April 2016
Table of Contents
Located in both the heart of Long Island and on the East End, Campolo, Middleton & McCormick, LLP is a full-service law firm with the expertise and experience to represent clients with every legal need they may face. We have an established record of results for our clients, who range from individuals to global companies, and approach each matter with a unique understanding of the issues and the highest level of integrity.
The information contained in this newsletter is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. The firm provides legal advice and other services only to persons or entities with which it has established an attorney-client relationship. No recipients of information from this newsletter, clients or otherwise, should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in this newsletter without seeking appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from an attorney licensed in the recipient's state. The content of this newsletter contains general information and may not reflect current legal developments. The firm disclaims all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this newsletter.
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Allowing Employees to Telecommute
In today's workplace, a great percentage of employees will request the ability to work from home for one reason or another, be it temporary or not. Having employees work from home is both an opportunity and a challenge for both the employer and the employee. Employers avoid having to find space for the employees to work from, and employees may be more satisfied and committed to their employers for the benefit of working from home.  However, both parties must pay attention to make sure that the "team" spirit and internal workplace dynamics don't suffer. 
New York Joins Handful of States Guaranteeing Paid Family Leave
On April 4, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law an unprecedented bill establishing a state-wide paid family leave program, adding New York to the short roster of states - including California, New Jersey, and Rhode Island - that guarantee paid family leave.
The law, part of the 2016-2017 State Budget, allows workers across New York State to take paid leave (1) to bond with a new child (during the first 12 months after the child's birth or adoption or foster placement of the child with the employee); (2) to care for a family member with a serious health condition; or (3) in certain situations arising from a family member's participation in military active duty.
New York City Human Rights Law Amended to Include "Caregiver" Status
By Vincent Costa, Esq.
In 2015, the State of New York added "familial status" as a class of persons protected under state discrimination laws, prohibiting discrimination against pregnant employees and employees with minor children.  On May 4, 2016, the New York City Human Rights Law ("NYCHRL") will add a new protected class that offers an even greater degree of protection.  The NYCHRL will be expanded to protect "caregivers" from employment discrimination based on one's actual or perceived status as a "caregiver."  
Entrepreneurs: These Networking Blunders Can Cost You
By Marc Alessi, Esq.
Successful entrepreneurs know that having a strong network behind them is critical. Done well, networking is hard but important work.  There's no shortage of mixers, parties, meetings, and lectures to attend, and most professionals, business owners, and job seekers have no problem showing up.  But too many people think they've done their job just by walking in.  They pass the time by traveling in a pack with the people they came with, lingering by the food table, or checking Facebook on their phone.   At the other extreme are those who interrupt conversations and make requests of VIPs without offering anything in return.  And perhaps the most common category includes those who actually make meaningful connections at the event, but think their work ends when the event does.
Lessons Learned in an Idea Submission Case
In an idea submission case, where Plaintiff alleged that Defendants fraudulently expressed interest in developing Plaintiff's science fiction story only to use parts of that story in the hit 2009 film "Avatar," the California Court of Appeal recently affirmed summary judgment in favor of Defendants, dismissing all claims.  In particular, the court found that there was no substantial similarity between the projects and that Plaintiff was unable to prove that Defendants used any of Plaintiff's ideas in the film.
Court of Appeals Restricts the Ability to Challenge a SEQRA Positive Declaration Requiring Preparation of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement
If an agency such as a Town Board, Planning Board, or a Board of Zoning Appeals finds that an application before it may cause a substantial adverse impact on the environment, it is required by the State Environmental Quality Review Act ("SEQRA") to adopt a positive declaration, and require preparation of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement ("DEIS") before it may determine the merits of the application.  The immediate impact of such a determination on an applicant is that a final ruling on an application will be substantially delayed, and a great deal of money will be spent to prepare the DEIS.  Prior to 2003, the lower courts fairly uniformly held that the applicant cannot challenge a SEQRA positive declaration in a CPLR Article 78 Petition because the SEQRA determination of significance was but the initial step in the decision-making process, and therefore did not give rise to a justiciable controversy.
Talking to Someone with Dementia
This month I'm going to take a break from the series I've been doing to talk about talking.  Sometimes it's hard enough to talk to someone without them misunderstanding what we're saying.
If you're trying to talk to someone with dementia, it's twice as hard (if not more).  But there are certain things that you can do to help the conversation and stop yourself from becoming totally frustrated.
New Practice Areas Focus on Business Growth and Entrepreneurship

The firm has formalized its service offerings to emerging companies and businesses seeking to expand by establishing two additional practice groups, Startups and Economic Development .  Led by Marc Alessi, a former New York State Assemblyman and an experienced navigator of the entrepreneurial ecosystem on Long Island, these practices are dedicated to the growth of Long Island business.  Our team works with entrepreneurs to help startups evolve from idea to reality.  To further our commitment to bringing jobs and investment to our area, we also assist both long-established companies and innovative startups obtain financing and economic incentives through various municipal agencies.  Please contact Marc at to learn more.
CMM to Sponsor HIA Hauppauge Industrial Park Update
The Hauppauge Industrial Park remains one of the largest industrial parks in the country.  CMM is to sponsor the HIA's annual Industrial Park Update breakfast on Wednesday, April 27 at 8:00 a.m. at IBEW, 370 Motor Parkway in Hauppauge.  Regional legislators and business leaders will share the status of initiatives including the sewer expansion project, the overlay district, the energy efficiency initiative, and infrastructure support.  For more information about this important event, please visit the HIA's event page.
East End Executive Breakfast: Everything Is a Negotiation
Did you miss our April Executive Breakfast?  Join us on Thursday, May 12 at 8:30 a.m. at Bridgehampton National Bank - Community Room for our East End presentation.  All too often, traditional negotiating tactics result in blown up deals, protracted litigation, and destroyed relationships.  Join Joe Campolo as he shares the alternative negotiation strategies he relies on as an attorney and business owner to solve problems and get deals done.  The presentation will cover how to:
  • Manage tension in high-stress negotiations
  • Balance empathy and assertiveness
  • Listen actively
  • Combat hard-bargaining tactics
  • Diagnose your own weaknesses and regain your footing
Designed for both seasoned professionals and those just starting out, this presentation will arm you with new tools and a fresh perspective on what it means to negotiate effectively. Please email to reserve your seat.

SUNation Solar Systems Celebrates Earth Day with Green Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
SUNation Solar Systems is a full-service solar installation provider based in Ronkonkoma.  With unmatched attention to detail and dedication to a high standard of quality of work, the company has built a strong reputation since its origin in 2003, and has installed over 1,800 systems in the region to date. 
In recognition of Earth Day on April 22, SUNation unveiled its new headquarters at 171 Remington Boulevard with a ribbon cutting ceremony and building tour.   The solar company also announced its pioneering decision to evolve its business model by suspending its leasing option and focusing exclusively on the solar panel system-to-own alternative. 
To date, SUNation has installed over 20 megawatts of solar and more than 70,000 solar panels, saving Long Islanders over five million dollars in electric bills annually.  The solar company gives back to its community through many charitable efforts as part of its not-for-profit corporation SUNation Cares. SUNation Solar Systems Chief Executive Officer Scott Maskin also serves on the Board of Directors of the Girl Scouts of Suffolk County, and is a dedicated supporter of Last Chance Animal Rescue. For more information on SUNation Solar Systems, visit
Women's Panel Addresses Leadership and Success
A packed lecture hall at Touro Law School heard from a distinguished panel of successful women professionals at our Executive Breakfast on March 23.  Moderated by CMM partner Christine Malafi, the panel shared their insights on the leadership traits they rely on as business leaders and the actions they've taken to propel their careers forward.  Attendees enjoyed networking with Long Island professionals and the opportunity to engage in a dialogue about issues facing women in the workplace.  The diverse panel included Randi Busse, founder and president of Workforce Development Group, Inc.; Teresa Ferraro, president of East/West Industries Inc.; Susan Ganz, MBA, financial professional at the Prudential Insurance Company of America; Abbe Meehan, RCC, president and corporate trainer at TEC Resource Center; Patricia E. Salkin, Dean of Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center; and Martha Stark, group director and senior vice president at Signature Bank.
Middleton Advises Pre-Law Students
CMM partner Scott Middleton participated in Law Forum 2016, a unique event at Stony Brook University for students interested in pursuing legal careers.  The April 8 networking reception featured a round-table discussion with Stony Brook alumni in the legal profession, giving students the opportunity to ask questions and hear insight on topics including law school admissions, internships, and the ins and outs of practicing law. 
Campolo Named UCP of Suffolk 
United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) of Suffolk has named Joe Campolo the honoree of their annual golf classic, which will be held on Monday, May 9, 2016 at Glen Head Country Club.  Proceeds from the golf classic directly benefit the almost 3,500 children and adults with disabilities served annually by UCP of Suffolk. Please visit for more information.
Have questions about a legal topic? Want to share an upcoming event of interest to the business community? To suggest content for our newsletter, please contact Lauren Kanter-Lawrence, Esq., Director of Communications, at

Campolo, Middleton & McCormick, LLP

4175 Veterans Memorial Highway, Suite 400
Ronkonkoma, New York 11779

2495 Montauk Highway
Bridgehampton, New York 11932

Phone: (631) 738-9100
Fax: (631) 738-0659