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Governor Cuomo has set up a medicaid re-design team. On the team, there are a number of hospital administrators. These administrators have used this opportunity to press for capping malpractice payment for hospitals. Governor Cuomo has decided to go along with the hospital administrators’ request concerning capping malpractice payments in medical malpractice cases.

Malpractice Awards

Hospitals and physicians have complained about decisions in medical malpractice cases. They claim the awards have been too high. They also claim that they must now practice defensive medicine and perform unnecessary tests to protect themselves.

There has been a proposed cap for “non-economic damages.” This cap would be $250,000 for pain and suffering for each medical provider guilty of malpractice. In 2011, $250,000 is a grossly insufficient amount to pay to individuals who will have a diminished quality of life because of hospital or physician negligence.  Some of these individuals will be left blind, paraplegics, and completely unable to care for themselves.

Reducing In-hospital Errors

The best way to deal with medical malpractice is not to penalize the injured parties by limiting their recovery. The more perfect solution is to reduce the number of errors and bad decisions made by medical providers.

CONCLUSION

A medical malpractice cap should not be part of the budget being submitted by Governor Cuomo. The better solution would be for medical providers to be more careful regarding the decisions they make concerning patients. Our law office represents individuals who have been in car & truck accidents. We aggressively litigate slip and fall and wrongful death cases. We deal with issues concerning no-fault insurance. We also litigate dog bite cases. Feel free to call us for a free consultation.

The Hamster Killer

March 30th, 2011

Monique Smith was recently arrested at her home in Bushwick. The arrest was conducted by law enforcement officers of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The criminal charges against Ms. Smith are that she killed the family’s hamster and threw it violently against a wall. Theresa Smith’s mother had stated she watched her daughter kill the hamster in cold blood. She stated that Theresa “took Sweetie (the hamster) out of the cage and slammed the hamster on the floor.” The impact with the floor killed the hamster.

Criminal Charge: Aggravated Cruelty to Animals

Monique was charged with aggravated cruelty to an animal. This is a felony charge that carries with it a sentence of up to two years in jail. She accused her older brother of causing her to kill Sweetie. However, she did state, “if I saw a hamster in this filthy place, I’d kill it.”

The spokesperson for the ASPCA stated “their organization’s investigation was thorough and it was corroborated by eyewitnesses.” Monique’s family have changed their mind about putting her in jail for up to two years. They are no longer supporting the story of her murdering the hamster. The hamster murderer will go free! The Brooklyn District Attorneys office doesn’t have the stomach to prosecute her for this crime!

New York Criminal Defense Lawyers

Our office represents individuals charged with various criminal offenses including, but not limited to, violent crimes, white collar crimes, sex crimes, weapons possession, drunk driving (DWI), shoplifting, burglary, juvenile defenses, assault and battery, felonies, misdemeanors, domestic violence and drug offenses. We also assist our clients with traffic tickets and arranging for bail. Call us our phones are monitored 24/7.

There is a bill before the Maryland State Legislature to allow same sex marriage. On Friday, March 11, 2011, this bill was withdrawn from consideration due to the unlikelihood of the bill being passed by the state legislature. The law was titled the Civil Marriage Protection Act. For the past few weeks, the bill sponsors have been claiming that Maryland would be the sixth state to pass a same sex marriage law. The sponsors’ difficulties have been increasing in recent days.

The National Organization for Marriage and The Family Research Council both opposed this bill. They claim that African Americans and religious opponents were the reason for the defeat of the bill. They stated that particular thanks must go to African American pastors, church members and delegates who spoke out against the attempted highjacking of the concept of civil rights.

The bill supporters hoped to obtain full marriage rights similar to those that exist in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Connecticut and the District of Columbia. They were not interested in a civil union statute, which they claim was a watered down version of what they wanted. For now, gays can’t marry in Maryland.

Nassau County Divorce Lawyers

We are divorce lawyers. For more than 33 years, we have represented clients concerning issues involving divorces, divorce grounds, family law matters, orders of protection, child custody, child abuse, child neglect, separation agreements, annulments, division of property in divorce, amicable divorce, fathers’ rights, mothers’ rights, mediation and pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements.

We also represent individuals married in other states who are seeking divorces in New York. Same sex relationships involve many of the same issues that heterosexual divorce are involved with. Feel free to call us for a free consultation at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.

It is against the law to speak on a cell phone while driving a motor vehicle in the state of New York. This past summer, Justice Edmead, sitting in the Supreme Court located in New York County, suspended a driver’s license for thirty-one days when she was found guilty of talking on her cell phone.

The defendant argued that the courts determination was arbitrary and that the sentence was excessive. The court stated otherwise. The defendant had two previous convictions for talking on a cell phone. These convictions took place within the past eighteen months and were still on her driver’s license.

The court claimed that sections 1225-c(2)(a) and section 510(3) of the New York Vehicle and Traffic Laws provided the court with discretion to temporarily suspend the license of a driver for multiple convictions related to the same offense. The court stated in its decision that monetary fines did not stop her from driving while talking on a cell phone. The court further indicated that there was a “reasonable prospect” that without the suspending of her drivers license, she would continue to violate the law. Therefore, the punishment was not disproportionate to the offense, shocking to one’s conscience or unreasonable.

Criminal Defense Lawyers

Our office has extensive experience in representing individuals charged with a variety of crimes, such as drug offenses, domestic violence, misdemeanors, felonies, assault and battery, juvenile offenses, shoplifting, burglary, driving while intoxicated, weapons possession, sex crimes, white collar crimes, violent crimes and traffic tickets. Call us for a free consultation.

If one of the parties to a divorce action files for divorce, can he or she later file bankruptcy during the course of the divorce? The answer to this question is yes. Now let’s change the circumstances a bit. A husband and wife are involved in a divorce and during the course of the divorce, the husband is ordered by the court to make mortgage payments. Unfortunately, he falls behind in the mortgage payments. Is filing for bankruptcy the best route to stop the house from being foreclosed upon? The answer to this question in many instances is yes.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the debtor sets up a plan to reorganize his or her debts. The plan is designed to bring the debtor up to date on his or her debts during a period of three to five years. The amount of the payment pursuant to the bankruptcy plan is based on the debtor’s income.

Debts are classified into various types within the plan. Unsecured creditors, such as debts related to credit cards, may be paid on a percentage of what is owed. Interest and penalty payments to these creditors are eliminated in the plan.

Mortgage Payments

Secured creditors, such as mortgage holders on real estate, are paid 100% of what they are owed under the plan. Banks holding mortgages who have refused to accept payments from the debtors are now forced to accept mortgage payments from the debtors under the bankruptcy plan.

Bankruptcy Protection for the Spouse

Under the bankruptcy law, child support and spousal maintenance payments are non dischargeable debt. This means a father obligated in the divorce to pay spousal maintenance and child support to his wife cannot eliminate these debts. Financial obligations of the payer’s spouse, under court orders of the divorce to make mortgage or home equity line payments, are considered to be part of the spousal maintenance and child support payments and these obligations are also non dischargeable in bankruptcy.

Chapter 13 bankruptcies can successfully be utilized to give a spouse who has obligations to make mortgage payments and pay spousal maintenance and/or child support an opportunity to come current in these obligations, save the home from being sold in foreclosure and comply with the state court order.

Foreclosure Defense

The foreclosure defense lawyers at the law office of Elliot Schlissel have been representing individuals with financial difficulties for more than three decades. Our office helps our clients prepare mortgage modification applications. We also deal with mortgage modification programs that fail to meet our clients’ needs. We defend foreclosure lawsuits for our clients. We attend foreclosure court conferences, litigate defective foreclosure lawsuits, predatory lending issues, defective mortgages and bad faith on behalf of financial institutions. We also assist our clients with other types of real estate litigation. Should bankruptcy be the route to dealing with our clients’ problems, we file both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies on behalf of our clients. Feel free to call us for a free consultation at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.

This past summer, acting Supreme Court Judge Andrew A. Crecca, in the case of Maria C. vs. Dominick C., under Index No.: 04775/08, dealt with issues involving back taxes and equitable distribution in a divorce. The couple had been married in 1987. They had four children. The husband had a home improvement corporation and the wife was a secretary. In 2008, the husband was served with divorce papers. The basis for the divorce was constructive abandonment of the wife by the husband.

Case Scheduled for Trial

After the preliminary proceedings were concluded, Judge Crecca scheduled the case for an equitable distribution trial. Shortly before the trial, the husband unilaterally filed marital tax returns for the years 2004 through 2007. The amended returns showed that husband had earned $100,600 in previously unreported income during this period.

Judge Crecca stated in his decision, “the court sees no legitimate reason for this outrageous and despicable conduct, which the court finds is based solely on malice and revenge, with no other goal then prevent his wife from any recovery in equitable distribution. Accordingly, as a result of such shocking and egregious conduct on the part of the defendant-husband, the court declined to allocate any of the tax liability to the plaintiff-wife in connection with the amended personal returns and directs that the defendant-husband should bare full responsibility for any such additional tax liability.”

The wife’s attorney commented, with regard to this decision, that the Internal Revenue Service is not bound by decisions of state courts. However, they “will give it the appropriate wait.” He further stated that the husbands failure to settle the tax debt “showed the vindictiveness and vengeance of the strategy.”

Fathers’ Rights

The law office of Elliot Schlissel aggressively represents fathers. We defend fathers’ rights regarding divorce, orders of protection, child custody, child visitation, child support, spousal maintenance (alimony), child abuse, child neglect and paternity proceedings. We also deal with relocation agreements, grandparents’ rights issues and the drafting of separation agreements. In cases involving parental alienation, we litigate issues related to parental alienation syndrome and how it affects fathers. Feel free to call us for a free consultation at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.

Medicare Scams

March 23rd, 2011

On February 17, 2011, more than one hundred doctors, nurses, physical therapists and other medical providers were arrested as part of a huge, nationwide investigation dealing with medicare fraud. Approximately seven hundred law enforcement personnel were involved in the arrests of individuals accused with illegally defrauding medicare of more than $225 million dollars. The $225 million dollars represented illegal false billing of medicare for services that either were not necessary or never provided. Medicare fraud is a huge problem in the United States. It is one of the causes of the high expense rate for this program.

The February 17, 2011 medicare fraud arrests involved individuals in the following cities: Miami, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Detroit, Chicago, Brooklyn, New York, Tampa, Florida and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

In Detroit, a pediatrist who performed unnecessary partial toenail removals by the name of Dr. Errol Sherman was accused of defrauding medicare out of $700,000 for these unnecessary procedures. His alleged partial toenail removals were actually Dr. Sherman simply cutting the toenails of his patients. Dr. Sherman had the audacity to bill medicare for twenty toenail removals on three toes for one patient! He charged medicare $110.00 for each of these non-existent treatments. Query – how many toes can a patient have?

Scandalous Brooklyn Proctologist

Dr. Borus Sachakow, located in Brooklyn, New York, is a proctologist. He billed medicaid for ten hemorrhoid removals for one patient. This is impossible! Dr. Sachakow had been previously arrested last year on criminal charges for other fraudulent medicaid activities.

Three clinics in Brooklyn, New York, that specialized in physical therapy were also busted. These clinics were part of an organized crime ring operated by Russian immigrants. They paid recruiters to find senior citizens to come to their office for unnecessary treatment. They billed medicaid $57 million for physical therapy that consisted of back rubs.

Miami, Florida

Home Care, Inc., which was run by two Miami physicians, was charged with writing $25 million worth of fake prescriptions. In Miami, more than three dozen individuals were charged with medicaid fraud. They were charged with falsely billing medicaid for more than $56 million.  The busts on Thursday, February 17, 2011, were in addition to the arrests of twenty one people in Miami on Tuesday of that week for $200 million in medicare fraud.

John Gillis, the FBI Agent in charge, stated “we can arrest and charge people every day and it still won’t make a dent until changes are made to medicare.”

Unfortunately, medicare operates under a system that pays for medical services without investigating as to whether these services were actually necessary. Medicare is one of the largest medical supplier systems in the world. It has more than $1.3 million licensed suppliers nationwide. This is increasing by more than 18,000 new suppliers coming onto the system each and every month. This system program needs a better system of policing.

Medicare Needs To Be Reformed

America is going broke. Medicare is one of those programs that is contributing to the financial problems faced by state and local governments. The medicare system must be changed. Procedures must be developed to provide quality medical care. The system today promotes high quantities of unnecessary medical procedures. We simply can no longer afford this!

Elder Care Lawyers

There are many issues faced by senior citizens. The elder care lawyers at the law office of Elliot Schlissel can assist seniors with these issues. We draft wills.  We probate wills. We litigate contested wills and estates for family members and friends of the decedents. We engage in medicaid planning. We deal with nursing home issues and we assist our clients when they feel there has been nursing home abuse. We draft special needs trusts for special needs children. We also provide tax planning advise for our high net worth clients concerning estate tax issues. Call us for a free consultation at 516-561-6645, 1-800-344-6431 or 718-350-2802.

Baby Boomers are going to have difficulty retiring. Recent studies indicate that baby boomers will work four years more than earlier generations due to the economic problems they have faced in recent years. The years following retirement are referred to as the “golden years”. There may not be much gold left for the baby boomers!

Baby boomers are individuals who were born between 1946 and 1964. There are approximately 77 million baby boomers. This represents 37% of the nation’s population that are age sixteen or older.

Retirement – A Grim View

Baby boomers have supposedly been saving during the course of their lifetimes for their golden retirement years. Unfortunately their savings have been involved in stocks, bonds and real estate that has been devastated by the recent economic crisis in the United States. The past five to seven years have had a negative effect on the net worth of a large portion of the baby boomers who are expected to retire during the next five to seven years.

Even the baby boomers whose investments have not been effected by the recent economic down turn may be hesitant to retire due to concern over their financial future.

In a recent survey by certified public accountants shows that their clients who had assets between $500,000 and $5,000,000 were concerned about retiring and were prepared to work four or more years before retiring. If individuals with such substantial assets are nervous about retiring, the picture is even more bleak for baby boomers who do not have savings.

“Boomers have been scarred by the economic turmoil in the past two years and face complex challenges going forward” Clark M. Blackman III recently stated. Mr. Blackman is the chair of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Personal Financial Executive Committee. Baby boomers golden years may be less than golden!

Member of National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys

Elliot Schlissel is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. His law office probates wills, deals with contested wills and estates, drafts wills, and provides estate planning for their clients. They also draft revocable living trusts and irrevocable trusts for their clients. The law office provides all types of elder care legal services including dealing with issues of nursing home abuse, medicaid planning techniques and actually applying for medicaid for their clients. The law office also deals with children with special needs and the drafting of special needs trusts for these children. Call for a free consultation at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350- 2802. Link to Wills Website

Dementia is a disease that effects senior citizens. It is a terrible disease that literally fries the human brain. Recent studies have shown that a gradual hearing loss is one of the early symptoms of alzheimer’s disease, as well as other types of dementia.

Hearing impairments prevent seniors from following conversations. The loss of hearing also leads to seniors becoming confused. Some researchers believe that the loss of hearing and mental facilities are both factors in the development of dementia. Although brain abnormalities are a contributing factor to dementia, recent studies indicate that the hearing can be a cause of dementia. One of the theories is that the hearing loss interferes with the brains division of labor.

Hearing Loss and the Brain

Frank R. Lynn, M.D., an ear surgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital, located in Baltimore, Maryland, recently stated “the brain might have to reallocate resources to help with hearing at the expense of cognition.” George Gates, M.D., a hearing loss specialist affiliated with the University of Washington, stated that hearing loss is a “harborer of impending dementia.” Studies conducted by Dr. Gates have proved the link between hearing loss and early stages of dementia and alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Gates stated that we listen with our ears but hear with our brains. It is simply not possible to separate hearing loss and cognition.

Individuals with hearing problems have difficulty communicating. When there is background noise, such as in public places, the hearing loss contributes to confusion and isolation of seniors. Hearing loss has a significant impact on senior citizens. It places a barrier between seniors and their loved ones. Dr. Lynn stated that “ because it is such a slow and insidious process, it is often ignored and untreated.” It is currently unclear as to whether hearing aides utilized at the early signs of hearing loss will reduce the development of dementia in aging Americans.

Dementia Is Incurable

Dementia is a horrible incurable disease. Modern medicine does not know how to prevent it. When diagnosed, all that can be done is to slow the progress of the dementia. Even the restoration of hearing loss issues may not slow the progress. Hearing loss should be taken seriously. It destroys an individual’s quality of life!!

Elder Law Attorneys

Elliot Schlissel is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. His law office assists clients in Medicaid planning. They draft wills and trusts for their clients. They assist executors of estates in probating wills. Should issues occur among beneficiaries, they represent clients in will contests in the Surrogate Court. They can advise their clients regarding estate planning and issues involving estate taxes under the current legislation for the years 2011 and 2012.

They draft both revocable and irrevocable living trusts. The offices’ elder care legal practice deals with issues concerning nursing home abuse. They assist clients with issues involving special children and they assist families with long-term planning for special children. They also draft special needs trusts. Call for a free consultation at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 and 718-350-2802.

This is the story of a complicated, unique case decided by the Texas Court of Appeals. Two men first travel to Canada and thereafter to California for the purpose of creating a legal gay union. A surrogate was hired who bore a child for one of the gay men. A proceeding was brought in the State of California to establish both gay men as legal parents of the child. A lawsuit was brought in the State of Texas to dissolve the marriage. However, since Texas didn’t recognize the marriage, they couldn’t dissolve it. Texas courts will not acknowledge same sex marriages from other states.

California Parenting Judgment

In the State of California, the two men were considered legal parents of the child. They obtained from California a pre-birth declaration of parentage. This is pursuant to the Uniform Parentage Act, which is a valid statute in California. This is a legal device designed to allow gay couples to use a surrogate and have both men be designated as a parent of the child. This unusual statute created difficulties when the two men broke up.

Break-up for Gay Couple

Although break-ups between heterosexual couples can be complicated and nasty, the break up of two male parents of a child is both unusual and involves complex legal issues. In this case, the biological parent, after the break-up, claimed that the non-biological parent had no parental rights. The Texas Court of Appeals disagreed with the argument of the biological parent. They found that under the Uniform Parentage Act, both parents had equal rights similar to a heterosexual couple.

Fathers’ Rights Attorneys In New York

The Law Office of Elliot Schlissel has been defending fathers’ rights in matrimonial and family law cases for more than thirty years. We litigate issues such parental alienation, parental alienation syndrome, relocation problems, equitable distribution of assets in divorce, child abuse defenses and prosecutions by Child Protective Services (CPS) and Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) for child abuse.

In divorce cases, we assist our clients concerning child custody, child visitation, child support and spousal maintenance (alimony) issues. If our clients are charged with domestic violence, we litigate the orders of protection that are taken out against them by their spouses. When fathers have financial difficulties, we bring downward modification of support proceedings. We also litigate the issue of paternity on behalf of our clients.

Call us for a free consultation. Our office numbers are 1-800-344-6431, 516-561- 6645 and 718-350-2802. Our phones are monitored 24/7.