Ancillary probate: What is it and how to avoid it in estate planning
by Stephanie Henrick | December 4, 2018 As the weather turns colder and thousands of northeastern “snowbirds” prepare to head south to their winter homes, thoughts turn to warm gulf breezes, Christmas lights in palm trees, and, of course, what the heck to do about that looming ancillary probate problem. Well, maybe they’re not […]
What is garden leave?
by Thomas Rees, Esq. | October 31, 2018 What is garden leave (also known as ‘gardening leave’)? The term sounds pastoral, but its use is practical. Very simply, it is an agreed-upon period when an employer pays a departing key employee not to work before the employee joins a competitor. Originating in England, it […]
Teen driver safety in Pennsylvania
October 17, 2018 by Eric Marttila Having recently represented a teen driver who had received a traffic citation, I was presented with a letter she had received from the Secretary of Transportation of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania covering traffic laws and driver safety. In that thoughtful letter, the Secretary of Transportation reminded her that “personal […]
Starting or Relocating a Business: Watch Out for Local Requirements!
September 11, 2018 By Kathleen M. Thomas Anyone who starts or relocates a business goes through exciting and challenging times. It is understandable that the business owner’s primary focus is getting established and meeting customer needs. It stands to reason that a business plan will include big picture items such as marketing strategy and customer […]
Small business owners: Beware these recent developments in PA law!
September 5, 2018 By Mark R. Fischer, Jr. For small business owners, the growth of a startup business can cause you to overlook the legal minutiae that come along the way. It is not unusual to see small businesses that started out using form contracts or invoices that may have done the trick at the […]
“How can I change my child’s school” – School Choice and Custody Issues
August 28, 2018 By Elizabeth C. Early, Esquire Every spring and summer, custody attorneys and the custody courts see a drastic increase in the amount of cases brought to the court for consideration regarding where the parties’ children will attend school in the next year. “School choice” cases, as those cases are typically called, are […]
Limited Tort! = Limited Recovery?
August 15, 2018 By Eric G. Marttila Pennsylvania drivers, when presented with car insurance coverage choices, are given the “Limited Tort Option” – at a discount of some 15% to 20% on annual premiums. While such savings may be appealing at first glance, such a decision can have far reaching adverse consequences – and our […]
Death, Debts and Taxes: What happens to a decedent’s debts?
August 7, 2018 By Mary R. LaSota A common concern of clients during the initial estate administration process is the debts of the decedent. Clients often wonder, who is responsible for paying the debts? Can the debt be forgiven? What happens if the estate does not have enough money to pay the debts? These questions […]
New Grandparent and Third-Party Custody Law
August 1, 2018 By Brittany M. Yurchyk As of July 2018 a new law regarding grandparent and third party child rights took full effect in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Act 21 of 2018 expands the categories of people able to request custody of a child through the courts. Act 21 also clarifies when grandparents can […]
Don’t Forget! 2019 Tax Appeal Deadlines Are Approaching
July 25, 2018 By Stephen M. Zaffuto New assessment notices and tax bills have been arriving in property owners’ mailboxes throughout the spring and summer, and deadlines in a few counties in southeastern Pennsylvania are only a few cookouts or trips to the shore away. August 1 is the deadline for filing appeals in Montgomery […]
You Must be a Current Employee to Review your Personnel File!
July 18, 2018 By Thomas D. Rees, Esquire Last year, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that only current employees have the right to review their personnel files under the Pennsylvania Personnel Files Act. This decision in Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals, Inc. v. Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, 162 A.3d 384 (Pa. 2017), does not […]
Social Security Disability: Meeting the Financial and Medical Eligibility Requirements
July 10, 2018 By Linay L. Haubert Being diagnosed with a potentially disabling medical condition and not being able perform the work you used to do is not a guarantee that you will be entitled to Social Security Disability benefits. There are stringent rules and requirements, both financial and medical, which must be met in […]
Watch out for Non-Hire and Anti-Poaching Agreements!
June 27, 2018 By Thomas D. Rees, Esquire You are the CEO of Company A, a cutting-edge developer of new software. Over golf (or sushi), you agree with the CEO of equally cutting-edge Company B that each of you will not hire or try to hire away the other’s top talent. Is anything wrong with […]
Franchisee’s Struggle: Creating a Viable Business When Someone Else Calls the Shots on Your Social Media Presence
June 19, 2018 Social media has changed the way we see the world. From its modest beginnings as a way to connect people, social media has grown into an ever present force that cannot be ignored. We get the news (fake and otherwise), learn about new products, and keep in touch through social media. I’d […]
Be Prepared for Motorcycle Season
June 12, 2018 By Douglas Wayne As the long cold and rainy spring of 2018 fades into memory, motorcycle riders across the Commonwealth are taking out their bikes and getting ready for a glorious season of riding. However, the unfortunate truth is that motorcycle accidents can and do happen. Here are some thoughts about how […]
Planning a Funeral
June 5, 2018 By Stephanie A. Henrick People love to make plans-the perfect wedding, that dream vacation, a comfortable retirement, the kitchen remodel. Making plans is one of the great joys of life- except for when it comes to making plans for the end of it. Understandably, we don’t like to think about—much less make […]
Update on the Philadelphia Wage Equity Ordinance
May 23, 2018 By James B. Shrimp The Ordinance On January 23, 2017, the Philadelphia Wage Equity Ordinance (“Ordinance”) was signed by the Mayor. The Ordinance made it unlawful for any business that employs individuals in the City of Philadelphia to (1) inquire about a job applicant’s wage history (“Inquiry Provision”); or (2) to rely […]
Be Wary of “Binding Mediation”
May 15, 2018 By Richard C. Sokorai Over the last 100 years, High Swartz attorneys have engaged in countless cases involving alternative dispute resolution, representing litigants in arbitrations and mediations and serving as arbitrators and mediators. Recently however, I have noticed a newer concept being incorporated into contractual provisions and settlement discussions: “binding mediation”. Such […]
Alcohol Abuse and Custody: What Safeguards are Available?
May 2, 2018 By Elizabeth C. Early A straightforward custody case can be made extremely complex and contentious when accusations are raised regarding alcohol use and abuse. Regardless of whether the concerns are legitimate or not, alcohol use that may have been problematic, but tolerated while a relationship was intact, becomes magnified many times over […]
Leave No Stone Unturned
April 24, 2018 By Eric G. Marttila As stated in previous articles in this series, when faced with unexpected economic harms and losses due to personal injury, it is important to explore — and understand — all legal avenues and options which may be available to seek and secure appropriate benefits and compensation. Depending upon […]