Jan 16, 2020

Okay, Google: Did You Violate U.S. Antitrust Laws?

Google[1] rang in the New Year with a fresh lawsuit, filed against it on November 25, 2019, looming in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia by Inform, Inc. (“Inform”), an online advertising company.[2] Nothing says “Merry, Merry” and “Happy New Year” like a fresh batch of anticompetitive claims against the search engine we all resorted to for our obligatory “what to give Dad” and “30-day cleanse” searches.  The suit alleges that “[t]o maximize [Google’s] advertising profits, to protect their valuable monopolies against potential competitive threats, and to extend Defendants’ [monopolies] globally and across digital devices,… Read more


Jan 7, 2020

Plaintiffs Beware: You May Have Less Time Than You Think to Bring a FDCPA Claim

Blog_FDCPA Claim

In a recent 8-1 decision, the United States Supreme Court resolved a circuit split in favor of debt collectors. Rotkiske v. Klemm[1] (Rotkiske III). Mr. Rotkiske brought suit on June 29, 2015 against Klemm & Associates (Klemm) for violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Id. at *2. In September 2014, Mr. Rotkiske applied for a mortgage and learned that Klemm had an outstanding $1,500 default judgment against him. Id. In 2008, Klemm attempted service at Mr. Rotkiske’s previous address and learned that Mr. Rotkiske no longer lived there. Id. Klemm dropped the suit for failure to serve… Read more


Dec 18, 2019

Landlords Beware: The Georgia Supreme Court Rules on Contractual Limitations Periods in Lease Agreements

Blog_Lease Agreement

Drafters and landlords beware when drafting a contractual limitations period for legal actions in a lease that attempts to limit when both contract and tort actions can be brought by a tenant. The Georgia Supreme Court in Langley v. MP Spring Lake, LLC, No. S18G1326, 2019 WL 5301853 (Ga. Oct. 21, 2019), considered whether a provision in a lease agreement requiring “any legal action” to be brought within a year included premises liability actions and whether such a clause would be enforceable if it did. Without deciding the issue of enforceability, the Supreme Court held that the limitations provision as… Read more


Dec 10, 2019

What to Expect from Georgia’s New State-wide Business Court

On July 15, Governor Brian Kemp appointed Judge Walter W. Davis, an experienced commercial litigator, to serve as the first state-wide business court judge. Less than a month later, he was unanimously confirmed to serve as the first business court judge by the Georgia Senate and House of Representatives. This was one of the last major steps in making the Georgia State-wide Business Court a reality. The business court was approved by Georgia voters in the November 2018 election and codified with bipartisan support in the 2019 legislative session. O.C.G.A. § 15-5A-1 et seq. Although opponents voiced concerns over the… Read more


Jun 12, 2019

Roger Maldonado Interviewed on Diversity Initiatives for Law Students

Q&A: NYC Bar president on an initiative to reach diverse lawyers-to-be in childhood By: Daniel Wiessner (Reuters) – The New York City Bar Association is launching a far-reaching initiative to diversify the legal profession by creating a talent pipeline that begins as early as elementary school, after finding in a recent report that minorities remain underrepresented at law firms. Roger Juan Maldonado, the group’s president, said in a recent interview with Reuters that years-long diversity efforts by firms, bar associations, and the court system have been disjointed and produced mixed results. The city bar initiative, announced last month, is designed… Read more


May 2, 2019

But Only God Can Make a Tree (Joyce Kilmer, 1914)

Tree on neighboring property line

Ironically, despite their divine origin, disputes between neighbors over trees often arise and, as a recent case illustrates, become the subject of hard-fought litigation. Shafi Ahmed and Nusrat Ahmed filed a Small Claims proceeding against their Middletown, New York neighbor,. Allen H. Zoghby. Both Parties appeared without attorneys. The Ahmeds alleged that roots from a tree, purportedly on the property next door owned by  Zoghby (73 Beattie Avenue), damaged the pavement and driveway located at the front of the house on their property (75 Beattie Avenue).  The Ahmeds also alleged that the tree’s roots were slowly moving under the foundation of… Read more


Apr 15, 2019

“Baseball is a game of inches.” And often so is construction.

Land Surveyor: Property Line Encroachment

A recent case illustrates the point: A Romanian Orthodox Christian Church in Elmhurst, Queens is adjacent to a construction site. Defendants were building a substantial residential apartment building next door. For construction to proceed, a retaining wall was built very close to the Church property line. The Church hired a professional surveyor who found that the steel piles encroached on the north end of the Church’s western property line by 2.5 inches and at the south end of its western property line by 3.25 inches. The survey also showed that the wood lagging encroached on the Church’s property at the north end of… Read more


Mar 21, 2019

Behold the “Litigation Hold”

Litigation Hold

You are an officer, director/manager or agent for a corporation, limited liability company or residential cooperative/condominium. You occasionally receive garden-variety  claims for  personal injuries (e.g. slip-and-falls).  And from time-to-time more threatening claims (e.g. discrimination, breach of fiduciary duty). First thing first: immediately notify your liability insurance carrier in writing.  And second: preserve all hard copy and electronic documents and communications (including all audio and visual records) directly or indirectly relating to the claim. The first admonition of your obligation to preserve and protect relevant records may be a so-called “litigation hold”—a direction from either your attorney or the lawyer for the claimant to save… Read more


Mar 15, 2019

Court-Imposed Access for “Underpinning” Next Door

Underpinning - extension of the foundation of one's property

CUCS Housing Development Fund Corporation  and several related entities sued under RPAPL § 881  for Court-imposed  access, for the  purpose of underpinning  a neighboring property on West 12th Street owned by  Clifford S. Aymes.  Underpinning is  the extension of the foundation of one property to below the foundation of a neighboring parcel. CUCS was trying to begin a construction project to provide New York City’s homeless population with affordable housing. Aymes owned the one-story, unoccupied building adjoining  the project. The New York City Building Code  required CUCS take careful measures to protect public safety and to prevent damages to Aymes’ property during the building’s construction. Where… Read more


Mar 8, 2019

And on the Third Day…

land disputes

Dry land has been around—well, according to the Bible,  since the third day of the Creation.  So it is not surprising that land disputes relating to ownership of real property often have their “Genesis”  in facts, circumstances, and documents with an ancient pedigree.  A recent case, in which the Town of Southampton and the Freeholder Trustees sued for a judgment declaring them to be the sole owners of real estate on the shore of Moriches Bay, Suffolk County, reached and searched back to a decree promulgated in 1686 and a statute enacted in 1818. The case arose out of a… Read more