Capital Region Legal News

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Capital Region Developer and Former University President Named in Recent State Corruption Scandal


What crimes are Alain Kaloyeros and Joseph Nicolla accused of committing?

During the past few weeks, both Alain Kaloyeros, 60, and Joseph Nicolla, 59, have been arrested on charges of bid-rigging in the Albany region. Nicolla, who has been named by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in a felony complaint, is president of an Albany-based real estate development company Columbia Development. His long-time friend, Alain Kaloyeros, the suspended president and CEO of SUNY Poly, was indicted on related charges a few days before Nicolla. If you are arrested for any criminal act in the Capital Region of New York State, you should contact a


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Sunday, October 16, 2016

Mediation: an Alternative Form of Dispute Resolution


What makes mediation successful in resolving legal disputes?

Mediation has a number of advantages in resolving familial or business disputes. These include the following:

  • Mediation is less adversarial and therefore may be less emotionally taxing than litigation
  • Mediation is considerably less costly than litigation
  • Mediation employs a third party trained in the art of compromise
  • Mediation takes much less time than litigation in our notoriously overburdened courts
  • Mediation may be mandated by some contracts

    While not all legal disputes can be resolved through mediation, a great many can. As long as the parties have decided to be cooperative and somewhat flexible, and the mediator is experienced as a neutral facilitator, the experience can be much less stressful than courtroom confrontation. Having an


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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

New York Broadens Definition of Parenthood


What are the visitation and custody rights of former same-sex couples?

Since New York recognized marriage equality in 2011, same-sex couples have had the legal right to marry. With this right, however, also came the ability to divorce, along with the same issues that must be resolved when a traditional couple ends a marriage, including child custody and visitation.

While children born into a marriage are deemed to be children of both parents under the law, the rights of same-sex couples who had a child before the law was passed, or those who have not married, were unclear. This left same-sex partners who ended their relationship facing insurmountable obstacles gaining visitation or custody of a non-biological child they had not adopted.

Now, the New York Court of Appeals has weighed in on the issue.


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Friday, September 23, 2016

Federal Court of Appeals Decides Pivotal Criminal Expungement Issue


In August 2015, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals considered an important expungement issue involving a home health aide who was unable to secure gainful employment due to a prior criminal conviction on her record. The case involved a woman with a 14-year old conviction for feigning injuries following an automobile accident. As a result, she has been  unable to keep nearly a half-dozen jobs after employers run a criminal background check – and she worked toward having the record expunged.


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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Importance of Disclosure in Real Estate Sales


What information must be disclosed by a seller of real estate in New York State?

Whether the sellers or buyers of real estate property use brokers or not, both need to be aware of which flaws or defects must be disclosed to the potential buyer. Part of the process of real estate purchase involves appraisals, inspection reports, and surveys, so presumably the buyer and his or her broker become familiar with any problems with the property. Even so, the question remains: Do one or both of the brokers have to notify the buyer about any known defects, or take investigative action to uncover such defects and report them?

The answers to these and other real estate questions involving legal matters are never as simple as they appear. This is why it is essential that you consult with a


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Saturday, September 17, 2016

Why Women Divorce


What are common reasons women end their marriages?

According to a sampling of marriage counselors, there are six primary reasons women dissolve their marriages. In many cases, the reasons are intertwined. As Christine Wilke, a marriage therapist in Easton Pennsylvania stated recently, “So many women don’t feel seen, heard or validated in the relationship.” This underlying sentiment appears to be at the core of many of the other reasons given for dissatisfaction in the marriage. If you are considering divorce, it is essential that you consult with a


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Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Perils of Turning Off Red-Light Cameras


Do red-light camera programs improve safety for motorists?

The ongoing controversy over whether red-light cameras  are designed to raise revenues rather than improve safety for motorists has led as many as 158 communities to turn these cameras off in the last five years.  Now, a recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety indicates that doing so leads to more deaths from accidents caused by red-light running. These accidents often involve a driver broad siding another car ("T-boning), and these crashes are often fatal.

"Debates over automated enforcement often center on the hassle of getting a ticket and paying a fine," said the institute's president, Adrian Lund.

While these cameras are not popular with motorists, the study found that cities that turn off the cameras see an increase in fatalities by nearly one-third.


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Sunday, August 28, 2016

Hit and Run Accidents in New York State


Do red-light camera programs improve safety for motorists?

The ongoing controversy over whether red-light cameras  are designed to raise revenues rather than improve safety for motorists has led as many as 158 communities to turn these cameras off in the last five years.  Now, a recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety indicates that doing so leads to more deaths from accidents caused by red-light running. These accidents often involve a driver broad siding another car ("T-boning), and these crashes are often fatal.

"Debates over automated enforcement often center on the hassle of getting a ticket and paying a fine," said the institute's president, Adrian Lund.

While these cameras are not popular with motorists, the study found that cities that turn off the cameras see an increase in fatalities by nearly one-third.


Read more . . .


Sunday, August 28, 2016

Second Circuit Issues Ruling Overturning a New York Search & Seizure Law


Search and seizure laws have come a long way since their inclusion in the U.S. Bill of Rights. Most notably, dramatic advances in technology have created a legal conundrum with regard to the government’s ability to obtain digital information – which is often stored remotely on servers decidedly outside the jurisdiction of the U.S.


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Monday, August 8, 2016

Tips for Negotiating a Commercial Lease


How can my business get the best deal for renting commercial space?

Many small business owners in the Capital Region who rent office, retail or restaurant space need to be able to negotiate a commercial lease with landlords whose main objective is to maximize profits. There are steps you can take, however, to protect your interests and get the best deal.

Market Conditions

First, in any commercial transaction it is essential to understand the market conditions. While pricing is based on square footage, it is necessary to ascertain whether there a lot of vacancies or if similar space is at a premium. In addition, it is critical to learn how much rent other businesses are paying for similar properties in your location.
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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Homeowners in New York Eligible for Foreclosure Relief


Am I eligible for a loan under New York's Mortgage Assistance Program?

The foreclosure epidemic that was triggered by the collapse of the housing market in 2008 is finally abating, however some homeowners in New York are continuing to struggle with meeting their mortgage payments. Now, some of these homeowners may be able to benefit from the expansion of the state's Mortgage Assistance Program (MAP).

This program is designed to provide zero-interest loans to New Yorkers, the proceeds of which are to be used to pay off small debts that may be impeding homeowners from qualifying for a mortgage modification. MAP is being replenished with $100 million from a $5 billion global  settlement among Goldman Sachs, the Department of Justice, federal regulators and state attorneys general that was reached in April 2015.

The settlement was in connection with the firm's role in packaging and selling residential mortgage-backed securities.


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