Hiring a Workers’ Compensation Attorney

Hiring a Workers’ Compensation Attorney

Astoria, Queens Workers Comp Lawyers

New York City | Brooklyn | Bronx Workers’ Compensation Lawyers 

If you have been injured at work and you need to file a workers’ compensation claim, here are some basic questions to ask to ensure you get the representation you need:Read More

Hiring a Workers’ Compensation Attorney

Experienced NYC | Queens | Bronx | Brooklyn Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

At Pyrros & Serres LLP, we provide comprehensive counsel to people with workers’ compensation and Social Security disability claims in Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and across the greater New York City metropolitan area. Because of our reputation for effective advocacy, many of our new clients come to us as referrals from clients and other lawyers.

To learn more about the full scope of our practice, see our practice area overview page.

Pyrros & Serres LLP

Queens | NYC | Brooklyn | Bronx Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

Protecting Personal Injury Victims for More Than 65 Years

Welcome to Our New Personal Injury Legal Website

Author: Sackstein Sackstein & Lee

 

 

 

 

 

At the law offices of Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP, we’ve focused our practice on the needs of injured people across Long Island, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and the New York City metropolitan area since 1952. We have four offices throughout the greater New York region, in Flushing,Queens, Garden City, Brooklyn and the Bronx. We are proud to offer legal services to clients for whom Korean, Spanish, Chinese,French, Creole, Greek, and Hindi is a primary language.

We are excited to announce the launch of our new website, designed first and foremost to meet the needs of our clients. You’ll find it easy to navigate and filled with clear and comprehensive information about our extensive personal injury practice. As our website indicates, there’s virtually no type of personal injury claim that we can’t handle. In addition, if you want  input from individuals who have used our services in the past, please check out our testimonials page.

At Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP, we have a simple philosophy—we treat our clients like we treat our family. That means that we’ll be available and accessible when you need to talk to us, and that we’ll return your calls and e-mails as soon as we can. We understand the impact a personal injury can have on every aspect of your life, from seemingly simple tasks to earning a living. We’ll take the time to get to know you and learn exactly what happened, as well as what you need to recover as fully as possible from your losses. We have the experience and skill to negotiate a settlement that meets your needs, but if those responsible for your injuries are not willing to negotiate in good faith, we are experienced and effective trial attorneys who are always willing and able to take your case to a judge and jury to get the outcome you want and deserve.

Sackstein-Sackstein-&-Lee-Peer-Rated-by-Martindale-Hubbell

We also understand the comfort that comes from understanding where you stand and what your options are. We’ll keep you fully informed and involved at all times, and we’ll regularly post blogs on our website, so that you can have a better understanding of the law, the process and your claim.

Contact Our Office

At Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP, we look forward to serving you. If you have questions or concerns or would like to schedule a free initial consultation, please send us an e-mail or call us toll-free at (888)519-6400.

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What if My Boss Was a Strong Trump Supporter, but I voted for Hillary (or the Other Way Around)?

Author: Bill Cafaro

What Rights Do I Have if This Causes Me a Problem at Work?

 Employees of Private Businesses:

What about the First Amendment? Can’t I say whatever I want?

Do I have Any Legal Protection at Work at All?

What Political Activity is Protected? Read More

Example: A records clerk for the Nassau County legislature was fired from his job less than four months after an election in which Republicans took control of the Legislature, and claimed that he had gone door to door for Democratic candidates, volunteered at phone banks, and distributing campaign literature.  The Legislature argued that it had let him go due to budget cuts, the fired clerk argued that the need for budget cuts arose only because the Legislature had hired three new employees—all Republican. His claim was valid Fishman v. County of Nassau, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47071, 2013 WL 1339466 (E.D.N.Y. Apr. 1, 2013),

  • Absolutely not. Remember also that there will be generally little or no protection for any political activities conducted during work hours, on the employer’s premises, or using the employer’s equipment or materials; It gives you protection for what you do on your own time. Whether a simple one time statement of political affiliation at work is protected is not really clear from the law, and can probably be argued either way, but the more extensive the speech is at work, the better chance the boss will win. If the employee is wearing a campaign button for a particular candidate and the employer says to take it off, they should do it and put it back on when they leave work.

Remember – The General Rule is That There is No Free Speech Right When You Work for a Private (non-government) Employer on His Time. The law we’re talking about here provides some protection, but that protection is limited; it is by no means absolute.

Are Government Employees (Federal, State, City, County, etc.) Political Speech Rights Protected?

But here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • The speech always has to be about a matter of public concern, and if it is, the employee’s right, as a citizen, to engage in the speech has to be weighed by the Court against the interests of the State, as an employer, in promoting the efficiency of the public services it performs, Pickering v. Bd. of Educ., 391 U.S. 563 (U.S. 1968).
  • This can also cover rights of political association; and
  • In order to be protected, it must generally be on the employee’s own time, without using the employer’s premises or materials; and
  • Anything a public employee says in the course of his/her employment will not be protected. Example: If an employee of the Mayor’s Office makes any statement on the news in his/her official capacity, the Mayor can fire or discipline them for anything they say or don’t say, whether it’s true or not. Remember also that policy making and confidential employees probably can be dismissed just based on their political affiliation where the employer can show that party affiliation is an appropriate requirement for the effective performance of the public office involved,  Vezzetti v. Pellegrini, 22 F.3d 483, 1994 (2d Cir. N.Y. 1994).

If you have strong political views which are very different from those of your employer, you should probably avoid any confrontation and get legal advice first as to how to best protect yourself. Call the Law Offices of William Cafaro at 212-583-7400 before you take any action like this.

 

Videotaping the Execution of a Will

Author:Bonnie Lawston

Execution of A Will

It’s not uncommon, in New York and other jurisdictions, for dispossessed or unhappy heirs to allege that a will was executed under duress or undue influence. What if you videotape the execution of the will, so that there’s visual evidence to support the assertion that the decisions regarding disposition of property were entered into knowingly and voluntarily?

While a video recording of the actual event of executing a will can be introduced as evidence in proceedings to determine the validity of the will, it’s important to start with the understanding that visual evidence is not totally objective of infallible. Consider that ten people can witness the same accident and have ten different descriptions of what happened. Nonetheless, if you are considering videotaping the execution of a will, here are some factors to consider.

 

The Videotape May Not Be Allowed as Evidence

The decision to allow the videotape into evidence is solely at the discretion of the court. The court may not consider it relevant to the matters being litigated. The court may conclude that the videotape provides no credible evidence of capacity or intent.

The Court Must Have Reason to Believe that the Tape is Authentic

You will probably need to bring witnesses into to court to testify that they were present when the video was taken. In legal terms, this is known as establishing a proper foundation for the evidence. The court must have some basis for believing that the tape is what it is alleged to be.

The Court Must Have Confidence that the Tape Has Not Been Altered

In addition, the court may have concerns about the “chain of custody” of the videotape. The court will want reasonable assurances that the video presented was actually taken at the time represented and that the videotape has not been altered or tampered with between the recording and its presentation as evidence. Accordingly, it may be necessary to document when and where the recording took place, where the videotape was secured immediately after the recording, who had access to the tape while it was secured, any movement of the tape (along with who moved it) and how it got to court.

Of course, there are no assurances that the video recording will have any impact on the outcome of the dispute. A judge or jury may watch the video and come away with a completely different perception of the events than intended.

Contact the New York Law Office of Bonnie Lawston

At the Law Office of Bonnie Lawston, we focus our estate administration practice on estates subject to probate in Nassau County and Suffolk County on Long Island. Contact our office online or call us at 631-425-7299 or 24/7 at 855-479-4700 to set up a free initial consultation.

The Paperless Law Firm: Practical Tips to Turn Your Practice into a 21st Century Reality

practice management software

Everything you need to run a small law firm

If your law firm is buried in paper, you are probably operating like you did in the 20th century.
Successful law firms today are paperless. If you take advantage of the latest technology, you not only meet the challenges of our digital world, but you will also grow your business.

Are You Meeting the Needs of 21st Century Clients?

Using outdated practice management methods, as so many small law firms still do is at odds with the needs of 21st century clients. Smartphones and other mobile devices such as tablets, iPads and digital tablets have a profound impact on how we work, just as the personal computer did a generation ago.
Small law firms particularly, need innovative technology to:

  • Integrate case documents seamlessly
  • Satisfy a client base that accesses information on smartphones and other mobile devices
  • Give attorneys access to all client information, including all case documents — wherever they are
  •  Store and protect all case data safely and securely

If you are ready to move your firm’s practice to the 21st century, here are five practical tips:

Read more>> 21st Century Paperless Law Firm-Tips

Am I Eligible for Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

Experienced NYC | Brooklyn | Queens | Bronx Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

Am I Eligible for Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

Like every other state, New York has workers’ compensation laws designed to be the primary (and sometimes exclusive) remedy when a person is hurt on the job. But there are specific requirements for eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits—not every injury that keeps you from working will qualify you for workers’ compensation payments.

The basic criteria to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits are:

  • You must have been injured on the job or during the course of your employment. Injuries suffered in a motor vehicle accident will qualify if you were traveling for work at the time of the crash.
  • You must have been an employee of the person or company from whom you seek benefits. If you were self-employed, you typically cannot seek benefits from a third party with whom you contracted to do some work. For example, if you are a construction subcontractor, you may have no workers’ compensation claim against a general contractor or owner for injuries suffered on a construction site.
  • The business that employed you at the time of the injury must have had workers’ compensation insurance or have been required by law to carry such insurance. In New York, there are very limited exceptions to the requirement that companies carry workers’ compensation insurance—typically, a business will only be exempt there are no employees (other than owners).

Am I Eligible for Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

Queens | Brooklyn | NYC | Bronx Workers Compensation Attorneys

At Pyrros & Serres LLP, we provide comprehensive counsel to people with workers’ compensation and Social Security disability claims in Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and across the greater New York City metropolitan area. Because of our reputation for effective advocacy, many of our new clients come to us as referrals from clients and other lawyers.

To learn more about the full scope of our practice, see our practice area overview page.

Pyrros & Serres LLP

Queens | NYC | Brooklyn | Bronx Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

Matter of Van Patten—Representation by Counsel

Author: Bonnie Lawston

If I am an executor, administrator or trustee, do I need an attorney and who pays for it? Why spend the money? 

The answer is that you should. Since the duties of a fiduciary involve actions that required legal counsel, any non-attorney executor (or fiduciary) who personally handle all estate matters (without retaining counsel) has engaged in the unlawful practice of law.

Matter of Van Patten—Representation by Counsel

One of the fundamental functions of a last will and testament is to name an executor, the person designated to oversee the orderly distribution of the assets of the estate. Though there are clearly situations where it’s essential for the executor to retain legal counsel to settle the estate in the probate court, there can also be situations where the executor might find it problematic or perhaps even unnecessary to hire a lawyer to probate a will. The estate may lack the resources to pay legal counsel. An important question, then, is whether an executor can handle all the duties required to probate an estate without hiring legal counsel.

Read More:
The executor in Van Patten challenged the ruling, arguing that she was the only beneficiary of the estate, so she was essentially the acting in her own interests. The court disagreed, finding that she had a responsibility to creditors of the estate as well. The court then ordered the executor to hire legal counsel or risk have the estate’s objections to the trust accounting dismissed.

Read More:

Contact the Law Office of Bonnie Lawston

At the Law Office of Bonnie Lawston, we focus our estate administration practice on estates subject to probate in Nassau County and Suffolk County on Long Island. Contact our office online or call us at (631)425-7299 or 24/7 at (855)479-4700 to set up a free initial consultation.

An Executor’s Fiduciary Duty to Determine Fair Market Value of Property

Author: Bonnie Lawston

Under the estate laws in New York, a person named in a will as an executor has certain “fiduciary duties.” A fiduciary duty is essentially the requirement to act in the best interest of another party. The fiduciary duty owed by an executor is the duty to act in the best interests of the estate and all beneficiaries to the estate. The fiduciary duty imposed on an executor requires that the executor always put the interests of the estate above his or her own self interests.

In addition, though, an executor has a duty to find and manage the assets of the estate in the best interests of the estate and, ultimately, the beneficiaries. That typically includes taking “reasonable” steps to preserve or maximize the value of estate assets. A 2014 opinion in the Surrogate’s Court in Kings County addressed that specific issue.

In Matter of Mahler, 2009-1485/B, Richard Mahler was the named executor of the estate of Margaret Van Cortlandt Billmyer. Among the estate’s assets was real property, which Mahler contracted to sell to a personal acquaintance for the purchase price of $670,000. Three days after the closing on the sale of the property, the buyer, Basile, sold the property for $1.3 million.

Adelphi University, an heir to the estate, contested the accounting of the estate and the New York State Attorney General joined in the action, asking the court to find that Mahler had breached his duty to act in the best interests of the estate. The petitioners asked the court for $630,000 in damages—the difference between the sales price to Basile and Basile’s revenue three days later.

Fiduciary

In response to the legal action filed against him, Mahler contended that the property was run-down and needed extensive repairs. Adelphi and the Attorney General’s office alleged, however, that Mahler had failed to obtain any comps (prices for comparable properties in the area) and that he had taken no action to determine the actual fair market value of the real estate.

When questioned by the court, Mahler could provide no explanation for the difference in value over the three day period. The court concluded that the petitioners had met their burden to show that Mahler had breached his fiduciary duty to exercise diligence and care when selling the property. In its opinion, in fact, the court found Mahler “utterly devoid” or the required care to be exercised by a fiduciary. The court concluded that a $630,000 surcharge assessed against Mahler was appropriate.

The opinion rendered by the Surrogate’s Court demonstrates the importance of seeking experienced legal counsel when you’ve been named executor or administrator of an estate. At the Law Office of Bonnie Lawston, we offer comprehensive counsel to executors, administrators and personal representatives, helping you avoid any potential fiduciary challenges.

Contact the Law Office of Bonnie Lawston

At the Law Office of Bonnie Lawston, we focus our estate administration practice on estates subject to probate in Nassau County and Suffolk County on Long Island. Contact our office online or call us at 631-425-7299 or 24/7 at 855-479-4700 to set up a free initial consultation.  Our attorneys and staff can enforce the applicable laws of New York State and require the executor, administrator or trustee to maximize your inheritance and protect your rights.   Call us for a free consultation and deferred legal fees.

Effects of Divorce on Children

The decision to divorce is life changing, and unanswered questions can linger in the back of your mind, making you uncertain or insecure about your decisions.Scientific American reported about research that could be helpful to know.

Should you stay in an unhappy marriage to protect your kids from the harmful effects of divorce?

Every year about 1.5 million children live in families where their parents divorce. According to one research study, only a small percentage of children suffer from serious problems related to divorce. On the short term, the divorce may seem traumatic. Your children may react with anger, anxiety, sadness or shock. However, kids overall recover quickly, and usually by the end of the second year after divorce, such negative emotions disappear. Studies showed that children from intact families and divorced families didn’t differ significantly.

What effects do high levels of parental conflict have on children?

Children subjected to high parental conflict had a more difficult time adjusting in life. This is true whether within a marriage or during or after divorce. Despite this fact, children in high conflict families experienced less shock when learning their parents were getting a divorce. Children were more prepared to hear about the divorce and were less surprised or terrified by the news. Some even experienced relief.

How can you reduce the factors that would adversely affect your children?

You can limit your conflict associated with the divorce process or avoid exposing your child to the conflict. The better you adjust to life changes after divorce, the more likely your child is to adjust well too. Open communication with your children and answering their questions helps them. Good parenting that provides warmth and support and economic stability are also positive influences. Socially supporting your kids and social support from other adults like teachers and the children’s peers can also help them bounce back from the divorce.

Work with a Divorce Lawyer You Can Trust

If you’re contemplating divorce and have questions Attorney Chris Palermo is glad to provide you with experienced legal guidance. He can help you make the right decisions.

The Workers’ Compensation Board Ruled Against You—Now What?

Author: Pyrros & Serres,LLP

New York City | Queens | Brooklyn | Bronx Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

The Workers’ Compensation Board Ruled Against You—Now What?

You got hurt on the job and it seemed like an open and shut case—then the workers’ compensation board ruled against you. Now what do you do? What are your options?

If you receive a decision that seems inconsistent with the facts, that you feel is unjustified, there are a number of different levels of appeal:

  • The first level of appeal—File a written appeal with the commissioners of the workers’ compensation board. Set forth the reasons, legally and factually, why you believe the workers’ compensation judge was wrong. You must file this appeal within 30 days of the date of the written notice of the denial of your initial claim. That date will be stamped at the bottom of your notice.
  • The next level of appeal—If you’ve submitted a written petition to the commissioners and disagree with their ruling, you can ask for a full board review of your claim, where all the commissioners will review your claim. At the same time, you can file an appeal with the appellate division of the State of New York for the 3rd Department, a court system that oversees the workers’ compensation board

The New York Workers’ Compensation Board ruled against you—now what?

Experienced NYC | Brooklyn | Bronx | Queens Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

At Pyrros & Serres LLP, we handle all matters related to workers’ compensation and Social Security disability claims for people in Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx and across the greater New York City metropolitan area. Because of our reputation for effective advocacy, many of our new clients come to us as referrals from clients and other lawyers.

To learn more about the full scope of our practice, see our practice area overview page.

Pyrros & Serres LLP

Queens | NYC | Brooklyn | Bronx Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

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