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Jack Richard Lebowitz
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Jack Lebowitz’s Answers

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  • Lawyer filed S-Corp papers with IRS late so I can't be taxed as an S-Corp until 2016. He is now ignoring me, what can I do?

    I hired a business lawyer to incorporate my business and paid him $2,000 to handle it all, including file all the necessary paperwork. It was decided I would incorporate as an S-Corp. I was told all paperwork was filed on or around Jan 1 of 2015...

    Jack’s Answer

    You say your lawyer filed the "paperwork" "late", but in your retainer agreement and understandings about corporate formation, was there some kind of deadline or expectation of how long it would take the IRS to act or when the S-Corp election would be effective? Did you or your accountant know? Did you stipulate some kind of deadline to make this happen, and your attorney was clearly on notice of the deadline and just blew through it? Or is what happened that everyone involved was blindsided that it took the IRS some time to act and make a determination and there was a deadline and you weren't aware of it? Or are you just saying that any kind of problem like this can properly be blamed on the lawyer because (in your opinion) "he's the expert and he should have known". What does your accountant think about that? Do you have an accountant on the business formation team and offering input. Accountants are typically much more up to speed on IRS filing deadlines then attorneys are.

    If you know the answers to these questions and you feel strongly that the lawyer was on notice of the deadlines and tasked to make things happen for 2015, by all means write pointed letters and contact the bar authorities if you feel you were wronged or the attorney breached the contract. Otherwise, you may want to consider that everyone involved owns some part of the problem here and it can't be pinned on the attorney.

    Perhaps the tone of your inquiries pointing a finger at the attorney before it's been properly concluded it's his fault is the major reason your calls aren't being returned. No one likes to deal with an unreasonable client. Unfortunately, attorneys are often lightning rods for client anger when anything goes wrong with their case, even if the lawyer is not to blame or solely to blame.

    Lastly, what's the effect of being taxed this year as a "C-Corp" rather than the income or losses dropping down to you as an individual. If this is a start-up, the financial effects or damages might not be so significant and you may be getting agitated over something that doesn't make such a big difference in dollars and cents terms.

    You may be shooting the messenger here. Your accountant might offer some insights. If I were your attorney, I would be looking to the accountant to lead on these sorts of issues.

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  • What information do I need for emergency custody?

    My 3 yr old daughter has severe allergies and was born with premature lungs so she was airlifted to a children's hospital when she was born.A few months ago she was put on a nebulizer and it needs to be given everyday plus as needed every 6 hrs.We...

    Jack’s Answer

    If you can establish these violations, you can seek to limit the father's visitation under a custody modification order (or original custody order if there isn't one), to require supervised visitation or restrict overnight visitation, to require use of the nebulizer, and potentially a drug/alcohol test, evaluation and treatment if necessary, a home study visit and other measures to protect the health and welfare of your child. As your case presents safety and potential abuse/neglect issues, it would be best for you to consult with an attorney about how to draft a custody or violation petition and be represented in the custody proceedings.

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  • How does one remove ex-spouses name from deed when purchasing her half of the house in settlement of joint property?

    Our son is borrowing money from us to pay his ex for her half of the home they shared. She is granting him a quick claim deed. Is this enough for his protection? We think her name should be removed from the deed. It is quite a large sum, so we als...

    Jack’s Answer

    Mr. Schlufman's answer is correct. Deeds are all recorded in the County Clerk's office. When title to property is determined or investigated, a search is done which reveals a timeline of all the ownership documents going back at least 40 years. This is called a "chain of title".

    The way for one co-owner to "remove" his name from a deed is thus to grant the other a "quitclaim" deed (not "quick claim" as people often mishear the word. This means, literally in the archaic English phrase often found in real estate documents, that he literally "quits" (I.e, stops, departs, resigns) his claim to the property. (The phrase also crops up in landlord - tenant leases where the tenant "quits the premises").

    However, as Mr. SchlufmnjaDeeds also correctly said, while it is easy for one co -wner to sign over his interest with a quitclaim deed, if there is also a mortgage deed filed securing a note (loan from) a bank or other lender with both parties names on it, the lender has to agree to remove one parties name from the note and mortgage (although in a husband/wife transaction during a divorce, the quitclaim deed won't trigger the "due on sale" clause which usually triggers the requirement the balance of the loan be paid off immediately when the property is sold). While lenders usually agree to do this, the party which keeps the house must still be creditworthy for the other to be let off the hook. This is usually not a problem though, if the house is worth more than the mortgage and the payments are current and not in default.

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  • Does CT have a neighbor nuisance law? Our neighbors are making our lifes hell and not allowing use to enjoy or home or property

    our neighbors have trespassed, and still doing it, leave trash on our property after parties, destroyed our landscape on the property line, he thinks he owns more then what he does even though i have the plans from the town on the property lines. ...

    Jack’s Answer

    Build a large, impregnable fence to the height and opacity dimensions allowed by the municipality along your surveyed property line.

    Also, if you feel the police have not appropriately responded to harassment which includes death threats, seek an office meeting to talk to the chief of police or one of the assistant district attorneys that handles matters in your local criminal court (you can get their names and contact information online or from court clerks).

    It is possible to file lawsuits for continued trespass and harassment, but unless there's been some demonstrable injury or damage to your property, this seems like an expensive and impractical route to pursue before you've tried the two things mentioned above.

    Good luck to you!

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  • I have a neighbor with a tree hedge right on the property line and growing through there fence can i trim it legally

    Said hedge is growing through the neighbors fence onto my property causing a problem i want to know if i can trim it on my side of the fence or who do i call to complain.

    Jack’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    You can trim the hedge or trees on your side of the property line, but you need to make sure it is your property or you can be liable for damages. The way you would do that typically is by having a surveyor locate and stake the boundaries from previous surveys or the deed description. The fence may be several feet within the neighbor's property, although there may be legal issues with adverse possession.

    Aside from the law and your legal rights, you should be aware that any such unilateral moves on your part without discussing them with your neighbor could create bad feelings and practical difficulties which you probably don't want, as most practical people don't want "war" with their neighbors. I don't know what kind of "problems" the hedge growing through the fence is causing you, but I'd definitely discuss any trimming with your neighbor BEFORE you do it, even if the survey confirms the hedge is on your property. You also want to make sure that any trimming you do if you do it does not compromise the health of the hedge, by, for instance, cutting the roots or trunk branches.

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  • How can I find an attorney willing to get paid after the case or take it pro bono for my case?

    I was scammed by my "landlord". He took $3600 for me to move into a home that I later found out was not inspected so I couldn't get an occupancy permit. When I confronted him he filed a case against me saying that I owed him because I refused to ...

    Jack’s Answer

    You may be able to get free representation from the Legal Aid Society or a similar pro bono legal services provider or your local (county) government if an eviction or similar case is involved. Contact your city's bar association for further advice. The good news is that housing for poor people is an area of the law which is traditionally served by pro bono legal services organizations. The bad news is that if you are looking for a private practice attorney or law firm to take your case on for free or for deferred payments without some method of securing the payments (e.g,, credit/debit card authorizations, back dated checks), etc. you will probably find it difficult to find someone who wants to take your case on.

    Changed topic from "ethics and professional responsibility" to "landlord and tenant". While nominally there is an obligation for attorneys to take on or support pro bono services provider, they are under no obligation to take on a particular requestors's case. Many attorneys take on pro bono matters only from clients referred from services organizations and dealing with areas of particular need for indigent representation (e.g., prison inmates, criminal defendants, domestic violence victims, children/incomptetents, etc.)

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  • I have a $4,000 deposit on a house in mexico (jade tulum} residents. i have asked for it to be returned,but i gotten now where!?

    jade tulum residents my name is richard degaetano 718 853 8288 richdtano@gmail.com thank you

    Jack’s Answer

    I would hire an attorney licensed to practice wherever the person holding the deposit resides and provide him or her with a copy of the real estate contract and an explanation of why you believe you are entitled to a refund. If this person resides in Mexico and is a Mexican national, you will most likely have to use a Mexican attorney and deal with the Mexican court system.

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  • How do you bring a zoning official to justice when he lied in a cease and desist order causing multiple unneeded inspections?

    Can this zoning official plus the town be sued for monetary damages for significant stress, money spent, and missing opportunity to see a terminally ill family member with Alzheimers before they lost ability to recognize family members

    Jack’s Answer

    Short answer, probably not. You can usually seek to have s municipal decision reviewed by a court and possibly overturned, but not any collateral consequences such as mental anguish, stress and so forth which you cite. So long as the official was acting within the scope of his duties, was not acting in bad faith or maliciously or violating civil rights (e.g. racial discrimination) a municipality comes within the doctrine of "sovereign immunity". This is another way of saying "the King can fi no wrong", in other words you can't sue "the state".

    And "maliciously" in the above sentence doesn't just mean the official didn't seem to like you, or you think he "lied" (perjury). You must prove something like a criminal conspiracy to steal your property for his own benefit. No matter what the official did, do long as it seemed to be in his job description, it's going to be almost impossible to recovery of money damages from the municipality for however you think you were wronged by this official's actions

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  • I need help with fighting my insurance on a case, where they declined a claim on a house damages and lost property items.

    Last august, we had a heavy rain in our area, and that caused the water to form a river like flow, which was passing around my house. It washed out some of the ground at the foundation, and due to bad foundation that was not built properly, founda...

    Jack’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    As Mr. Wolf says, the insurance agreement and it's inclusions and exclusions control coverage. You should speak with your insurance broker (who sold you the policy) and perhaps an attorney and carefully review the policy terms.

    That being said, the typical "all perils" homeowner's insurance policy USUALLY covers only "listed" perils, which are very specific, such as fire, wind, hailstorms etc. It USUALLY excludes flooding. Where there is a storm which causes damage, for instance, if a tree blows over, it's not going to cover replacing landscaping, but may cover the house damage if the tree hits it. From what you've said, however, usually any kind of basement flooding whether from a storm or a sewer backup or groundwater incursion, is not covered. Usually, for any kind of flooding, federal flood insurance is required because drainage problems occur primarily in low lying areas which can be mapped and determined as special flood hazard zones.

    However, you need to review the policy terms which is the legal contract of coverage to determine the answer to your question.

    Question topic changed from "Real Estate" to "Insurance" to possibly get a better answer from attorneys who subscribe to questions on this topic.

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