March 29th, 2012
The Garden of Eden Nursing Home is located in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, New York. The residents of this adult facility have been forced to live in a poorly maintained residence and under unsanitary living conditions. Multiple lawsuits have been brought related to complaints of mistreatment from the residents. The State Health Department has sited the facility for numerous violations during the course of 2011.
Pay Your Rent Or We’ll Put You On The Street
Linda Benjamin, age 58, who has been living at the facility for the past nine years, has said “they have black hearts – all of them.” She claims to have been bullied and threatened by administrators during the entire 9 year period she has been living at the facility. Benjamin recently asked the administrators of the facility to reduce her rent so she could purchase a new set of dentures. She was told that if she didn’t pay her rent she would be out on the street.
Residents of the facility claim the administrator Martin Amsel bullied patients into attending optional treatment meetings. They would be threatened with eviction or unnecessary hospital stays if they didn’t do as requested.
The State Health Department documents indicate that residents complained they were being served stale and moldy food.
Jeff Sherrin stated “Garden of Eden and its Administrator were wrongfully accused by the Department of Health inspector of overzealousness in trying to encourage residents to attend programs and take medications that their doctors had order for them”. He further stated that the facility has one of the best inspection records of any adult facility in the State of New York.
Numerous residents of the facility disagree with Jeff Sherrin’s analysis. They claim they are bullied, harassed and tormented by the management of the facility
The Elder Care Lawyers at the Law Offices of Elliot S. Schlissel have been helping seniors with numerous issues for over two decades. The law firm had extensive experience with Medicaid, Medicaid planning techniques, drafting special needs trusts for special needs children, representing executors in the probating of wills, contesting wills and drafting wills and trusts. The firm also prepares guardianship documents for submissions under Article 81 under the New York Mental Hygiene Law. In addition the firm drafts revocable living trust and irrevocable trusts for their clients. Call us for a free consultation regarding all elder care and wills and trusts issues.
March 27th, 2012
When a couple has children it is usually an extremely significant event in their lives. The raising of children changes many aspects of the couples life. One of the aspects that can be negatively impacted on is the friendships with couples that do not have children. There are important things you should never say to a couple that doesn’t have children.
I Guess You Have A Pet
Pets can be a large part of a couples life. However they are never a substitute for having a child. You should never talk to a childless couple in a manner that sounds like it is a consolation prize for not having children.
When Do You Intend On Having Children?
Couples that have the blessing of children often want their friends to share in their wonderful experiences. However, asking other couples about when they plan on having children in public situations is definitely a no-no. There are a variety of reasons why couples don’t have children. Sometimes they decide having children isn’t right for them. There could be medical problems such as infertility that the couple is facing. If you want to discuss issues concerning why a couple isn’t having children you should very carefully and very discreetly bring it up only in private conversations.
I Guess You Get A Lot More Sleep Than I Do?
Couples with children are very often up during the night dealing with their children’s issues. But the opposite is also untrue. Couples generally do not decide to not have children because they want to sleep more at night. Comments can sound like the couple is acting in a shallow or selfish manner.
We Always Wanted To Have A Family
This expression can be misinterpreted. Childless couples, when they hear this expression, may believe you’re saying a couple who don’t have children are not a family. There are many types of families. Significant others, parents, brothers and sisters, cousins, all constitute family members.
If you are married and things don’t work out, you may need to get divorced. In those situations the New York divorce lawyers at the Law Offices of Elliot Schlissel can help you out. The divorce lawyers at the Law Office of Elliot Schlissel have more than 100 years of combined legal experience in dealing with matrimonial and family law cases. Among the various of matters handled by the Law Office of Elliot Schlissel are divorce grounds, family law, child custody, changing visitation, child abuse and child neglect, drafting separation agreements, prenuptial and post nuptial agreements. We also have litigated cases involving mothers’ rights and fathers’ rights. The firm has extensive experience in dealing with high net worth divorce issues. Call for a free consultation.
March 27th, 2012
Jorge Arbaje-Diaz was a New York City Police Officer. He was arrested in 2008. He was charged in a federal court proceeding with fourteen other members of a robbery crew. The charges against him say that they posed as police officers for the purposes of robbing narcotics dealers in the east coast. Arbaje-Diaz and one other member of the criminal crew were actual police officers. It is estimated that he participated in more than one hundred violent robberies of narcotics dealers. It is thought that these robberies resulted in more than four million dollars received by his criminal group.
Sentenced to Twenty Years In Prison
Jorge Arbaje-Diaz was sentenced in June 2011 to twenty years in prison. The prosecutors, in their indictment of him, alleged he used his status as a police officer to gain access to the homes utilized by the drug dealers. Once they were in the home they tied up and tortured their victims until they told them where there drugs and money were hidden. During at least one robbery Arbaje-Diaz while in his New York Police uniform, carrying his firearm, badge and handcuffs with him actively participated in the robbery.
At the time of the sentencing US Attorney Loretta Lynch stated “today’s sentence will send a strong message that anyone who abuses a position of public trust by committing such heinous crimes will be severely punished.” At his sentencing Arbaje-Diaz’ attorney argued for a more lenient sentence. He asked to be only sentenced to ten years instead of twenty years in prison. The basis of his argument was that a “dirty cop would have a very difficult time inside of prison”. Unfortunately for Mr. Arbaje-Diaz the judge was not moved by the argument and sentenced him to 20 years in a federal prison.
If you, a friend or loved one are being investigated for a crime that is the time you need to hire an attorney. You should hire a criminal defense lawyer as soon as you suspect the police or other investigatory agencies are looking into your conduct.
An experienced criminal defense lawyer can mean the difference between walking free and spending a significant portion of your life in a prison. The attorneys of the Law Offices of Elliot Schlissel are known throughout the court system as dedicated, knowledgeable criminal defense lawyers. The firm has experience in handling computer and internet crimes, traffic tickets, violent crimes, white collar crimes, sex crimes, weapons possession, driving while intoxicated (DWI/DUI), shop lifting, burglary, juvenile offenses, assault, assault and battery, misdemeanors, domestic violence, drug offenses and all other types of misdemeanors and felonies. Feel free to call for a free consultation.
March 26th, 2012
Justice Charles J. Markey was recently presented with two cases involving divorces that had similar fact situations. In both cases judgments for divorce had been granted to the parties based on sworn statements that there were no children from the marriages. However in both situations the court eventually discovered that there were children of these marriages.
The court found intentional fraud or inexcusable recklessness due to the fact there were unemancipated children of the marriages who required child support to be paid on their behalf. Since there were misrepresentations in the original documents, there was no child support in the divorce judgments.
Stayed Foreclosure Allowed To Continue
The court took note that in both situations there were homes in foreclosure. He put in previously granted stays with regard to the foreclosure proceeding during the pendency of the divorces. The court vacated the stays of the foreclosure matters and allowed the two foreclosures proceedings to proceed. Conclusion, tell the truth in your divorce admissions!
The attorneys of the Law Offices of Elliot Schlissel have extensive experience in handling matrimonial and family court cases. The lawyers have a total of 100 years combined experience. These attorneys have extensive experience with regard to divorce grounds, family law, child custody, changing visitation, child abuse and child neglect, drafting separation agreements, prenuptial and post nuptial agreements. We also have litigated cases involving mothers’ rights and fathers’ rights.
Elliot Schlissel has litigated numerous cases dealing with professionals whether they are doctors, lawyers or dentists whose practices were being equitably distributed. The firm pays special attention to individuals who have high net worth divorce situations. Feel free to call for a free consultation 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 and 718-350-2802.
March 26th, 2012
Strategic default is the new concept in how homeowners are dealing with mortgages on homes that are underwater. A strategic default is simply when you stop paying your mortgages . Many homeowners are considering strategic defaults on their mortgages. It is estimated that over eleven million homes are now underwater in America. More than three and a half million homeowners are behind in their mortgage payments. There are already a million and a half homes currently in the foreclosure process.
The New York Federal Reserve estimates that there are an additional 3.6 million foreclosures that will be taking place in the next few years. Does it make sense to keep paying a mortgage on a home where it will be many years before the home regains its former value? A columnist named James Surowiecki recently wrote in the New Yorker Magazine that paying mortgage payments for a home that is underwater is “setting a pile of money on fire every month”.
For some families there is a moral quandary in making the decision to stop making mortgage payments on a home that is underwater. Should families be embarrassed or feel they are going to lose respect as they break their mortgage contract obligations and stop paying their mortgage? Companies utilize the bankruptcy process to default on their financial obligations when they feel it is appropriate. So why shouldn’t individuals consider it is a business decision as to whether they should pay their mortgage payments when their home is underwater and it is unlikely it will ever get back to its former value at anytime in the near future?
Obviously the first penalty is that your home will eventually go into foreclosure. However the foreclosure process in the State of New York, as in most other states, is a slow process. This means you won’t be forced to leave your home in the short run.
The second issue involves your credit score. Not making mortgage payments will definitely have a negative impact on your credit score. It is estimated that your credit score will go down a minimum of 85 to 100 points if you default on making mortgage payments.
Strategic default is not something to be taken lightly. It should be considered as a last option. Your first option should be to make a mortgage modification. Mortgage modifications allow you to rework your mortgage to more favorable terms.
If you decide to strategically default you should save the funds that had formally been allocated to make mortgage payments. This will give you the ability to retain an attorney to fight the foreclosure in court. It will also give you money for a down payment on an apartment that you may need to rent down the line.
Tax Implications of Strategic Defaults
If a portion of your debt is forgiven by a financial institution the forgiven amount is considered taxable income by the Internal Revenue Service. You may end up receiving a 1099 from your bank that you will have to declare on your income taxes. You should talk to a tax professional with regard to how to handle this tax issue.
Strategic defaults are not for everybody but more and more people are making this choice!
If your house is in foreclosures we can help you. The Law Offices of Elliot Schlissel have been helping New Yorkers stay in their homes. To start with we can help you with the mortgage modifications. We are familiar with the problems mortgage modification programs have. We can also assist you with a forensic audit with regard to your mortgage. Should you be served with a summons and complaint we will appear in court for you and attend settlement foreclosure conferences. During these conferences we will press the financial institutions to cooperate in giving you a mortgage modification. We will submit answers to the formal compliant submitted by the banks. Our answers will allege defenses such as defective mortgages, defective foreclosure law suits, predatory lending, foreclosure fraud and other real estate related defenses.
We will advise you with regard to all of your foreclosure options. One of your options may be a foreclosure related bankruptcy. There are two types of bankruptcies that can be utilized in foreclosure. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy and a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. There are benefits and drawbacks to each of these bankruptcies. When you file bankruptcy it immediately stops creditor harassment. All debt collection activity has to come to an end when a creditor receives notice of a bankruptcy filing. Foreclosure proceedings also are immediately frozen upon the filing of a bankruptcy. At the end of the bankruptcy process you receive a discharge of your debts. We educate our clients with regard to reestablishing credit and the end of the bankruptcy. There are many bankruptcy myths such as you will never receive credit again that are simply untrue. At your initial free consultation with our office will we describe the bankruptcy process. We will explain to you what bankruptcy exemptions are and why it may be necessary to file bankruptcy. Feel free to call us for a free consultation 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 and 718-350-2808.
March 25th, 2012
A documentary “Scenes of a Crime” deals with ten hours of taped interrogations of Adrian Thomas at a police station in Troy, New York, in 2008. The ten hours of taped interrogations resulted in a disputed confession which is the subject of the documentary. The confession related to a high profile baby killing case. The Appellate Division for the Third Department located in Albany, New York, is currently considering an appeal of Mr. Thomas’ conviction based on the ten hours of interrogations.
Police Officers Lie
During the ten hours of taped interrogations, Mr. Thomas was continually lied to. He was mislead over the two days of interrogations. The police played good cop/bad cop. The good cop tried to befriend Mr. Thomas. The bad cop threatened him and called him a liar. The detectives threatened to arrest his wife. They sought to shame him into “being a man” and taking responsibility for the murder of the child so the wife would go free.
They lied to Mr. Thomas about the child being alive, and the doctors trying to save his life. Mr. Thomas, over the ten hour period, went into a deep depression and talked about suicide.
Mr. Thomas Confesses
In the end the police convinced Mr. Thomas to confess. He confessed to throwing the infant into the crib three times.
The defense sought to submit an expert witness to testify to the issue of psychological coercion and the use of psychological coercion to obtain false confessions. The defense tried to have Richard J. Ofshe, a social psychologist and Professor Emeritus at the University of California at Berkeley, testify. The judge ruled that Mr. Thomas’ theories were not “general[ly] acceptance[d] in the scientific community” and, therefore, were not admissible into evidence.
The police initially believed that the child, Matthew Thomas, died of a severe skull fracture. In the end, they learned that this diagnosis was incorrect. There was no skull fracture. The new theory of how the death took place was based on shaken baby syndrome, which is a crime.
Mr. Thomas Had No Prior Criminal Record
Mr. Thomas had never been previously arrested. During the interrogation they had insisted for hours they had no idea what happened to the child. He eventually weakened. The police repeatedly said that whatever had occurred they are sure it was an accident and that he would not be arrested. They offered numerous suggestions to him as to how the baby could have been inadvertently hurt. In the end Mr. Thomas stated “if it comes down to it I’ll take the blame for it because, listen, I didn’t do it, when it comes down I take the rap for my wife so she won’t go to jail…I don’t want my wife to go to jail…I’m saying I will take the fall for my wife because I got a good wife.”
Police asked him again what happened and he responded “I don’t know how it happened”. The officer then stated “then you can’t take the fall for your wife. We gotta go pick your wife up.”
At the end of the interrogation Mr. Thomas acknowledged that he threw the baby down in the crib which resulted in the child’s death. He was convicted by the jury.
The appeal pending before the appellate division of the third department has to do with setting aside the decision made by the jury based on a coerced confession.
If you, a friend or family member is arrested or is anticipating being arrested relating to a crime you need the best possible criminal defense lawyer for legal representation. The criminal defense lawyers at the law offices of Elliott Schlissel have extensive experience in dealing with the criminal courts throughout the metropolitan area. We represent individuals charged with computer and internet crimes, traffic tickets, violent crimes, white collar crimes, sex crimes, weapons possession, driving while intoxicated (DWI/DUI), shop lifting, burglary, juvenile offenses, assault, assault and battery, misdemeanors, domestic violence, drug offenses and all other types of misdemeanors and felonies. Call us for a free consultation. Our phones are monitored 24/7.
March 22nd, 2012
Justice Alexander W. Hunter sitting in the Supreme Court, Bronx County recently had an unusual case presented to him. A daughter brought a proceeding in a guardianship. She requested the court take action to prevent a court appointed guardian from retaining an attorney to draft and execute a new Last Will and Testament for her father. She took this action because she felt the drafting of this new Will would not be in the father’s best interest.
Justice Alexander Hunter denied her request. In his decision he stated that her arguments were a regurgitation of allegations she made in her initial petition to be appointed the father’s guardian. The court had initially found that the father required the appointment of a guardian of both his person and property. But the court’s decision stated that the court evaluator believed that the guardian should keep the father involved in the decision making processes. He also stated in his decision that the guardian should give the father the greatest amount of independence and self determination with regard to his property management and the maintaining of his personal needs. The court felt that the father’s drafting a new Will and Testament possibly “opened the door to potentially costly and protracted litigation post mortem as being speculative.”
The law offices of Elliot Schlissel have over 100 years experience in the preparation and submission of guardianships to the courts to the courts throughout the metropolitan area. There are two types of guardianships under Article 81 of the New York Mental hygiene Law and Guardians under the Surrogates Court Procedure Act under Article 17-A. The law offices of Elliot Schlissel have extensive experience in handling all aspects of Guardianship petitions on a regular basis in the courts throughout the metropolitan New York area. In addition our law office drafts Wills and Trusts and probates Wills. We assist our clients in Estate Planning matters. We represent Executors in Estates. We also draft Revocable Living Trusts, Irrevocable Living Trusts and engage in all aspects of Medicaid Planning. In situations involving Special Needs children we draft Special Needs Trusts which are also known as Supplementary Needs Trusts.
March 8th, 2012
Divorce is a process where a person seeks to change his or her status of being married for the purpose of ending the marriage. It can be a quick, intelligent, well thought out process or it can be a horror story such as in the movie The War of the Roses.
An example of a divorce gone badly was recently in the newspapers in New York. Mr. And Mrs. Friedlander were involved in a tough, nasty divorce. Mr. Friedlander, a well known attorney, took a gun and murdered his wife and children. He then killed himself. There are many divorce horror stories. Should you find yourself involved in a divorce before it gets over the top, you should take the appropriate action.
Keep Your Sanity
If you find that your divorce is overwhelming you should seek out therapy. You may be facing issues such as fear and dependency. You must also keep your children’s best interest in mind during the divorce process. Professional help may be necessary to keep you on an even keel.
Sometimes things get out of control during divorces. Normally reasonable individuals get pushed towards domestic violence. If you live with your spouse and you feel you’re in danger you should act. Orders of protection and other devices are available to protect you from an aggressive spouse. Even if your spouse incites you, it does not justify violence!
Dealing With The Pressure
Divorces can bring intense pressure on families. Men and women often go tit for tat, with regard to pushing each other’s buttons. Children who watch one parent bullying the other can become bullies themselves. Learn how to deal with your spouse pushing your buttons. Don’t get carried away, don’t over react, don’t lose your humanity!
Therapy For Your Children
If you are involved in a bitter divorce and your children are exposed to inappropriate behavior it may be necessary to put them in therapy to help them deal with this difficult situation.
The fathers’ rights lawyers at the Law Offices of Elliot S. Schlissel have more than 100 years of combined legal experience with all divorce related issues. We deal with orders of protections, child custody, visitation, change in child custody, child support, family court issues, spousal maintenance (alimony) and child abuse and child neglect proceedings.
We have extensive experience in dealing with CPS and ACS problems. We bring applications on behalf of our clients to reduce child support. We also have extensive experience in handling paternity cases. Our office represents fathers in annulments, in dealing with equitable distribution and relocation problems. We negotiate separation agreements when appropriate for our clients. We also represent grandparents regarding grandparents’ rights issues. Call us for a free consultation.
March 7th, 2012
Retiring in comfort is getting more and more difficult. The costs of retirement are spiraling while the income of the average American has flattened out or is declining. There are many retirement myths that are simply untrue. Following is the discussion of some retirement issues that all potential retirees should be aware of.
How much will be enough? Do you have enough savings to retire? Will one million or two million dollars be enough in the bank to retire? According to Re Keithen D. Miller, a certified financial planner with Palisades Hudson Financial Group in Atlanta, Georgia, “With most people living longer and the continuing rise of the cost of living, a million dollars no longer guarantees a five star retirement. Most people will need to have enough money to support them for twenty five to thirty years in retirement. Depending on the lifestyle you want to maintain and where you live, a million dollars may not go so far.”
Your Expenses Won’t Go Down In Retirement
Most retirees anticipate their expenses will decrease once they retire. According to Nicole Rutledge, a certified financial planner with Resource Consulting Group inOrlando, Florida, “in my experience this is not always the case. Typically we see clients spend more money when they initially retire. This is the time in their lives when they are still healthy and full of energy. They travel more, focus resources on hobbies and other interests and do many of the things they have been putting off during their working years. We call this the go-go years.”
According to Rutledge, although spending increases initially when individuals retire the spending does decrease in the later retirement years. “That’s when the health issues, energy and just a general desire to travel the world and focus on these just aren’t what they used to be.”
The Declining Value of Social Security
Social security has never been meant to be the primary source of income for Americans who retire. Social Security provides a safety net for Americans. The average Social Security benefit is twelve hundred dollars per month. This is not enough money to live on! This will put you at the federal poverty level.
Individuals when they retire shouldn’t be overly aggressive with regard to their investments. However investing too conservatively can also be problematic. Individuals who retire should have a balanced program of dividend bearing stocks as well as fixed income return investments. Interest rates are at an all time low right now and investing in Certificates of Deposit at one and a half to two percent will not earn enough interest to secure you in your retirement years.
Retiring Too Early
It was once thought that all Americans should retire as they approach their sixties. With life expectancies increasing and savings having to last longer in retirement it is recommended today that you retire at an older age. This will expand your working years and give you additional years to accumulate savings. You will also maximize the amount you receive from your Social Security benefits.
For more than thirty years, the Attorneys of the Law Offices of Elliot Schlissel have handled estate planning needs for their clients. The Attorneys drafts wills and trusts. They draft special needs trusts for special needs children. The firm also has extensive experience with regular preparation of revocable living trusts and irrevocable living trusts.
The law office also probates wills and litigates contested will contests. They advise executors as to what to do in the handling of estates. They deal with Medicaid issues such as nursing home abuse, Medicaid planning techniques, the drafting of Health Care proxies and Powers of Attorneys. Feel free to call us for a consultation. The firm’s more than thirty years of experience can be utilized to see to it your loved ones are protected and your estate is not subject to inappropriate taxation.
March 6th, 2012
Death is unpleasant. Why would anyone want to think about such an unpleasant subject. However, as unpleasant as death may be, everything that lives will eventually die. End of life issues are difficult to face. However, the failure to face end of life issues can create untenable, difficult, and painful situations for your loved ones.
A Living Will is a document that spells out an individual’s wishes with regards to the type of medical care he or she wants to have. It is only utilized when the individual who drafts the document is no longer capable of communicating with doctors directly. It deals with issues such as life support and medical treatments that do not prolong life but only prolong death and suffering.
A Health Care Proxy is sometimes called a health care power of attorney. This allows an individual to select someone he or she trusts to make decisions about medical care during a period of time when they are in incapacitated or unable to communicate their wishes.
Cathy Brant is the senior vice president in the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization states that living wills and health care proxies are a good idea for everyone whether they are healthy and young or older and not so healthy. She states further that these two documents can spare families painful fights and ensure patients receive – or don’t receive – the medical treatments they wish should they end up in a situation where they can’t speak for themselves.
Avoiding The Terri Schiavo Situation
Terri Schiavo collapsed in 1990, in her home. She did not have any advance directives regarding end of life care issues. Her heart stopped. She suffered irreversible brain injuries. She was left in a vegetative state. Her husband, who loved her very much, stated she had told him she would not want to live in a vegetative state. He parents vehemently disagreed with Terri’s husband. They wanted her kept alive without regard to the quality of her life. Her husband and parents litigated for years concerning the issue of turning off her life support system. The case eventually went to the Supreme Court. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees were expended concerning this issue. In 2005, the court ordered her feeding tubes removed and she died two weeks later.
The Law Office of Elliot S. Schlissel has more than thirty years of experience in handling all types of Estate related matters. We probate Wills. We litigate Will contests. We draft Wills and Trusts. We create guardianships for clients. We have developed expertise concerning Estate Tax issues, Revocable Living Trusts, Irrevocable Trusts, Elder Care issues, nursing home abuse matters, Medicaid, Medicare planning techniques, Special Needs Trusts and Supplement Needs Trusts for our clients. Call us for a free consultation. Our phones are monitored 24/7. We can be reached at 1-800- 344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.