May 19th, 2011
Supreme Court Justice Daniel Palmari recently disqualified Jeffrey S. Stephens from representing Edward Scannapieco, pursuant to a New York ethics rule that bars an attorney from working as an advocate in a case when his presence may have a “significant issue effect.”
Justice Palmari found that attorney Stephens of Greenwich, Connecticut, had “testified because he had submitted an affirmation to the court indicating the facts related to the execution of an undisclosed pre-nuptial agreement.” The pre-nuptial agreement is being contested by Machiell Scannapieco.
Justice Palmari stated his decision, “counsel here was a major participant in the event, as such his testimony is relevant to significant factual issues.” Mr. & Mrs. Scannapieco were married December 30, 1989. Mrs. Scannapieco filed for divorce in 2010.
Mr. Scannapieco brought a proceeding to deny his wife spousal maintenance. He indicated in his motion that there was a November, 1989 pre-nuptial agreement that limited Mrs. Scannapieco’s right to obtain spousal maintenance. He initially was unable to locate the document, but he found it shortly prior to bringing the application to the court.
Attorney Stephens stated in his court papers, “he prepared the agreement, negotiated the changes with an unidentified attorney representing the plaintiff-wife and he only recently found it in storage.”
Justice Palmari indicated in his decision that the application of the pre-nuptial agreement will have to wait until the discovery process in the divorce proceeding is concluded. But since attorney Stephens may be a witness in this proceeding, he cannot represent one of the litigants. Justice Palmari stated, in referring to an earlier Nassau County decision, “that the preventing of an attorney from representing a litigant in a case where the lawyer may be a witness prevents any unfairness from arising from the lawyer’s opportunity to present his case twice.”
Justice Palmari indicated in his decision that since the case was in the initial stages, the elimination of Mr. Stephens from representing Mr. Scannapieco will not create a “substantial hardship.”
The law office of Elliot Schlissel has been litigating fathers’ rights matters for more than thirty years. We have extensive experience in representing fathers in divorce proceedings, regarding orders of protection, concerning issues involving child custody, child visitation, child support and spousal maintenance (alimony). We have litigated child abuse and child neglect proceedings on behalf of fathers involving Child Protective Services and Association for Child Services. We have brought proceedings requesting the reduction of child support for fathers. We can assist fathers concerning no-fault divorce issues, equitable distribution of assets, family relocation problems, as well as negotiating separation agreements. We are also very knowledgeable concerning the parental alienation of children by mothers. Feel free to call us at your earliest convenience should you need a fathers’ rights attorney. Our phone numbers are 1-800- 344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.
May 16th, 2011
It is estimated that hundreds of non-judicial workers will lose their jobs related to an additional $70 million dollars in budget cuts from the judiciary budget in the state of New York. The $70 million in budget cuts is in addition to a previous $100 million that was cut from the $2.7 billion budget for the judiciary in the state of New York.
Judge Lipman, the Chief Judge in New York State, has not specifically identified who will be laid off as of this date. There are concerns that court houses will be closed due to these budget cuts. Judge Lipman claims that this will not happen and that the court houses will remain open.
Court Administrators Fight Layoffs
Court administrators fought to avoid significant layoffs. They had hoped the courts reduced budget requirements could be met by instituting an early retirement program, eliminating new hirees, and other economic concessions, such as the elimination of Judicial Hearing Officers. The $170 million cut represents 6.3% of the judiciary budget. There are currently 15,200 non-judicial workers employed by the court system in the state of New York. Rocco Desantis is the president of the New York State Court Clerks Association. In a recent interview, he indicated that the court system was already strained from early retirement and previous budget cuts. He stated, “as a result of positions left unfulfilled from early retirement, there are already long lines at every office that deal with the public and back offices.” He stated, “I am concerned that this is going to make a bad situation worse.”
John Strand of the New York State Court Officers Association recently stated that the projected courthouse cuts will have a severe impact on the operation of court facilities. He doesn’t see how all the current court parts can be kept open with a reduced staff of court officers.
James F.X. Doyle is the President of the New York State County Court Judges Association. In a recent interview, he claimed that there will be inadequate security in the court houses due these layoffs.
Cuts In Court Personnel Unacceptable
The judiciary has traditionally been the poor man in the three branches of government in New York. Judges in New York state have not received a salary increase in more than thirteen years. They’re the poorest paid judges in the United States of America. When you consider that some of these judges live in the most expensive counties in the United States, it helps to explain the horrific conditions that exist in our legal system. The further layoffs of court personnel due to budget cuts will cause our legal system to grind more slowly. Justice delayed is justice denied! The budget cuts forced upon the judiciary by Governor Cuomo are unfair and will have a negative effect on the quality of the legal system in the state of New York!
The legal system is supposed to be gender neutral. Many men involved with litigating matrimonial and family law matters have walked away from the legal system because their rights were not protected and they felt the system was biased against them.
We are fathers’ rights lawyers. We represent fathers in the negotiation of separation agreements. We deal with relocation problems when the custodial parent moves, creating a problem with the father’s visitation. We deal with parental alienation syndrome and the parental alienation by one parent of the other parent to the children. We litigate high net worth divorces and all aspects of equitable distribution in divorce cases. We help our clients obtain divorces under the new no-fault divorce law in the state of New York. We specifically assist fathers in litigating child abuse charges, paternity, spousal maintenance (alimony), child abuse, child neglect, child custody, child visitation, orders of protection and all other issues litigated in divorces in the Supreme Court. If you’re a father and you’ve have concerns concerning your rights being protected, feel free to call us at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.
May 13th, 2011
Fewer doctors in the United States are going into family practice. Solo medical practitioners involved in family practices are becoming scarcer. The American Academy of Family Physicians, in 1986, represented forty-four percent of the practicing doctors. As of 2008, only eighteen percent of practicing physicians are in family practice and that number continues to grow smaller.
In 2007, twenty-eight percent of the doctors in private practice described themselves as being self-employed. In 1970, almost sixty percent of all doctors were self-employed.
New Doctors Don’t Want Family Practices
Many of the doctors graduating medical school have no interest in small family practices. They seek better life styles, which involve shorter working days and weekends off. They want to avoid patient emergencies.
New Doctors Have to Deal With Debt Obligations
Many doctors going into medical practice today borrowed large sums to help pay for their medical school expenses. These young doctors are looking for steady pay checks that have no risk attached to them.
Will Patients Suffer?
There are benefits for patients who use larger medical practices. These larger practices can provide more preventive medical services. They have the financial ability to use technology to enhance their practice, which gives them greater capabilities.
Loss of the Personal Touch
Generations of Americans have had personal, confidential relationships with their physicians. Physicians were trusted individuals. Patients felt they had a personal relationship with them. Newer, larger medical groups may lack this personal touch. Doctors who are part of larger medical groups have the ability to pool their resources to provide more sophisticated, higher levels of medical care.
There are pluses and minuses involved in a demise of the local family sole practitioner. Although there is a loss of the personal relationship, the patient may end up with more sophisticated medical care!
The attorneys at the law office of Elliot Schlissel have more than 70 years of combined legal experience. We draft wills and trusts. We probate wills. We litigate will contests. We draft revocable living trusts and irrevocable trusts for our clients. Elliot Schlissel is a member of The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.
We represent individuals with regard to issues concerning medicaid, medicaid planning techniques and developing special needs trusts for special needs children. We also deal with issues involving nursing home abuse. Feel free to call for a free consultation at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.
May 11th, 2011
In March of 2011, two former New York City child care workers were charged with negligent homicide related to a girl’s death. The girl was four years old at the time of her death. The child care workers had a responsibility to monitor her family’s situation. Damon Adams was a child welfare worker who worked for the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS). He had a responsibility to visit the home of Marchella Pierce. He was supposed to be conducting his visits during the three month period prior to Marchella’s death. Damon Adam’s supervisor was Chereece Bell. She was supposed to provide oversight for Mr. Adams. She has also been charged related to Marchella Pierce’s death. Damon Adams falsely reported that he had been visiting Marchella’s home to check up on her. His failure to follow up and supervise her home situation contributed to her death.
Carlotta Pierce caused Marchella’s Death
Marchella’s mother is named Carlotta Pierce. She had been beating Marchella with household items. She refused to provide Marchella with food and water. She force-fed Marchella antihistamines. Marchella weighed only eighteen pounds at the time of her death. Marchella was a premature baby. She had undeveloped lungs. She had a twin sister who died at birth. Marchella had been in and out of hospitals her entire life. At the time of her release from the hospital in February of 2010, she had a tracheal tube inserted to assist her in breathing.
Administration for Children’s Services had been monitoring the family since November of 2009. Her mother was found to be a drug abuser. Mr. Adams and Chereece Bell are the first two workers working for the Administration for Children Services to be charged with negligent homicide. Anthony Rells, a union representative for the accused child welfare workers, stated, “it is unprecedented and outrageous that workers doing their jobs are being blamed for the deaths of children.”
Mr. Adams faces a potential sentence of seven years in prison and Ms. Bell faces up to four years in prison if they are convicted. The mother, Ms. Brett, faces a term of twenty-five years to life in prison if she is convicted of second degree murder.
Our law office represents individuals charged with juvenile defenses, assault and battery, misdemeanors, felonies, domestic violence, drug offenses, driving while intoxicated (DWI), weapons possession, sex crimes, white collar crimes and violent crimes. We also help our clients obtain bail. We’ve been representing individuals charged in criminal matters throughout the Metropolitan New York area for more than 30 years. Call us for a free consultation at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.
May 10th, 2011
On February 17th, Justice Maron, sitting in the Supreme Court of Nassau County, rendered a decision in the case of S. S. v. M.S, denying the defendant husband a downward modification of his child support and spousal maintenance payments. The husband’s application to the court indicated that his income had been greatly reduced. He stated his income had been reduced by 58%. He explained the reduction in his income was caused by being terminated from his high-paying position. He claimed he was only able to find employment at a greatly reduced salary.
Liquidation of Assets
The father claimed he had been forced to liquidate assets to maintain the current rate of his financial obligations for child support and spousal maintenance. He also alleged his health was being negatively impacted by this situation.
Justice Maron found the father’s net worth statement was not complete. His decision stated that the father failed to set forth the total amount of his assets. He found the father was a title owner to a brokerage account worth over a half million dollars and, in addition, he owned an individual retirement account with a cash value of over $163,000.
Justice Maron reached a conclusion, based on the father’s additional assets, that he had sufficient liquid assets available to fulfill his financial obligations for child support and spousal maintenance. The Judge ruled the current child support and spousal maintenance payments did not create an extreme hardship for the father.
The law office of Elliot Schlissel represents individuals with regard to all aspects of matrimonial and family law. We litigate the grounds for divorce, orders of protection, child custody, child abuse, child neglect, annulments, issues involving fathers’ rights, mothers’ rights and we participate in mediation to resolve divorce matters. We also draft pre-nuptial agreements and post-nuptial agreements. Feel free to call us for a free consultation at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.
May 9th, 2011
The National Rifle Association takes the position that every American should have a gun. There are numerous proposed laws backed by the National Rifle Association pending in the State Legislatures. These new statutes are based on the proposition that one of the big problems we have in the United States is that there are not enough people who carry guns. State Representative Hal Wick of South Dakota submitted a bill to the State Legislature requiring every adult citizen to purchase a gun.
State Legislation Regarding Guns In Public Places
In Georgia, individuals can carry guns into bars. In Arizona, you no longer need a permit to carry a concealed weapon. The State of Utah is working on establishing an official state gun. Numerous states are in the process of developing statutes that would stop college universities from barring firearms on campus.
Police Use of Guns
Bill Bratton, the former New York City Police Commissioner, stated, “police on average for every ten rounds fired, I think actually strike something once or twice and they are highly trained.” Proposals to give everyone guns will create more problems because the majority of the people who utilize guns are not as well trained as police officers. Therefore, if a gun is shot ten times, it is much more likely that innocent bystanders will be harmed instead of the individuals committing crimes. It is more likely that the well intentioned, poorly trained gun owner will shoot the victim, not the assailant.
Our law office represents individuals charged with the following criminal offenses: violent crimes; white collar crimes; sex crimes; weapons possession; driving while intoxicated (DWI); shoplifting; burglary; juvenile defense; assault and battery; drug offenses; domestic violence and all other types of misdemeanors and felonies. If you, a friend or loved one is either being investigated for a crime or charged with a crime, call us for a free consultation, we can help you.
May 6th, 2011
The United States Supreme Court recently had before them the case of Camreta v. Green, 131 S. Ct. 456 (2010). In this case, the issue presented was whether the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution requires government officials to obtain a search warrant or parental permission before they can interrogate a suspected child abuse victim. The second issue was whether an official who fails to obtain a search warrant or permission of the parents can be held liable for violation of civil rights laws.
Child Protection Agencies claim that they need to investigate abuse cases without giving prior notification to the possible perpetrators of these acts. In this case, the social worker, Bob Camreta, conducted an interrogation of a child at the child’s school. This was done without a warrant. The United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit held that this warrantless interrogation violated the Fourth Amendment rights of the child. The court also stated that Mr. Camreta was protected by a qualified immunity from being held personally liable for civil damages under Section 1983 of the Civil Rights Law.
Here’s how the system works in New York: Someone files a complaint with the New York State Child Protective Services (CPS). A local investigator comes to the house and insists on seeing the child. If the parent or guardian refuses to let the investigator see the child, the investigator claims he’s going to get a court order. He threatens to take the child away from the parents. Although the Child Protection Agency seeks to protect children, in New York, they often violate the Fourth Amendment rights of the parents and the child.
We protect fathers’ rights in divorce situations. We litigate spousal maintenance issues (alimony), child support, child custody, child visitation and we deal with the equitable distribution of property issues in divorces. We also negotiate separation agreements on behalf of our clients. Should the mother seek to leave the state with the child, we litigate relocation problems.
When our clients lose their jobs or have reduced income, we bring applications to reduce child support payments. We also educate our clients with regard to the new no-fault divorce law. In contested, nasty divorces, we deal with issues involving parental alienation and parental alienation syndrome caused by one parent making negative statements about the other parent to the children. Should you have a Family Court or divorce issue, feel free to call us for a free consultation at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.
May 5th, 2011
Judge Greenberg, sitting in the Family Court of Nassau County, rendered a decision on January 21, 2010, dismissing child abuse proceedings against a father. The petition against the father alleged that he had committed sexual offenses regarding his daughter Isabella. The charges alleged he would rub lotion on her, “slap her butt” and “whistle at her.”
The father denied all of the allegations. There was testimony by a psychologist at the time of trial. The psychologist stated that Isabella admitted to lying and sometimes believing her own lies. The psychologist also stated that Isabella had difficulty distinguishing between fantasy and reality.
Sexual Abuse Allegations are Unsupported
Judge Greenberg found the Department of Social Services did not establish that the father had sexually abused his daughter. The court’s decision indicated that Isabella’s statements were motivated by her desire to live on Long Island. The child did not want to move to the father’s residence in Queens. Isabella’s testimony was inconsistent and not credible. The court believed the testimony was an effort to stop the father from being successful in his custody application.
The law office of Elliot Schlissel litigates fathers’ rights issues. We have extensive experience in handling the following fathers’ rights related matters: divorce; orders of protection; child support; child custody; visitation; spousal maintenance (alimony); child abuse, child neglect; CPS and ACS proceedings; applications to reduce child support; child abuse defense hearings; paternity and no-fault divorce issues. We also litigation equitable distribution matters in divorces and grandparents’ rights issues. Feel free to call us for a free consultation.
May 4th, 2011
Americans do not save enough money during the course of their working years to have the retirement life experience they have dreamed about. In a recent study by the Employment Benefit Research Institute, fifty-six percent of the workers interviewed stated that the total value of their household savings and investments, without including the equity in their residence, was less than $25,000. Twenty-nine percent of those interviewed had savings of less than $1,000. How are these people going to afford to retire?
Rethinking Retirement Issues
Many Americans look at retirement as a long term vacation. However, very few Americans can afford this long term vacation. Saving funds for retirement must be done over long periods of time to accumulate the type of capital necessary to stop working. The retirement age of sixty-five is unrealistic for the majority of Americans currently in the work force. Sixty-five is no longer the magic retirement number. Matthew Tuttle, a certified financial planner with Tuttle Wells Management, stated, “with life expediencies increasing, playing golf and going to early bird dinners every day can get [old] after 35 years. Rethink what retirement means. It could be working fewer hours or changing jobs to something that you like more.” Americans will either have to work longer, until 70 or 72, or, after retiring, might have to obtain a part time job to supplement their income.
Individuals who are over sixty-five years of age have more medical expenses as they grow older than when they were young and healthy. A Fidelity Investments study indicated that a sixty-five year old couple who retire in 2010 will need a quarter of a million dollars to pay medical expenses during the period of their retirement. This $250,000 does not include nursing home expenses. This study found that the average monthly expenditures for health care will amount to $535 a month.
Set Reasonable Priorities
Americans need to down grade their expectations of their standard of living in retirement. They need to save and accumulate larger amounts of assets to cover their longer life expectancies. They must think twice about purchasing very expensive luxury items instead of putting those funds away for future needs.
The law office of Elliot Schlissel drafts wills. We handle estate administration and estate tax issues. We deal with issues concerning business succession. We also draft living wills and help our clients with end of life issues, supplemental needs trusts and special needs trusts. We prepare medicaid applications and handle medicaid issues for our clients. Feel free to call us for a free consultation at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.
In March of this year, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo went on record that he was in favor of the legalization of same sex marriage in the state of New York. He stated that he would be involved in a campaign to legalize same sex marriage.
Same Sex Law Failed in 2010
Last year, a same sex marriage law was proposed. It was defeated in the New York State Senate by a large margin. The question this year is whether Mr. Cuomo’s political savvy will be sufficient enough to get a same sex marriage bill through the state legislature.
Senator Dean Skellos from Rockville Center, New York, has gone on record as being opposed to the legalization of same sex marriages. Senator Skellos, a Republican, is the majority leader in the New York Senate.
At a meeting with leaders of the state’s most prominent gay rights organizations, Governor Cuomo compared same sex marriage to historical movements such as the women’s liberation, gay rights and environmental justice. Governor Cuomo stated New York needed to restore its reputation as a progressive state. Governor Cuomo stated, “to me this is more than just a piece of legislation, this is about the lives of people who I have known for many years and who currently are without the rights to which they are entitled.”
Our law office handles various types of issues that arise from same sex relationships. In addition, we litigate divorce related issues such as child custody, child abuse, child neglect, separation agreements and the division of property. We represent individuals who seek to fight orders of protection. We also negotiate pre-nuptial agreements and post-nuptial agreements for our clients. Should our client be involved in a high net worth divorce, we have an in house accountant that assists our lawyers in dealing with complicated financial issues. Fee free to call us for a free consultation.