Thursday, February 26, 2015

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Visitation, Custody and Parenting Time Attorney


As a very general rule, family law attorneys try to encourage compromise and cooperation on custody, visitation, and parenting time issues, thereby helping clients transition into healthy . co-parenting relationships. 

The "ideal" custody/visitation scenario consists of parents agreeing on joint custody between themselves, but with each consulting counsel so as to make an informed decision, with both parents staying within the same school district, working locally, with roughly 50/50 parenting time (which can be structure in several ways to fit their situation).  Child support is statutory, with appropriate adjustments when necessary to ensure that the children are properly provided for in both households. 

This ideal scenario is often not appropriate, whether due to practical limitations (i.e. residence, work schedule, the children's needs and comfort, etc.), or parenting concerns (the child's best interests being served, for whatever reason, with one parent serving as a primary caretaker and/or decision-maker).  The question is always the best interest of the child, and most cases involve either a failure of communication or a good faith dispute over parenting issues, not whether the other parent is so troubled and dispicable of a human being that should have less influence over their progeny

Even with two loving and responsible parents, it is at times appropriate -- based on the children's needs -- to emphasize quality over quantity and recommend unequal parenting time.  Making the best of a compromise can often be better, in the long run, than the direct and indirect damage caused to children heated and protracted custody battles.

Every situation and every set of parents and children are vastly different.  Family law is possibly the most case-specific area of law.  People in ostensibly identical situations will have wildly divergent experiences.  Personality plays a huge role, and Family Court and matrimonial judges have substantial discretion to determine issues on a case-by-case basis.

Family law is also possibly the most contentious area of law, with parents -- at the same time as they are often dealing with highly-emotional issues between themselves -- fighting over what they feel is best for their children.  

As a family law and matrimonial attorney, I have become particularly adept at facilitating amicable settlements.  My personality is well suited towards consiliatory discussion.  Generally, I am patient, deliberate, slow to anger, empathetic, matter of fact, and not easily distracted by ancillary issues. 

At the same time, however, I can be an effective, aggressive, and ruthless litigator.  I honed my skills as a trial attorney by handling jury trials in personal injury cases, obtaining multiple six-figure verdicts , and working on trial teams that resulted in several seven- and eight-figure verdicts and settlements. 

When necessary, I have no problem "being the bad guy" and holding a firm position, and I won't hesitate to take a case to trial where appropriate.  


Friday, January 9, 2015

LONG ISLAND INJURY ATTORNEY

Car accidents and slip-and-falls are prevalent during snow storms, freezing temperatures, and other hazardous weather conditions.  As a personal injury attorney on Long Island, I regularly help people who have suffered injuries obtain compensation.  

With slip and falls, businesses have an obligation to exercise reasonable care with respect to dangerous conditions.  Restaurants, bars, convenience stores and other businesses with high traffic areas must anticipate hazards and take precaution for their customers' safety.  Without appropriate shoveling and salting, snowy sidewalks will turn into slick ice hazards. Even when initially shoveled, snow and ice accumulations pose a continuing slipping hazard risk due to thawing and refreezing.  Indoors, slippery entrances and floors require appropriate warnings and non-slip coverings, which must be placed properly to avoid turning a slipping hazard into a tripping hazard.

The injuries caused by slipping and falling can be severe.  Joints are particularly sensitive.  The bones in wrists, elbows, ankles, knees and hips are subject to fracturing, with a range of severity. Sometimes, "soft tissue" injuries (including torn ligaments or tendons, or bone bruising) can be even worse than a fracture.  

Car accidents are also frequent during and after snow storms.  Slippery roads are an obvious hazard. Winter weather also leads to other hazards such as snow accumulation that can limit visibility and road shoulder accessibility.  

If you or a loved one were injured in a car accident or slip and fall, you may be entitled to compensation.  Personal injury damages can include recovery for past and future pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life, as well as compensation for economic losses including lost wages and medical expenses.  

Contact me to schedule a free consultation.  I can be reached via telephone at 631-482-9700, or via email at Skreppein@QHMLaw.com.  



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 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.