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NYC breach of contract attorneysNo matter what your line of work is, when your business entails the creation and signing of a contract to document a service agreement, it is important to do everything in your power to avoid a potential breach of contract. Many individuals and entities will not hesitate to sue for what they believe to be a breach of contract, and in many cases, these claims are embellished or in some cases entirely fabricated, depending on the plaintiff’s motives. Such allegations are usually a big source of anxiety for business owners, as these claims can not only affect their livelihood and income but also their reputation in the community, as well.

Are You at Risk for Being Accused of Breach of Contract?

Whatever service you agree to provide a paying client, you are technically at risk for being sued for breach of contract if you fail in any way to perform the service as promised or fail to adhere to any specific standards or criteria required as stated in the terms of your contract. 

Here are three common breach of contract scenarios business owners may encounter:

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New York City Criminal Defense AttorneysBeing accused of stalking behavior can have grave consequences, affecting everything from your work life to your reputation at home and in your community. The damage done to your name can be extremely difficult to recover from, especially when these claims are tied to other serious allegations.

Reports from New York State’s Office of the Attorney General illustrate the harsh reality that stalking incidents can and often do lead to other offenses, as stalking behaviors have a tendency to coincide with other abusive crimes. A stalking claim usually indicates that a series of harassment incidents have already occurred. Whether there is some truth to the claims made or these claims are entirely fabricated, if the real story has been altered in any way, chances are other false accusations may be made against you. 

Crimes Related to Stalking

Stalking is generally defined as any persistent or unwanted pursuit of an individual that causes that individual to fear for their safety. It is a series of intrusive behaviors, such as following, watching, or relentlessly contacting the individual in a threatening or intimidating manner. These behaviors often involve monitoring a victim’s devices and technology use, stealing or vandalizing their property, or trespassing at their place of business. If you are being accused of any of these actions, it is important to be aware of other crimes stalking are often associated with, as the claims against you may extend further:

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Manhattan contract law attorneysContracts are an inevitable part of life for most people, and business owners, in particular.  Contracts also take many different forms, from express written commitments such as a signed lease to unwritten but enforceable oral contracts. Examples of oral contracts include when you call a plumber to fix a problem in your home, and he or she does, but you do not have this in writing. You cannot, in such a case, refuse to pay because the contract was not in writing. Whether a contract is in writing or oral, if you fail to perform as agreed, you can be sued for breach of contract.

Breach of Contract in New York

For someone to sue you in New York for breach of contract, he or she must show that you committed a “material breach” of the contract terms. A material breach is generally deemed to be doing or not doing something that significantly frustrates or altogether defeats the purpose of the contract. In addition to the breach, the person suing you must show that he or she suffered a monetary loss as a result of the breach.

For example, assume you are a window replacement contractor, and you are hired to replace ten windows in someone’s home at a price of $1,000 per window. The homeowner paid you $5,000 before you did any work, and you sent your workers to start the project. However, due to unavoidable circumstances, you discover that your team will not be able to complete all ten windows. At the time you realize this, your workers have only been able to replace only two windows.

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New York criminal defense attorneysLike all states, New York regulates and controls the possession of controlled dangerous substances (CDS) but each state defines CDS differently and provides different punishment for violation of the applicable CDS laws. Although there are many different substances in a variety of categories or classification of CDS in New York, the most common illegal drugs are marijuana, heroin and cocaine. Possession of any of these drugs is illegal and subject to criminal prosecution, conviction, and possible prison time.

Classifications of CDS in New York

Controlled dangerous substances are classified into five “schedules” beginning with Schedule I, which includes drugs with a high probability of abuse and addiction. From there on down, the CDS are classified with decreasing degree of probability of abuse and addiction. Those substances with the lowest probability of abuse and addiction but still criminal to possess are classified under Schedule V. Schedule V substances include drugs that are recognized to have medical use and generally less sought after for prosecution or punishment.

Criminal Possession of CDS in the Fourth Degree

You can be charged with criminal possession of CDS in the fourth degree if you knowingly and unlawfully possess CDS in New York, including the following:

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New York employment law attorneysIt is not unusual for people to enter into various agreements with others but fail or neglect to have those agreements down in writing. Under New York and other state laws, an employment agreement must be in writing in order to be enforced, but there are exceptions that could be made.

Employment Without a Written Agreement

In certain cases, an employer may, in good faith, extend a job offer to you, but due to changed economic circumstances or other reasons, the employer either withdraws the offer before you report to work or terminates your employment soon thereafter. If either occurs, then the issue becomes whether you have any recourse against that employer.

Statute of Frauds

To resolve the issue of whether an employer has rightly withdrawn an offer of employment or has properly terminated your employment, the first thing to do is determine whether the Statute of Frauds applies.

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New York employment law attorneysThere has been a wave of states that have taken the view that possession of marijuana should not be a criminal offense. Accordingly, many of them have been working diligently to change their laws. New York has recently passed and put into effect a law that decriminalizes possession of marijuana.

Previously, New York was one of 29 states and the District of Columbia that legalized use of marijuana for medical purposes. However, even though medicinal use of marijuana was allowed in New York, the possession and use of marijuana remained illegal under federal law. That still is the case, even with marijunana being decriminalized on the state level.

Given this obvious contradiction between federal and state laws, there are several legal issues still unresolved. These concerns will likely be addressed through the years in the court systems to finally bring some clarity as to what is permitted regarding marijuana under both federal and state laws..

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New York civil rights attorneysThe thought of suing the government is daunting, but to make the task less daunting, Congress passed Title 42 of the United States Code, which is part of the Civil Rights Act of 1871. A particular section of this law—namely, Section 1983—a allows an individual to sue a government official, employee or agent who violates his or her constitutional rights.

Of course, initiating legal action against any government entity or agent can be complex. It is important to speak with a skilled attorney so that you can get the guidance you need throughout the process.

What Does Section 1983 Cover?

Section 1983 claims are available as a means to obtain relief for a range of constitutional violations, which include the following:

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New York Labor Union LawyersA federal law known as the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) guarantees workers in the private sector the right to form a union and collectively bargain. Collective bargaining simply means employees, through their representatives, negotiating as a group with an employer regarding their wages and other conditions of work.

Employee representatives are usually unions organized by types of employment, and each union represents its members in negotiations with an employer involving a range of issues, such as wages, hours worked, grievances and other terms and conditions.

The NLRA law is pre-emptive, which means it is more overrides any state law covering the same area as it does. However, states are free to make their own laws in areas not covered by the NLRA. Some of these areas include public sector employees’ rights and private employees not involved in interstate commerce.

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NYC employment law attorneyThe use of social media has grown so much it has become part of nearly everyone’s life. You would be hard-pressed to find someone who does not use social media on a regular basis. Among those in the working-age group, the use of social media such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are part and parcel of their social and work lives.

For this reason, it is not surprising that lines do get blurred and it becomes difficult to tell when use of social media is strictly for work and when it is for personal use. As a result, an employee may find themselves facing disciplinary action for using social media during work hours, and even in some cases during off work hours as well.

Employers Requesting Access to Employee Social Media Accounts

Employers rightly get concerned about blurred or mixed use of social media. For example, employers may be concerned about:

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b2ap3_thumbnail_medical-marijuana-employment-law-questions.jpgNew York is one of the 29 states, plus the District of Columbia, that have legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes. However, the possession and use of marijuana remains illegal under federal law. This obviously contradictory position between federal and state law on the use of marijuana has created serious questions both in New York and across the country, particularly when it comes to workplace rules.

The Compassionate Care Act

The Compassionate Care Act (CCA) was passed in 2014 and went into effect in January 2016. The law allows the manufacture, sale, and use of medical marijuana in the state of New York. The CCA is scheduled to be in effect for seven years, after which it will automatically expire unless it is renewed.

Effects of CCA on Employment Law

A “certified” medical marijuana patient is deemed to be a disabled person and therefore protected from employment discrimination. At least this is the position taken by some civil rights advocates and labor management organizations such as the Society for Resource Management. However, this view has not been tested in any New York court but there is a good chance there are cases percolating up the system and will sooner or later address this question.

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New York civil service job defense attorneysFederal and state governments operate on complex set laws, rules, policies and procedures, some of which go back to even before the country’s birth. One of these laws in New York is the Freedom of Information Law. This law is intended to provide the public with access to information regarding the goings-on in government. In enacting this law, the New York Legislature declared that government is “the public’s business and that the public, individually and collectively and represented by a free press, should have access to the records of government” as provided under the law.

Getting Access to Government Information and Exceptions to Freedom of Information Law

Freedom of information laws such as these are designed give the public access to information about what the government has done or is doing through its actors and agents. However, all manner of restrictions and exceptions by the affected agencies can make it almost impossible for the average citizen to know what happened or what is going on. Restrictions may apply for a variety of reasons, including national security and personal privacy concerns.

Civil Law 50-a is a section of the New York Civil Rights Law that puts restrictions on releasing to the public certain information deemed to be “personal records” of police officers, firefighters, and corrections officers. This information is precluded from release to the public on the basis it is confidential and therefore “not subject to inspection or review” without the affected officer’s permission.

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New York breach of contract lawyersAmerica has the reputation of being the most litigious country in the world. The common belief is that you can sue or be sued for anything. This is, in fact, not true and by that we mean you cannot sue or be sued for anything. In order to file a civil lawsuit in New York, there are basic requirements that you must satisfy.

Elements of a Breach of Contract Case

In a breach of contract case, the following elements must be established even before a case proceeds to trial:

  • A valid and enforceable contract exists;
  • The plaintiff’s performance of the contract;
  • The alleged breach by the defendant; and
  • Damages or remedies being sought.

You must have evidence in the form of documents and witnesses to prove each one of these elements. If the evidence is not enough, the person or business you are suing can seek to have the case dismissed without a trial. 

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New York Sex Offender Lawyer

Registered sex offenders convicted of a felony for failing to disclose Facebook usage can now get that conviction vacated due to a June 2019 ruling by the New York Court of Appeals. If you believe you were wrongly convicted of a registry violation, contact a Manhattan criminal defense lawyer to discuss your case.

What Are the Requirements of the New York Sex Offender Registration Act?

New York’s Sex Offender Registration Act requires convicted sex offenders to complete an annual verification process with the state Division of Criminal Justice Services. The verification form asks for the offender’s physical address, their school or work location, the name of their internet service provider, their email addresses, and other online identifiers used for the purposes of chat, instant messaging, or social networking. An offender who fails to comply with registry requirements can be charged with a class E felony for a first offense. The penalty for this crime may include up to three years of conditional discharge or probation or up to four years in prison. 

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New York City Self Defense Lawyer

New York City can be a dangerous place, with hundreds of muggings, robberies, burglaries, and assaults happening every week. It behooves everyone to know the state laws regarding self-defense, particularly self-defense in situations involving deadly weapons

The New York penal code  (NYPL article 35) states that the use of physical force is justified in self-defense, in defense of another person, or in order to prevent theft or criminal damage to property.

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New York City Criminal Defense Attorney

When a disagreement gets out of hand, tempers flare and threats are often made. If the police are convinced that your threatening words or behaviors were sufficient to put the victim in fear for their safety, you could be charged with harassment or menacing. If you continue a pattern of harassing behavior over a period of time, you could be charged with stalking. These are three distinct crimes which are generally charged as misdemeanors but can be elevated to felonies if the behavior is severe enough.

Harassment Definition and Penalties in New York

You commit the crime of harassment when you act intentionally and with no legitimate purpose to cause another person to reasonably fear for their physical safety. Harassment is more of a verbal act than a physical act, and it may be anonymous or not. Harassing acts can include verbal threats to cause physical harm to a person, hang-up calls, or electronic communications. Harassment involves a one-time incident or a few incidents, while stalking involves a repeated pattern of behavior over a period of time. Harassment is generally a class A or B misdemeanor.

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New York City Criminal Defense Law Firm

In the past, the New York district attorneys who prosecute criminal cases have been able to withhold crucial evidence from defendants until just before a trial. This practice has heavily biased the criminal justice system against those accused of a crime. Only two percent of felony convictions happen in a trial; 98 percent of convictions are obtained through plea bargains. In other words, defendants could be forced to negotiate a plea bargain or prepare for trial without seeing all of the state’s evidence against them. This practice has led to New York being third in the nation in wrongful convictions.

Earlier Pretrial Discovery Benefits NYC Criminal Defense

In response to this unfairness, the New York legislature has enacted reforms that will go into effect statewide in January 2020. Prosecutors will now be required to complete pretrial discovery—the sharing of the state’s evidence—much sooner. Specific reforms include:

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Manhattan Criminal Defense Law Firm

Until recently, a person carrying a gravity knife in New York could be stopped on the street, arrested, and charged with criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, a class A misdemeanor. As of May 30, 2019, it is no longer a crime to simply be in possession of a gravity knife in the state of New York. Of course, using any knife to intentionally injure another person will still get you charged with the crime of assault, and using a knife to threaten another person can result in a charge of menacing.

What Type of Knife Can I Legally Carry in New York City?

In New York City, you may carry a concealed knife with a blade less than four inches long in most public places. Note, however, that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) broadly forbids possession of weapons including gravity knives and box cutters on NYC subways and buses (21 NYCRR 1050.8a).

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Manhattan Drug Crimes Defense AttorneyThe New York State Police now train drug detection dogs to sniff out cocaine, heroin, LSD, MDMA (ecstasy), methamphetamine, and PCP--but not, since mid-2018, marijuana. Once the state legalizes marijuana possession, which is expected to happen within the next year or so, all drug dogs trained to detect marijuana will be obsolete. Once a dog has been trained to “alert” on a particular drug, that training cannot be reversed.

The Meaning of Probable Cause for a Drug Search

The legal principle at issue is “probable cause.” Police may not lawfully search your person, car, or home without probable cause to believe that they will discover evidence of criminal activity. For example, the police cannot pull your car over for no reason; they must have probable cause that you have committed a crime. If an officer saw you run a red light or clocked you speeding, then they have probable cause to pull you over.

Similarly, if you are stopped for speeding, the police do not have the automatic right to search the trunk of your car for evidence of other offenses such as drug crimes or weapons possession. The police can, however, bring a drug detection dog over to sniff around your car. If the drug “alerts” to the presence of a drug it was trained to detect, that gives the police probable cause to do the search.

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Manhattan Sex Crimes Attorney

Although New York state law does not explicitly use the term “statutory rape,” it does define several categories of sex crimes involving underage victims. In general, individuals younger than age 17 are considered to be legally incapable of consenting to sex with adults who are four to five years older. Depending on the age of the victim, an adult engaging in sexual intercourse with a minor may be charged with rape in the first, second, or third degree. The younger the victim, the more severe the crime and punishment.

New York Statutory Rape Involving Victim Under Age 17

The crime of rape in the third degree occurs when an adult age 21 or older engages in sexual intercourse with a juvenile under the age of 17. For example, a 21-year-old who engages in sex with a 16-year-old could be charged with rape even if the 16-year-old claimed the sex was consensual.

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NY Police Officer Attorney

When a New York City corrections officer is accused of misconduct, you need a lawyer for two reasons: for defense in a civil service disciplinary hearing to protect your job and for defense against criminal charges to protect your freedom. You need to win both cases to return your life to normal, and because the outcome of one will affect the other, a coordinated defense strategy is strongly recommended.

Criminal Charges Affecting NYC Corrections Officers

As an example of criminal charges that NYC COs may face, we will use an actual case reported in May 2019. Six COs are accused of conducting illegal strip searches at the Manhattan Detention Complex. In their defense, more than 50 visitors were arrested in 2018 for bringing in prohibited items such as drugs and razors. However, a similar number of visitors have alleged that they were sexually abused by COs during unlawful strip searches. These searches violated Department of Correction policy which requires written consent prior to a search and then only allows “pat frisk” searches.

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