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 L E G A L   B R I E F 
January 2014
Newsletter Archive
Negotiating Update
Intellectual Property Update
Landlord/Tenant Update
Wills, Trusts & Estates Update
Real Estate Update
Firm News
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Campolo, Middleton & McCormick, LLP, is a full-service business law firm that represents clients in a wide variety of legal matters including litigation and appeals; corporate and technology; real estate development and zoning; wills, trusts and estates; labor and employment; personal injury matters including the defense of general liability, construction, premises liability and transportation cases.
4175 Veterans Highway Suite 400
Ronkonkoma, NY 11779
p 631-738-9100
f  631-738-0659

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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.


Establishing Policies and Procedures for
Emailed Notices of Defects
by Scott D. Middleton, Esq.

For decades, municipalities have been afforded the additional protection of requiring prior written notice of defective or dangerous conditions of any street, highway (including parking lots), bridge, sidewalk, culvert or crosswalk.Middleton

There are, of course, recognized exceptions to the prior written notice requirement, including establishing that the municipality created the dangerous or defective condition through an affirmative act of negligence (this can include showing that the municipality negligently designed or constructed the area of the defect) or by showing that a special use confers a special benefit upon the municipality.

In order to ensure that prior written notice applies, a municipality must be sure to take certain steps to protect this benefit. First and foremost, if written notice of a defect is received by the proper designee within the municipality, it is incumbent upon the municipality to repair the defect within a reasonable time. The clerk (or other designee) must also properly record the notice. The indexed record must include the date of receipt of the notice, the nature and location of the condition stated to exist, and the name of the person from whom the notice is received. Since 1987, indexed records have been required to be indexed by location. The rationale behind this requirement was to assist injured parties in determining whether a claim can be filed and to enhance the municipality's risk management and repair policies.

To read more click here >>


Negotiating Update

Teaching Doctors the Art of Negotiation
by Joseph N. Campolo, Esq.

With recent health care changes, specifically the Affordable Care Act, negotiation skills will be tremendous value to medical professionals, administrators, and other Campolo3stakeholders in the health care sector.

Recognizing the importance of negotiation, medical schools are starting to invest in communication training for students. A recent article by Dhruv Khullar in the NYTimes Health Blog, Teaching Doctors the Art of Negotiation discusses how doctors negotiate on a daily basis, with both patients and colleagues and should be offered classes in negotiation training just as law, business and public policy schools do.

In this context, "negotiation is about exploring underlying interests and positions to bring parties together in a constructive way. It's about creative, innovative thinking to create lasting value and forge strong professional relationships. It's about investigating what is behind positions that may seem irrational at first to understand the problem behind the problem."

To read the full article, click here >>



Supreme Court to Hear Case Challenging
the Face of Broadcast Television
by Lauren Kanter, Esq.

Just about the only thing that the broadcast networks and the founders of Aereo-a service that sells live television programming online-can agree on is that the technologyKanter will fundamentally change the broadcast network business.

On January 10, 2014, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the dispute between television broadcasters and Aereo, a New York-based technology start-up that distributes broadcast signals through a network of small antennas in a "cloud," allowing subscribers to record shows on the remote DVR and watch live and recorded programming from their mobile devices.  The growing service is currently available in 10 cities for a monthly fee of $8 to $12.

At the heart of the case are "retransmission fees" - money paid to networks and their local stations by cable and satellite subscribers for access to their signals and the right to retransmit their programming.  Retransmission fees are an enormous revenue source for broadcasters, who are estimated to collect $4.29 billion in retransmission fees from cable and satellite companies in 2014.  Unlike cable and satellite services, Aereo does not pay the networks to distribute their broadcast signals.  As such, the broadcast networks argue that Aereo's business model is pure and simple theft, selling subscribers stolen programming.   They argue that Aereo sells "public performances" of copyrighted work without the copyright owners' permission, in violation of U.S. copyright law.

To read the full article, click here >>


Intellectual Property Update 

Non-Disclosure Agreements - A Lesson to Be Learned
by Eryn Y. Truong, Esq.
A non-disclosure agreement (NDA) is typically used between companies to protect confidential information during a potential transaction.  Every NDA, however, is different.  The specific terms and provisions in the NDA determine whether your trade secrets would be protected upon disclosure.  Accordingly, each NDA should be tailored and specific to the transaction.  A recent case decidedDeblois by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeal demonstrates that special attention needs to be given to an NDA.               
The Convolve v. Compaq and Seagate litigation involved a misappropriation of trade secret dispute between Convolve, the owner of certain intellectual property, and Compaq and Seagate.  Although the dispute involved many different issues, of particular importance was the Federal Circuit's holding that Convolve lost its trade secret status by failing to provide written follow-up memoranda as mandated by the NDA.

The particular NDA at issue stated that to trigger either party's obligations, the disclosed information must be marked confidential at the time of disclosure or designated as confidential by written memorandum identifying the confidential information.

To read more click here >>

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Landlord/Tenant Update

Around the Appellate Bench: Part 2
  by Patrick McCormick, Esq.

There have been several interesting Appellate Court decisions in the past couple of months touching on a variety of issues. Cases discussing actual partial eviction, successor landlord liability and a tenant's failure to tiMcCormickmely cure an alleged default are discussed below.

In Croxton Collaborative Architects, P.C. v. T-C 475 Fifth Avenue, LLC, a commercial tenant sued its successor landlord alleging it was damaged because defendant landlord failed to remediate the "derelict" and "war-torn appearance" of the premises, which was caused by renovation work commenced by the prior landlord, in breach of the lease. Plaintiff commenced the action approximately five months after defendant bought the premises and assumed the lease. The Appellate Division reversed the lower court's denial on landlord's motion to dismiss the complaint.

The Court noted that lease paragraph 22.01 provided that "in the event of a transfer of title, the lease shall be deemed to run with the land and the transferee agrees to 'assume' and 'carry out any and all such covenants, obligations and liabilities of Landlord hereunder." Plaintiff apparently relied upon this lease provision to hold the new landlord liable for the conditions caused by the prior landlord. However, the Court relied upon lease paragraph 25.03 which it found "unequivocally provides that 'under no circumstances shall the [lessor] . . . be (a) liable for any act, omission or default of any prior landlord; or (b) subject to any offsets, claims or defenses which [t]enant might have against the prior landlord.'" In finding that lease section 25.03 "trumps" section 22.01, the Court noted that section 25.03 was prefaced by stating "[a]nything herein contained to the contrary notwithstanding."

To read more click here >>


Wills, Trusts & Estates Update

A Letter To Your Family 
by Martin Glass, Esq.

So it's the new year and you've promised yourself that you're going to get your estate plan done. But havinGlassg your documents in order is only part of a good estate plan.

What you need to do along with that is to prepare a letter that will help your family settle your affairs. You need to let them know what they need to do after you have died.  Usually, what's in this letter is more of a personal statement than actual written instructions and therefore not normally included in a legal document. But what you put in this letter should be consistent with the terms of your Will and/or other planning documents. This letter also becomes valuable if you become incapacitated, as it's another method of making sure your wishes are known.

First and foremost, if you have made your own funeral arrangements or have special requests, make sure someone knows about them.  It's almost always too late if you put them in your Will.  Make sure you communicate them clearly and provide the necessary details and documents.  You could even include a pre-written eulogy. If nothing else, it may give your family some comic relief.

To read more click here  >>


Real Estate Update

Real Estate and Business Boosters on Long Island:
Are You Missing Out? 
by Alyson Repp, Esq.

As we start the New Year, it has been a refreshing and positive sign of the economy revitalizing that many of our clients are looking to expand and grow their business here on Long Island.  Right around the corner we are looking Reppforward to the development of the project known as the Ronkonkoma Hub.  Clients are buying buildings, expanding their practices and hiring new employees.  Through discussion with our clients and community members we have found out that many organizations are developing their business and buying and developing real estate through their own blood, sweat and tears.  While this is very admirable and often what it takes to get the job done, what some business owners and entrepreneurs alike may not know-and should know-is that there are numerous agencies and groups on Long Island looking to give businesses a hand.  One such agency that works to boost the local economy through incentives to business owners is the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency ("Suffolk County IDA").  

By way of background, in 1969, legislation was enacted in New York providing for the creation of IDAs to facilitate economic development in certain locations and outlining their powers and status as public benefit corporations. The general mission and purpose of IDAs are to improve economic conditions in their regions and attempt to attract, retain and expand businesses within their respective locations by providing financial incentives to private entities. Through this legislation, IDAs are empowered to buy, sell or lease property and to provide tax exempt financing for approved projects. The property owned or controlled by these IDAs are exempt from property and mortgage recording taxes, and the value of these exemptions can be passed through to the businesses being assisted thereby. Further incentives are that purchases related to IDA projects can be exempt from state and local sales taxes.  Per a 2004 report by the NYS Comptroller, while IDAs were originally created to boost industrial and manufacturing development, IDAs increasingly provide assistance to a wide variety of projects, including office buildings, retail, education facilities, transportation, sports arenas and assisted living centers.

To read more click here  >>


Firm News

Middleton Appointed to Brookhaven IDA  
We are pleased to announce that Scott Middleton, Esq. has joined the Brookhaven IDA Board. He is eager to work with the team in furthering their mission to improve the quality of life for Brookhaven Town residents by promoting and assisting the growth of manufacturing and industrial businesses that will increase the commercial tax base, provide employment opportunities, and are sensitive to the quality of the environment.   


Kanter Appointed to Board of Pet Peeves    

We congratulate Lauren Kanter, Esq. on being appointed to the Board of Directors of Pet Peeves, Inc., a Pet Peeves Logononprofit organization that raises funds and awareness for Long Island's struggling animal shelters and rescue groups. We encourage you to learn more at petpeeves.org or at their upcoming annual gala dinner on March 27th, 2014,  event details here.   

CM&M Sponsoring 2014 HIA-LI
Annual Economic Summit 
CM&M is a proud sponsor of the upcoming 2014 HIA-LI Annual Economic Summit, which will discuss the results HIA-LI Logoof the AVZ 2013-2014 LI Economic Survey & Opinion Poll and discuss the 2014 Business Trends that will impact the way you conduct business. The event will take place on Wednesday, February 5th from 8:00 - 10:00 a.m. at the Islandia Marriott. For more information, visit www.hia-li.org.

Bill Cosby at the Stony Brook Staller Center
One of the most beloved and respected comedians of all time, Bill Cosby brings his famous wit to the Staller Center stage on Saturday, March 8th, 2014. As proud sponsors of the Stony Brook Staller Center for the Arts, we would like to share with you that there are still some VIP tickets available. Contact us for more information, or visit https://www.staller.sunysb.edu/forms/gala14.html

Campolo, Middleton & McCormick, LLP
4175 Veterans Highway, Suite 400
Ronkonkoma, NY 11779
p 631-738-9100 | f 631-738-0659
contact@cmmllp.com | www.cmmllp.com