Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Business Dispute Attorney - Lawsuit to Enforce Personal Guarantee Dismissed

Last week, I won an appeal in Solco Plumbing v. Hart.  This was one of the very rare cases where someone was able to defeat a claim on a personal guarantee.   My client ended a partnership years earlier and sold his share in the business, but his former business partner continued operating under the same name.  When the business later dissolved, a creditor owed hundreds of thousands of dollars attempted to collect against my client based on a personally guarantee he had signed more than a decade earlier.

This could have been an enormous problem.  Personal guarantees are often unconditional and remain valid unless and until explicitly revoked. In this case, however, the guarantee included the phrase "being financially interested in the above customer."  The creditor argued that this was merely a description of his status at the time of signing, but there is a rule of contract interpretation that any ambiguity is interpreted against the drafter (which is applied even more strictly in personal guarantees).  So, I successfully argued, among other things, that this phrase must be interpreted to mean that liability under this particular guarantee automatically ended upon his financial interest ending.

This case highlights the importance of using a qualified attorney for business matters, both litigation and transactional.  A slight change in how their form contract was worded may have led to a more favorable result for the plaintiff on this issue, and handling the transfer of his business interest differently could have avoided the issue entirely and saved my client from years of litigation.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

PERSONAL INJURY

The best personal injury attorneys can efficiently and effectively maximize the value of your case.  

On a technical level, the law in many types of personal injury cases is highly developed.  Although each person is unique, the mechanisms of injury in car accidents, slip and falls, and construction accidents are such that there is a body of precedent that has developed around common factual scenarios.  Similarly, the same types of injuries are seen repeatedly.  A good personal injury attorney has the accumen and familiarity with the medical issues involved to understand your injury, and comparisons to comparable cases are what give us a basis to value your claim.  

On a business level, the objective for a personal injury attorney is to obtain compensation for their clients. Most cases settle; some need to be tried; and it is the plaintiff's attorney who pushes the case forward.  

On a personal level, great personal injury attorneys have an enormous range of styles and personalities.  Some can be extremely charismatic, while others are more low-key but command a sense of credibility and trustworthiness.  You need someone you are comfortable with.  

I have been helping personal injury victims obtain compensation for their injuries for my entire legal career.  I clerked with personal injury firms during law school; won several awards for academic achievements in that area of law prior to being admitted to the bar; published multiple articles on construction accident and slip and fall litigation; have a litany of notable appellate decisions; tried numerous federal and state cases; and, most importantly, have helped clients obtain millions of dollars in compensation. 


A DIVORCE LAWYER YOU CAN TRUST

Matrimonial and family law matters are uniquely personal and important. You need an attorney you can trust.  I cannot claim to be the perfect lawyer for every client.  If you want an attorney who will only tell you what you want to hear, or who will aggressively spend your hard-earned money chasing windmills, I may not be the best attorney for you.

Your lawyer has the job of zealously advocating for you, while also exercising independent professional judgment to help you understand your rights (both best and worst case) so that you can make informed decisions. If you want a lawyer that will tell you the truth -- politely and kindly if it is not what you hope to hear, but the truth nonetheless -- and who is a skilled advocate that can effectively try your case to conclusion when a settlement is not the best option for you, then I am an attorney you should consider.   

If you are choosing a doctor, you don't want someone who automatically says everything is fine, and you don't want someone who automatically opts for the most invasive and destructive approach; you want a rational and reasonable person who is skilled at what they do and whose judgment you can rely on.  I am that type of lawyer.  


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Personal Injury - Construction Accidents

I have represented injured workers in a wide range of construction accident claims, including injuries related to scaffolding and ladder falls, severed fingers, hoist and crane accidents, falling objects, electric shock, and various other worksite injuries.  If you have been injured or lost a loved one due to a construction accident, give me a call at 631-482-9700, or email me at Skreppein@QHMLaw.com to arrange a free consultation.

Friday, September 19, 2014

BUSINESS ATTORNEY - BAD FAITH BREACH OF CONTRACT

Generally, a contract spells out the rights and obligations of the parties, and the consequence of breach is liability for the foreseeable damage that directly flow from that breach.  There are no emotional distress damages, lost time is generally compensated for through statutory interest calculated as of the date of the breach, and the contract itself frequently defines the value of the loss.  

In addition to what is written (assuming you are dealing with a written agreement), every contract also contains an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, wherein both parties are deemed to agree - even if not expressly in the contract - not to do anything which deprives the other party of the benefit of the agreement. 

The typical and most common example of bad faith (and the easiest to explain) is in the insurance context. One scenario, a litigant is exposed to damages beyond the policy limits (for example, a bad injury in a car accident that goes beyond the typical auto policy limits), but the insurer gambles with its client's money and refuses to settle within the limits, resulting in personal liability to the insured.  Another scenario is baseless denial of claim for business interruption coverage, where the nature of the insurance is to timely compensate for lost income needed to keep the business afloat.  

Under these scenarios, where there is bad faith, the damages party can reach beyond the contract and receive indemnification above the policy limit, or compensation for damage to their business beyond just the lost income during a period of interruption.

I have handled a number of these cases, including a recent jury trial involving a fight over funds held in escrow following a real estate transaction.  Contract disputes, and business litigation matters in general, from my perspective, tend to be intellectually stimulating.  Business litigation is already a large part of my practice, and I would like to see that portion of my practice grow in the future.  If you are looking for an attorney to represent you or your company in a business matter, it would be my pleasure to speak with you to see of I can be of assistance.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

HELP END ALZHEIMER'S

PLEASE DONATE TO ALZHEIMER"S RESEARCH - My grandmother passed away on 7/1/14 after a long struggle with Alzheimer's. There should be a cure for this disease, and funding is needed for continued research.

I will be participating in the Bethpage Walk to aend Alzheimer's, one of many such walks and similar fund raisers across Long Island from the Alzheimer's Disease Resource Center.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Scott J. Kreppein, Attorney-at-Law

If you are interested in retaining my services, or are a colleague looking for local counsel or to refer a case, please call my office at 631-482-9700, or send me an email with a description of the legal matter you need my help with and how I can contact you.  My email address is Skreppein@QHMLaw.com.   

I offer high quality legal services in civil litigation and transactional matters throughout Long Island and New York City.  My approach, in general, is to provide effective and informed representation, with goal-based insights and recommendations.  My clients know that they have someone on their side.  I zealously fight for my clients' rights and interests, while ensuring that they are well informed.  I settle cases, win trials, close deals, and always protect my client's interests.  

I hope to hear from you soon.