality incorrectly Read More »

Department of Labor Abandons “80/20 Rule” For Tipped Employees

February 25, 2019
On February 15, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor ("DOL") issued a Field Assistance Bulletin abandoning application of the 80/20 rule in enforcement proceedings involving tipped employees.  The Bulletin is consistent with an Opinion Letter issued by the DOL in November, 2018 stating that there should be no limit placed on the amount of time Read More »

New Material Events for EMMA Filing By 501(c)(3) Organizations Effective February 27, 2019

February 08, 2019
Compliance with the event notices added to Rule 15c2-12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Rule), by the Securities and Exchange Commission on August 20, 2018, is required starting on February 27, 2019.  501(c)(3) borrowers, municipal issuers and other obligated persons must now file with the Electronic Municipal Market Access system (EMMA), notices of Read More »

The Format of an Expert Letter

January 18, 2019
In last month's alert, we discussed a popular question among many employer-sponsors, namely how many expert letters should be submitted to support a petition. Here is the link to that alert:  http://bhlawpllc.com/publication/expert-letters-how-many-letters-are-enough-for-an-o-1-petition/ In this alert, we are addressing the format of how these letters should be written. The government gives some insights in the regulations about Read More »

New Regulation Streamlining TEFRA Process Effective April 1, 2019

January 08, 2019
The Internal Revenue Service published the final public approval regulation in the Federal Register on December 31, 2018.  The regulation will apply to bonds issued pursuant to a public approval occurring on or after April 1, 2019. The Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982 (TEFRA) added to the Internal Revenue Code a public Read More »

Expert letters – How many letters are enough for an O-1 Petition?

December 10, 2018
The fifth criterion for O-1 classification is what we generally refer to in the industry as "expert letters". Usually sponsors and beneficiaries ask us how many letters are required in order to meet this criterion. Our response is: it is not the quantity but the quality of expert letters that matters. O-1 petitions do not Read More »

SOFR: POSSIBLE LIBOR ALTERNATIVE

October 26, 2018
The Federal Reserve's Alternative Reference Rates Committee recently recommended the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) as an alternative for the London interbank offered rate (LIBOR).  LIBOR is the index rate frequently used in tax-exempt bonds, commercial loans and mortgages and interest rate swaps and other derivatives to establish the interest rates payable by borrowers and Read More »

Client Testimonial

October 05, 2018
I was recently denied approval to travel for some important upcoming meetings in the United States on the Visa Waiver program and thus needed a skilled attorney that fully understood Immigration Law to assist me with overcoming the denial and obtaining a business visa to the United States.  Anna Putintseva and her team assisted me Read More »

October 9, 2018 Deadline for Implementing New Sexual Harassment Law

September 11, 2018
As part of the New York State budget signed by Governor Cuomo earlier this year, sweeping legislative changes were made to strengthen sexual harassment laws.  Two major changes, which become effective October 9, 2018, require employers to adopt a robust sexual harassment prevention policy and provide annual sexual harassment prevention training.  This reform, which was Read More »

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 – Qualified Opportunity Zones

September 04, 2018
Enacted in December 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (the "TCJA") contains a provision that incentivizes long-term investments in economically distressed areas designated as Opportunity Zones ("OZ"). The TCJA added §1400Z to the Internal Revenue Code (the "IRC"), which provides for the deferral of capital gains tax, a step-up in basis, and Read More »

Authorities Budget Office Proposes New Rule Requiring IDAs to Post Documents to Website

September 04, 2018
The Authorities Budget Office ("ABO") has proposed a new rule which will codify Industrial Development Agencies' ("IDAs") existing website posting requirements under Section 859-a of the General Municipal Law ("GML").  The rule will require IDAs to post all policies and forms (both blank and project specific) to their websites.  The ABO notes the proposed rule Read More »

SEC Expands Reporting Obligations of Tax-Exempt Bond Issuers and 501(c)(3)s and Other Tax-Exempt Bond Borrowers

August 22, 2018
The Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") announced on August 20, 2018, the adoption of amendments to Rule 15c2-12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the "Rule") relating to debt and other financial obligations undertaken in a direct placement.  Compliance with the changes will be required 180 days after publication of the amendments in the Federal Register.  Read More »

Will N.Y. Law Banning Non-Disclosure Agreements Eliminate Their Use? UPDATED

August 16, 2018
Governor Cuomo recently signed into law new legislation that will reform New York's sexual harassment laws.  Significantly, the reforms will: Prohibit mandatory arbitration for sexual harassment complaints (except in the case of collective bargaining agreements);Require every employer to adopt sexual harassment policies that meet minimum standards;Require every employer to utilize a sexual harassment prevention training Read More »

Life After Death – New York State Bar Association Journal

June 15, 2018
Reprinted with permission from: New York State Bar Association Journal, May 2018, Vol. 90, No. 4, published by the New York State Bar Association, One Elk Street, Albany, NY 12207. Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) is continually changing the landscape of families and potential heirs. This is both miraculous and, at times, confounding. As modern technology has made posthumously conceived children Read More »

Washington Post Article – “No, you cannot get rid of your tax debt for pennies on the dollar”

May 01, 2018
This article is an excellent reminder that businesses that offer "pennies on the dollar" tax-debt relief offer services that you can do yourself, with the support of experienced counsel.For more information and consultation, please call me at 315.701.6305, or email ppredmore@bhlawpllc.com. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/get-there/wp/2018/05/01/no-you-cannot-get-rid-of-your-tax-debt-for-pennies-on-the-dollar/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.37f57635740e Read More »

Dual Citizenship Client Testimonial

March 13, 2018
I came to Bousquet Holstein PLLC with a complicated Italian Dual Citizenship matter - I needed to get a “one and the same” court order for a living relative in Massachusetts for an appointment coming up at the Consolato Italiano in New York. One of the attorneys at Bousquet Holstein PLLC, Rebecca Cohen, is admitted Read More »

Authorities Budget Office Adopts Regulations Governing Industrial Development Agencies

January 28, 2018
Effective December 5, 2018, the New York State Authorities Budget Office ("ABO") promulgated regulations entitled "Standard Application Form" and added them as Part 250.1 to Title 19 of the New York Codes, Rules and Regulations (the "New Regulations"). The ABO asserts that the New Regulations will increase the accountability of Industrial Development Agencies ("IDAs") and Read More »

Fiscal Year 2019 H-1B Cap Filing Season Begins April 2, 2018

January 25, 2018
On April 2, 2018, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (the "USCIS") will begin accepting H-1B petitions subject to the Fiscal Year ("FY") 2019 cap.  Foreign employees whose H-1B FY 2019 petitions will be approved can start their employment in the United States on October 1, 2018.  While April 2nd may seem far away at Read More »

Governor Proposes Tax Credit Deferral

January 25, 2018
On January 16, Governor Cuomo introduced the New York FY 2019 Executive Budget ("Budget"). The Budget includes a proposal to revive an emergency measure, originally passed in the wake of the Great Recession, which would defer taxpayers' ability to claim certain tax credit amounts. Like the original version, which was passed in 2010, the Governor's Read More »

The New York Safety in Agriculture Tourism Act Finally Enacted

November 08, 2017
On October 23, 2017, New York State enacted the Safety in Agriculture Tourism Act, which is an inherent risk statute intended to insulate equine and agricultural tourism businesses from liability for the risks incurred by inviting the public onto farm property.  The Act was enacted due to the advocacy by the New York State Horse Read More »

Divorce and Business Assets: What You Need to Know

Divorce can be challenging, stressful, and wrought with emotion. In circumstances where one or both spouses have business interests to protect, it can also be complicated. Whether you have spent years building your business, or perhaps inherited a family business, you have invested and sacrificed greatly to ensure its success. Chances are you don’t want Read More »

Fiscal Year 2018 H-1B Cap Filing Season Begins April 3, 2017

January 24, 2017
On April 3, 2017, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (the "USCIS") will begin accepting H-1B petitions subject to the Fiscal Year ("FY") 2018 cap.  Foreign employees whose H-1B FY 2018 petitions will be approved can start their employment in the United States on October 1, 2017.  While April 3rd may seem far away at Read More »

Special Needs Trust Fairness Act Finally Enacted into Law

December 21, 2016
On Tuesday, December 13, 2016, President Obama signed H.R. 34, named the 21st Century Cures Act, into law.  Embedded in this legislation is the culmination of many years of work by Elder Law attorneys across the country to effectively amend the federal statute allowing for the establishment of self-settled special needs trusts for disabled individuals Read More »

Legal Alert: Mandatory Increases to FLSA Minimum Salary Requirements Blocked by Federal Court

December 01, 2016
Last week a United States District Court in the Eastern District of Texas in the case of the State of Nevada, et al., v. United States Department of Labor issued a Preliminary Injunction that temporarily enjoins the United States Department of Labor ("DOL") from implementing certain, long planned, changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"). Read More »

IRS Regulations Target Family Estate Tax Planning

August 10, 2016
The U.S. Treasury recently issued proposed regulations under Section 2704 of the Internal Revenue Code that severely limit the use of valuation discounts for transfers of limited liability company ("LLC"), partnership and corporate ownership interests among family members. If finalized as proposed, the regulations will negatively impact popular estate planning strategies, such as the gifting Read More »

FAA Releases New Rules Governing Commercial Use of UAS/UAVs (Drones)

July 25, 2016
On June 21, 2016, the Federal Aviation Administration ("FAA") released its highly anticipated new rules set to serve as the foundation for governing commercial use of small, Unmanned Aircraft Systems ("UAS") and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles ("UAVs") in the United States.  These new rules, more specifically, Part 107 of the Federal Aviation Regulations, provide a clear Read More »

Micha Ordway’s Fleet Feet Blog 5

July 20, 2016
A Friend Most Unwelcome. Prologue: Those who have followed my articles for Fleet Feet Syracuse will note that this is not the promised story of the Mystery of Pleasure from Pain.  I'll get back to it eventually.  Maybe. For this installment, I have something else about which to write!  It’s the tale of a friend Read More »

White Collar Workers Get a Raise: Courtesy of the U.S. Department of Labor

June 14, 2016
In May 2016, the United States Department of Labor ("DOL") issued its highly anticipated final rule for defining and delimiting the exemptions for executive, administrative, outside sales and computer employees, otherwise known as the "White Collar Exemptions" (the "Final Rule").  The Final Rule was designed to update the standard salary level that employers must pay Read More »

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (Drones): New York State’s New Major Capital Investment

May 11, 2016
The drone industry has proliferated recently and is expected to see continued exponential growth in the next several years.  Experts estimate that close to 1 million drone units, also known as small, unmanned aerial vehicles (or UAVs for short), were purchased during the 2015 holiday season alone.  This expansion has led to creative, expanded use of Read More »

NYS Transforms “STAR” Property Tax Exemption into Income Tax Credit

April 26, 2016
Governor Cuomo signed legislation on April 13, 2016 enacting two significant changes to the NY School Tax Relief ("STAR") exemption program.  The STAR program provides homeowners a reduction in real property school taxes.  Historically, the STAR exemption was shown on and immediately reduced homeowners’ school tax bills. The first change transforms the STAR exemption into a Read More »

New York State Enacts 12-Week Paid Family Leave Law

April 20, 2016
Governor Cuomo signed legislation on April 4, 2016, enacting a 12-week paid family leave law for employees in New York (the "Paid Family Leave Law").  The Paid Family Leave Law will phase in over four years beginning in 2018 and will require employers to allow eligible employees up to 12 weeks of paid time off Read More »

DEC Issues Revised Regulations Defining Terms for Purposes of the Brownfield Cleanup Program

March 11, 2016
On March 9, 2016, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) issued revised proposed regulations defining terms relating to the Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) tax credits for sites located in New York City.  The revisions modify proposed regulations issued last June and discussed in our prior alert.  The revised proposed regulations apparently reflect the DEC's Read More »

Did You Know? How Bicycling Saved My Life – 5th Issue

January 27, 2016
Cycling saved my life. Really. It did. Many of us can make connections between events that we attribute to saving our lives. So many stories of how "exercise saved me." All those stories are true in a way. This story is different. Really it is. Or, perhaps it is the same. You decide. I was Read More »

New York Expands Scope of its Workplace Discrimination Laws

December 15, 2015
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed into law several bills that expand protections against gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and domestic violence. This comprehensive legislation amended several New York laws that directly impact New York employers. A summary of the recent changes and how it affects employers is provided below. 1. The remedies available to Read More »

Did You Know? Legal Insights for Bicycle Enthusiasts – 3rd Issue

December 14, 2015
Recently I picked up on a story about bicyclist who recently won a negligence suit against a runner for injuries sustained in a collision between them.  The accident occurred three years ago in Virginia.  A jury awarded the bicyclist $300,000 in damages plus $55,000 of interest after determining that the runner was at fault.  The Read More »

Legal Gears – An Update from L. Micha Ordway

August 25, 2015
Earlier this month, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California issued a decision in a case that involved an injured bicyclist.  You might wonder what a run of the mill bicycling accident case is doing in federal court?  Simple negligence case, right? Had to be a diversity case, right? There can't be federal Read More »

Did You Know? Legal Insights That All Bicycle Riders Should Know

August 12, 2015
I have been a rabid cycling fan since I raced for my high school team in the 1980's.  Yes, I do spend weeks each year watching all three grand tours on television.  As a passionate cyclist and self-proclaimed fitness nut, I am happy to see that bicycle usage has increased significantly in the United States over the Read More »

DEC Issues Much Anticipated Regulations for Brownfield Cleanup Program

June 10, 2015
On June 9, 2015, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) released proposed regulations that define certain terms for purposes of the Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP).  These regulations are significant for sites located in New York City and for sites that are applying or have applied to the BCP but have not yet Read More »

Financial and Estate Planning During and After Your Divorce

Starting a new life often means making changes to important planning documents. What made sense for a couple fully invested in a marriage may not make sense during the divorcing process, or after the divorce is finalized. In litigated matters, Restraining Orders may prevent some changes during the process, but others are allowed. After divorce, you are Read More »

Brownfield Tax Credit Alert – Environmental Testing and Monitoring Services Subject to NY Sales and Use Tax

April 23, 2015
A New York appellate court affirmed the state tax department's position that environmental testing and monitoring services are subject to sales tax.  The dispute involved payments made by Exxon Mobil to contractors between 2000 and 2004 for testing and monitoring on properties affected by petroleum spills. The Tax Law distinguishes between services related to maintaining, Read More »

Lawmakers Reach Deal to Reform NYS Brownfield Cleanup Program

April 14, 2015
New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature have agreed to extend and modify the financial incentives under New York's Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) as part of the 2015-2016 State budget, which was signed into law on April 13, 2015. Important program changes to the BCP are also included in the Read More »

What to do When Facing a Tax Problem

February 02, 2015
When a tax problem arises it is not uncommon to become overwhelmed and sometimes even paralyzed by the situation.  No doubt, much of the anxiety is due to the uncertainty of whether the problem can be solved and how to go about doing so.  Over the past few years there has been a proliferation of Read More »

Brownfield Cleanup Program Changes in the 2015-16 Executive Budget

January 26, 2015
On Wednesday, January 21, Governor Andrew Cuomo released his proposed executive budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year.  As anticipated, the budget bill addresses the Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) tax credits in detail.  The BCP credits are scheduled to sunset for sites that do not receive a certificate of completion (CoC) from the NYS Department of Read More »

Governor Cuomo Vetoes Brownfield Cleanup Program Extension

December 31, 2014
On December 29, Governor Andrew Cuomo vetoed a bill that would have extended the deadline until March 31, 2017 for sites in the New York State Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) to receive a certificate of completion in order to retain eligibility for state tax credits.  The extender bill passed the Legislature in June.  Click here to Read More »

Disclosing Foreign Assets to the IRS – A Significant New Option

July 12, 2014
As of July 1, 2014, the IRS has substantially revised its streamline procedure for reporting foreign assets and now this option is available to U.S. taxpayers residing in the United States regardless of the amount of tax due once in the process.  This new streamline procedure is intended to encourage more U.S. taxpayers to voluntarily Read More »

Changes to New York Estate and Gift Taxes: Will They Affect You?

June 24, 2014
Effective April 1, 2014, New York's rules have changed for estate and gift tax. We have summarized the changes and their potential impact on your estate plan. Click on the document link above to review our full report. Read More »

Brownfield Tax Credit Alert: NYS Legislature Passes 15-Month BCP Extension

June 23, 2014
Both Houses of the New York State Legislature have passed a bill providing for a 15-month extension of the sunset date for tax credits available under the New York Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP). Under current law, the BCP tax credits are only available to taxpayers who complete their site remediation activities and receive a Certificate of Read More »

Matrimonial and Family Law Reference Guide

Contemplating separation or divorce from a spouse and imagining the next phase of one's life can seem overwhelming.  Steve has listed for you some of the key areas that will need to be addressed, in order to provide some clarity, education and the frame work for a "game plan" as you move forward with the Read More »

Employer Mandate Delayed for Mid-Sized Businesses – If Conditions are Met

February 26, 2014
The Obama Administration has provided welcome transition relief to mid-sized employers (those with 50 or more full-time employees and full-time equivalent employees ("FTEs") but less than 100 full-time employees, including FTEs, ("Mid-Sized Employers") by delaying the effective date of the "Employer Mandate" required under the Affordable Care Act. Generally, the Employer Mandate requires that most Read More »