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Stephen Richard Markman

Stephen Markman’s Answers

325 total


  • My Dad just died in Queens County NY with little assets. Does it need to go to probate?

    Assets are less than $5,000 in cash and cars. Land worth $4,500 in Florida . $70,000 in debt(medical and credit card). I am next of kin and executor of his estate in his will. How do I go about getting cash and selling cars? Is it even worth it s...

    Stephen’s Answer

    Whether an Estate needs to be probated depends entirely on how the assets were held/owned at the time of his death. If they were solely in your father's name (and did not name beneficiaries) then unfortunately you probably do need the Surrogates Court to authorize the transfer of the assets.

    That said, there is a procedure for what is called "Small Estate Administration" which may be available to you (based on the information you provided.)

    You can check out the forms here:
    http://www.nycourts.gov/forms/surrogates/smallestate.shtml

    and see whether you are going to need an attorney to help you with this Estate paperwork. Keep in mind that while SOME of your questions may be able to be answered by Clerks at the Surrogates Court, they are not permitted to give legal advice.

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  • Is the 5 Minute Grace Period Defense valid on regular street parking 2

    is it valid on regular street parking 2

    Stephen’s Answer

    Are you referring to metered parking?

    (Not sure what you mean by "regular street parking" and not sure why the practice area is listed as "speeding ticket")

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  • Do i need to hire a lawyer?

    Hi my name is Max. Got into car accident in September 2011. I used to drive a yellow cab in NYC. Passenger of the other car filed a lawsuit against me, driver of the car she was in and Ducati Taxi inc. in where i used to lease my cab. The question...

    Stephen’s Answer

    You need to speak to Ducati Taxi, Inc. They should have reported this claim to their insurance company (which was, likely, American Transit Insurance Company; as is the case with most yellow cabs in NYC) and requested a defense. The defense afforded applies to the insured (Ducati) and anyone who was lawfully operating their vehicle with their knowledge, permission and consent (YOU.)

    NO, you probably have no need to retain separate counsel (unless you have large personal wealth and need to protect against a possible excess verdict.)

    Incidentally, if you owned your own motor vehicle at the time of the accident, you should have reported the accident to them as well, as they may afford coverage.

    Contact Ducati immediately. If you don't get anywhere with Ducati, you might want to try calling American Transit directly. As I said, it is extremely likely that they are "your" insurance company for this accident.

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  • Will I get disinherited from trust payment if I request trust accounting or challenge trustee's accounting.

    I am beneficiary to a trust which was made via a will. Will has standard no-contest clause (if beneficiary takes any action against Estate or invalidate any provision of Will, beneficiary is disinherited). The funds have significantly decreased ...

    Stephen’s Answer

    In terrorem (or "no contest") clauses are designed to prevent beneficiaries from contesting the Testator's capacity to execute the testamentary document or to contest the division of assets.

    If the Will has been fully probated and you have not filed a contest, you are fine. You are absolutely entitled to a Trust accounting but before you retain counsel, you may want to simply ASK the Trustee for an accounting. If you don't get an answer, you may want to ask your accountant to reach out (before retaining an attorney) as accountants are seen as less "threatening" or "adversarial" than lawyers.

    If you don't get anywhere, find yourself a Trust litigation attorney.

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  • If a job offer is made and accepted via email but includes a typo in terms of salary, is there a contract?

    Say a job offer was made from a company via email, where they offered a potential employee $90,000, but intended to offer $80,000. After noticing the error, the company reached out to the person to inform them of the error and then revoked the off...

    Stephen’s Answer

    I can give you a whole treatise on contract law and the concepts of "mistake" and "revocation" but before I do, let me ask you a question:

    -If you are about to go to work for this company, do you want to START your relationship with them by attempting to "con" them into paying you $10,000 more than they intended to offer? Would you have accepted the job at $80,000?

    The simple answer to your question is: NO, they are not bound by the offer - for a host of reasons, not the least of which is that --even if it were enforceable-- they can fire you, at will, before you start.

    Take a deep breath and think about what you want out of this. You MIGHT be able to negotiate the salary (i.e. suggest that you intended to accept $90,000 but are not likely to accept $80,000 - and asking whether they'd settle on $85,000) but I, personally wouldn't do it. I don't think it's a good way to begin a relationship. Clearly, they made a mistake (which they have the right to fix.) If you want the job, excuse their typo and accept the job for $80,000. If you don't want the job, don't accept any offer.

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  • I believe my patient confidentiality rights have been violated.

    I believe my patient confidentiality rights have been violated. I am very sure that my therapist has betrayed my patient confidentiality. I work at a tech company and I have become a company's outcast. Something very personal has been brought to l...

    Stephen’s Answer

    Does your therapist work at/for your company?

    If not, what you are suggesting is that not only did your therapist elect to breach privilege BUT that he or she took the time to seek out your co-workers, without your knowledge, to provide them with privileged information, solely to harass or embarrass you.

    Does that scenario not sound a bit incredible to you?

    In any event, although there is no private cause of action for violations of HIPAA, there is some common-law precedent for a private cause of action for this type of conduct. The question is: do you have ANY proof that what you are alleging (or suspecting) actually happened? Do you have tens of thousands of dollars to spend on an attorney, to litigate this claim? If the answer to either of these questions is no, I'd say there is nothing you can do.

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  • I have an old cell phone from my days working in NYC government. It has been in my possession for 10 years.

    Is it still property of NYC? or does ownership transfer after so many years in my possession. The item has not been used since I left city service.

    Stephen’s Answer

    Shoot an e-mail to your old boss:

    "Hi, I just came across that old [ brand] cell phone that was issued to me when I worked there, ten years ago. Do you have any interest in my returning it or should I just throw it out?"

    Chances are they will tell you to go ahead and throw it away.

    There are also several charities which repurposes old cell phones, to give to victims of domestic abuse, so that they have a way of calling for help, without their abusers' knowledge. If you're going to throw away the phone, it might be nice to consider donating it to one of these charities. Here's one such charity:

    http://www.ncadv.org/takeaction/DonateaPhone.php

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  • I need to know what kind of attorney I may need.

    I feel like a company is being prejudice against my girl friend

    Stephen’s Answer

    You don't need an attorney, at all. You do not have any standing, whatsoever, to bring a case, based on conduct at your girlfriend's job.

    Whether your girlfriend needs a lawyer depends on what kind of discrimination she is experiencing. There are many types of behavior at a workplace which, while unpleasant and stressful, have absolutely no legal recourse.

    If she is experiencing the type of discrimination contemplated by the Civil Rights and Labor laws, she may have a claim. Without further information, none of us can properly direct your girlfriend to a suitable attorney.

    I'd suggest you have her post with some (general) information about the type of discrimination she feels she's experiencing.

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  • Do I have to pay taxes on the money my sugar daddy give me?

    I am a sugar baby and I currently live in London (uk). My sugar daddy want to give me 4k per month. Do I have to pay taxes? Or are they considerd a gift? And What is the best way to receive the money?

    Stephen’s Answer

    If your Sugar Daddy has enough money to pay you $4,000/month, I'm certain he can arrange for you to sit down with a tax professional.

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