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Richard E Weltman
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Richard Weltman’s Answers

669 total


  • I was overpaid $216 by my employer - their mistake. Am I obliged to repay this amount?

    I have just started and earn salary and commission.

    Richard’s Answer

    I suspect you already know the correct answer to this question. Of course you are obligated to return what does not belong to you. You acknowledge that the exrtra money was paid to you in error. Return the overpayment in writing and without delay. It's the right thing to do.

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  • Is it legal, in the context of a lawsuit, to send the opposing lawyer (defendant) a copy of a potential bar complaint?

    Without a threat to send or a demand to settle. However, there might be a meeting in the next two weeks to discuss settlement. The lawyer has engaged in a series of flagrantly unethical behaviors. I am assuming that this cannot be viewed as extort...

    Richard’s Answer

    This is tricky territory. What is the point of sending a "potential" bar complaint to the other side in advance if not to threaten the lawyer? I recommend that you consult an experienced New York trial attoney about your particular facts abnd circumstances and whether a disciplinary nvestiagtion is waraanted. In short, if you truly believe the opposing lawyer acted unethically, you have a choice. Either file a bar complaint or not. Don't threaten to do so as part of your settlement efforts.

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  • If someone wants to contest my disclaimer, would the litigant have to serve notice to me at the same time he files his action

    in court?

    Richard’s Answer

    Your question is unclear. But if you are about to be engaged in a contested estate matter it makes geed sense for you to consult with and engage an experienced New Jersey probate attiorney.

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  • I would like to serve someone with a summons and complaint. Can I use a messenger to serve someone in New York State ?

    The messenger will not provide me with an affidavit though. Can I do the affidavit of service myself stating that I used the messenger with the receipt annexed? This is a Supreme Court NY County case. Thanks everyone!

    Richard’s Answer

    Your best bet is to hire a licensed process server, not a messenger. You should be able to find an appropriate process service agency online. A better choice would be to engage an experienced New York trial lawyer to help you comply with the rules and get service right by recommending a process server able to prepare a proper affidavit of service. S/he would also be able to testify in court as to the facts and circumstances in the event service of process should become contested. Best of luck to you.

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  • How can I establish a meritorious defense in a civil judgment against me? I was never served papers and had excellent med insur.

    I submitted an order to show cause for a civil judgment. The lawyer sent opposition to defendant's order to show cause. He states I have not established an excusable default or a meritorious defense. I have proof that I wasn't living at the locat...

    Richard’s Answer

    From your question, it appears that a default judgment has already been eneterd against you. In New York your burden in moving for relief from the judgment is to show the court that your failure to answer the summons shoiuld be excused. The second requirement is that ytou would be able to oppose the lawsuit on the meits if it were reinstated. Consult a New York trial lawyer to help you review the insurance coverage and determine whether you indeed can establish a meritorius defense. If so, the default will be vacated and the action will begin.

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  • I get phone calls about a lawsuit being filed against me, I have not received a summons and complaint to confirm this ,

    My question under common law I must be properly served either in person or by certified mail? The plaintiff must show a proper cause of action in the complaint or I can file a motion to dismiss this case all together.

    Richard’s Answer

    Service of process is statutory in New York. You can dispatch a certified letter, return receipt requested, to the collector advising that all further communicatons by telephone must cease. Tell them that any further communications must be by mail. Dispute the debt to in writing to protect your rights under federal law if this is approporiate. Demand an accounting if you dispute the computation of the balance claimed. At the same time, request a copy of the summons and complaint claimed to have been served. If you actually receive it confer with an experienced New York litigation lawyer regarding your rights to respond by filing a pleading or motion to dismiss. You may find Avvo's find a lawyer feature to be helpful. Good luck to you.

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  • Options for pulling title reports in NYC

    I would like access to a database that enables me to pull complete title reports on real property in NYC what are my options? I don't want to have to go through a title company each time because the number of reports I would like to pull is in the...

    Richard’s Answer

    There is no way to pull "complete" title reports. You will need to do a tax search, mortgage search, UCC search, etc. There are different databases and record books to search. If you have that many searches you should be able to negotiate a favorable volume discount rate with an abstarct company. In the alternative, go to the court house and see if you can srtrike a deal with one of the many freelance searchers the title companies hires as independent contractors. Then hire an attorney to put your agreemnet in writing. Good luck.

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  • Defendant is reneging on settlement agreement, which was stipulated in front of a judge. A court reporter was not present.

    We filed a new complaint as the previous one was dismissed without prejudice. Are there grounds for sanctions against the attorney, who has been coercive and abusive to say the least? Thanks!

    Richard’s Answer

    You should consult with a trial lawyer in a confidential office setting where you can discuss the particulars of your question and the factual basis for entitlement to such drastic relief. Simply on the basis of your inquiry--without more--it does not appear there is sufficient basis for imposing sanctions against the lawyer under New York statutory and case law.

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  • Is it necessary for me to file bankruptcy when I have no assets? My only source of income is my social security.

    I am 79 years old and retired. I am being hounded by credit card collectors. My debt (unsecured) is approx. $75K. I have no pensions or retirement plans.

    Richard’s Answer

    Sorry to hear about your financial challenges. It may not be NECESSARY to file for credit relief through bankruptcy in order to protect your assets. However, you do wish to sleep at night and not be hounded by collection agencies if there is simply no ability to pay. Consult with an experienced consumer bankruptcy la\wyer in Western New York, concerning the particulars of your situation and whether chapter 7 might be the right fit for you. Many qualified attorneys can be found at the Find a Lawyer feature on Avvo.com. Good luck.

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  • Partner? Shareholder? Partner AND Shareholder?

    What's the difference between a partner, a shareholder, and a "partner and shareholder" in a law firm?

    Richard’s Answer

    My colleagues have provided you with solid answers, although it is not clear from your question why the distinction is important to you. Having said that, depending on the form of law firm enitiy or entities, both partners and shareholders are in most cases owners of the firm. I changed the category to Corporate & Incorporation.

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