Jason Lo Joins Kaplan, Kaplan & DiTrapani, LLP as Associate

SYOSSET, NEW YORK —Kaplan, Kaplan & DiTrapani, LLP has announced that Jason Lo has joined the firm as an Associate.

 

Mr. Lo is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist with experience in the real estate, consumer lending, general corporate, fintech, securities and capital markets in the U.S. and China. At the firm, he concentrates his practice in commercial and residential real estate. He prepares lease agreements, reviews property titles and performs closings on all transactions.

 

Before joining the firm, Mr. Lo was an Associate at Huang & Associates, P.C. in New York, New York. He assisted attorneys in representing banks, as well as buyers and sellers of residential and commercial real property from contract to closing. Prior to that, he was a Legal Specialist Consultant with Prime Clerk in New York, New York, where he participated in bankruptcy cases.

 

Mr. Lo is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and is licensed to practice law in Taiwan. He began his legal career practicing law with LCS & Partners in Taipei, Taiwan, where he handled a variety of complex matters regarding mergers and acquisitions of banks, international investment and arbitration. At the firm, he also led an IPO due diligence team, issued legal opinions with partners regarding China-based issuers and assisted clients with corporate restructuring and pre-IPO agreements.

 

After three years, Mr. Lo served as a Legal Consultant to the Commissioner of the Financial Supervisory Commission in New Taipei City, Taiwan. He worked on such issues as financial consumer protection, electronic payments and bankruptcy law.

 

Mr. Lo earned his Master of Laws degree from Boston University School of Law and a Juris Doctor degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School, where he was the Associate Editor of the Buffalo Intellectual Property Law Journal.

 

“I am very pleased to join Kaplan, Kaplan & DiTrapani,” Mr. Lo said. “I look forward to assisting the firm’s clients with any and all real estate matters.”

 

“We welcome Jason to the firm,” said Jared Kaplan, Partner, Kaplan, Kaplan & DiTrapani, LLP. “His ability to communicate with our international clients and his extensive background in banking will be huge assets when handling complex real estate matters.”

 

Mr. Lo is awaiting to be admitted to practice in the state of New York.

 

For more information, call (516) 801-6363 or visit www.closerattorney.com.

 

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About Kaplan, Kaplan & DiTrapani, LLP

Servicing the greater New York area, Kaplan, Kaplan & DiTrapani, LLP expedites real estate-related transactions of all types. Its skilled team of attorneys are experienced in handling refinances, loans and consolidations, as well as providing support and invaluable advice on a wide range of other topics. Among the firm’s practice areas are real estate transactions, residential real estate closings, real estate and commercial litigation, landlord-tenant matters and leasing. For more information, call (516) 801-6363 or visit www.closerattorney.com.

Blodnick Fazio & Clark Supports New Bill That Would Lessen Financial Burdens on Small Businesses in New York State

Thomas R. Fazio, Partner, Blodnick Fazio & Clark, says a new state bill that would let small businesses off with a warning instead of a fine for a minor first-time violation would reduce the burden on small businesses in the state. New York State Assemblyman John McDonald is sponsoring a bill that would waive the fine for small businesses violating certain regulations for the first time. For example, one such violation includes the misuse of the label “real estate broker” versus “licensed real estate broker” on a business card, which could cost a real estate agent $1,000.

Last December, a similar bill was vetoed by Governor Andrew Cuomo because he believed the bill wasn’t strict enough. This new bill has been updated to include a measure that would not allow first-time violations to be waived if the violation endangered the public, human health or the environment, caused serious harm, involved tax fraud, or was done intentionally.

Mr. McDonald’s bill is in committee in the Assembly and has also been introduced in the Senate. If passed, the bill will then be given to Governor Cuomo, who will decide whether to veto or sign the bill.

“New York State is a challenging place in which to operate a business,” Mr. Fazio says. “Small business owners are most affected because of the vast array of these burdensome rules and regulations to follow. I urge the Legislature to pass this bill and Governor Cuomo to sign it into law so that people trying to earn a living are given a fair shake.”

For more information, call (516) 280-7105, or visit www.bfclaws.com.

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About Blodnick Fazio & Clark

Blodnick Fazio & Clark is a boutique law firm specializing in handling complex litigation, corporate formations, structure and finance; construction law; medical professional licensing, corporate practice of medicine issues; real estate law; arbitration and mediation; matrimonial law; employment law; and municipal and school law. Its staff of attorneys has more than 100 years of combined experience and is admitted to practice in Courts of New York, New Jersey and Florida, including the Eastern and Southern District Courts of New York; New Jersey federal courts; the Federal Court of Claims; the First, Second, Fourth and Federal Circuit Courts; and the U.S. Supreme Court. The firm is located in Garden City, New York. For more information, call (516) 280-7105, or visit www.bfclaws.com.

Leading Immigration Attorney Says Trump’s Latest Immigration Policy Plan Admits Talent into the Country at the Expense of Family Ties

Kerry Bretz
Kerry Bretz, Partner, Bretz & Coven, LLP

New York, New York — As part of a new immigration plan, President Donald J. Trump announced that he would grant more visas to immigrants coming into the country who meet certain job skills or employment opportunities, while reducing the number of immigrants who come in because their family member currently lives in the United States. Kerry Bretz, Partner, Bretz & Coven, LLP, says the president’s proposal has nothing to do with bringing in job talent overseas, but with breaking up families.

On May 16, President Trump announced a new plan to bring in more immigrants who can contribute to the U.S. workforce, provided they can show proficiency in the English language, have a strong educational background and pass a civics exam. Meanwhile, fewer noncitizens who are seeking to enter the country because their family member lives here would be admitted.

Mr. Bretz says he sees ethnically diverse neighborhoods such as Jackson Heights, Queens, in which immigrants, who have come into the country as the result of family reunification, become part of the neighborhood’s economy. “The innuendo from President Trump is that those uneducated and unskilled family members do nothing for the economy, but it isn’t true,” he says. “There are tons of neighborhoods in the U.S., like Jackson Heights, that would have a poorly performing economy if it weren’t for these unskilled and uneducated family members.”

President Trump’s proposal would offer 60 percent of visas to those seeking work in the U.S. Currently, only 12 percent receive such visas. Mr. Bretz says there is legislation that already exists for noncitizens seeking work visas. “What he wants to do is end family reunification,” he says. “The employment-based portion of our laws can be improved upon, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of family petitions.”

For more information, call (212) 267-2555 or visit www.bretzlaw.com.

Joseph D. Brees Joins Sahn Ward Coschignano, PLLC as Its New Associate

Joseph D. Brees
Joseph D. Brees

UNIONDALE, NEW YORK — Sahn Ward Coschignano, PLLC (SWC) has announced that Joseph D. Brees has joined the Firm as a new Associate. Mr. Brees will concentrate his practice in litigation and appeals, including commercial and corporate litigation, and real estate law and transactions.

Mr. Brees earned his Bachelor of Arts from the State University of New York at Binghamton (B.A., 2015), cum laude, and his Juris Doctor from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law (“Maryland Law”) (J.D., 2018). While attending Maryland Law, Mr. Brees interned for the Honorable W. Michel Pierson, Circuit Administrative Judge of the Baltimore City Circuit Court. He also performed pro bono work for Maryland Law’s Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic.

Mr. Brees also served as a Staff Editor, Executive Articles Editor, and Member of the Editorial Board of the University of Maryland Journal of Business & Technology Law. He is the author of Trade Secrets Go Federal – Parade to Follow, 12 J. BUS. & TECH. L. 277 (2017), which analyzes the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 and its impact on the U.S. economy.

Mr. Brees is admitted to practice in the State of New York.

“We welcome Joseph to the Firm,” said Firm Member Adam H. Koblenz. “Joseph is dedicated, bright and is quickly developing into a big asset to our clients and our growing practice.”

For more information about Sahn Ward Coschignano, call (516) 228-1300 or visit www.swc-law.com.

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About Sahn Ward Coschignano, PLLC

Sahn Ward Coschignano, PLLC is one of the region’s most highly regarded and recognized law firms. The firm is committed to providing its clients with the highest quality representation, counsel, and advice. Practice areas include zoning and land use; real estate law and transactions; litigation and appeals; municipal law and legislative practice; cellular and telecommunications law; environmental, corporate, labor and employment law; tax certiorari and condemnation; matrimonial practice; and estate planning. The firm strives to assist its clients in a wide array of issues, serving them with skill and experience, resourcefulness, and responsibility. For more information, call (516) 228-1300 or visit www.swc-law.com.

Thomas C. Haberlack Joins Sahn Ward Coschignano, PLLC as Counsel

Thomas C. Haberlack
Thomas C. Haberlack

UNIONDALE, NEW YORK — Sahn Ward Coschignano, PLLC (SWC) has announced that Thomas C. Haberlack has joined the Firm as Counsel. Mr. Haberlack concentrates his practice in the areas of estate planning and administration, trusts and elder law.

Mr. Haberlack is admitted to practice law in the State of New York. He is a member of the Surrogate’s Court Estates & Trusts Committee and the Elder Law Social Services and Health Advocacy Committee of the Nassau County Bar Association.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and a Juris Doctor from St. John’s University School of Law.

“We welcome Mr. Haberlack to the Firm,” said Michael H. Sahn, the Firm’s Managing Member. “Tom has extensive experience and knowledge, and our clients are benefitting from his guidance and counsel.”

“I am excited to be a part of Sahn Ward,” Mr. Haberlack said. “I look forward to working with the Firm’s clients to help them address their estate planning and elder law needs.”

In addition to serving as Counsel with the Firm, Mr. Haberlack continues to serve as principal of his own firm, Law Office of Thomas C. Haberlack, P.C. in Garden City.

For more information about Sahn Ward Coschignano, call (516) 228-1300 or visit www.swc-law.com.

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About Sahn Ward Coschignano, PLLC

Sahn Ward Coschignano, PLLC is one of the region’s most highly regarded and recognized law firms. The firm is committed to providing its clients with the highest quality representation, counsel, and advice. Practice areas include zoning and land use; real estate law and transactions; litigation and appeals; municipal law and legislative practice; cellular and telecommunications law; environmental, corporate, labor and employment law; tax certiorari and condemnation; matrimonial practice; and estate planning. The firm strives to assist its clients in a wide array of issues, serving them with skill and experience, resourcefulness, and responsibility. For more information, call (516) 228-1300 or visit www.swc-law.com.

Court Strikes Down Hempstead Town Zoning Board Condition Requiring Owner-Occupancy of Two-Family Dwelling

Ruling Calls into Question Legality of Restrictions Posed on Thousands of Homeowners by Municipalities

UNIONDALE, NEW YORK — Sahn Ward Coschignano, PLLC (SWC) has announced that Christian Browne, a Member and Partner with the Firm, successfully represented a homeowner before the Town of Hempstead Board of Appeals. The Firm’s client sought to annul a condition to a variance granted by the Town of Hempstead Board of Appeals that required one unit of a two-family home to be “owner-occupied.”

The property that was the subject of the variance application is known as 1541 Bellmore Road in Bellmore. The Board had originally granted a variance to allow the dwelling to be used as a two-family house on April 25, 1956. However, because of a failure of a former owner to file “variance renewal” paperwork with the Town, the two-family variance grant lapsed in 1996. Nonetheless, the house remained a two-family dwelling.

In 2017, Kenneth Sullivan, the house’s now owner and the Firm’s client, filed an application with the Board, seeking to revive the lapsed variance and re-legalize the house as a two-family dwelling. On June 18, 2018, the Board approved Mr. Sullivan’s application, but imposed several conditions, including a condition requiring that the property owner live in one of the two units in the dwelling.

Mr. Browne argued that the “owner-occupied” condition is illegal and unenforceable because a zoning board is not permitted to regulate whouses or owns a property, but only howsuch property is used. On December 10, 2018, Denise L. Sher, Associate Justice, New York State Supreme Court, Nassau County, agreed and annulled the condition, holding that the condition is illegal because it pertains to “who owns and occupies the subject premises and not the real estate itself. Conditions which relate not to the real estate involved, but to the person who owns and occupies the subject real estate, are invalid.”

“The Court applied the law properly and we are pleased with the outcome,” Mr. Browne said. “A zoning board may only regulate the use of land, and not by whom it is used. Thus, this ruling calls into question the legality of these kinds of conditions that are commonly imposed on homeowners, not only in the Town of Hempstead, but by municipalities throughout the region.”

For more information about Sahn Ward Coschignano, call (516) 228-1300 or visit www.swc-law.com.

Hobson-Williams, P.C. Welcomes Keith Allen as its New Associate

Will Join the Firm’s Medicaid and Guardianship Department

Keith Allen
Keith Allen, Firm Associate, Hobson-Williams PC

JAMAICA ESTATES, NY — Attorney Tanya Hobson-Williams of Hobson-Williams, P.C. has announced that Keith Allen has joined the firm as an Associate. Mr. Allen will be part of the firm’s Medicaid and Guardianship Department.

Mr. Allen started his legal career as a Law Clerk for the Honorable Margaret M. Hayden of the New Jersey Supreme Court in Newark, New Jersey. Prior to joining the firm, he served as Of Counsel with the Law Office of Isa Abdur-Rahman, Esq. in Jamaica, Queens, which handles real estate, business law and family estate matters. Before that, he worked for Citigroup as a Compliance Officer.

In addition to his work as an attorney, he has volunteered his time using his legal background. He took part in the Volunteer Lawyer for a Day project in Kings County Civil Court, where he represented tenants on nonpayment cases. He also serves as a Volunteer with Hope Worldwide, a charity that provides community services for the less fortunate, and as a Leader at his church, the New York City Church of Christ.

Mr. Allen is admitted to practice in the state of New York. He is also a member of the New York City Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association.

A resident of Springfield, New Jersey, Mr. Allen is a graduate of The College of New Jersey and the City University of New York Law School.

“I am glad to be part of this firm,” Mr. Allen said. “I look forward to assisting our clients, whether it is navigating the Medicaid application process or in handling guardianship matters.”

“We wish to welcome Mr. Allen to our firm,” Ms. Hobson-Williams said. “His legal expertise will be a great asset to our firm’s Medicaid and Guardianship Department.”

For more information, call 1 (866) 825-1529 or visit www.thobsonwilliamslaw.com.

Brian Andrew Tully Earns Recertification as a Certified Elder Law Attorney

Brian Andrew Tully, Esq.
Brian Andrew Tully, Esq. of Tully Law, PC

Melville, NY — Brian Andrew Tully, Esq. of Tully Law, PC has announced that he hasearned his Elder Law Attorney Recertification from the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc. (NAELA). Mr. Tully’s most recent certification will run through November 2023.

Mr. Tully was first certified in 2003. A member of NAELA and the New York State Bar Association, Mr. Tully is one of 37 attorneys in New York State who are certified as an elder law attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation (NELF) and focuses his law practice on life care planning, elder law, estate planning, Medicaid benefits, and asset protection.

In 2004, he founded the ElderCare Resource Center, Inc., whose mission is to be the community resource for support, answers and expertise in regard to advance planning and informed decision-making about present and future long-term healthcare. The Suffolk Nassau Regional Business Partnership voted the ElderCare Resource Center as the Educational Business of the Year in 2005. From 2011 to 2018, Mr. Tully was named to the list of Super Lawyers in the New York Metro area in the practice areas of elder law, estate planning and probate.

In order for an attorney to receive certification, they must be licensed to practice law in at least one state or the District of Columbia, they practiced law during the five years preceding their application and are still be practicing law. They must have spent an average of at least 16 hours per week practicing Elder Law during the three years preceding their application, participated in at least 45 hours of continuing legal education in Elder Law during the preceding three years, submit the names of five references from attorneys familiar with their competence and qualifications in Elder Law, and pass a full-day certification examination administered by NELF. The NELF exam is very rigorous, with a pass rate of only 60%.

Mr. Tully is Certified as an Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation which is not affiliated with any government authority. Certification is not a requirement for the practice of law and does not necessarily indicate greater competence than other attorneys experienced in this field of law.

For more information, call (631) 424-2800 or visit www.tullyelderlaw.com.

Firm Successfully Protects Commercial Property Owner’s Due Process Rights in Tax Lien Foreclosure Case

Decision Allows Owner to Redeem Property, Thereby Avoiding Eviction and Loss of Business

UNIONDALE, NEW YORK — Sahn Ward Coschignano, PLLC (SWC) has announced that its Partners, Adam H. Koblenz, Andrew Roth, and Joseph Bjarnson, have obtained summary judgment from the Nassau County Supreme Court on behalf of their client in the case of Forest Glen Realty LLC v. T11 Funding et. al. Index No. 609334/2017).The Court’s decision protects Nassau County commercial property owners in real-property tax enforcement proceedings by holding that, in the event the tax deed owner seeks to enforce its tax deed by quieting title or a summary proceeding, they provide the former owner with the right to redeem the tax liens and their property.

Nassau County enforces delinquent real property taxes under procedures set forth in the Nassau County Administrative Code (NCAC). Under the NCAC, when a property owner fails to timely pay real property taxes, the amount of the unpaid taxes automatically becomes a lien on the real property. Once a year, Nassau County sells the liens at a public auction. Private investors can purchase the liens at the auction as investments. If a tax lien is not satisfied by the property owner within two years of its sale, the tax-lien purchaser can serve a notice to redeem on the property owner. If the property is a commercial property, and if the owner does not pay the unpaid taxes plus interest and penalties after service of the notice to redeem, the tax-lien purchaser can apply to the County Treasurer for a Tax Deed pursuant to which the Nassau County Treasurer conveys the subject property to the purchaser. Under this procedure, the property owner has no opportunity to be heard in a judicial proceeding before the Tax Deed is issued. Under the NCAC, the holder of the Tax Deed may thereafter commence a judicial proceeding in Nassau County Supreme Court to confirm that it has lawful title to the property. If the holder of the Tax Deed commences such a proceeding, however, the NCAC grants the commercial property owner the right to redeem the property in the proceeding by paying the unpaid taxes, penalties and interest. In an attempt to divest commercial property owners of their right to redeem their properties in a judicial proceeding commenced under the NCAC, some holders of Tax Deeds commence landlord-tenant proceedings to evict commercial property owners from their properties based on their Tax Deeds, in order to avoid affording the former property owner the further right to redeem.

In the Forest Glen Realty case, Forest Glen Realty (Forest Glen) owns a commercial building in Glen Cove, New York, valued at approximately $2 million. It allegedly owed approximately $1,000.00 in real property taxes on the property in 2014, unbeknownst to Forest Glen. Based upon this circumstance, Nassau County sold the tax lien on the property to T11 Funding, a private investor. When Forest Glen allegedly failed to redeem the tax lien by paying the unpaid taxes, T11 Funding applied for and was issued a Tax Deed for the property. Relying on the title that it purportedly acquired via the Tax Deed, T11 Funding commenced a landlord-tenant proceeding seeking to evict Forest Glen’s tenant from the property.

In response, SWC, on Forest Glen’s behalf, promptly commenced an action in Nassau County Supreme Court seeking, among other things, a preliminary injunction enjoining T11 Funding from prosecuting the landlord-tenant proceeding and otherwise interfering with Forest Glen’s ownership and possession of the building on the grounds that, among other things, Nassau County’s tax enforcement procedures violate Forest Glen’s constitutional rights to due process and equal protection of the law.

On November 13, 2017, Nassau County Supreme Court Judge Jeffrey S. Brown granted Forest Glen’s request for a preliminary injunction. The Court ruled that, in order to comply with fundamental requirements of due process, the commencement of the summary proceeding entitled Forest Glen “to one final opportunity to save … [its] property by paying the amount owed.” The Court ruled that T11 Funding could not circumvent this due process safeguard afforded under the NCAC by commencing a landlord-tenant proceeding against Forest Glen based on the Tax Deed.

Forest Glen then sought summary judgment against T11 Funding. On October 11, 2018, the Court granted summary judgment, which allowed Forest Glen to redeem the tax liens that were previously purchased and cancelled the owner’s tax deed upon payment of the County Treasurer.

“The ruling is a victory for commercial property owners in Nassau County and a blow to those who attempt to use Tax Deeds to confiscate commercial properties from unwary owners who failed to pay their real property taxes for one reason or another,” Mr. Koblenz said. “This recent ruling by the Court will help provide equal protection to commercial property owners in these situations. These owners will no longer have to worry about being evicted from the premises or losing their businesses.”

For more information about Sahn Ward Coschignano, call (516) 228-1300 or visit www.swc-law.com.

Matthew C. McCann Selected to New York Metro Super Lawyers “Rising Stars” List for Fourth Consecutive Year

Matthew C. McCann
Matthew C. McCann, Firm Associate, Sahn Ward Coschignano, PLLC

New Hyde Park Resident Named as One of Top Employment Law Attorneys

UNIONDALE, NEW YORK — Sahn Ward Coschignano, PLLC has announced that Matthew C. McCann, an Associate with the Firm, was selected to the New York Super Lawyers “Rising Stars” list for the fourth year in a row.

This was the first year Mr. McCann was selected in the category of Employment Law. From 2015 to 2017, he was selected to Super Lawyers’ “Rising Stars” in the category of Criminal Defense: White Collar.

Super Lawyers is an exclusive list in which no more than 5% of all attorneys from the state are chosen. Rising Stars is even more exclusive, with only 2.5% of all attorneys are selected.

Mr. McCann, of New Hyde Park, is an Associate in the Firm’s Litigation and Appeals Practice Group. He has represented clients in state and federal courts, as well as before the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Department of Justice and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

Prior to joining the Firm, Mr. McCann was a Senior Litigation Associate at a prominent New York City firm, where he handled all aspects of employment law cases in state and federal court, and related bankruptcy proceedings, with a focus on employment matters in the financial industry. He also has extensive experience representing clients in white collar criminal defense matters. Prior to entering private practice, Mr. McCann served as a Law Clerk in the Staff Attorney’s Office of the United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit.

Mr. McCann is a member of the American Bar Association, the New York City Bar Association and the Regis High School Bar Association. He is admitted to practice law in New York and before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. He earned a Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a Juris Doctor from Brooklyn Law School.

“It is an honor for me to be chosen to this exclusive list for the fourth straight year,” Mr. McCann said. “It is also wonderful to have recently joined a Firm that has more than two-thirds of its attorneys selected to Super Lawyers and Rising Stars.”

The Super Lawyers list is issued by Thomson Reuters. A description of the selection methodology can be found at https://www.superlawyers.com/about/selection_process.html. No aspect of this release has been approved by the Courts of the State of New York.

For more information, call (516) 228-1300 or visit www.swc-law.com.