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10/29/2020 – Firm News

Firm News 10/29/2020

UPDATE: Our Manhattan and Peekskill Offices are open, and we expect to reopen our Brooklyn Office in the near future. We are available to meet with you in-person, on the phone, or via video conference, using Zoom or Skype. All in-person meetings must be scheduled in advance and must follow our office policies and procedures in wake of COVID-19. Your safety and the safety of our staff remains our top priority. Thank you for your patience.

As we move forward amidst the difficulties created and exacerbated by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, you can remain assured that PPID is here for you. We understand the deleterious impact that this crisis is having on families around the world and so close to home. But, be reminded that even though this is a difficult season, it is just a season – it will pass! To facilitate its passing, we implore you to continue to take the necessary precautionary measures (i.e. social distancing, not touching your face, and washing your hands regularly for 20 seconds). The purpose of this notice is to inform you about:

  1. The Current Status of New York State Courts;
  2. The Effect on Personal Injury Cases;
  3. Real Estate & Business Issues;
  4. Criminal Law Matters; and
  5. Employment Law Matters.

1. Current Status of New York State Courts

Governor Cuomo’s final extension of the Statute of Limitations provision expires on November 3rd. As we have been doing since March, our Litigation/Appellate Department continues to write motions and appeals as if there is no “pause” and when the stay is lifted, we will be ready to “press the button” for you.

State Courts
Pursuant to an announcement on October 19th by Chief Judge DiFiore, last week’s focus was on “racial justice” in the court system. After an independent “Equal Justice Review” by Jeh Johnson of our court system’s policies and practices as they relate to issues of “racial justice”, Judge DiFiore has engaged Alphonso David, President of the Human Rights Campaign, to serve as the “Independent Monitor” and implement the system-wide reforms recommended by Mr. Johnson in assisting in the Courts’ efforts “to rid the courts of racial bias in all of its form”.

Pursuant to announcement on October 26th by Chief Judge DiFiore, regarding Covid-19 operations, two civil jury trials were tried to verdict last week in New York City, and four trials are still in progress. This week, five more civil jury trials are scheduled to start in New York and Queens Counties. Outside of New York City, the “ongoing jury pilot experience” has successfully completed 24 civil and criminal jury trials with 6 more in progress and another 16 scheduled to begin this week.

Judge DiFiore noted that the vast majority of court matters will continue to be heard virtually for the foreseeable future to in order to minimize courthouse traffic.

ALL FOUR DEPARTMENTS OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION ARE ACCEPTING FILINGS AND ARE HEARING ORAL ARGUMENTS IN-PERSON AND REMOTELY

To read the full version of the Current Status of New York State Courts, please email [email protected] to subscribe to our Litigation department’s mailing list.

2. The Effect on Personal Injury Cases

Governor Andrew Cuomo paused the state’s Statutes of Limitation by issuing an executive order. The order suspends “any specific time limit” on the start or filing of legal action notice, motion or “other process or proceeding.” This will mean that if you were in an accident exactly three years ago, you will have some time to file your case due to the pandemic. Be cautioned, the order pausing those rules continues until November 3, 2020.

The Case Handler Highlight:
$590,000.00 SettlementSasha was driving when a commercial truck merged onto the expressway from the ramp and did not yield the right of way to other vehicles.  As a result, the truck driver sideswiped the entire right side of Sasha’s car making her swerve into the left lane. Click the image below to watch attorney Adam Handler and David “Squeeze” Annakie talk about this $590,000.00 case on our legal show Cruisin’ with The Case Handler! (12:35)
Bronx Sideswipe Accident Lawyer Review: Sasha

3. Real Estate & Business Issues

Updates on Commercial Tenant Evictions  
The directive contained in Executive Order 202.64, which modified the directive in Executive Order in 202.28 that prohibited the initiation of a proceeding or enforcement of an eviction of any commercial tenant for nonpayment of rent or a foreclosure of any commercial mortgage for nonpayment of such mortgage is continued through January 1, 2021.

NYC Movie Theaters Permitted to Reopen beginning October 23, 2020
The directive contained in Executive Order 202.3, as extended, that closed movie theatres, is hereby modified to provide that movie theatres shall be allowed to open effective October 23, 2020, at 25% capacity with up to 50 people maximum per screen, subject to adherence to Department of Health guidance, provided that movie theatres in the New York City region, in counties with infection rates above 2% over a 14-day average, and in counties with red cluster zones continue to be closed.

NYC Indoor Dining at 25% capacity since September 30, 2020, subject to re-evaluation on or before November 1
Indoor dining in New York City has resumed on September 30th with a 25 percent occupancy limit. All restaurants that have reopened are subject to strict safety protocols, including temperature checks, contact information for tracing, face coverings when not seated, and other safety protocols. Bar service will not be permitted, and restaurants will close at midnight. Guidelines will be reassessed based on the data by November 1. If the infection rate does not increase, restaurants may be permitted to go to 50 percent capacity; the State will monitor any positivity increase on an ongoing basis and potentially reassess if necessary.

For more information or assistance with any business or real estate matters, contact us at 212-233-8100 EXT. 306 or email at [email protected], and we will connect you to one of our attorneys and legal staff to answer your questions and other legal concerns you may have.

4. Criminal Law Matters

Options for Incarcerated Defendants
If you have a loved one who is incarcerated, it may be possible to obtain an emergency release from incarceration.  Any incarcerated person who is over 50 years old, or is otherwise vulnerable to COVID-19, may be eligible for release if their case does not involve an allegation of substantial violence and there is no history of violence in the last 10 years. In some cases, an incarcerated Defendant who is not eligible for emergency relief may still be able to be released by having their lawyer negotiate a resolution.  The district attorneys have expanded their criteria for offering non-jail plea deals and are even dismissing cases in certain circumstances.

Criminal Courts
Criminal courts have slowly started to re-open, and are scheduling future court dates for the following matters:

• Conferencing of felony cases;
• Selected plea and sentencing proceedings;
• Arraignments of defendants who have been issued desk appearance tickets; and
• Preliminary hearings in cases involving defendants being held in jail on felony complaints.

You should contact your attorney, or retain new counsel if you are able to do so, to make sure you know when your criminal matter will be heard in court.  If you fail to appear for a court date, A WARRANT FOR YOUR ARREST COULD BE ISSUED.

To schedule a free consultation with a criminal defense attorney, call Gregg A. Pinto, Esq. at (646) 328-2434.

5. Employment Law Matters

Many individuals who have worked in the restaurant and other service industries have been laid off due to the virus.  Prior to the layoff, though, these individuals may have been working 40 or more hours per week but not being overtime in compliance with the law.  It is also possible that some of these individuals did not receive all of their required tips under the law.  In addition, employers are required to pay a minimum wage to most service employees.  Contact our office for a free consultation to find out if you were not paid in compliance with the law by your former employer.

Settlement Highlight:
$200,000.00Attorney Jacob Aronauer, along with Beranbaum Menken LLP, recently obtained a $200,000 settlement on behalf of a collective of eight shoeshiners.  The shoeshiners alleged that they were not paid minimum wages or overtime in compliance with the FLSA and NYLL, and that they had not been provided proper notices in accordance with New York’s Wage Theft Prevention Act.

From all of us at PPID to you, stay safe and healthy.

Resources:

 

If you need legal guidance, PPID is here to help! Call us toll-free at (800) 223-2814

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