Law Offices of William Cafaro

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Criminal Defense Lawyer NYC

Law office of Bonnie Lawston

Law Offices of William Cafaro

Frequently Asked Questions—New York Workers’ Compensation

Mike Pyrros, Construction Site Accidents and Workers Compensaton ClaimsIs Workers’ Compensation Your Exclusive Remedy?

When you’ve been hurt on the job in New York, you have a right to file a workers’ compensation claim for benefits to cover lost wages and income, as well as any medical expenses incurred. Is that your only legal recourse? Let’s look at some of the other types of benefits or compensation and determine if they affect your right to workers’ compensation benefits.

Q: Can I choose to file a lawsuit instead of a workers’ compensation claim? Read More

Q: Can I file a civil suit and a workers’ compensation claim for the same injury?    

A: Yes, provided you can show that your employer had some responsibility for your injury and that an unrelated third party also caused the accident in some way. Don’t expect to collect more than once for a specific loss, though. For example, if your medical expenses were reimbursed by workers’ compensation, you cannot recover those same losses in a personal injury lawsuit in court.

Q: Why would I choose to file a workers’ compensation claim instead of a civil lawsuit? Read More

Q: Can I receive unemployment compensation and workers’ compensation benefits at the same time? Read More

Experienced Queens, New York Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

At the law office of Pyrros & Serres, we offer more than five decades of combined experience to people throughout Queens and across the New York City metropolitan area who have suffered a workplace injury or illness. We emphasize personal service and attention, learning the details of your injury, as well as your goals, so that we can tailor our counsel to get the results you want. Many of our new cases come as referrals from doctors, lawyers and satisfied clients.

We offer comprehensive counsel to men and women who have suffered any type of work injury:

Pyrros & Serres LLP

Workers’ Compensation Attorneys—Queens, New York

Are Cashless Restaurants Legal?

Could Going Cashless Result in Legal Problems?

Going cashless is an emerging trend that business owners and restaurateurs are discussing, contemplating and testing. Some businesses have already gone cashless.

What Are the Advantages of a Cashless System?

According to CBS News some ideas in favor include:

  • Safer establishments due to no cash on hand
  • Direct reporting into the accounting system
  • More taxes getting paid

What Businesses Have Been Considering Going Cashless?

Bluestone Lane Coffee along with the salad chain Sweetgreen, both located in Philadelphia have gone cashless. They comprise a total of six stores. Nationwide chains including Dos Toros, Dig Inn and Tender Greens no longer accept cash. Companies that have experimented with cashless stores include Starbucks, Milk Bar, Amazon, Walmart and Shake Shack.

Is a Cashless System Discriminatory?

Pew Research conducted a survey that found the following demographics rely on cash for almost all of their purchases:

  • 34% of African Americans
  • 17% of Hispanics
  • 29% of people earning less than $30,000 a year

Are There States or Cities that Have Passed Laws Banning Cashless Restaurants?

Restaurant Business reported that the city of Philadelphia passed a law, becoming the first city in the U.S. to ban cashless systems for local restaurants and businesses. The law goes into effect July 1, 2019.

Massachusetts also banned restaurants and other retail businesses from refusing to accept cash payments. New Jersey recently passed a law, on March 18, 2019, that required businesses to accept cash. The law goes into effect immediately, and businesses face a $2,500 fine for the first offense and a $5,000 fine for the second offense.

Lawmakers in New York City are currently working to pass a bill that will prohibit retail businesses from refusing cash payments.

Is suing a business for going cashless potentially a new form of discrimination lawsuit? While no lawsuits of this type have been reported in the mainstream media, media outlets are publishing articles arguing that the practice is discriminatory.

If you are considering making the change, it is wise to consult with an attorney and seek legal advice.

At Stephen Hans & Associates, we work with employers to help them comply with employment laws and to deal with employment issues.

What type of Video is in Your World of imagination? Why Videos Enhance Websites

Video Marketing: Put Videos on Your Website and Attract More Visitors

What type of Video is in Your World of imagination?

Videos make websites more effective. What better way to tell a story? Even if you have a 2-minute video (the preferred video size), your video can still tell a story.

Telling stories is the current trend in websites, and the sophisticated name for this is “brand storytelling.” Throughout the ages, mankind has loved stories, and many have been passed down from one generation to the next. According to Forbes magazine and other marketing sources, brand storytelling is the future of marketing.

Big screen cinemas and television have set the stage for today’s videos. At this time, we are a visually focused society and enjoy moving pictures with sound. A video on a website is the next best thing to being there.

Statistics Support the Popularity of Website Videos

According to the website called Impact, here are some noteworthy statistics about videos:

  • Every day 75 million people in the U.S. watch videos
  • When you mention “video” in an email subject line, the click-through rate increases by 13%
  • People watch 50% of all videos on mobile devices
  • Internet video traffic will comprise 80% of all consumer Internet traffic by 2019
  • The most engaging videos are videos up to 2 minutes long

Which Should You Use? YouTube or Vimeo?

The two most popular video platforms for websites are YouTube and Vimeo. Critiques of both video platforms say that deciding which one is best depends on how you’re using it. Some of the Pro’s and Con’s are as follows.

  • YouTube is free, and you can upload unlimited videos. The default video length limitation is 15 minutes, but you can easily extend that limit. YouTube reaches a larger audience than Vimeo and has a community of more than 1 billion users (one-third of the Internet users). The down side is that YouTube is not a good platform for hosting private videos. Suggested videos come up at the end of the video, and you cannot disable this feature.
  • Vimeo offers an ad-free video platform. Vimeo also offers a free plan. However, its limits are 500 MB storage per week and 25GB a year. Various plans have monthly rates for greater storage space and other features. Vimeo has a much smaller audience than YouTube, but even so, it reaches more than 170 million users. It has a Groups feature where users can create and participate in groups. You can keep the videos private, which is ideal for instruction video classes and paid services offered through videos. You can also limit sharing videos and share only with users you follow and password protect the videos.

The Ever Changing World of Web Design & WebsitesWhat type of Video is in Your World of imagination?

Web Perseverance is an Internet marketing company. We help businesses create strategic and productive marketing on the web

Race Discrimination Lawsuit Filed Against Brooklyn-Based Real Estate Law Firm, Wenig Saltiel LLP, Its Partners And Of Counsel

Author: Louis M. Leon, Associate Attorney

Race Discrimination Lawsuit Filed Against Brooklyn-Based Real Estate Law FirmOn April 5, 2019, the Law Offices of William Cafaro filed a lawsuit in the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn against Wenig Saltiel LLP, Ira Greene, Jeffrey L. Saltiel, and Meryl L. Wenig (a real estate law firm, its partners, and Of Counsel) alleging that they subjected Plaintiff (an African American female) to a despicable hostile work environment on the basis of her race; retaliated against her for opposing discriminatory practices; and terminated her employment because of her race and/or in retaliation for engaging in protected activity.  The case is known as Shonda Fernandez v. Wenig Saltiel LLP, Ira Greene, Jeffrey L. Saltiel, and Meryl L. Wenig.  Case No. 19-cv-01979 (ENV)(RML).  Click here for a copy of the filed complaint

The complaint thoroughly outlines Defendants’ alleged egregious and inexcusable conduct, which they purportedly perpetrated and/or condoned, including but not limited to Wenig Saltiel LLP’s Of Counsel regularly (1) watching videos of African Americans being raped, hung from trees, and set on fire, all from his office computer and within earshot of the rest of the staff; (2) declaring the inferiority of racial minorities in the United States of America; and (3) disparaging African Americans in the legal profession, including a well-respected female African American judge in Surrogates Court, Kings County, solely on the basis of their race.  The complaint further outlines Plaintiff’s repeated and desperate attempts to have the Firm address the Of Counsel’s alleged behavior as well as the Firm’s alleged retaliation against her for daring to speak up.  We will provide updates as the case progresses.

If you believe your employer has discriminated or retaliated against you, please contact the Law Offices of William Cafarotoday for a consultation.

Law Offices of William Cafaro

How Much You Recover for Sexual Abuse by a Priest May Depend on Insurance Coverage Issues

You can sue a church (or any other institution or business) whether there is insurance coverage or not, so why does this matter? Because some dioceses, like the Roman Catholic Diocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, have filed bankruptcy over sexual abuse claims, particularly where priests have abused many individual children. Claims against Larry Nassar, the sports doctor who had sexually abused approximately 500 young female athletes while recording many of the acts, singlehandedly caused USA Gymnastics to file for bankruptcy in 2018. In a bankruptcy situation, claims that are covered by insurance can be paid up to the limits of the policy, but those that are not covered either go unpaid or have to share a limited fund with other claimants.

What Determines if the Insurance Will Cover Your Case or Not? Read More

Not Only Was it Intentional or Accidental, but From Whose Point of View?

What if the Sexual Assault Occurred Over a Period of Years or There are Different Insurance Policies Involved?In RJC Realty1, a woman sued a health spa claiming that a masseur had touched her genital area while giving her a massage. The policy covered “bodily injury” caused by an “occurrence”. “Occurrence” was defined as an accident. There was also an exclusion from coverage for “’bodily injury’ expected or intended from the standpoint of the insured”. The insurance company said that this was not an “occurrence” because it was not an accident; it had to be intentional or it could not have happened, and because of the exclusion, the insurance policy did not cover the claim at all. The woman bringing the claim obviously didn’t accuse the spa owners of touching her; she accused them of being careless in hiring and supervising the masseur. It was also obvious that the spa owners never intended this to happen. New York’s highest court ruled that this was an “accident” and therefore it was also an “occurrence” because it was clearly not expected or intended from the standpoint of the insured. Read More

Strange Bedfellows

Interestingly, in coverage disputes in these cases, the child bringing the claim will usually join with the church, institution, or business being sued, against the insurance company, because they both want the claim to be defended and paid by the insurance company. The coverage issues will usually be fought out in a separate lawsuit, called a “declaratory judgment” action2, or in lawyer’s parlance, “DJ” for short. The parties to a lawsuit often want a decision on the coverage issues before they go forward in the lawsuit for the underlying claim, particularly before they talk about settlement. There are lawyers who do nothing but these insurance coverage disputes, which are very important to many people and businesses in many different contexts. In large commercial casualty losses, the way a few words in the policy are interpreted can make a difference of many millions of dollars.

How Will This Play Out Under the New NY Law Which Now Allows Lawsuits in Older Cases?

What Determines if the Insurance Will Cover Your Case or Not?Under the new law just passed in New York3, people will now be allowed to sue any institution or organization for any claim of sexual abuse against a minor, no matter when it happened, for a one year period called a “window”. After the explosion of sexual abuse claims against the Catholic Church, insurance companies started writing the policy exclusions much more carefully, but because we will now be dealing with sexual abuse that occurred so many years ago, everyone will have to get the old policies of insurance out and see what they say. Read More

What if the Sexual Assault Occurred Over a Period of Years or There are Different Insurance Policies Involved?

This creates another whole slew of different questions, because the courts have to decide, for example, if abuse by the same priest over a period of years was one “occurrence”, one occurrence for the purposes of the policy period, or if each act was a separate “occurrence”. This can be very important because insurance companies have to pay certain amounts “per occurrence” and a certain maximum over the period of the policy. The church may also have bought its insurance coverage from different insurance companies over the period of the abuse, and these companies often fight amongst themselves over who has to pay and how much. The church may also have an “SIR” (self-insured retention) which is actually a very large deductible. This means that the church will have to pay the full amount of that deductible for each “occurrence”4 before the insurance company has to pay anything.  These issues are too complex for the scope of this article, but if you have a case like this, you should choose an attorney who is closely managing the insurance coverage issues, as well as pursuing your claim against the church in court to make sure that you actually get paid after all the smoke clears – Remember that a huge verdict doesn’t mean anything if it can’t be collected.

[1] RJC Realty Holding Corp. v. Republic Franklin Ins. Co., (2004) 2 N.Y. 3d 158.

[2] In New York State court, Civil Practice Law and Rules § 3001, in federal practice, 28 U.S.C. § 2201 and Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 57.

[3] Child Victim’s Act, the civil statute of limitations is extended under CPLR § 214(g).

[4] The leading case in New York on this point is Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn v. National Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, PA., (2013) 969 N.Y.S.2d 808, 21 N.Y.3d 139, and there is an excellent article that discussed this in greater depth in the NY Law Journal, 3/20/19, p. 4 by Altschiler and Kardisch.

Web Design Trends-2019

webperseverance.comWhy Hero Images and Minimalistic Designs Are Working

Hero images look like they are here to stay and for good reason. As more and more consumers are searching the web through mobile devices, designs need to be simple and direct. Scrolling is in, and putting “everything above the fold” is out. In fact, cramming everything into the area “above the fold” is long gone.

What Is a Hero Image?

Hero images are large images used on home pages. A hero image is an image with a message. It grabs attention. It offers value. It offers a solution. It instantly provides clarity about what the website is offering.

Why Do Hero Images Work?

They work because you only have a moment to grab the viewer’s attention. If you don’t, the viewer will click away to another website.

Research studies show that viewers quickly form an opinion about a web page based on visual appeal. How quickly? Within 50 milliseconds!

The second the viewer looks at your hero image, the image acts as branding for the site. Images can evoke appeal, certain emotions, customer trust or peak interest. And they do all this in an instant.

Read More:

Minimalistic Design

You have no doubt heard the expression “less is more.” The trend today is to tell a story with pictures and content, but include space in the layout so the viewer doesn’t experience information overload.

The following is a stunning site that does just that: Twin Dolphin

What type of hero image is in your world of imagination?

Web Perseverance is an Internet marketing company that helps businesses create strategic and productive marketing on the web.

Attorney Advertising – Creating Websites Within the Parameters of NYS Bar Guidelines

webperseverance.comAttorney Advertising is subject to numerous rules set by the American Bar Association (ABA) and the New York State Bar Association. The New York Rules of Professional Conduct have sections that specifically address web design and online marketing.

While the New York Rules of Professional Conduct is broad in scope, our team at Web Perseverance is familiar with the particular rules that apply to web marketing. We have provided Internet marketing for many law firms during the early stages of web marketing and up to the present.

Pre-Approved Websites

We ensure that all of the content and design for any website we create is pre-approved by the lawyer before launching the website. We have incorporated this practice into our web design based on the following New York Rules of Professional Conduct:

Under NY Rules 7.1 (k), attorneys or the law firm must pre-approve all advertisements.

Pre-approval applies to advertising in websites, blogs, chat rooms, list servers, emails, instant messaging, banner advertisements, pop-up advertisements, pop-under advertisements, search engines and other internet-related presence. [Rule 1.0(c)]

Restrictions for Factually Supported Statements

You have possibly seen attorney websites that claim to be the top in their field or tout the idea that they are better at obtaining compensation for clients than other law firms. They use superlatives like “the top,” “the most,” “the most prestigious,” or other marketing language that businesses can get away with in other industries. However this type of marketing promotion can get law firms in trouble in the legal profession.

The following rule specifically prohibits this type of advertising:

[12] Descriptions of characteristics of the lawyer or law firm that are not comparative and do not involve results obtained are permissible even though they cannot be factually supported. Such statements are understood to be general descriptions and not claims about quality, and would not be likely to mislead potential clients. Accordingly, a law firm could advertise that it is “Hard-Working,” “Dedicated,” or “Compassionate” without the necessity to provide factual support for such subjective claims. On the other hand, descriptions of characteristics of the law firm that compare its services with those of other law firms and that are not susceptible of being factually supported could be misleading to potential clients. Accordingly, a lawyer may not advertise that the lawyer is the “Best,” “Most Experienced,” or “Hardest Working.” Similarly, some claims that involve results obtained are not susceptible of being factually supported and could be misleading to potential clients. Accordingly, a law firm may not advertise that it will obtain “Big $$$,” “Most Money,” or “We Win Big.” (New York Rules of Professional Conduct, Page 173, section 12)

We look out for our clients’ interests and work diligently to provide marketing that is appropriate for the client’s industry. We share your objectives to promote and expand your businesses and will work closely with you to create a presence on the web that is right for your business.

Web Perseverance is an Internet marketing company that helps businesses create strategic and productive marketing on the web.

 

How Did Facebook Get Sued Successfully under the Housing Discrimination Laws without even Being a Landlord?

How Did Facebook Get Sued Successfully under the Housing Discrimination Laws without even Being a Landlord?

How Did Facebook Get Sued Successfully under the Housing Discrimination Laws without even Being a Landlord?By passing a law called the CDA1, Congress decided to protect interactive computer services from any liability from material posted by others to promote open vibrant free expression on the internet.  Because of this law, a company like Facebook can’t be sued for an ad posted by somebody else in the same way a traditional newspaper can. Was this just a frivolous lawsuit?

No. – Facebook settled the case, agreeing to make some significant changes in its advertising practices, to pay several million in fees and in advertising credit, and agreeing, at least to some extent, to police its advertising of certain things, which it never previously had any legal obligation to do.

So How Could Facebook Ever Be Liable for its Advertising Content Despite being Legally Protected by this Federal Law?

Certain public interest fair housing groups sued2 Facebook for violations of the Fair Housing Act, over discriminatory ads for real estate sales and apartment rentals in New York City. Here’s how: When any real estate agent posted an ad on Facebook, it had a choice of whether to include or exclude certain groups of people. For example, if the real estate agent knew that the landlord didn’t want any young children in the building, it had the option of excluding those people with children of any given age from the target group. When buying ads, advertisers decide to include, or exclude, certain groups from their intended target audience. This includes Facebook ads that are “boosted’ or will be shown to certain other Facebook users. The idea for this lawsuit came from ProPublica’s article detailing how Facebook’s online platform effectively enabled advertisers to exclude blacks, Hispanics and other ethnic groups from receiving their ads.  Here’s what the portal actually allowed real estate agents to do:

In fact, the groups that brought the lawsuit placed an ad for a fictitious apartment and requested that African Americans and Hispanics be excluded. Facebook approved the ad and ran it. The people the advertiser didn’t want to rent to would simply never see their ad; it offered surgically accurate advertising placement that the unwanted customers would never see.

How is Facebook able to target its advertisements so precisely? Read More

Is it Legal for Facebook to Collect all this Information About You Without Even Giving You a Way to Opt Out?

Yes – Absolutely. Read More

What Did the Facebook Settlement Accomplish?

Under the terms of the settlement, a separate portal is now required to advertise for HEC (Housing, Employment or Credit) which will basically not give advertisers the option to exclude based on gender, race, religion or sexual orientation, like they do in the example above. Advertisers will be asked if they are advertising for housing or employment, and if so, their targeting options will be limited.  Zip code targeting has also been eliminated and replaced by a minimum geographical radius of 15 miles.  The settlement will, however, continue to allow advertisers to discriminate against anyone they like as long as the ad is not for something involving housing, employment or credit.

[1] Communications Decency Act, 47 U.S.C. § 230(a)

[2] Nat’l Fair Housing Alliance, et al. v. Facebook, Inc., SDNY 18-cv-02689, filed March 27, 2018.

What Should You Know About Wrongful Death in New York?

Wrongful Death Attorneys in NYWhat Legal Requirements Exist for a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Wrongful death is a legal term that indicates a party’s unlawful actions caused a death to occur. Obviously, not every death is a wrongful death. What makes a death wrongful in the eyes of New York State law?

What Elements Are Necessary for a NY Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

To bring a wrongful death case in New York, the following elements are necessary:

  • An individual died (New York State law does not recognize a fetus that dies before birth as an individual, even if a wrongful act killed the fetus)
  • The person died as a result of another’s wrongful act, neglect or failure to fulfill a legal obligation
  • If the person had lived, he or she would have been able to take legal action against the person who was responsible for the harm
  • The person who died must be survived by one or more persons who suffered loss as a result of the death
  • Damages exist that can be recovered by the estate
  • The court has assigned a personal representative, and that person is the only one who can file the lawsuit on behalf of the surviving beneficiaries (exception below)
  • When a personal representatives refuses to bring a wrongful death lawsuit, the surviving family may have an administrator appointed to prosecute the wrongful death on their behalf

Time Limitations

If a criminal action was brought against the same defendant with regards to the wrongful death, the personal representative has at least one year from the termination of the criminal action to file a wrongful death lawsuit even if the two year statute of limitations has expired or if there is less than a year remaining before the statue would expire.

(Reference: New York Estates Powers and Trusts Law, Article 5, Part 4 Rights of Members of Family Resulting from Wrongful Act, Neglect or Default Causing Death of Decedent)

At Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP, we offer a free initial consultation to talk about wrongful death and determine whether grounds exist to pursue a lawsuit.

Will NYC Pass a Paid Vacation Bill?

Two Weeks of Employee Paid Vacation

A paid vacation bill is under consideration and Mayor De Blasio has made a pledge to support the bill. It appears the NYC Earned Safe and Sick Time Act will serve as a model for the new paid vacation bill.

The National Law Review stated that no other city or state in the nation has a law like this. New York City would be the first if the law passes.

The paid vacation bill would apply to private sector employers, who have at least five employees, and the requirement to receive the benefit is that the employees must work at least 80 hours a year.

sick child NY paid sick leave act 2019What Are the Requirements of the Earned Safe and Sick Leave Law?

New York City’s Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law has the following provisions:

  • Employers with five or more employees, who work more than 80 hours per calendar year in NYC, must provide paid safe and sick leave to employees.
  • Safe and sick leave accrues at a rate of one hour of leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 40 hours per calendar year.
  • Accrual begins on the employee’s first day of employment
  • Employees can begin using accrued leave 120 days after their first day of work
  • Employers with fewer than five employees must provide unpaid safe and sick leave.

Paid Family Leave, Another Paid Time-Off Benefit in NY

In addition to the above law, New York also has the new Paid Family Leave benefit, which was passed into law. This paid time off enables employees who are sick, have a sick family member or who have a newborn baby to take paid time off from work. As of 2019, paid family leave is now 10 weeks (previously it was eight weeks) and the average weekly wage for the leave has increased from 50 to 55 percent.

At Stephen Hans & Associates, we work with employers to help them understand and comply with employment laws and deal with employment issues.