Monday, September 19, 2016

Business Formations and Transactions

Well-crafted transactional documents can save an enormous amount of time, money, and aggravation later on.  I regularly represent businesses in a wide range of transactional matters (including equity transfers; operating or shareholders agreements; financing; and other contracts).

I also represent businesses in dissolution proceedings and other litigation, which helps in anticipating the issues that can arise later on.  Too often, pure transactional attorneys fail to anticipate how their documents will apply in a litigation context.  In almost any business dispute, the parties and the courts first look to the applicable contracts, if any, to resolve the dispute. The exact same facts can have vastly different outcomes depending upon differences in contract language.  

Even when represented by experienced and expensive counsel, parties sometimes end up "agreeing" to contracts that do not correctly fit their situation or the actual agreement between them. 

For example, I recently had a dispute where a well-respected firm used voluminous but largely form documents that were mostly inapplicable to what the two-member LLC actually needed.  There was insufficient thought put into things that mattered (such as how and when profits were paid), but tons of ambiguous surplusage that the parties effectively ignored because it was inconsistent with their actual operation.  The court eventually resolved the dispute, but only after several hundred thousands of dollars in litigation costs that many smaller entities can ill afford.  

Similarly, I have seen many small businesses with either no agreement or something that was just thrown together, creating problems that are very difficult to correct in litigation.  For example, all too frequently, I see asset purchase agreements that fail to properly define the asset being purchased.  In smaller businesses, this can lead to, among other things, either a cost-prohibitive dispute, or a dispute where fee shifting takes on a life of its own. 

Even where there is no dispute at all (no-one plans a dispute when going into a new transaction), good agreements help make good business partners.  Much like fences help with neighbors, a properly crafted agreement defines boundaries and expectations in a way that facilitates the true "meeting of the minds" that is necessary for a smooth and productive business arrangement. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Better Call Saul

I am not sure if I want to keep this on my desk at home or bring it into the office.  

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Consumer Issue: Hyundai Billing Error and Lease Default

I received an interesting inquiry recently where Hyundai Motor Finance apparently added an unexpected charge ($359.33) plus a $40 late fee to a customer's 2015 lease bill despite full payment of the prior month's statement.

I am attempting to help the customer resolve the error, and I am curious if this was a large-scale error affecting other customers. If you have had the same problem, please send me a quick email: with: (a) your name; (b) whether you had a surprise charge and/or late fee such as the one described above; (c) your name and contact information; and (d) a brief description of the date and circumstances.  Attach copies of the relevant account statements and proof of payment if available (inquiries will be kept confidential, and you may redact personal identifying information).  

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Personal Injury Attorney    

          I have helped clients throughout Suffolk County, Nassau County, Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Manhattan recover substantial awards for injuries ranging from soft tissue damage to paraplegia or wrongful death.  I will fight for you, and have the experience and skill necessary to effectively resolve your case (whether through settlement or trial).  Contact me for a free consultation.  


* Learn more about Car Accidents?

* Learn more about Construction Accidents?

* Learn More about Children's Injuries?

Monday, July 20, 2015

New York Creates Statutory Guidelines for Alimony

New York's divorce law received yet another significant overhaul on June 24, 2015, when the New York State Legislature passed a new law, largely going into effect in October, that -- in addition to adjusting income caps and the temporary maintenance formula -- creates a guideline for calculating the amount and duration of "post-divorce maintenance" (i.e. alimony).

Under the new rules, the amount will be similar to pendente lite maintenance, and the duration will be a sliding scale as follows:

    • Length of Marriage      --      Length of Maintenance
    • 0-15 years                    --      15-30%
    • 14-20 years                  --      30-40%
    • >20 years                     --      35-50%
The guidelines allow for substantial deviation within the guideline amounts, and the Courts can deviate from the amounts entirely under appropriate circumstances, but it will be interesting to see how this is actually applied in practice. 

Monday, May 25, 2015

Personal Injury Attorney - Construction Accidents

I have helped many injured workers throughout New York City and Long Island obtain compensation for construction accident injuries, particularly gravity-related injuries such as falling from a height or being struck by a falling object. 

I have over ten years of experience with construction accident cases cases, starting with a law school internship in the claims department of a major municipal entity working on evaluating possible settlements for hundreds of construction injury claims.  I focused on personal injury litigation following law school, and not only settled and tried numerous cases, but also argued and won multiple significant appeals.

If you have been injured in a construction accident, contact me for a free consultation.  

Scott J. Kreppein, Esq.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Employment: Minimum Salary

I have seen a few cases recently where employers paid a minimal salary to avoid minimum wage and overtime requirements.  

There are legal requirements for making someone a salaried (or "exempt") employee. 

Among other things, the minimum pay must be at least $23,600 per year ($455 per week).  That is an absolute minimum, and does not, by itself, render someone exempt from overtime laws.  Paying a salary cannot be used an excuse to circumvent minimum wage and overtime laws.